CFN Preview 2018 College Football Rankings & Previews: No. 1 to 130

CFN Preview 2018 College Football Rankings & Previews: No. 1 to 130

2018 Preview

CFN Preview 2018 College Football Rankings & Previews: No. 1 to 130

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100. Central Michigan Chippewas

Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: running Back, Receiver
Here’s The Deal: The Chippewas are rebuilding a bit, but they have a few good enough pieces to push for a bowl game. Everything rides on rebuilding the skill spots in a hurry, but the defense should be terrific at times.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 54
Central Michigan 2018 Team Preview

99. Air Force Falcons

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: Air Force is going to do what Air Force is going to do, with the players in the backfield to keep the ground game going. However, the lines aren’t anything great and the linebacking corps needs a little work.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 95
Air Force 2018 Team Preview

98. Western Michigan Broncos

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Running Back
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Linebacker
Here’s The Deal: This is way, way, way too low if the defense can find the right pieces early on. The offense won’t be back to the 2016 level, but it’ll be as good and effective as any in the MAC.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 79
Western Michigan 2018 Team Preview

97. Utah State Aggies

Relative Strengths: Special Teams, Offensive Line
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Offensive Backfield
Here’s The Deal: The Aggies have enough good parts to push for a bowl game again, but they need the offensive backfield to be steadier and better, and the defensive front isn’t anything special. They’ll win at least one game because their kicking game will be superior.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 86
Utah State 2018 Team Preview

96. Colorado State Rams

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: The addition of grad transfer quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels is a really big deal for an offense that has to reload a bit. The defensive side will still be a question mark, but the linebacking corps is solid and the kicking game fantastic.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 76
Colorado State 2018 Team Preview

95. Miami University RedHawks

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebackers
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Secondary
Why Are They Here? Quarterbacks Gus Ragland and Michigan transfer Alex Malzone are good enough to get the O going with a nice group of skill players to work with. The defense is hardly bad – the linebackers are strong – but the line and secondary have some patching to do.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 97
Miami Univ. 2018 Team Preview

94. WKU Hilltoppers

Relative Strengths: Passing Game, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Running Game, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: Once again, the WKU passing attack will be interesting and effective, and it’ll be the main mode of transportation. The running backs are there, but they need the ball more. The D will try to keep up, but the special teams will be among the best in Conference USA.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 93
WKU 2018 Team Preview

93. UAB Blazers

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Linebacker, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: Yeah … they should potentially be a whole lot higher if they can repeat the magic. The Blazers have as much experience as anyone in the country, and it’ll show with an offense that should explode at times. Can the pass rush be any better? Will the offense start to crank up more yards?
2017 Final Season Ranking: 52
UAB 2018 Team Preview

92. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Concerns: Secondary, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: Can the defense start to take the ball away? QB Brent Stockstill and the offense will crank up the passing game production, but the defense isn’t going to be good enough in key spots and the special teams are a problem.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 65
Middle Tennessee 2018 Team Preview

91. UNLV Rebels

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Running Back
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: QB Armani Rogers and RB Lexington Thomas will star in a terrific Rebel backfield, and the offense should be able to keep up with just about anyone in the Mountain West. But there won’t be much of a pass rush for another pedestrian defense.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 104
UNLV 2018 Team Preview

90. Arkansas State Red Wolves

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Linebacker, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: Justice Hansen is one of the nation’s more productive quarterbacks, but he needs time to operate behind a leaky line. The defensive front has a slew of huge replacements to make, and the linebacking corps has to find some new parts.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 58
Arkansas State 2018 Team Preview

89. Navy Midshipmen

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Running Back
Relative Concerns: Secondary, Pass Rush
Here’s The Deal: The Navy defense won’t get into the backfield, and the secondary isn’t anything great, but running back-turned-quarterback Malcolm Perry will be a blast for the always dangerous ground attack. Now Perry – or someone – has to be better at hitting on just a few passes a game.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 50
Navy 2018 Team Preview

88. Army Knights

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Coaching
Relative Concerns: Passing Game, Pass Rush
Here’s The Deal: There won’t be any passing game whatsoever, and the running game is will be among the most effective in the country, but the season is about the reloading of the defense that couldn’t get into the backfield, but held up just enough.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 18
Army 2018 Team Preview

87. Northern Illinois Huskies

Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Relative Concerns: Linebacker, Downfield Passing
Here’s The Deal: The Huskies will have the pass rush with the return of Sutton Smith, and they’ll have one of the MAC’s best offensive fronts. Start with the lines, and all of the other gaps will fill in from there.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 61
Northern Illinois 2018 Team Preview

86. Marshall Thundering Herd

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Front
Relative Concerns: Secondary, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: The Herd offense should be explosive at times if grad transfer Alex Thomson turns into the quarterback everyone is hoping for. The O has to stop turning the ball over, and the secondary has to reload, but there’s a lot to get excited about.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 48
Marshall 2018 Team Preview

85. SMU Mustangs

Relative Strengths: Passing Game, Running Backs
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: New head coach Sonny Dykes will take the already great passing game to another level, with Ben Hicks and the offense good enough to bomb away on anyone. The defense? It’ll be optional far too often, but it’ll be a fun ride overall.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 63
SMU 2018 Team Preview

84. Ohio Bobcats

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Offensive Line
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Linebacker
Here’s The Deal: Nathan Rourke will once again be among the nation’s top statistical quarterbacks, and the rest of the offense will be good enough to take down the MAC. However, the defense has some rebuilding to do and has to rise up front.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 39
Ohio 2018 Team Preview

83. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Relative Strengths: Defensive Front, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Running Back, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: The punting game has to be better, and there has to be more plays in the backfield when Jaylon Ferguson isn’t doing big things, but the secondary will pick off a ton of passes, the offense will be steady, and the Bulldogs will be back in the Conference USA race.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 62
Louisiana Tech 2018 Team Preview

82. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Secondary, Running Back
Here’s The Deal: The Golden Eagles have the quarterbacks, and they have the lines to be potentially strong, but they have to chill out on the penalties, have to be better on special teams, and they need the skill players to emerge around Kwadra Griggs.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 43
Southern Miss 2018 Team Preview

81. Troy Trojans

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Offensive Backfield
Here’s The Deal: The offense will be more than fine despite losing several key parts. The secondary is going to be a force in the Sun Belt and the special teams a massive positive.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 15
Troy 2018 Team Preview

80. North Texas Mean Green

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: If the pass protection can be there for QB Mason Fine, the Mean Green offense will be among the nation’s most dangerous. Can the defense stop anyone? UNT will get hammered day too often in wild shootouts, but the offensive side will do its part.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 36
North Texas 2018 Team Preview

79. UTSA Roadrunners

Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Scoring, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: How far can the defense carry the Roadrunners? If the offense can rise up and provide anything positive on a consistent basis, the defense and special teams are good enough to keep them in just about every game.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 71
UTSA 2018 Team Preview

78. Buffalo Bulls

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: QB Tyree Jackson, WR Anthony Johnson and LB Khalil Hodge can hang with anyone in the nation at their respective positions, but the defensive line and special teams have to come through. There’s more than enough talent to win the MAC.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 72
Buffalo 2018 Team Preview

77. Toledo Rockets

Relative Strengths: Receiver, Offensive Line
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Quarterback
Here’s The Deal: Replacing Logan Woodside at quarterback isn’t going to be that big a deal considering the ridiculous talent and experience at receiver. The defending MAC champs have to gear up the pass rush, and they have to be strong on the defensive front, but the overall talent is back to be right back in the hunt.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 26
Toledo 2018 Team Preview

76. Appalachian State Mountaineers

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Quarterback, Receiver
Here’s The Deal: The Mountaineers lose a special quarterback in Taylor Lamb, but the backfield and secondary have some wonderful talents to make a big push for the Sun Belt title. There are some massive holes to fill, but overall, this should be the league’s strongest team.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 34
Appalachian State 2018 Team Preview

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