2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 121 Buffalo Bulls
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Buffalo Bulls
No. 121: Buffalo Bulls
Buffalo Bulls Prespring Status
This is when it’s all supposed to work. Head coach Lance Leipold went 109-6 in his eight years at Wisconsin-Whitewater, and 7-17 in two seasons at UB. It always takes a little while for a new head coach to get his guys in place, and in Year Three, he’s got a veteran defense with a just enough depth to come up with options on both sides of the ball this spring. 2016 was miserable – eight of the nine losses against FBS teams were by double digits – and 2018 will be the dawning of a new era if it’s anything close to a repeat.
Buffalo Bulls Biggest Issue
The defense is going to be better, the offensive line will be stronger – more on that in a moment – but where are the receivers? The top three targets from last season are gone from a passing attack that wasn’t exactly a killer to begin with. Jordan Johnson and his 1,040 rushing yards is done, too, but that won’t be too much of a problem. Replacing 121 catches for 1,401 yards and five touchdowns among three players might not seem like that big a deal, but UB now has to get better while hoping to unearth a few dangerous deep threats.
Buffalo Bulls Biggest Positive
If the offensive line can take a step forward, there could be a night-and-day difference in the offensive production. It wasn’t all that bad in pass protection last season, and it had its moments for the ground game, and now four starters are back up front with four veteran reserves ready to fill in the gaps. Tyree Jackson is a promising quarterback, along with some decent options at running back to take over for Johnson, but it’s up to the line to use its experience to change things around.
Really, Why Are The Buffalo Bulls Ranked Here?
This was an awful team last season that didn’t improve all that much. The season started with a horrible loss to Albany, finished with a horrible loss to a horrible Bowling Green team, and had a bunch of horrible moments in between. The offense was the third-worst in college football in scoring, the defense was the fifth-worst against the run, and there was blowout after blowout to deal with. Can UB really be that much better this year? In an improved MAC, it might be tough to make too much of a jump.