College Football Rankings 2020, CFN Previews Of All 130 Teams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Rankings 2020, CFN Previews Of All 130 Teams

CFN Rankings

College Football Rankings 2020, CFN Previews Of All 130 Teams

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The CFN Preview 2020 college football rankings, with the preseason look at all 130 teams. 


Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world with a college football season that’s about to kick into high gear with practices, media days, and …

Okay, so nothing is going on like normal.

No matter what happens over the next several weeks and months, we can still take an educated guess as to how good all 130 FBS college football teams are as they go into whatever a 2020 college football season will/can/might be.

Spring football was almost non-existent at most places – making doing all the previews and rankings far more interesting than normal – and injures, the transfer portal, and this sinister virus are all going to play roles over the next several weeks. We’ll do this all again just before whatever this season is – hopefully, and most importantly, safely – kicks off.

For now, the rankings aren’t about where the teams are projected to end up – those are coming later once the new-look schedules are locked down. The 2020 CFN Preview rankings are based on how good we think all the teams are right now.

Contact @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

CFN Preview 2020 Rankings
All 130 Team Previews | 101-130
76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10

130. UConn Huskies

Relative Strength: Special Teams
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 126
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 126
UConn Quick Take: Life as an independent will be interesting for a UConn program that has to rely on a slew of transfers and young parts to turn around an ugly run. The Huskies are still in a rebuilding mode.
UConn 2020 CFN Team Preview

129. Akron Zips

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 129
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 125
Akron Quick Take: There’s no way, no how the Zips can be as bad as they were last season as the only FBS program to go winless. The offense will do something as long as the line can figure something out fast. Losing a few transfers and not having a real offseason to get things in place hurts.
Akron 2020 CFN Team Preview

128. New Mexico State Aggies

Relative Strength: Secondary
Relative Concern: Linebacker
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 129
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 127
New Mexico State Quick Take: There’s a veteran crew returning on a defense that was totally miserable, especially against the run. The production has to be there with all of the experience, and the offense has to find something that consistently works.
New Mexico State 2020 CFN Team Preview

127. UTEP Miners

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 128
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 130
UTEP Quick Take: The defense has been an ongoing problem for the Miners, but the woes on an offense that just can’t get working have been the bigger issue. There’s hope for a little more punch, but the defensive front has to stop someone.
UTEP 2020 CFN Team Preview

126. UMass Minutemen

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 130
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 128
UMass Quick Take: There’s still a whole lot of work to still do for a defense that was magnificently miserable against the run. There’s a little hope for an offense that should be better up front and has a few promising playmakers, but this is another season about building things up.
UMass 2020 CFN Team Preview

125. Bowling Green Falcons

Relative Strength: Running Back
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 124
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 124
Bowling Green Quick Take: There’s a shot this turns out to be a way-too-low ranking if the offense finally learns how to score a little bit. The defense isn’t going to be a brick wall, but the offense should improve with steadier quarterback play.
Bowling Green 2020 CFN Team Preview

124. Texas State Bobcats

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 114
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 119
Texas State Quick Take: Eventually the up-tempo offense will start to work and the Bobcats will tag someone decent. The defense can’t let the team get out of games so quickly, but the offense has to go on a few early scoring drives to help the cause.
Texas State 2020 CFN Team Preview

123. South Alabama Jaguars

Relative Strength: Linebacker
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 119
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 112
South Alabama Quick Take: Where’s the positive offensive identity? The Jaguars need to get more out of the backfield. On the other side, the back eight is promising, but the defensive line is all but starting from scratch.
South Alabama 2020 CFN Team Preview

122. ULM Warhawks

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 100
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 111
ULM Quick Take: This might be an embarrassingly low preseason ranking if the quarterback play is sharp from the start. The receivers are going to be excellent, but the O line is going through an overhaul. The defense has to do more to hold serve after finishing as the third-worst in the nation.
ULM 2020 CFN Team Preview

121. Old Dominion Monarchs

Relative Strength: Linebacker
Relative Concern: Running Back
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 125
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 115
Old Dominion Quick Take: There are a few great players who’ll be among the best in Conference USA – there just aren’t enough of them. The lines have to be a whole lot more consistent, and the secondary needs to be better early on. New head coach – and former Penn State offensive coordinator – Ricky Rahne should provide some pop.
Old Dominion 2020 CFN Team Preview

120. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Relative Strength: Offensive Line
Relative Concern: Secondary
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 96
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 127
Coastal Carolina Quick Take: Very, very quietly, this could be a sneaky-good Sun Belt squad with a strong-looking O line paving the way for RB CJ Marable. The D needs more of a pass rush.
Coastal Carolina 2020 CFN Team Preview

119. UTSA Roadrunners

Relative Strength: Secondary
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 118
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 113
UTSA Quick Take: After years of trying to win football games without scoring points, UTSA appears ready to try cranking up an offense under new head coach Jeff Traylor. The parts aren’t great, though. The D has enough playmakers to keep games close.
UTSA 2020 CFN Team Preview

118. New Mexico Lobos

Relative Strength: Quarterback
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 120
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 104
New Mexico Quick Take: There’s a shot to turn things around quickly under new head coach Danny Gonzales if the program can finally know what it’s like to have a healthy quarterback. The receivers aren’t awful, but they’ll have to be ready for shootouts to make up for a rough defense.
New Mexico 2020 CFN Team Preview

117. Northern Illinois Huskies

Relative Strength: Linebacker
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 92
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 88
Northern Illinois Quick Take: This could go one of two ways. Either this is really, really low, and NIU kicks it all in under Thomas Hammock with an offense that will be far better, or this is just about right considering the MAC is going to be stronger. The defense could’ve really used a normal offseason.
Northern Illinois 2020 CFN Team Preview

116. Rice Owls

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 115
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 122
Rice Quick Take: It took a few years to get things going under head man Mike Bloomgren, and now is when the payoff is supposed to start. The Owls have one of the sneakiest-good receiving corps in Conference USA, and nine starters should be back on D.
Rice 2020 CFN Team Preview

115. Charlotte 49ers

Relative Strength: Running Back
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 72
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 103
Charlotte Quick Take: The overall talent is still lacking for the young program, but there’s a lot of experience on a team that’s a whole lot of fun. RB Benny LeMay and a potentially loaded receiving corps should make up for issues on the defensive side.
Charlotte 2020 CFN Team Preview

114. Georgia State Panthers

Relative Strength: Offensive Line
Relative Concern: Quarterback
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 75
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 118
Georgia State Quick Take: Replacing QB Dan Ellington is tough, and the offense likely won’t be as time or as explosive, but it’s a solid team across the board that needs to get stronger in the secondary.
Georgia State 2020 CFN Team Preview

113. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Relative Strength: Defensive Line
Relative Concern: Running Back
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 80
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 110
Eastern Michigan Quick Take: This isn’t the Eastern Michigan of several years ago – it’s expected to be decent now – but it’s still going to be a fight to rebuild. The offensive backfield needs too much work and the defense will be more plucky than nasty after allowing over 430 yards per game.
Eastern Michigan 2020 CFN Team Preview

112. Liberty Flames

Relative Strength: Running Back
Relative Concern: Linebacker
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 65
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 116
Liberty Quick Take: Hugh Freeze is always going to pump out a great offense, but the Flames lose some terrific parts, starting with WR Antonio Gandy-Golden. Watch out for Maine transfer Joshua Mack at running back to carry the load with little drop-off on O, but the defense will struggle too much early on.
Liberty 2020 CFN Team Preview

111. Miami University RedHawks

Relative Strength: Offensive Line
Relative Concern: Linebacker
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 47
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 107
Miami University Quick Take: Even with the MAC championship, the offense was never anything special. It could be a whole lot better if the talented, veteran line is stronger. After a year of living in opposing backfields, the defense has some overhauling to do.
Miami University 2020 CFN Team Preview

110. FIU Golden Panthers

Relative Strength: Offensive Line
Relative Concern: Wide Receiver
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 85
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 79
FIU Quick Take: Butch Davis hasn’t had a problem at reloading parts, but he has to do a whole lot with a defense that misses most of its stronger tacklers – getting into the backfield is going to be a problem. The offensive line will be great, but the rest of the attack has to take advantage of it.
FIU 2020 CFN Team Preview

109. UNLV Rebels

Relative Strength: Quarterback
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 106
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 98
UNLV Quick Take: New head coach Marcus Arroyo has a nice offensive backfield to work with, and the offense should be more explosive, but the change only works if the defense starts to be more consistent.
UNLV 2020 CFN Team Preview

108. North Texas Mean Green

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 111
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 82
North Texas Quick Take: Can the offense get its groove back after a stunningly mediocre year? The offensive backfield needs some work, but the receivers are there to be good again. The secondary that got rocked needs a big improvement.
North Texas 2020 CFN Team Preview

107. Central Michigan Chippewas

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Quarterback
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 71
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 121
Central Michigan Quick Take: The program that was so close to winning the MAC title in the first year under Jim McElwain – a massive turnaround – has a huge overhaul to deal with. The receiving corps will be good and the defense should be fine, but there are way too many key losses.
Central Michigan 2020 CFN Team Preview

106. Kent State Golden Flashes

Relative Strength: Quarterback
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 66
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 123
Kent State Quick Take: After a brilliant finish to last season with a fun-FlashFast offense that went on a magical run, the team should come into the season all puffy-chested and confident. QB Dustin Crum is a veteran now who can crank up the attack, but the defense front has to be stronger to start winning more.
Kent State 2020 CFN Team Preview

105. Troy Trojans

Relative Strength: Wide Receiver
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 90
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 90
Troy Quick Take: If the Trojans don’t have the best receiving corps in the Sun Belt, they’re not all that far off. The defensive front and secondary are too much of a problem to win the Sun Belt, but the offense will hang with everyone.
Troy 2020 CFN Team Preview

104. Toledo Rockets

Relative Strength: Offensive Line
Relative Concern: Linebacker
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 73
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 93
Toledo Quick Take: Even when Toledo isn’t great – like last year – it’s still pretty good. This year it should be better, starting with one of the MAC’s best offensive lines and running games. The defense has to prove it can be a whole lot better.
Toledo 2020 CFN Team Preview

103. Western Michigan Broncos

Relative Strength: Defensive Line
Relative Concern: Secondary
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 42
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 96
Western Michigan Quick Take: Yeah, this might be laughably low if the offense is steady and the defensive front seven really does take over like it probably should. There are a few better teams in the MAC, but winning the conference title is on the table.
Western Michigan 2020 CFN Team Preview

102. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Relative Strength: Quarterback
Relative Concern: Defensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 107
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 99
Middle Tennessee Quick Take: After a down year with a different style of overall play, the Blue Raiders should be more dangerous with Asher O’Hara a good all-around quarterback who should shine behind a veteran line. The defensive front, though has to be a whole lot better.
Middle Tennessee 2020 CFN Team Preview

101. USF Bulls

Relative Strength: Defensive Line
Relative Concern: Offensive Line
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 104
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 78
USF Quick Take: There’s WAY too much talent in place to be quite this bad in the first season under Jeff Scott, but the offense has a long way to go to be merely mediocre. The defense will keep the Bulls in most games.
USF 2020 CFN Team Preview

CFN Preview 2020 Rankings
All 130 Team Previews | 101-130
76-100 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10

NEXT: CFN Preseason 2020 Rankings, Top 100

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