2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 119 FIU Golden Panthers
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the FIU Golden Panthers
No. 119: FIU Golden Panthers
FIU Golden Panthers Prespring Status
It’s a new world and a new era with Butch Davis taking over a program that hasn’t been able to find much in the way of positive consistency. Last year’s team started out with a disastrous 0-4 start, perked up after firing head coach Ron Turner, and went back to struggling in the second half of the 4-8 season. There wasn’t any offense in the first month, there wasn’t any defense in the final month, and the program needed something major to happen. That’s where Davis comes in.
FIU Golden Panthers Biggest Issue
The lines need an overhaul. The offensive line loses three starters – hurt mostly by the departure of left tackle Dieugot Joseph – from a group that gave up 31 sacks and paved the way for under 1,800 rushing yards. Finding a good starting five won’t be easy, and the depth needs to be developed early on. The defensive line that got gouged in game after game against the run, and didn’t generate any sort of pass rush, has to replace both defensive tackles and loses two key backups.
FIU Golden Panthers Biggest Positive
Butch Davis. The Golden Panthers get back all their skill players and all their key backups, and the defense has a little bit of hope in the secondary, but it’s all about Butch. The former Miami head coaching star might be a bit past his prime, but on name and college resume, he knows how to get the talent and he should be worth two wins compared to the chaos of last season. At least that’s the hope.
Really, Why Are The FIU Golden Panthers Ranked Here?
The rest of Conference USA is looking stronger. Davis will eventually make a difference, but the lines are too shaky going into spring ball, and the defense that gave up 41 points or more six times – and four times in the last five – needs a whole bunch of work. The upside is there to be a major shocker in the C-USA race, but it’ll take a slew of stunning surprises to get there.