header pic

Author

Topic: ELA 130 Team Countdown

 (Read 14655 times)

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
ELA 130 Team Countdown
« on: February 25, 2018, 01:49:22 PM »
Trying to bring it back this year, we'll see.  Due to some technical issues, didn't get the kickoff post up yesterday...

130. Liberty Flames
Independent

So apparently there are still programs out there trying to make the jump from FCS to FBS, as other ones, Idaho, are taking the step down.  Not much football history at Liberty until they hired Danny Rocco in 2006, coming off a 1-10 season.  He won the school’s first ever Big South title in 2007, his second season, and the Flames have won (either shared or outright) the league title in 8 of 11 years since.  Rocco left for Richmond following the 2011 season, and Turner Gill landed there.  In 2014, he upset FCS #1 Coastal Carolina in the season finale to reach the Playoffs, then upset #15 James Madison to reach the Sweet 16, where the Flames blew a 22-14 4th quarter lead against Villanova.  Unfortunately, this is probably not the time to be making the jump to the FBS, coming off their worst season since that 1-10 2005 year.  They were young in 2017 though, giving hope for this year, particularly since they aren’t playing a grinder of a schedule.  They do get Virginia and Auburn in November, looking to play spoiler.  The passing connection of Stephen Calvert and Antonio Gandy-Golden should fuel the offense, both earning all-conference honors last year as sophomores.  Calvert had FBS offers, including from USF, that he turned down to star at the FCS level.  Now he gets his FBS shot after all.

Key Players
QBStephen Calvert, Junior
WRAntonio Gandy-Golden, Junior
WRDamian King, Senior
-
DEJuwan Wells, Senior
LBBrandon Tillman, Junior
CBJeremy Peters, Junior

129. UTEP Miners
#14 in Conference USA

Typically there is a little shuffling at the bottom, as the very bottom teams undergo a youth movement and move up, while a lot of the Group of 5 teams hanging out around 100 are fringe bowl eligible teams that graduate a lot of guys.  Not here.  UTEP was a very experienced team in 2017, led by multi-time All-American Will Hernandez anchoring the offensive line, probably the best Miner in recent memory.  The season was a disaster, and they honestly might be worse in 2018.  Sean Kugler resigned after an 0-5 start, and Mike Price came out of retirement to guide them to 7 more losses in an 0-12 season.  UTEP enters the season having lost 20 of their past 22 FBS games, and the offense has a long way to go, after averaging 10.4 ppg in conference play a year ago.  A spark may come from the return of running back Quadraiz Wadley.  He was the star of the 2017 Spring Game, and after finally getting his shot in Game 4 against New Mexico State, ran for 233 yards on 5.0 ypc over their next two games.  A knee injury the following week against Western Kentucky ended his season.  He is the only player on that side of the ball who looks like a sure thing.  Defensively the secondary should be solid.  They were 3rd in Conference USA in passing defense (4th in YPA).  Their 14 to 4 TD to INT ratio is what needs improvement.  The front seven was littered with problems a year ago, giving up over 220 ypg on the ground.  Without the NT from their 3-4 scheme, or 3 of their 4 starting linebackers going into 2018, things might actually get worse.  The rebuilding process is going to be long for new head coach Dana Dimel, who did well enough riding Joe Tiller’s coattails at Wyoming, but was abysmal at Houston, in his last attempts at being a head coach.

Key Players
RBQuadraiz Wadley, Junior
TRuben Guerra, Junior
GDerron Gatewood, Senior
-
CBKalon Beverly, Senior
CBNik Needham, Senior
SKahani Smith, Senior

128. Texas State Bobcats
#10 in Sun Belt

Proving maybe we’ve gone a little overboard on just how many programs the state of Texas can support, we come to our second Lone Star mid major within the bottom three.  This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering since a triple overtime win over Ohio to open the 2016 season, the Bobcats have gone 0-20 against full FBS opponents.  However, all is not lost, if they can find a signal caller.  Damian Williams has moved on, and Willie Jones appears to be the heir apparent.  Jones saw limited action as a true freshman, but in his one game with extended reps, against UL Lafayette, he was 12-18 for 197 yards, with 58 rushing yards.  The pieces are in place around him, including the entire starting offensive line, which will still only start one senior in 2018.  Playing behind a group starting 3 sophomores and a freshman a year ago allowed little room for error.  Fixing the turnovers, namely creating some, is key for a Texas State team that finished worse than -1.5 turnovers per game a season ago.  Only Rice turned their opponents over less nationally in 2017.  Texas State did not intercept a single pass on the season.  I’d love to know when the last time that happened was, but I can’t find an easy search.

Key Players
RBAnthony Taylor, Junior
WRTyler Watts, Senior
TAaron Brewer, Junior
-
DTJordan Mittie, Junior
LBFrankie Griffin, Senior
LBBryan London, Junior

Brutus Buckeye

  • All Star
  • ******
  • Posts: 4512
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 07:33:30 PM »

Apparently UTep and TX ST have never played each other before. 

I was hoping maybe they'd be playing this year. Nope. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 03:50:56 PM »
127. Hawaii Warriors
#12 in Mountain West

When Nick Rolovich got Hawaii to their first bowl game in six years in his first year at head coach, talk of getting the program back to June Jones levels started heating up.  Those talks came to a grinding halt with a disastrous 3-9 2017, that closed with losing 9 of 10 with a senior laden lineup.  Quarterback Dru Brown seemed to regress behind an offensive line that couldn't keep him upright, getting sacked 30 times, and now he's decided to transfer to Oklahoma State.  This was a team that found all of the inches in 2016, that found a way to lose them all in 2017.  Not just the sacks.  They let their opponents convert 3rd downs at a nearly 50% clip, and 4th downs at 67%.  They led the conference in penalties by over 10 yards per game.  They missed over half of their field goals.  They only scored on 69% of their red zone trips.  The first order of business is replacing Diocemy Saint Juste, and his 1,510 rushing yards.    Only Nevada ran the ball less among Mountain West Conference teams, and yet Saint Juste was 2nd in the conference in both attempts and yards.  Sophomore quarterback Cole McDonald is now the Warriors' returning leader in both pass attempts (9) and rush attempts (16).  Assuming quarterback is McDonald's job to lose, at least he'll have John Ursua and Dylan Collie to rely on, with their combined 103 receptions for 1,303 yards and 9 touchdowns.  That is the most potent 1-2 receiving punch returning in the Mountain West, outside of Mannix and O'Leary-Orange at Nevada.  And that is supposedly the strong side of the ball.  Defensively the Warriors were lousy at all levels, 2nd worst in the Mountain West against the run, and worst against the pass.  And that was starting 6 seniors.  Viane Moala and Jahlani Tavai are at a place to start in the front seven.  The secondary should continue to be awful.  In the end, they are still going to school for free in Hawaii, so at least aren't like UMass or something.

Key Players
WRJohn Ursua, Junior
WRDylan Collie, Senior
CAsotui Eli, Senior
-
DLViane Moala, Junior
LBJahlani Tavai, Senior
LBSolomon Matautia, Junior

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 05:20:41 PM »
126. New Mexico Lobos
#11 in Mountain West

Everything about the Bob Davie rebuild at New Mexico seemed to be on track, building them from a basement team in the conference when he took over in 2012, into a bowl team by 2015, and a 9-4 team in 2016, that won a share of their division title, winning 6 of their final 7 games.  After an uneven start to 2017 left the Lobos still over .500, at 3-2 through September, with a forgivable loss to Boise State and a less forgivable one to New Mexico State, the wheels fell off.  Rather than that 6-1 seven game finish to 2016, they had a 7 game losing streak to close 2017, only twice finishing within 2 scores of their opponent.  Then the off the field issues came, Bob Davie currently undergoing a 30 day suspension for his handling of player misconduct.  Calvin Magee has been brought in to overhaul the offense, spending 16 of the past 17 years coaching under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, Michigan, and Arizona, as offensive coordinator since 2005.  Bob Davie said the thing that made him want to get back into coaching was trying the triple option.  His spread, pistol triple option was working.  In 2016, they ranked #19 in the nation in rushing-success rate and #18 in Rushing S&P+, with more explosive plays than a triple option attack usually has.  They were winning in spite of a dismal defense.  That all changed last year.  The Lobos fell to #105 in Offensive S&P+, including #59 in rushing S&P+.  You absolutely cannot afford to be there running the type of offense Davie is.  So have defenses figured it out?  Sure seems that way.  By taking the quarterback out of the equation, the attack became far less effective, and the Lamar Jordan fell from 6.5 ypc to 4.5 ypc.  So now it passes to Tevaka Tuioti, who did get quite a few reps last year.  While his 5.1 ypc was slightly better, it mostly came in two solid performances against Colorado State and Utah State, where he combined for 101 yards on 14 carries.  Aside from that, it was 14 carries for 41 yards (2.9 ypc).  That sure doesn't read like a triple option quarterback's stat line.  Can Magee freshen it up?  Will Davie let him, or is this style his baby, and he's going to see it through?  Or is this suspension just the first step towards Davie heading off into retirement?

QBTevaka Tuioti, Sophomore
RBTyrone Owens, Senior
TAaron Jenkins, Senior
-
LBAlex Hart, Senior
LBRhashaun Epting, Sophomore
CBJalin Burrell, Senior

Brutus Buckeye

  • All Star
  • ******
  • Posts: 4512
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 10:36:16 PM »
Not a good sign when you are the worst team in a state that also contains the Red Aggies. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 11:05:43 PM »
Not a good sign when you are the worst team in a state that also contains the Red Aggies.
Coming off a bowl game Aggies

fezzador

  • Red Shirt
  • ***
  • Default Avatar
  • Posts: 448
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 08:19:41 AM »
Wow the Mountain West has fallen off the past few years... two teams in the bottom 10?  I'm not even sure it's the 3rd-best G5 conference this year.

Brutus Buckeye

  • All Star
  • ******
  • Posts: 4512
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 09:22:54 AM »
Coming off a bowl game Aggies
Solid point.
But three of their wins came against teams that you've already listed. Plus they beat Idaho, who is now FCS. And the other two wins were GA Southern and S Alabama, who you will likely be listing soon. 
Not to mention they just got kicked out of the Sunbelt. 
But they did win their bowl game. Against the Blue Aggies, no less. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 03:56:34 PM »
125. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
#9 in Sun Belt
While any sort of postseason aspirations had been lost in a 9 game losing streak, the Chanticleers may have found their spark, when the local Myrtle Beach kid, Tyler Keane, sprained his thumb, and Fresno State transfer Kilton Anderson was forced to step in.  Their path couldn't have started farther apart, one growing up in the town where he'd play college football, the other growing up in Florida, transferring to a Washington HS, starting at Fresno State, then hitting the JUCO ranks in New Mexico before landing in Myrtle.  But if the hometown kid was the sentimental favorite, it was the wanderer who gave them hopes for 2018, byt taking over a 1-9 team, and winning their final two games.  Was it all on him?  Certainly not.  Hell, he completed a lower percentage for a lower yards per attempt.  But he won.  And sometimes with quarterbacks, that's all it comes down to.  However, defense helps.  A unit that had given up at least 27 points in every game to date (38.4 ppg), turned it around and gave up 24 points COMBINED over their final two games.  With nearly the entire offense returning, and the likelihood that the defense drifts back towards what they were most of the season, Anderson will be called upon to help lift what was the worst passing game in the Sun Belt (aside from Georgia Southern's triple option).  They have big play capabilities, leading the conference at 14.4 ypc, but their 52% completion rate was worst in the league.  The two major deep threats were Malcolm Williams (43-793-7) and Chris Jones (26-536-4), who were tops at 18.4 ypc and 20.6 ypc, but had another pair with over 20 catches each, for 13.6 ypc a piece.  Jones has graduated, but the rest of that group is back, playing behind an offensive line that turns intact after rolling with 4 freshmen and a sophomore a year ago.  The defense should continue to struggle, and the graduation of Osharmar Abercrombie leaves a massive hole in the backfield, but there's hope behind that experienced line, that a more consistent passing game could make them more formidable in the shootouts they are likely to face.  It seems unlikely, but if Coastal Carolina can steal a couple early, they get a 3 game home stretch in November, trying to seek out a bowl bid.  The return of head coach Joe Moglia, after a year long medical leave, should also help.
QBKilton Anderson, Senior
WRMalcolm Williams, Senior
GTrey Carter, Sophomore
-
LBSilas Kelly, Sophomore
SFitz Watley, Senior
PEvan Rabon, Senior

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2018, 10:48:26 AM »
124. Ball State Cardinals
#12 in MAC
Saying the 2017 Ball State football season was a disaster would be an understatement.  The Cardinals nearly upset Illinois in the opener, but then beat UAB and Tennessee Tech.  That Tennessee Tech win was costly, in that both starting quarterback Riley Neal and starting running back James Gilbert were lost to season ending injuries.  Ball State didn't win again, and suffered through their first winless MAC season since the 0-11 1999 team.  So the question is how much was due to injuries, and how much was flaws within the roster.  The answer is probably both.  The offense probably would have been a lot better, but that wouldn't have done enough to fix a defense that gave up over 40 points per game, including 48.4 ppg in conference play.  They gave up 55 or more points 5 times in a 6 game stretch in the middle of the season.  They only stayed within 3 touchdowns of a conference opponent once...a 40-24 loss to Buffalo.  They return 9 starters on that side of the ball, but graduate rush end Anthoyn Wimbush, the only player that proved he's deserving of keeping his job.  He had half of the team's sacks.  Gilbert's injury did give his reserves a chance to shine, and shine they did.  Caleb Huntley had a 1,000 yard season, despite only being the starter for the final 9 games.  And freshman Malik Dunner is a game changer.  He averaged 6.0 ypc as their change of pace back, and proved to be as good a weapon on special teams as there was in the MAC.  He earned All-Conference honors as a returner, helping Ball State lead the conference in kick return yards, and finishing 2nd in punt return yards, also tallying a touchdown for good measure.  Justin Hall, a slight, 5'9, 160 pound true freshman also burst onto the scene in the slot, with three 100 yard games.  The defense is so far behind, that even with some steps forward, they should still be the worst in the MAC.  Any hope for progress has to hinge on Neal and Gilbert fitting back in with the skill position freshmen who emerged last year, to form one of the MAC's most potent offenses.  I don't think they are going to average below 20 ppg again, as they did in 2017, but I don't think they can get that up near the 35 ppg they are probably going to have to be to get even into the bowl discussion.
QBRiley Neal, Senior
RBJames Gilbert, Senior
WRJustin Hall, Sophomore
-
LBJacob White, Junior
LBBrandon Martin, Sophomore
SBryce Cosby, Sophomore

PSUinNC

  • Red Shirt
  • ***
  • Default Avatar
  • Posts: 242
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 01:10:45 PM »
Wow the Mountain West has fallen off the past few years... two teams in the bottom 10?  I'm not even sure it's the 3rd-best G5 conference this year.
Man I was thinking the same thing....About 5 years ago I thought the MW had a legit argument to be the 6th power conference.  

Brutus Buckeye

  • All Star
  • ******
  • Posts: 4512
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 02:22:43 PM »
Doesn't help that they lost Utah, BYU and TCU right as Boise was coming in. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

ELA

  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 8660
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 10:52:24 AM »
123. Rice Owls
#13 in Conference USA
In a lot of ways the new coaching staff at Rice makes a lot of sense, but in other ways it makes no sense at all.  Mike Bloomgren gets his first head coaching job, after spending the last 7 years at Stanford as offensive line coach, the last five of which doubled as offensive coordinator.  You can see Rice looking at the Stanford rebuild model, as the academic private school with different admission standards sitting right in the middle of a talent rich state.  If they can do it at Stanford, why not at Rice?  At least at a Group of 5 level.  But you look at his offenses at Stanford, and you just don't see how that translates to Texas football, which more and more is just slinging the ball all over the field.  Rice is certainly looking like they'll be on an island in the state when it comes to offensive philosophy.  But maybe, looking at the options under center, that's not such a bad thing.  Rice brought in three new quarterbacks last year, all started multiple games, and all were horrible.  They combined to throw for under 150 yards per game, on under 50% completion, with only 6 touchdowns, compared to 16 interceptions.  All three threw more interceptions than touchdowns.  Freshman Miklo Smalls ended the year as the starter, and did at least seem to provide a little spark.  The Owls averaged 23 ppg over those three (all still losses), after having a stretch earlier in the season where they failed to break 12 points in 6 of 7 games.  The competition is open again, with Smalls, along with Jackson Tyner and Sam Glaesmann all returning.  Smalls' ability with his legs makes him the favorite.  The Owls were more effective on the ground, 2nd in Conference USA with 187 ypg.  They did it with a leading rusher tallying only 409 yards on the season, but having seven players (discounting sacks) rush for over 200.  The smart play on offense is to get the ball in Austin Walter's hands a lot more.  Rice used him in a number of different ways last year.  They classify him on their roster as a running back, and he did get about 5.5 carries per game last year.  But in their post season honors last year, Conference USA classified him as a WR, and he was 2nd on the team in receptions.  Whatever you call him, on a roster low on talent, there's no excuse not to be creative enough to get the ball in his hands.

Key Players
RB/WRAustin Walter, Senior
WRAaron Cephus, Sophomore
TCalvin Anderson, Senior
-
DERoe Wilkins, Junior
SMartin Nwakamma, Senior
PJack Fox, Senior
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 10:54:09 AM by ELA »

bwarbiany

  • All Star
  • ******
  • Posts: 2843
  • Liked:
Re: ELA 130 Team Countdown
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 03:50:16 PM »
Rice could go two ways:

1) Bloomgren, despite his Stanford history, might bring in a more "sling it all over the field" offensive coordinator. If he's a good coach, he'll adapt to what talent level and skill sets he has in his recruiting base. That's what good coaches do.

2) Bloomgren, by recruiting to a niche that currently is perhaps underserved, will manage to grab players that don't fit the "sling it all over the field" mold, much like Wisconsin does. 

Either way, the results will probably depend on whether he's a good coach. Good coaches figure out what it will take to win where they're at, even if it's not their core idea, and implement it.

 

Please Support Site: