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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75. Temple Owls

Relative Strengths: Offensive Backfield, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: The Owls have the offensive playmakers to come up with a huge boost to an offense that struggled to average 400 yards per game. The lines aren’t going to be awful – the D led the AAC in sacks – but they need some retooling.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 73
Temple 2018 Team Preview

74. Oregon State Beavers

Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Defensive Stops, Quarterback
Here’s The Deal: New head coach Jonathan Smith has a few decent pieces to work with – and no expectations for anything big in Year One. The offensive playmakers aren’t there at a high-end Pac-12 level, but the Beavers will be more competitive, especially on defense.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 127
Oregon State 2018 Team Preview

73. Kansas Jayhawks

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: No, really, Kansas could and should be better. At least it’ll be loaded with experience and even a little bit of depth. But now the team has to find something it can do right, and head coach David Beaty has to prove he can produce with all the veterans.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 129
Kansas 2018 Team Preview

72. Illinois Fighting Illini

Relative Strengths: Receivers, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Proven Production, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: The youth movement has to be over – the payoff has to come for Lovie Smith. There’s experience, but are there any playmakers on either side of the ball? The line play has to be far stronger, and the team has to find at least one thing it can do well.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 115
Illinois 2018 Team Preview

71. Houston Cougars

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Line
Relative Concerns: Running Game, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: A whole slew of transfers should help boost up a Cougar team with a nice quarterback in D’Eriq King and an all-timer of a defensive tackle in Ed Oliver. Expect this ranking to go through the roof as the season goes on – the team needs to develop a bit.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 41
Houston 2018 Team Preview

70. Wyoming Cowboys

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Scoring, Offensive Playmakers
Here’s The Deal: If the Cowboy offense can provide any sort of production whatsoever, the defense should take care of the rest. From safety Andrew Wingard, to linebacker Logan Wilson, to Carl Grandson and Youhanna Ghaifan on the line, the Cowboys have defensive stars.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 57
Wyoming 2018 Team Preview

69. Memphis Tigers

Relative Strengths: Offensive Backfield, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Linebacker
Here’s The Deal: There might be some key losses on offense – losing WR Anthony Miller and QB Riley Ferguson – but the attack should still be dangerous. The defense … that’s still a massive question mark after getting crushed for 466 yards per game.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 24
Memphis 2018 Team Preview

68. Florida Atlantic Owls

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Defensive Back Seven
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Receivers
Here’s The Deal: The machine should crank back up again with a loaded backfield that might just be better if the quarterback play is solid. Devin Singletary is back behind a line that’s good enough to be strong for the ground game, but will struggle to keep defenses out of the backfield.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 12
Florida Atlantic 2018 Team Preview

67. Colorado Buffaloes

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: The Buff offense has a few nice playmakers around QB Steven Montez, but can the offensive line give everyone time to operate? The secondary is okay, and the linebacking corps is great, but the defensive line has get into the backfield.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 91
Colorado 2018 Team Preview

66. Vanderbilt Commodores

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Front
Relative Concerns: Special Teams, Running Backs
Here’s The Deal: Kyle Shurmer is a veteran quarterback who knows what he’s doing, but he doesn’t have the star players around him to do too much against SEC defenses. The defense has a few good players, but it has to start taking the ball away.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 82
Vanderbilt 2018 Team Preview

65. USF Bulls

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Receiver
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: QB Quinton Flowers might be gone, but the rest of the offense still has enough explosiveness and parts to make a strong push for the American Athletic title. The special teams have to be far, far better, and the penalty problems have to stop.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 32
USF 2018 Team Preview

64. Baylor Bears

Relative Strengths: Receiver, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Takeaways
Here’s The Deal: Matt Rhule’s team will be much, much better, especially offensively. The turnovers have to stop and it starts with the offensive line doing far more to keep defenses out of the backfield. Get ready for a big jump overall.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 126
Baylor 2018 Team Preview

63. Indiana Hoosiers

Relative Strengths: Receiver, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: There’s some massive rebuilding to be done on the defensive side – losing LB Tegray Scales is a problem – but the lines are going to be the bigger early concern. The addition of QB Brandon Dawkins from Arizona will be a huge help.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 84
Indiana 2018 Team Preview

62. North Carolina Tar Heels

Relative Strengths: Special Teams, Offensive Upside
Relative Concerns: Defensive Front, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: This is a hard team to figure coming into the season. There’s promise and potential, but there aren’t a whole lot of sure things from a team that couldn’t go on long marches or stop turning the ball over. Experience will matter.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 100
North Carolina 2018 Team Preview

61. Kentucky Wildcats

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Special Teams, Quarterback
Here’s The Deal: At least early on, as long as RB Benny Snell and the running game are working, the offense will be okay. The defensive front will take a while to come around, but after a rocky year, it has to prove it can get behind the line more. The D has plenty of good parts to get it all going.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 59
Kentucky 2018 Team Preview

60. Fresno State Bulldogs

Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Defensive Back Seven
Relative Concerns: Running Back, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: The Bulldogs have the experience and talent to build off their amazing breakthrough season under Jeff Tedford. The D will be tremendous again, and as long as QB Marcus McMaryion can be a more efficient passer, this will be one dangerous team.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 23
Fresno State 2018 Team Preview

59. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Quarterback, Receiver
Here’s The Deal: There actually will be more of a downfield passing game and more pop to the attack. After years of trying to build up the talent level, head coach Chris Ash has a terrific defense that should give the rest of the Big Ten a few problems.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 101
Rutgers 2018 Team Preview

58. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker
Relative Concerns: Quarterback, Passing Game
Here’s The Deal: If PJ Fleck can get one of his young quarterbacks to rise up and rock, there might be something there to come up with a breakthrough season. The defense will be sound, and the ground game great. The passing attack? Give it some time.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 85
Minnesota 2018 Team Preview

57. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Relative Strengths: Scott Frost, Adrian Martinez
Relative Concerns: Running Game, Run Defense
Here’s The Deal: It’s not going to happen overnight. Frost has to get more speed in Lincoln and he needs to killers in place on defense to start thumping against the run – he doesn’t have a Shaquem Griffin. What he does have is an Adrian Martinez, who – when he’s ready – should become a devastating playmaking quarterback.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 96
Nebraska 2018 Team Preview

56. Washington State Cougars

Relative Strengths: Secondary, Defensive Front
Relative Concerns: Running Back, Veteran Receivers
Here’s The Deal: The offense will be fine. It’s a Mike Leach team – of course the O will work. The defense won’t be quite as strong, and there are a whole lot of eggs put in the quarterback basket of East Carolina transfer Gardner Minshew.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 29
Washington State 2018 Team Preview

55. Arizona State Sun Devils

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receiver
Relative Concerns: Running Back, Linebacker
Here’s The Deal: There are a whole lot of really good parts for Herm Edwards to work with. N’Keal Harry leads a terrific receiving corps for QB Manny Wilkins to throw to. They had better be ready to rock considering the D will give up a ton of yards again.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 45
Arizona State 2018 Team Preview

54. Syracuse Orange

Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Secondary
Relative Concerns: Defensive Line, Offensive Line
Here’s The Deal: Eventually, all the passing yards are going to lead to more consistent wins. The turnovers have to slow down, and the pass protection has to be stronger. As long as QB Eric Dungey is healthy, the offense will put up big numbers.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 90
Syracuse 2018 Team Preview

53. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Offensive Line
Relative Concerns: Running Back, Defensive Line
Here’s The Deal: It’s asking for too much for Texas Tech to start winning on the defensive side, but that might be what has to happen early on until the new parts of the passing game start to kick in. The O will eventually work – of course – but don’t be shocked if the D is the best it’s been in a long time.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 68
Texas Tech 2018 Team Preview

52. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Running Game
Relative Concerns: Linebacker, Secondary
Here’s The Deal: The passing game will turn out to be fine despite the loss of John Wolford, and the rest of the skill parts will eventually emerge and shine behind a great offensive front. The ACC’s worst defense will still have issues.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 35
Wake Forest 2018 Team Preview

51. Pitt Panthers

Relative Strengths: Linebacker, Offensive Backfield
Relative Concerns: Secondary, Special Teams
Here’s The Deal: The Panthers have their quarterback in Ben DiNucci, and they have several other parts of the offensive puzzle to start ramping up the production. But the special teams have to be far, far better, and the defense has to get to the quarterback to start helping out the secondary.
2017 Final Season Ranking: 92
Pitt 2018 Team Preview

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