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West Division

New Mexico State Aggies

Doug Martin marches into his fifth season as head coach at NMSU with just a 10-38 record, and the Aggies have not won as many as four games since 2011. It would serve to say that with a relatively new AD, everything rides on this season for Martin, as the Aggies have been removed from the Sun Belt conference after the 2017 season. The Aggies will play as an independent next season, even though there were options on the FCS level, much as Idaho found. This program cannot sustain long term as an independent, and if they are to find a home, finding a way to win now would prove prudent. The problem is, I am not sure that this team can win now at all.

What To Be Excited About: Offense

Tyler Rogers is not a perfect QB, but he is a good QB for this football team. He passed for 2603 yards and 16 scores, but the drawbacks are a 55.4% completion rate and 12 INTs. Still, he is the best hope the program has of getting it done in 2017.

Larry Rose III is a rock solid back, and may be one of the best in the nation that not many people know about. His major issue this season is that he must stay healthy, as he missed three games last season. He still managed to rush for 865 yards per game, average 96.11 yards per game, and 5.44 yards per carry last season. He rushed for 1651 yards in 2015, when he was last completely...

The last straw was finally located in Oxford, and after piles of allegations over the course of the last few years, Ole Miss was finally forced to provide an ultimatum to head football coach Hugh Freeze, quit or be fired. The reasoning was not the 21 plus allegations, including lack of institutional control charge. The final shot to the proverbial skull was the fact that phone records could be traced from a university provided cell phone belonging to Freeze to a Tampa, Florida based escort service, a number that was mentioned in a lawsuit brought upon the university and Freeze by former head coach Houston Nutt.

Nutt is suing Freeze and Ole Miss for slander among other things, as Freeze, solid scumbag this he is, tried to throw Nutt and his staff under the bus for some, or many of the allegations brought against the school from the NCAA. Nutt has to feel very vindicated this evening, as it was his lawyer that found the phone number connection in a records gathering effort for the lawsuit. It was the lawyer for Nutt who told Ole Miss that their team had damaging information that could potentially be very embarrassing to the university should it get out. Ole Miss played chicken, and they lost.

Let me paint a picture for you. Houston Nutt has a wife, Jill, of 25 years. He has three daughters. He...

Washington Huskies
The pieces all came together for the Huskies in 2016, and this once proud program appears to be back with a vengeance after some seriously average to dark seasons. With a trip to the national semifinal, Washington has cemented their place in the hierarchy of western college football, and nothing appears ready to knock them from their place. Other programs in the PAC-12 North are getting better, but Chris Petersen has laid his golden touch on this program, and there is no looking back. The only question is, can the Huskies stave off challengers in Washington State and Stanford in the North, while also finding a way to beat USC in the South, and in the end find a way back to the college football playoffs?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Jake Browning is back at QB, and was a key piece in the rise to power in both conference play and on a national level. If you remove a game or two, Browning was right in the thick of the Heisman talk, and could very well be an early season top ten favorite for the award this fall. He passed for 43 TDs last season against just nine INTs, and passed for 3430 yards, or 245 yards per game.
Myles Gaskin exploded at RB as a sophomore last season, and will be back to carry the load in the run game once again in 2017. Gaskin rushed for 1373 yards and 10 scores last fall, all while averaging 5.79 yards per carry. Lavon Coleman also returns as the primary backup...

Georgia Southern Eagles

A 5-7 record for the Eagles is never an acceptable thing, and such was the case last season. Tyson Summers comes into the season on a both of a hot seat, as the only thing that works in this program is winning. The Eagles always do well when they run the football and play effective defense. The problem they had last season is that they allowed just as many points per game as they scored, and that is a major problem that needs to be rectified. Do they have the tools to do so this fall?

What To Be Excited About: Offense

Myles Campbell led the team with 42 receptions last season, and will return to give the Eagles a dependable weapon in the passing game.

Four starters return on the line. Ryan Northrup (LG), Jeremiah Culbreth (C), Curtis Rainey (RG), and Drew Wilson (RT) all return, which will help the run game, which will need some help this fall.

What To Be Concerned About: Offense

The QB situation will need to sort out in fall camp, as the Eagles attempt to replace the departed Kevin Ellison. Seth Shuman played a bit last fall, but was not a successful passer, completing just 47.2% of his pass attempts, while tossing just one TD to three INTs. He carried eight times for 39 yards in limited action. Shai Werts is a solid runner, but his passing game is suspect as well.

The Eagles, who will be returning to a power option run game this fall,...

UAB Blazers
The Blazers are back from a two year football hiatus, and talented head coach Bill Clark is back as well. With a completely new roster, Clark is going to have his hands full this season, but the Blazer program already hit a win when Clark decided never to leave when he could have, and he is a winner. That being said, UAB is going to have some pains, as this has to be considered as a brand new program.

What To Be Excited About: Offense
It is going to be difficult to grade out the talent on this football team, because so much of the roster is based on transfers, many of which are JC transfers, or were backups from other programs. AJ Ederly, a former Alabama QB of the Year in high school, has transferred from Middle Tennessee by way of Mississippi Gulf Coast College. He is the leader at the QB job coming out of spring ball, but will have to lock it down in fall camp.
Clark also invested in the line by way of transfers. James Davis (LT), Chris Schleuger (LG), Lee Dufour (C), Malique Johnson (RG), and Justice Powers (RT) will all start, and looked solid in the spring game.
What To Be Concerned About: Offense
The skill positions are as thin as paper, and Clark has been trying to figure it all out. James Noble is the leader at RB as of now, but nobody has really taken a grip of the...

Capped Radio / Podcasts

Scott Bilo On ESPN 1100 In Las Vegas

Scott Bilo joins the ESPN Las Vegas Midday Show with Ed Graney and Mike Pritchard, as we discuss the Hugh Freeze resignation at Ole Miss, From Friday, July 21, 2017.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Matt Viator is in year two of a complete strip down and rebuild of this program, and in my opinion, finishing 4-8 in year one was a pretty good showing for this football team. At this point, it's all about building talent and moving in the right direction, and year two will be ab out staying competitive in close games, and trying to push for a bowl game. While the schedule early may seem a road block to that goal, what can we really expect of this team come conference time in 2017?

What To Be Excited About: Offense

Marcus Green caught 36 passes to lead the team last season, and three of the top four receivers all return, which should stabilize the passing game to a degree, depending on who wins the QB battle in camp. Xavier Brown got in some starts last season, and returns, and the third spot projects to D'Marius Gillespie. RJ turner also returns and could push Gillespie out of some playing time. Turner and Brown are major deep ball threats.

What To be Concerned About: Offense

There could be questions at the QB position as we head into fall camp. Garrett Smith, who started a chunk of games, but was never spectacular last season, missed spring football with an apparent knee injury suffered in season. Caleb Evans got the starting reps during spring, and showed more command of the offense, and could wind up the starter by opening day. This...

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
A new era has begun in Bowling Green, Kentucky, as the Brian Brohm era has ended, and that of Mike Sanford, Jr. has begun. One bit advise that I would give to Sanford is to not change a thing. Do not fix what is not broken, and do not tweak what does not need tweaking for the sake of personal ego. If that advise is taken, there is no reason to expect WKU to not compete for yet another CUSA East and conference title in 2017.

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Mike White Returns for his senior season at QB, and he broke through last fall and took the leadership reins of the offense in an effortless transition. He passed for 4363 yards and 37 TDs to just seven INTs, and completed a very respectable 67.3% of his passes, while averaging 311.6 yards passing per game. He will be one of the top ten QBs in FBS football in 2017.
I will talk about the loss at RB in a moment, but there is good news there as well. Quinton Baker is back to try to win the starting job, and averaged 5.47 yards per carry last fall while rushing for 542 yards and four scores in a backup role. Look for him to be a CUSA and WKU breakout candidate this season. Leon Allen also returns, and has 14 starts under his belt and could share time with Baker.
What To Be Concerned About: Offense
The receiving corps was decimated by the loss of...

Bowling Green Falcons

Mike Jinks was an interesting choice as the new head coach of the Falcons before last season, to say the least, and Bowling Green took a major step back in his first season after replacing Dino Babers, who had left for Syracuse. Several issues that plagued this team last season could still be issues this fall, so will this team stay in the upper half of the their division, yet miss a bowl game again, or will they sink farther into the depths of what appears to be a two team race in the MAC West?

What To Be Excited About: Offense

The run game should be the strength of the offense this season, as Jinks came to BGSU after working as the RB coach at Texas Tech. Donovan Wilson has slipped ahead of Josh Cleveland as the lead candidate to start at RB after the departure of lead rusher Fred Coppet. Cleveland and Wilson will both likely get plenty of turns with the ball, as they combined for 1152 yards rushing last season as backups. Cleveland has more of the big play potential that the Falcons will need, as he averaged 6.43 yards per carry to Wilson's just over 4.5 per carry.

The receiving corps is getting plenty of attention, even if Scott Miller is the lone returning starter. Miller led the team with 72 receptions last fall for 968 yards and 10 scores, and was first team All-MAC. JC transfer Datrin Guyton will likely step in, and is highly regarded, but will need to...

Fresno State Bulldogs
Tim DeRuyter came to Fresno State on a hot streak, and was even considered for the open USC job at one point a few years ago, but that all came to a crashing halt, and this once proud program that has known mostly success for the last three decades has now hit rock bottom. DeRuyter is gone, and now the administration turns to former California head coach Jeff Tedford. Tedford was a bit of a head scratacher when he was hired, as there were other candidates about that made more sense at the time, but Tedford does have a history at Fresno State, as he returns for his third go around on this staff. Make no mistake...Tedford has a total rebuild ahead of him to get the Bulldogs right again. After the Cal situation slipped through his fingers, and he missed a wide open window to dominate in the PAC-12, will this situation be any different?

New Mexico Lobos
After a 2-3 start, it wasn't looking good for the Lobos, especially with one of those losses coming against state arch rival New Mexico State. Another of those losses came to one of the worst teams in the nation in Rutgers as well. after a 28 point loss to Boise State, the Lobos picked themselves up and took off on a five game winning streak, and ended up picking up a share of the Mountain Division title. New Mexico finished the season on a 7-1 run and won the New Mexico Bowl as well. Will this version of Lobos football have enough to make yet another run for a division title, or will they end up settling back down the chain again?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
The Lobos do lose Teriyon Gibson at RB, but they return junior Tyrone Owens, who rushed for 1097 yards and seven scores last season, and there should be no drop off, as Richard McQuarley also returns after rushing for 18 TDs. He is also the prime short yardage back.
Lamar Jordan is the starting QB, and will not be sharing the job in 2017. He rushed for 739 yards last season in the option oriented offense, and passed for 681 yards. His running skills are more important than his passing skills in this offense, as UNM loves to pound the rock and keep the football on the ground.
When the Lobos do need to throw the football, they have a decent set of...

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns

The Ragin' Cajuns won three of their final four games last season to secure a bowl bid, where they lost to Southern Miss, 28-21. In case you have not noticed, as of late, the Mark Hudspeth era is not going very well. I would say that he is on the hot seat, but he seems to be the cat with nine lives, although he is running out of them. After a 6-7 finish in 2016, another such season in 2017 may see him really struggle to keep his job.

What To Be Excited About: Offense

There is not much to be excited about offensively for this football team in 2017. We will star at the Tackle spots, where they have two seniors pegged to start in D'Aquin Withrow and Grant Horst. Christian Cederquest may push for time as a junior at LG, while Adrian Goodacre may do the same at RG.

The PK game may be in good hands as well, as Stevie Artigue returns after connecting on 19/24 FG attempts in 2016.

What To Be Concerned About: Offense

The QB situation was not great last season with LSU transfer Anthony Jennings at the controls, and he is now gone. The projected starter is Jordan Davis, a RS junior who attempted all of three passes last season, and that was in a bad QB group. The only other legitimate answer is sophomore Dion Ray, who attempted one pass last season.

The run game took a big hit in losing Elijah...

Indiana Hoosiers
The Hoosiers finally turned a corner under Kevin Wilson last season by getting to a bowl game (they lost) after five seasons, but Indiana parted company with a very vague issue regarding player abuse that was never completely clarified. The firing was quick and planned out, and now Tom Allen, the DC from last year, was promoted to head coach. This was a highly questionable move nationally speaking, and the Hoosiers will have to prove that they have enough to get back to a bowl this fall with a new coach, or any progress from last season will be for naught.

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Three linemen will be back, and will form a foundation for an offense that struggled last season to score just over 25 points per game. Coy Cronk, Brandon Knight, and Wes Martin all return up front to help build up this unit.
Nick Westbrook is back at WR after leading the team in receiving last fall with 54 receptions for 995 yards and six scores. He averaged 18.43 yards per reception last fall, and is one of the better deep threats in the nation.
What To Be Concerned About: Offense
Are more concerns, or questions, than certainties heading into the new season. It all starts with QB Richard Legow. Legow has never really stepped into the role with full confidence at QB, and last season was a prime example. He tossed 19 TD passes, but also tossed 17 INTs on the season, and only completed 57.8% of his attempts. He averaged 258.6 yards per game, but...

South Alabama Jaguars

It was a strange ride for the Jags in 2016, as they opened the season with a win over Mississippi State, but followed it with losses to Georgia Southern at home, and to ULL on the road. They beat San Diego State, but lost to ULM. USA did just enough to skate into the Arizona Bowl, but were no match for Air Force, and after the long strange trip that the season was, the Jags finished just 6-7. Will they be able to show enough consistency to overcome the ups and downs and challenge for a spot in the top half of the Sun Belt?

What To Be Excited About: Offense

With several losses on offense, the best returning player will be RB Xavier Johnson. He is a very good back in a not so great overall rushing attack that was less than able last season. Johnson led the team with 831 yards rushing and 10 scores, while averaging 5.51 yards per carry. If South Alabama wants to get into a consistent groove in 2017, they hand him the rock as much as he can handle it. JC transfer Tywun Walters is expected to give the Jags an inside punch as well in combo with Johnson.

Three starters return on the line in LT Noah Fisher, C Harrison Louden, and RG Dominic Esposito. Head coach Joey Jones went on and on during the off season about how much more physical this team should be coming out of spring ball, and if that is the case, running the ball with Johnson would be that much more certain.

What To Be Concerned...

Projected Order of Finish

Atlantic Division
1. Florida State
2. Louisville
3. Clemson
4. NC State
5. Syracuse
6. Wake Forest
7. Boston College

Coastal Division
1. Georgia Tech
2. Pittsburgh
3. Virginia Tech
4. North Carolina
5. Miami
6. Duke
7. Virginia

Florida State Seminoles
Last season seemed to be the year to take down the Seminoles if you were going to do it, and some teams, such as Louisville, took full advantage of that. That window has now closed, as Florida State seems to be in prime position to make another run for a national title in 2017. Despite opening the season with Alabama, win or lose, Florida State should have enough in the tank to get back for a possible rematch in January. This could be a big year in Tallahassee.
What To Be Excited About: Offense
Deondre Francois is not getting the kind of attention that he should be getting, because I feel that 2017 is going to be a major breakout year for the sophomore that won the ACC Rookie of the Year award on offense last season. Francois passed for 3350 yards and 20 scores, and just missed a 3:1 TD to INT ratio.
Alec Eberle is back at C, and RT Brock Ruble are both back on the line, and instant holes are likely to be filled by Rick Leonard and Landon Dickerson, who were both key reserves last fall. This position was recruited well, so even with the losses, there...

Some folks were really starting to have doubts about whether or not West Virginia could succeed in the Big 12, that maybe the program was in over their heads. Last season dispelled much of that doubt, and Dana Holgorsen saved his job by winning 10 games, and finished 7-2 in conference play. There is no reason to think that a replay of last season could not be in store, and it could even get a little bit better if the right chips fall.

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Will Grier transferred over from Florida to be able to start this season with the departure of Skyler Howard, and it could not have worked out more perfectly. Grier was a star in the WVU spring game, and his potential in this offense is through the roof. Any kind of negativity with Grier was left behind at Florida, and the clean break and reboot will work wonders for him, so expect big things from the passing game with Grier at the trigger.
Justin Crawford was a major find last fall as a junior, and returns for his senior season at RB after finishing with 1184 yards rushing and four scores. He could blow up even bigger this fall, as he has massive home run potential after averaging 7.26 yards per carry last season. Sophomore Kennedy McCoy also adds some big play ability after averaging 6.47 yards per carry in relief duty in 2016. Martell Pettaway...

Utah State Aggies
A few short seasons ago, Matt Wells, the head coach of the Aggies, was one of the hottest names around in coaching circles, and everyone wanted to talk to him about open jobs they had. Now, the window on all of that seems closed, if only for the moment. It is true that Wells stock has slipped in a big way, as the Aggies have now won just nine games in two seasons. They now find themselves looking at trouble areas on both lines, and are trying to stop gap the issue with JC transfers and freshmen. With those issues so glaringly large, are the Aggies in a position to make due and push forward, or has the window on one of the more successful eras of Utah State football closed for the foreseeable future?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Kent Myers returns to the fold at QB in 2017, and although his numbers were not great overall last fall, he still may be the best bet that the Aggies have of generating more offense than a year ago. He passed for 2389 yards and 10 TDs, but also tossed eight picks, and completed 58.4% of his passes. The offense will ride on his shoulders, and he will have a ton to carry.
Tony Lindsey returns at RB, and averaged 5.16 yards per carry, but really does need to be unleashed this fall after averaging just over 12 carries per game last fall. If the aggies can get more out of him (at least 15 carries per game), it may be a huge key to fixing some of the issues...

Kent State Golden Flashes

It is purely shocking to me that Paul Haynes survived last season as head coach of Kent State football as we head into the 2017 season. Haynes is now just 12-35 as head coach of the Golden Flashes, and if you will remember, he took over from Darrell Hazell, who had this program on the verge of busting the old BCS. Haynes is out of his element as coach of this program, and it looks like 2017 could be the final nail in his head coaching career.

What To Be Excited About: Offense

Let's just say that calling QB Nick Holley a passer is like saying that a Golden Labrador is a cat. He simply is just ugly throwing the football. He is, however, a solid runner, and that is what Kent State will concentrate on this season, is the power run game. Holley was, by far the leading rusher on this team last fall with 920 yards and 10 TDs, and carried an average of 17.73 times per game last fall, while attempting just 13.3 passes per game, and that probably is for the better. If he can get into the open field, he will generate some yardage. He still does have to win the job outright in fall camp, as he was in a competition that was limited by injuries.

What To Be Concerned About: Offense

Everything, including that QB situation (I had to find something to be optimistic about). Haynes is saying that all three QBs in the...

Illinois Fighting Illini
The Lovie Smith era did not exactly get off to a red hot start at Illinois, and it went so badly last fall that there were rumors that he was already looking for a way out. It may get worse before it gets better for the Illini and Smith, as this version of Illini football could actually finish in last place in the Big 10 West.

What To Be Excited About: Offense
There is a strength at RB for the Illini in 2017, with the return of Kendrick Foster and Reggie Corbin. The two combined for 1223 yards last fall in what was largely a lost season. Foster averaged 5.71 yards per carry, and Corbin averaged 6.08 yards per carry. They combined for nine scores, and if the Illini have a shot at finshing out of last place in the West, they will have to carry the day.
Malik Turner was the leading receiver last season, and finished with 48 receptions for 712 yards and six scores. He averaged 14.83 yards per catch. He will be the top receiver, and a necessary component in helping the new QB develop.
The line will return three starters from the season finale in Gabe Megginson (OG), Nick Allegretti (OG), and Christian DiLauro (OT). This should also be helpful in putting together a decent run on offense.
What To Be Concerned...

San Jose State Spartans
The Spartans are starting over again after hiring Oregon State WR Coach Brent Brennan as head coach this off-season. The program has once again fallen into disarray since Mike MacIntyre left the program for the Colorado job, and that, unfortunately, has been a problem for this floundering program, off and on, for years. Brennan was probably not the most high profile hire one will ever hear of, and has a mountain of a job to do to get this program right again. Will he be the right guy to turn the ship around, or will it be more of the same?

What To be Excited About: Offense
Malik Roberson was not used nearly enough last season, but expect the leash to be removed after he led the team in rushing on just 99 carries last fall. He finished with 508 yards and averaged 5.13 yards per carry. Zamore Zigler also showed some flashes here and there, and averaged 5.35 yards per carry. If San Jose State is going to surprise anyone, the ru is going to be the way to do it.
Justin Holmes and Tre Hartley are moving up in the receiving corps, and will be the two primary targets this season. They combined for 72 receptions for 1185 yards last fall, and should help with a young QB group.
The line will have some serious senior leadership in LT Nate Velichko, LG Jeremiah Kolone, C Keoni Taylor, and RG Chris Gonzalez. RT Troy Kowalski is the kid of the group as a sophomore.
Bryce Crawford was a major bright spot at PK last season, as he...

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Nick Rolovich has come on board to coach this rambling wreck of a program, and has...gasp...made this team not so horrible. Rolovich gave this program some life after the mistake that was Norm Chow, and now Hawaii football seems to have a future again. The offense emerged as something to sometimes behold, and while the defense was horrible most of the time, this team did enough to get to a bowl game (stayed home in the Hawaii Bowl, beat Middle Tennessee), and was able to infuse some hope. Can that trend continue this season with a newly acquired target on their backs?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
The minds of Rolovich and OC Brian Smith are awesome things to behold. They can run speed with two slotbacks. They can run power with TE and H-Backs. They can go big with tall receivers, and they mix it all into one giant bag of fun.
Dru Brown is now the undisputed QB this fall after passing for 2488 yards and 19 scores against just seven INTs. He completed 62.4% of his passes, and should be even better this fall than last after taking over the starting job from Ikaika Woolsey, who moved on after last season. Brown added four scores on the ground, and is a perfect fit for this weird science offense.
Diocemy Saint Juste is also back at RB after breaking loose last fall for 1006 yards and three scores. With a more defined role, he could be even better this season than last. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry, and could be one of the more surprising...

Oklahoma State won ten games last season, and likely should have won 11 if not for a badly officiated ending to their loss at home against Central Michigan. The Cowboys look, on paper, like a team with enough offensive firepower to run sprint for sprint with Oklahoma in the Big 12, and quietly, at least offensively, may be one of the best teams in the nation this season. I have them as an early top ten program this fall, but will they live up to it?

What To Be Excited: Offense
The biggest reason to be pumped is that the triad returned intact this season in QB Mason Rudolph, RB Justice Hill, and WR James Washington. This may be one of the best trios in the nation at the offensive skill positions in college football.
Rudolph returns as the top trigger man after passing for 4091 yards, 28 TDs, and just four INTs last fall. He averaged 314.7 yards passing per game while attempting 34.5 passes per contest. He is a quiet Heisman contender in a crowded field in 2017.
Washington was a beast last season at WR, as he collected 71 receptions for 1380 yards and ten TDs. Washington is a big play machine, and averaged over 19 yards per catch, and averaged 106.2 yards per game. Other good news comes in the form of the return of fellow starting WR Jalen McCleskey, who finished second on the team with 73 receptions for 812 yards and seven...

Kansas State Wildcats
Bill Snyder will one day star in a film where he plays a character called "Time Immortal". He has now been at Kansas State forever, with that short hiatus where some very foolish administrators actually believed Ron Prince to be a head coach. Health is starting to show some issues for the venerable old coach, and the end of his run may truly be coming, but is this a season where he could pull one last rabbit from his sleeve and lead a dark horse team into the trenches to steal some thunder?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
It can be said that Jesse Ertz was never 100% last season, and he underwent shoulder surgery immediately after the season ended. He is in full recovery, and Snyder has stated in recent days that he has never seen Ertz throw the ball as well as he is right now in rehab. Ertz should be ready to go full speed in fall camp, and if his shoulder is better, and he gets unleashed in the passing game, he could be one of the more interesting stories at QB in the nation. He passed for a limited 1755 yards last fall, and added over 1200 yards rushing. If he can pass for over 2000 yards this season and keep the rushing totals churning, he could be a dark horse Heisman guy when all is said and done.
Ertz should have a solid wall in front of him, as four starters return on the line. Abdul Beecham, Scott Frantz, Reid Najvar, and Dalton Risner will all anchor up...

Boise State Broncos
The Broncos Had a couple of losses that were tough to swallow in conference play, and were games that they never would have lost a few years ago. Boise State lost to Wyoming, and then lost to Air Force in the regular season finale, and ended up in the Cactus Bowl, where a team that was completely uninspired got hammered by a Baylor team that was on a six game losing skid. That is not typical of this program to fall flat like that, so this season has to be about some unfinished business, and the Broncos are also scrapping this fall to reclaim their reputation as a Power Five killer. Will they be able to overcome the mistakes of last season and get back to the top of the heap in the Mountain West, and on the national scene?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Brett Rypien is back as a junior, and we should see some interesting year to year growth in the nephew of Washington State legend Mark Rypien. Brett played well at times, but when he did turn it over (eight picks last fall), it was at severely inopportune times. He will have to be able to play smarter and more under control this fall, but that is all possible. He passed for yards and 24 scores last fall, and completed 61.9% of his passes.
What To Be Concerned About: Offense
There are more questions than answers this season for the Broncos on the offensive side of the football. Jeremy McNichols being gone at RB is one of those glaring issues. He rushed...

Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State and Matt Campbell were so close to being a very good football team last season. They lost five games by seven points or less last fall, and had they found a way to win those games, they would end up being an 8-4 football team with a bowl bid, and would have been considered one of the best programs in the conference in 2017. They lose all five of those games in 2016, and finish with three wins overall, and now they are a team that may be on the cusp of something big. Can they turn the corner and get there this fall?

What To Be Excited About: Offense
Two QBs played extensively for the Cyclones in 2016, but it sure would be nice to get just one in the starting role and ride with him. Jacob Park had the best numbers last fall, and returns as a junior in 2017. He passed for 1791 yards and 12 TDs to just five picks in ten games. He completed 58.8% of his passes, a number that certainly could be improved upon.
Senior Joel Lanning also returns this fall after passing for 1290 yards and nine TDs to just three INTs. He completed just 58.6% of his passes, but where he is different than Park is that he has a dual threat part of his game, and he managed to rush for 518 yards and a team high 11 scores. Again, if one can take the reins, it is possible that the Cyclones could fly higher.
The passing game could really have a major impact this fall, as four different receivers who had starting experience last...

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