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C#53-56: What Next? Division 1 College Sports Gameday Preview

C#53-56: What next? is another installment of the division 1 college sports gameday preview series

Sept. 2, 2012 - PRLog -- #56: Arizona State
Schedule strength: 50
Roster strength: 38
Overall potential: 82

The short on the Sun Devils:
Arizona State had high hopes last season only to fall flat. Exit Dennis Erickson and enter Todd Graham. There are plenty of returing starters on offense, notible Cameron Marshall at running back, that leads one to believe the Sun Devils should be able to contend this year. But Graham will be going with a different offensive and defensive approach from last season. Instead of a pro set offense, look for the open spread. How well the team as a whole transitions to the new way remains a question. It may take a while, but in the end Arizona State will salvage the season and see the post season.
#55: Arizona
Schedule strength: 51
Roster strength: 46
Overall potential: 71

The short on the Wildcats:
A new head takes over that has name recognition: Rich Rodriguez, formerly of Michigan and West Virginia. The Wildcat attack on offense will likely be the no huddle, led by Matt Scott at quarterback. There are a number of running backs that will be shuffled in and out, keeping the opposing defenses off guard. The bad. The entire defense needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. A lot of potential on offense may be for not if the defense doesn't do its job this season.

#54: Southern Mississippi
Schedule strength: 32
Roster strength: 70
Overall potential: 65

The short on the Golden Eagles:
A brand new coaching staff. A completely redone offense, and the same over on defense. The holdovers that will make Southern Miss competitive is the offensive line. How new head coach Ellis Johnson molds the rest of the offense will be the determining factor how many wins the Golden Eagles end up with. It will be a struggle, but a winning season isn't out of the question.
#53: Nevada
Schedule strength: 40
Roster strength: 43
Overall potential: 82

The short on the Wolf Pack:
Cody Fajardo is the heads on favorite to start at quarterback. Fajardo must continue to polish his overall game if Nevada is to rebound from last seasons dismal performance. The running game is still young and the receiver corps best man, senior Brandon Wimberly, needs to stay healthy. Over on defense, the Wolf Pack must stay strong all season long. Last season, Nevada's D came out strong, faltered down the stretch.

Moving in the right direction
#52: Ohio
Schedule strength: 60
Roster strength: 79
Overall potential:

The short on the Bobcats:
Ohio's 10-4 finish last season is going to be very tough to follow up this year. The Bobcat roster isn't as nearly as strong as last year, and no one in the MAC will be cutting Ohio any slack. Some holes on defense need to be plugged and the offense is mostly in tack. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton is a polished team leader and knows what to do under any circumstance. Another winning season is in store.
#51: Tulsa
Schedule strength: 47
Roster strength: 47
Overall potential: 53

The short on the Golden Hurricane:
Last year Tulsa had a dream season, 8-5 and second place in the C-USA West. Now the reality. Tulsa's quarterback from a season ago is gone and there is no clear cut starter. Cody Green or Kalen Henderson? Both have shown their true abilities and each present a different offensive look. Both are capable leaders. And with plenty of offensive support, another winning season should be a reality for Tulsa this season.

#50: South Florida
Schedule strength: 52
Roster strength: 49
Overall potential: 47

The short on the Bulls:
South Florida did not live up to expectations a year ago, starting off strong only to fade late and ended up on the losing end overall. Quarterback B.J. Daniels needs to be consistent all season long and his play selection will be the main key for the Bulls success this go around. The talent is there on both sides of the line, with 15 returning starters - 8 on offense. Barring another collapse or injuries, South Florida should rebound and end up in a bowl.
#49: Virginia
Schedule strength: 72
Roster strength: 27
Overall potential: 48

The short on the Cavaliers:
Last seasons 8-5 finish may have caught some by surprise, but this season noone will be overlooking the Cavs. Virginia has a strong overall roster and 12 returning starters. Quarterback Michael Rocco came into his own as last season progressed and is expected to be the starter this year. Three running backs, Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, and Clifton Richardson, provide plenty of depth on the ground. The Cav defense is good, but not great. In the end, Virginia will be bowling.

Good, but...
#48: Pittsburgh
Schedule strength: 47
Roster strength: 47
Overall potential: 53

The short on the Panthers:
Pittsburgh has three things going for them this fall: QB Tino Sunseri has a strong arm, WR Devin Street can deliver, and there are plenty of running backs to fall back on. The bad: the Pitt defensive secondary has several holes and is being rebuilt from a 3-4 to a 4-3. How Pittsburgh responds to the changes on defense will be a key factor in how many games the Panthers end up winning.
#47: UCLA
Schedule strength: 69
Roster strength: 13
Overall potential: 58

The short on the Bruins:
Jim Mora takes over as head coach and inherits one of the strongest rosters in the Pac 12. The problems that UCLA faced last season, a tough schedule and inconsistent play, need to be overcome. There are a lot of new faces on both sides of the line, and a new offensive approach should make it an exciting season in LA. An open spread run and gun attack, led by wide receiver Joseph Fauria, should work despite not having a set starter at quarterback. A new defensive look, the 3-4 instead of the 4-3, may take time to toughen up, but by seasons end UCLA will head bowling.
#46: NC State
Schedule strength: 48
Roster strength: 53
Overall potential: 36

The short on the Wolfpack:
The Pack is headed in the right direction under Tom O'Brien. And this season more of the same as NC State is in position for another winning campaign. On offense, quarterback Mike Glennon came on late last season and showed he can lead and produce: 31 TDs, 3,054 yards, and completed 283 passes, all top 5 ACC performaces all-time. And don't overlook the run game. Three strong rushers, Mustafa Greene, James Washington, and Tony Creecy, are all back. The Wolfpack defense was strong last season, and it will be again this year.
#45: Louisville
Schedule strength: 57
Roster strength: 35
Overall potential: 42

The short on the Cardinals:
Can quarterback Will Stein come back healthy and play head smart? Or will Teddy Bridgewater be the team leader? Consistency is important for the Cards after a disappointing 7-6 season a year ago. The offensive approach was all about balance, run and pass. Look for more of the same this year. The defense is very young and green and could spell trouble. The potential is there to go to a bowl, as long as all the pieces come together and the team stays healthy.

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