Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-2016-all-america-team
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The 2016  season is just around the corner, and it’s time to honor the best of the best for the upcoming year. The 2016 season features plenty of big names returning to the gridiron, including a standout group of players on offense. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back/all-purpose threat Christian McCaffrey are just a few of the big names returning on offense for 2016. Leading the way on defense is Texas A&M end Myles Garrett and Iowa cornerback Desmond King.

 

Athlon Sports released its 2016 all-conference teams earlier this offseason, and now the focus shifts to the All-America team. Whether it’s quarterback, defensive end or a spot on the special teams, picking the best of the best is no easy task.

 

An important note on the All-America teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and previous awards matter in player evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 All-America team and all-conference teams are largely based on predicting and projecting the upcoming year.

 

2016 Athlon Sports All-Conference Teams
 
Power 5:  |  |  |  |
 
Group of 5:  |  |  |  |
 
 

Athlon Sports 2016 All-America Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Deshaun Watson

Clemson 

Baker Mayfield

Oklahoma 

J.T. Barrett

Ohio State 

Greg Ward

Houston 

RB

Dalvin Cook

Florida State 

Royce Freeman

Oregon 

Elijah Hood

UNC 

Jalen Hurd

Tennessee 

RB

Leonard Fournette

LSU 

Samaje Perine

Oklahoma 

Wayne Gallman

Clemson 

Myles Gaskin

Washington 

AP

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

Nick Chubb (RB)

Georgia 

WR

Calvin Ridley

Alabama 

Isaiah Ford

Va. Tech 

Gabe Marks

Wazzu 

Corey Davis

WMU 

WR

JuJu Smith-Schuster

USC 

Christian Kirk

TAMU 

KD Cannon

Baylor 

James Washington

Okla. State 

TE

Jordan Leggett

Clemson 

Jake Butt

Michigan 

Evan Engram

Ole Miss 

OJ Howard

Alabama 

C

Pat Elflein

Ohio State 

Ethan Pocic

LSU 

Tyler Orlosky

WVU 

Jay Guillermo

Clemson 

OL

Zach Banner

USC 

Adam Bisnowaty

Pitt 

Brian Allen

Mich. State 

Dorian Johnson

Pitt 

OL

Dan Feeney

Indiana 

Mitch Hyatt

Clemson 

Mason Cole

Michigan 

Billy Price

Ohio State 

OL

Roderick Johnson

Florida State 

Conor McDermott

UCLA 

Dan Skipper

Arkansas 

J.J. Dielman

Utah 

OL

Cam Robinson

Alabama 

Sean Welsh

Iowa 

Quenton Nelson

Notre Dame 

Mike McGlinchey

Notre Dame 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Jonathan Allen

Alabama 

Charles Harris

Missouri 

Lowell Lotulelei

Utah 

Carlos Watkins

Clemson 

DL

Derek Barnett

Tennessee 

Arden Key

LSU 

Ejuan Price

Pitt 

Sam Hubbard

Ohio State 

DL

Myles Garrett

TAMU 

Charles Walker 

Oklahoma 

Eddie Vanderdoes

UCLA 

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

DL

Malik McDowell

Mich. State 

DeMarcus Walker

Florida State 

Chris Wormley

Michigan 

Jarrad Davis (LB)

Florida 

LB

Devonte Fields

Louisville 

Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt 

Josey Jewell

Iowa 

Kendell Beckwith

LSU 

LB

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State 

Reuben Foster

Alabama 

Keith Kelsey

Louisville 

Riley Bullough

Mich. State 

LB

Anthony Walker

Northwestern 

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

Jalen 

Reeves-Maybin

Tennessee 

Tim Williams

Alabama 

CB

Desmond King

Iowa 

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Cordrea Tankersley

Clemson 

Sidney Jones

Washington 

CB

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Tre'Davious White

LSU 

Jordan Thomas

Oklahoma 

S

Jamal Adams

LSU 

Budda Baker

Washington 

Marcus Maye

Florida 

Quin Blanding

Virginia 

S

Derwin James

Florida State 

Eddie Jackson

Alabama 

Jordan Whitehead

Pitt 

Tony Conner

Ole Miss 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team
Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Daniel Carlson

Auburn 

Andy Phillips 

Utah 

Jake Elliott

Memphis 

Griffin Oakes

Indiana 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Cameron Johnston

Ohio State 

Hayden Hunt

Colorado State 

Michael Carrizosa

SJSU 

KR

Evan Berry

Tennessee 

Rashaad Penny

SDSU 

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

DeVon Edwards

Duke 

PR

Cameron Sutton

Tennessee 

William Likely

Maryland 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

Ryan Switzer

UNC 

 

 

Conference Breakdown of All-America Selections

  First Second Third Fourth Overall
ACC 6 5 6 6 23
Big 12 0 3 2 2 7
Big Ten 7 5 5 5 22
Pac-12 3 5 5 3 16
SEC 11 8 6 7 32
Independents 0 0 1 1 2
American 0 0 1 1 2
Conference USA 0 0 0 0 0
MAC 0 0 0 1 1
Mountain West 0 1 1 1 3
Sun Belt 0 0 0 0 0

 

Team Breakdown of All-America Selections

Team Number of Selections
Clemson 8
Alabama 8
Ohio State 7
LSU 6
Michigan 5
Tennessee 5
Florida State 4
Pitt 4
Oklahoma 4
Florida 4
Iowa 3
Michigan State 3
USC 3
Utah 3
Washington 3
Louisville 2
North Carolina 2
Indiana 2
Oregon 2
Stanford 2
UCLA 2
Ole Miss 2
Texas A&M 2
Notre Dame 2
Duke 1
Virginia 1
Virginia Tech 1
Baylor 1
West Virginia 1
Oklahoma State 1
Maryland 1
Northwestern 1
Washington State 1
Arkansas 1
Auburn 1
Georgia 1
Missouri 1
Vanderbilt 1
Western Michigan 1
Colorado State 1
San Jose State 1
San Diego State 1
Houston 1
Memphis 1
 
Teaser:
College Football 2016 All-America Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-all-128-college-football-head-coaches-2016
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Success with any college football team starts with coaching. Even if a program doesn’t have the resources of the nation’s elite jobs, a good coach can elevate a program into national title contention. However, similar to any position on the field, statistics may not tell the full story when judging a coaching tenure.

 

This is not simply a list of coaches ranked by accomplishment or wins. While those aspects are important, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of how successful coaches are. Winning 10 games at Alabama is different than winning 10 games at Kentucky. Also, every program has a different amount of resources available. Hierarchy in college football also plays a vital role in how successful programs are. It's always easier for programs with more built-in advantages to contend for a national title on a more consistent basis.

 

A couple of other factors to consider when ranking coaches: How well are the assistants paid? A staff with two of the nation’s top coordinators could be a sign the head coach is better as a CEO and may not be as strong in terms of developing gameplans. How is the coach in the X’s and O’s? Can the coach recruit? Are the program’s facilities on par with the rest of the conference? Much like assistants, a program needs good facilities to win big. If a team is winning at a high level with poor facilities and a small budget, it reflects positively on the head coach. Is the coach successful at only one stop? Or has that coach built a solid resume from different jobs?

 

Again, wins are important. But our rankings also take into account a blank slate. If you start a program from scratch, which coach would you hire knowing what they accomplished so far and their career trajectory? Remember, you don't get the assistants - only the head coach. And head-to-head wins do not matter for this ranking. Athlon's editorial staff has voted on a ranking of coaches for all 10 conferences. Here’s the full 128 list of coach rankings, as voted on by the Athlon Sports staff for 2016.

 

By Conference (Power 5):  |  |  |  | 

 

By Conference (Group of 5):  |  |  |  | 

 

Ranking All 128 College Football Head Coaches for 2016

 

128. Mike Jinks, Bowling Green

Bowling Green hit a home run with its last coaching hire (Dino Babers), and the program is hoping Jinks keeps the Falcons at the top of the MAC East. Jinks’ hire came as a surprise to most, as he had only three seasons as an assistant (Texas Tech) at the FBS level prior to his hire in Bowling Green. Additionally, Jinks has never worked as a coordinator at this level. His only experience as a head coach came in the high school ranks, spending one year at Burbank High School (2005) and a handful at Cibolo Steele (2006-12). Considering Jinks’ stint at Texas Tech came under Kliff Kingsbury, the transition on offense from Dino Babers’ attack should be minimal.

 

127. Mike Neu, Ball State

Neu – a former Ball State quarterback from 1990-93 – returns to Muncie as the program’s head coach in 2016. Neu has garnered a variety of experience over the last 18 seasons, spending time as a head coach in the Arena Football League (New Orleans), as a college assistant with Tulane (2012-13) and in the NFL with the Saints (2014-15). While Neu is a former Ball State player and had a one-year stint as a graduate assistant with the program, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level.

 

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126. Frank Wilson, UTSA

Wilson is regarded as an ace recruiter, and his ability to attract talent to a program should be a huge benefit to UTSA. There’s no shortage of talent in San Antonio and the surrounding area, but the first-year coach has to prove he’s more than just a recruiter. Wilson has never worked as a head coach or a coordinator at the FBS level. His only experience as a head coach came in high school, leading O.P. Walker High School from 2000-03. 

 

125. Paul Haynes, Kent State

After a 9-26 record through three seasons, Haynes is entering a critical 2016 campaign. The Golden Flashes had a standout defense in 2015, but the offense averaged a paltry 9.1 points in MAC games last year. Fixing the offense is Haynes’ top offseason priority if Kent State wants to win more than four games for the first time in four seasons. As a former player and assistant with the Golden Flashes, Haynes certainly knows what it takes to win at this program. However, the pressure is starting to build after last year’s 3-9 record.

 

124. Doug Martin, New Mexico State

This is a tough job, and Martin’s outlook at New Mexico State is only getting tougher with conference uncertainty. The Aggies are slated to be a FBS Independent in 2018, which is not an easy road for a program that has only one winning record since 2000. Martin is 7-29 in three seasons at New Mexico State, but there was progress in 2015. The Aggies finished 3-9 overall but won three games in conference play and lost four by nine points or less. With 11 returning starters – including one of the nation’s top running backs in junior Larry Rose – the Aggies could push for a .500 mark in league play.  

 

123. Seth Littrell, North Texas

Littrell looks like a good fit at North Texas, but he inherited a team in need of a lot of help after a 1-11 record in 2015. Littrell comes to Denton after two seasons at North Carolina, working under coach Larry Fedora as the program’s offensive coordinator. Prior to North Carolina, Littrell worked as an assistant at Indiana, Arizona and Texas Tech. The Oklahoma native’s background with the Air Raid offense should help North Texas attract plenty of offensive talent into the program.

 

122. Brad Lambert, Charlotte

Building a program from scratch isn’t easy. And it’s even harder to accomplish that goal by transitioning from the FCS to the FBS level. That’s the challenge facing Lambert at Charlotte, as the 49ers are 12-22 over the last three seasons, including a 2-10 mark in their first year at the FBS level in 2015. Prior to taking over as Charlotte’s head coach, Lambert worked from 2001-10 under Jim Grobe at Wake Forest. The fourth-year coach seems to have this program trending in the right direction.

 

Related: 

 

121. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan is arguably the toughest job in college football. This program has only season of more than two wins since 2009, with the last winning record coming in 1995. Considering the lack of success by the program in recent years and the roster situation he inherited, immediate success wasn’t going to be easy for Creighton. Through two years, Creighton is 3-21 overall and 1-15 in conference play. But prior to Eastern Michigan, Creighton went 42-22 at Drake, 63-15 at Wabash and 32-9 at Ottawa.

 

120. Paul Petrino, Idaho

Idaho has made some progress under Petrino’s watch. After winning two games from 2013-14, the Vandals finished 4-8 last season and could push for a .500 record in 2016. Petrino’s also deserves credit for the developing the offense, which averaged 30.3 points a game in 2015. However, Petrino’s job isn’t going to get any easier over the next two years, as the Vandals are dropping to the FCS level after the 2017 campaign. 

 

119. Scottie Montgomery, East Carolina

Montgomery has been on a fast rise through the assistant ranks and lands at one of the better jobs in the American Athletic Conference for his first FBS coaching opportunity. The North Carolina native started his coaching career under David Cutcliffe at Duke from 2006-09 as a wide receivers coach and later spent three years (2010-12) with the Steelers in the same capacity. Montgomery returned to Duke in 2013, spending one year as a receivers coach before a promotion to offensive coordinator in 2014. This is Montgomery’s first head coaching opportunity, but he’s learned under one of the top FBS coaches (Cutcliffe) and his background on offense should be a good fit at East Carolina. 

 

Related:

 

118. Tyson Summers, Georgia Southern

Willie Fritz set the bar high for Tyson Summers. Fritz helped Georgia Southern transition to the FBS level, as the Eagles finished 18-7 over the last two years and lost only two conference games in that span. Summers has never been a head coach at the FBS level, but he’s a Georgia native and has previous coaching experience at the school as an assistant (2006). Summers also has stops on his resume from stints at UAB, UCF and Colorado State. Georgia Southern returns a strong core of talent for 2016, so Summers will be expected to keep this team near the top of the Sun Belt.

 

117. Everett Withers, Texas State

Withers was a long-time assistant at a handful of stops before landing his first full-time head coaching opportunity at James Madison in 2014. Over the last two years, Withers guided the Dukes to an 18-7 record and led the program to back-to-back playoff berths. Prior to James Madison, Withers worked as an assistant under Urban Meyer for two years at Ohio State and also worked as the interim coach at North Carolina in 2011. He also has stops as an assistant at Minnesota, Texas, Southern Miss, Louisville and in the NFL with the Titans. Texas State finished 3-9 last year, but there’s a lot of promise for this program with Withers at the helm. 

 

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116. David Beaty, Kansas

Beaty inherited a program in need of a massive overhaul and finished his debut in Lawrence with an 0-12 record. The lack of success in 2015 was no surprise, as Beaty needs another recruiting class (or two) just to get this program competitive on an annual basis in the Big 12. In an effort to spark improvement on offense, Beaty is taking over the play-calling duties for the offense in 2016. However, the Jayhawks are likely staring at another double-digit loss season. Beaty is known as a good recruiter and his ties to the state of Texas should help in upgrading the program’s overall talent level over the next few years. Beaty still has plenty to prove in his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level and has to show he can build a program – not just recruit talent to Lawrence.

 

115. Mark Whipple, UMass

UMass faces an uphill battle as a FBS Independent, but the program is in good hands with Whipple leading the way. Whipple is 6-18 over the last two years, but he posted five winning records in six years with the Minutemen from 1998-03, went 24-16 at Brown from 1994-97 and 48-17 at New Haven from 1988-93. In between the stints at UMass, Whipple worked as an assistant in the NFL with the Steelers, Browns and Eagles and also spent two years at Miami.

 

114. Nick Rolovich, Hawaii

After the disappointing four-year run under Norm Chow, Hawaii’s program is in good hands with Rolovich. The California native has plenty of work to do over the next few seasons, but there’s not a better coach to rebuild the Rainbow Warriors into a consistent winner. Rolovich played at Hawaii from 2000-01 and also coached in Honolulu as an assistant under Greg McMackin from 2008-11. Since 2011, Rolovich has worked at Nevada as the offensive coordinator. This is Rolovich’s first opportunity to be a head coach and it’s not an easy job. However, the Rainbow Warriors should show improvement over the next few seasons.

 

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113. Charlie Partridge, FAU

Partridge was known for his recruiting connections in the state of Florida when he was hired as FAU’s head coach in 2014. As expected, the Owls have recruited well over the last three classes, and there’s a strong core of promising players in place for 2016. The on-field results have been slow for Partridge, as he’s posted back-to-back 3-9 campaigns to start his tenure. Prior to taking over at FAU, Partridge was an assistant under Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas and also had a stint at Pittsburgh from 2003-07. This is his first opportunity to be a head coach, so it’s no surprise Patridge is still learning on the job entering year three.

 

112. Ron Turner, FIU

Turner wasn’t the most popular hire after Mario Cristobal’s firing, but FIU has increased its win total in back-to-back years after a 1-11 mark in 2013. The Panthers finished 4-8 in 2014 and nearly qualified for a bowl with a 5-7 mark last season. Turner also has prior stints as a head coach from stops at San Jose State (1992) and Illinois (1997-04). His all-time record as a coach is 52-87, but he did lead the Fighting Illini to a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2001. With 13 starters back, Turner has a good chance to lead FIU to a bowl game in 2016.

 

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111. Tony Sanchez, UNLV

Hired from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Sanchez was one of the nation’s most intriguing first-year coaches in 2015. The Rebels finished 3-9 in Sanchez’s debut – a one-game improvement from 2014 – but lost four games by eight points or less, a clear sign the program is trending in the right direction. Sanchez also reeled in the Mountain West’s No. 4 recruiting class in the 2016 247Sports Composite and is positioned to push for a .500 mark in conference play in 2016.

 

110. Matt Viator, ULM

ULM quietly made one of the best coaching hires of offseason in Viator. The Louisiana native takes over in Monroe after a successful 10-year run at McNeese State. From 2006-15, Viator guided the Cowboys to a 78-33 record and five appearances in the FCS playoffs. Additionally, McNeese State did not have a losing record in Viator's tenure and posted three seasons of double-digit victories. 2016 could be a struggle for ULM, but Viator should help this program take a step forward over the next few years.

 

109. Scott Frost, UCF

After a winless 2015 campaign, a new regime and direction should be a huge positive for UCF. There’s no shortage of potential for this program, and Frost’s background on offense and history with Oregon should attract plenty of recruits to Orlando. Frost arrives at UCF after spending seven seasons with the Ducks. He spent the last three years there as the team’s play-caller, guiding the offense to a top-10 finish in scoring each season. This is Frost’s first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level, but there’s a lot to like about this hire for UCF.

 

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108. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State

DeRuyter appeared to be one of college football’s rising stars in the head coach ranks after a 20-6 start to his tenure at Fresno State. During that two-year run, the Bulldogs claimed a share of the conference title in 2012 and won the league championship outright in 2013. However, replacing Derek Carr has been a challenge. Fresno State is just 9-17 over the last two seasons and slumped to 3-9 in 2015 – only the fourth time since 1969 the program has won fewer than four contests. Can DeRuyter get this program back on track?

 

107. Ron Caragher, San Jose State

Caragher hasn’t had the easiest of paths in his two stints as a head coach. He replaced Jim Harbaugh at San Diego but guided the Toreros to a 44-22 mark from 2007-12. Under Caragher’s direction, San Diego recorded at least eight wins in four out of his six seasons. He left San Diego to replace Mike MacIntyre at San Jose State – just one year after the Spartans won a school-record 11 games in 2012. Through three seasons, Caragher has compiled a 15-22 mark at San Jose State but guided the program to a bowl trip last year. With 15 starters returning this fall, Caragher should have his best team since taking over at San Jose State.

 

106. Jason Candle, Toledo

Candle is one of the rising stars in the Group of 5 coaching ranks and should move near the top of this list over the next few seasons. Candle’s career path is similar to former coach Matt Campbell, as both played at Mount Union before later coaching with the Purple Raiders as an assistant, followed by a stop in Toledo in the same capacity. Candle was promoted to head coach after Campbell left for Iowa State. The Rockets won’t miss a beat with Candle in charge.

 

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105. Jeff Monken, Army West Point

Army has only two winning seasons since 1994, so Monken has a tough assignment on his hands. Through two years, Monken is 6-18 at West Point, but he went 38-16 during four seasons at Georgia Southern (2010-13). Even though last season’s record (2-10) wasn’t pretty, Army lost seven games by a touchdown or less. Monken seems to have Army West Point moving in the right direction but a bowl game might be a year away. 

 

104. Sean Kugler, UTEP

Injuries hit UTEP hard last season, including an early season-ending ailment to standout running back Aaron Jones. As a result, the Miners slipped to 5-7 in Kugler’s third year on the job. However, UTEP is just one season removed from a 7-6 mark and a bowl appearance in 2014, and a quick rebound should be anticipated for 2016. Kugler is 14-23 in three seasons with the Miners.

 

103. Chuck Martin, Miami, Ohio

Miami is one of the MAC’s top jobs, but the RedHawks have fallen on hard times. However, Martin seems to have this program moving back in the right direction. After an 0-12 record in Don Treadwell’s last season (2013), Martin is 5-19 over the last two years, but the RedHawks were more competitive in 2015 and return 13 starters for 2016. Prior to Miami, Martin went 74-7 at Grand Valley State and guided the Lakers to three Division II titles.

 

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102. Darrell Hazell, Purdue

Purdue is a tough job, but Hazell looked like the right coach to help this program take a step forward when he was hired in 2013. Prior to becoming the head coach for the Boilermakers, Hazell worked at Ohio State under Jim Tressel as an assistant from 2004-10 and went 16-10 at Kent State (2011-12), including an impressive 11-3 season in 2012. But success at Purdue has been tough to come by for Hazell. The Boilermakers are just 6-30 over the last three years and have only two Big Ten wins in that span. Hazell is on the hot seat entering 2016, but there’s some optimism with 16 returning starters and new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

 

101. Tracy Claeys, Minnesota

Jerry Kill’s sudden retirement was a setback for a Minnesota program that enters 2016 with four consecutive bowl trips. But the Golden Gophers are hoping to continue Kill’s success with one of his long-time assistants – Tracy Claeys. The Kansas native worked under Kill for 20 years and also served as the program’s interim coach in 2013 and once again in 2015. Under Claeys’ watch, Minnesota finished 2-4 over its final six games last season, including a 21-14 victory over Central Michigan. However, the Golden Gophers were competitive against Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin. Claeys has big shoes to fill in replace his mentor, but Minnesota returns 14 starters and has a favorable schedule that should allow the program to reach at least six wins in 2016.

 

100. Chris Ash, Rutgers

The Big Ten East Division is one of college football’s toughest divisions, and Rutgers is facing an uphill battle to compete with Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State on an annual basis. But after making more headlines for off-field news than actual on-field results in 2015, this program took a step in the right direction by cleaning house in the athletic department. New athletic director Patrick Hobbs picked Ash as Kyle Flood’s replacement, and the Iowa native seems to be the right fit for the Scarlet Knights. Ash is well versed in the division after spending the last two years at Ohio State as a co-defensive coordinator and he also has a prior stop in the Big Ten from three seasons at Wisconsin (2010-12). Ash also has stops on his resume from stints at Arkansas (2013), Iowa State and San Diego State. This is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level, but Ash has worked for one of the nation’s best coaches (Urban Meyer) and seems to have the right blueprint and long-term vision to help this program.

 

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99. Mike Norvell, Memphis

Justin Fuente leaves big shoes to fill at Memphis after a 19-6 record over the last two seasons. However, Mike Norvell was one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks and should keep this program trending up for 2016 and beyond. Norvell worked as an assistant under Todd Graham at Tulsa (2007-10), at Pittsburgh (2011) and from 2012-15 at Arizona State. Norvell called the plays all four seasons for the Sun Devils, guiding the offense to an average of at least 34 points every year. Fuente set the bar high, but Norvell is an outstanding hire for this program.

 

98. Chad Morris, SMU

Expect to Morris move up this list in future seasons. The Texas native took over at SMU after spending four years guiding Clemson’s offense (2011-14). The Tigers’ offense emerged as one of the nation’s most-explosive attacks under Morris’ direction, including back-to-back seasons (2012-13) by averaging over 40 points a game. SMU finished 2-10 in Morris’ first season on the job, but the Mustangs should take a step forward in 2016. Prior to Clemson, Morris worked at Tulsa for one year (2010) and was a high school coach at five different stops from 1994-2009.

 

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97. Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Leipold was one of the top coaching hires in the 2015 carousel, leaving Wisconsin-Whitewater after guiding the program to a 109-6 mark from 2007-14. Winning at the FBS level would require a few adjustments for Leipold and his staff, and the Bulls finished 5-7 in 2015. However, Buffalo just missed out on a bowl after losing three games by five points or less. Year one was just a small speed bump for this staff. The future is still bright for the Bulls with Leipold at the helm. 

 

96. Mike Bobo, Colorado State

Bobo had big shoes to fill in Fort Collins last season. In 2014, Jim McElwain guided Colorado State to a 10-3 mark and an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl. But with some key personnel losses to overcome and a tough schedule, the Rams dipped to 7-6 in Bobo’s first season. However, Colorado State wasn’t too far from matching the 2014 win total, as the program lost three games by five points or less, including a three-point defeat against rival Colorado. After spending most of his coaching career at Georgia and as a first-time head coach, Bobo is still learning on the job. However, the future looks bright for Colorado State with Bobo at the helm.

 

95. Neal Brown, Troy

Expect to see Brown move up this list over the next few seasons. In his debut at Troy, there were signs of progress for the Trojans, as this team finished 4-8 overall and 3-5 in league play. Brown is a disciple of the Air Raid offense and learned under two of the best offensive minds in Mike Leach and Tony Franklin. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Troy, Brown spent two years as Kentucky’s play-caller (2013-14) and three seasons as Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator (2010-12). Additionally, he also worked as an assistant under Larry Blakeney at Troy from 2006-09. Brown’s first year was promising, and more progress should be notable in 2016.

 

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94. John Bonamego, Central Michigan

Considering Bonamego had never coached anything other than special teams since 1999, his hire came as a surprise at Central Michigan. However, Bonamego quickly showed he was capable of keeping this program near the top of the MAC, as the Chippewas gave Oklahoma State all it could handle in the season opener. Central Michigan finished 7-6 in Bonamego’s debut, which included a victory over MAC West champion Northern Illinois and a three-point loss at Syracuse. With a full offseason to put his stamp on the program, Bonamego should keep the Chippewas trending up in 2016.

 

93. Joey Jones, South Alabama

Jones was instrumental in getting South Alabama’s football program started and also guided the Jaguars to the FBS ranks in 2012. South Alabama went 7-0 in its first season in 2009 and finished 16-4 over the next two years. The Jaguars moved to the FBS ranks in 2012 and struggled to a 2-11 finish. However, Jones quickly brought the program up to a competitive level, recording back-to-back six-win seasons from 2013-14, including the program’s first bowl trip in 2014. The Jaguars slipped to 5-7 last year, but Jones should have this team back in the mix for a winning mark in 2016.  

 

92. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss

Hopson is stepping into one of the most favorable roster situations of any first-year coach in 2016. Southern Miss returns 12 starters – including star quarterback Nick Mullens – from last season’s 9-5 team that claimed the Conference USA West Division title. Hopson has several stops as an assistant on his resume, including stints at Marshall, Ole Miss, Michigan, Memphis and Southern Miss. The Mississippi native was hired as Alcorn State’s head coach in 2012 and guided the Braves to a 32-17 mark in four seasons. With previous experience at Southern Miss, success in his only head coaching stop and ties to the state, Hopson looks like a good fit in Hattiesburg.

 

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91. Brian Polian, Nevada

Following Chris Ault wasn’t easy, but Polian has stabilized the program after a 4-8 debut in 2013. The Wolf Pack have recorded back-to-back 7-6 records and finished 2015 on a high note by beating Colorado State in the Arizona Bowl. Prior to taking over at Nevada, Polian was an assistant from 2005-09 at Notre Dame and at Stanford from 2010-11. He’s regarded as a good recruiter and has the Wolf Pack positioned for improvement with the return of nine starters on offense in 2016.

 

90. Bob Davie, New Mexico

Davie inherited a mess after Mike Locksley’s three-year stint at New Mexico. The Lobos won just three games from 2009-11, but this program showed immediate improvement under Davie’s watch, finishing with a 4-9 mark in 2012. After winning 11 games through the first three seasons, Davie had a breakthrough 2015 campaign. The Lobos finished 7-6 last year and claimed the program’s first bowl trip since 2007. 

 

89. David Bailiff, Rice

With its tough academic standards, Rice is one of the toughest jobs in the Group of 5 ranks. While Bailiff has experienced his share of ups and downs since taking over in 2007, the program has won 53 games in nine years and made four bowl trips. Additionally, the Owls won the 2013 Conference USA title and have recorded two winning marks in league play over the last three seasons. After a 5-7 record last year, Bailiff will be looking to guide Rice to its fourth bowl in five years in 2016.

 

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88. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion

Old Dominion is a program with a lot of potential, and Wilder has the Monarchs poised to challenge for a bowl bid in their third season at the FBS level. Wilder is the first coach at Old Dominion since the program returned to the gridiron in 2009. The Monarchs went 9-2 in their first season, followed by an 8-3 mark in 2010. Wilder led the program to an 21-5 record from 2011-12, which included back-to-back trips to the FCS playoffs. After finishing 8-4 in a transition year to the FBS level, Old Dominion is 11-12 over the last two seasons and just missed on a bowl appearance last year. Wilder should have the Monarchs in contention for a winning record this fall.

 

87. Trent Miles, Georgia State

Georgia State is the second program Miles has brought significant improvement to in a short amount of time. He took over at Indiana State in 2008, and after a 1-22 mark through the first two years, Miles guided the Sycamores to 19 wins from 2010-12. Miles was picked as the second coach in Georgia State program history and inherited a team in need of major repair. The Panthers were still transitioning to the FBS level and were short on depth and overall talent. This program has made significant strides over the last three seasons, as Miles guided Georgia State to a 6-7 record last season and an appearance in the Cure Bowl. Even though Miles’ record in Atlanta is just 7-30, he’s a coach on the rise for 2016.

 

86. Clay Helton, USC

Helton enters 2016 with plenty to prove and no shortage of pressure. After filling in as an interim coach for the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl and again last year after Steve Sarkisian was dismissed, Helton was promoted to the full-time job at the end of the 2015 regular season. Helton is 6-4 in his limited stint as the program’s head coach and guided USC to the Pac-12 South title last year. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach on a full-time basis – and he’s doing it at one of the nation’s top programs. Helton wasted no time putting his stamp on the program by overhauling the staff and finished strong on the recruiting trail by signing the No. 8 class in the nation in February. Helton doesn’t have the big-time name recognition that Lane Kiffin or Sarkisian brought to the program when they were hired. Could that be a good thing for USC? Only time will tell how this hire will work out.

 

85. Barry Odom, Missouri

Odom has the tough assignment of following Gary Pinkel at Missouri. Pinkel finished his career in Columbia with a school-record 118 victories and guided the program through a transition to the SEC. While Odom has big shoes to fill, he’s certainly up to the task. He’s a former Missouri player (1996-99) and later worked in Columbia as an off-field assistant with Pinkel from 2003-08, before coaching safeties from 2009-11. In 2012, Odom was hired at Memphis as the defensive coordinator and helped the Tigers engineer significant improvement on that side of the ball. Odom was hired as Missouri’s defensive signal-caller last year and led this unit to a No. 2 finish in the SEC in scoring defense. There’s no question about Odom’s ability to coordinate a defense. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach at the FBS level.  

 

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84. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

After a rough 3-9 debut in 2014, Vanderbilt showed improvement in Mason’s second season with a 4-8 finish. The Commodores also went 2-6 in SEC play after a winless conference record in 2014. Mason’s decision to assume play-calling duties on defense helped to spur the improvement in the win column, as Vanderbilt limited opponents to 21 points a game and 5.2 yards per play. With the defense on track, Mason’s next goal is to generate more improvement out of an offense that managed only 15.2 points a game last season. If the offense takes a step forward, Vanderbilt could push for a bowl game in 2016.

 

83. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Stoops is making progress at Kentucky, as the Wildcats have recorded back-to-back 5-7 finishes after a 2-10 record in 2013. However, while 2016 isn’t necessarily a make-or-break year for Stoops, getting to a bowl game is a reasonable expectation. The roster talent has improved over the last four years, with Kentucky recording four straight top-40 signing classes. Additionally, Stoops upgraded his staff with the addition of offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. With three winnable SEC games in Lexington, getting to 6-6 isn’t out of the question for Stoops in 2016. The fourth-year coach isn’t on the hot seat, but the pressure is starting to build.

 

82. Jim Grobe, Baylor

Turmoil has surrounded Baylor’s football program this offseason and continued with the dismissal of coach Art Briles in late May. Instead of promoting from within, the Bears are turning to Grobe as the program’s head coach for the 2016 season. Grobe has been out of coaching since the end of the 2013 season, but he should be a stabilizing force for Baylor. Grobe coached at Ohio from 1995-00 and accumulated a 33-33-1 record with two winning seasons. He was hired at Wake Forest in 2001 and brought significant improvement to one of the ACC’s toughest jobs. Grobe went 77-82 from 2001-13 in Winston-Salem, which included an ACC title and an Orange Bowl appearance in 2006. Grobe isn’t the long-term answer at Baylor, but he’s a good one-year solution. 

 

81. Kalani Sitake, BYU

As a former BYU player, there’s not a coach better equipped to lead the program than Sitake. He does not have any prior head coaching experience, but Sitake has developed a strong resume as an assistant, including stops at Oregon State, Utah and Southern Utah. Sitake also worked under two good head coaches in Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Oregon State’s Gary Andersen. The schedule isn’t easy for Sitake’s debut, but the Cougars are in good hands with the former Cougar fullback at the helm.

 

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80. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa

Chad Morris and Tom Herman garnered most of the offseason attention among the coaching hires in the American Athletic Conference last year, but Montgomery quietly pieced together an impressive debut. Tulsa went 6-7 last season, which represented a four-game improvement from 2014. Prior to taking over as Tulsa’s head coach, Montgomery worked as an assistant under Art Briles at Houston (2003-07) and again at Baylor from 2008-14. Montgomery is a sharp offensive mind and should have Tulsa back in contention for a bowl trip in 2016.

 

79. Will Muschamp, South Carolina

Muschamp was fired at Florida after a 28-21 four-year stint from 2011-14, but he’s getting a second chance in the SEC. After one season as Auburn’s defensive coordinator, Muschamp was hired at South Carolina to replace Steve Spurrier. While Muschamp is certainly familiar with life in the SEC, he’s inheriting a program that needs major repair after a 3-9 2015 campaign. And it’s no secret the challenges of winning at Florida and South Carolina are different. Muschamp hired a good staff and is known as a good recruiter, but the access to talent is different at South Carolina. Muschamp will be better in his second stint as a head coach in the SEC. However, this job is more challenging than the one in Gainesville. 

 

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78. Bob Diaco, UConn

Offense seems to be the focal point for a league that features coaches like Houston’s Tom Herman, SMU’s Chad Morris and Tulsa’s Philip Montgomery. However, defense leads the way at UConn with Diaco in charge. The New Jersey native was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistants during a stint as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator (2010-13) and helped the Fighting Irish reach the national championship game in 2012. Diaco went 2-10 in his debut (2014), but the Huskies showed improvement in 2015 by finishing with a 6-7 record. Diaco is building a stellar defense in Storrs, and with a little improvement by the offense in 2016, UConn could push for seven or eight wins this fall.

 

77. Terry Bowden, Akron

Bowden guided the Zips to a breakthrough season in 2015. Akron won eight games – the most in school history – and claimed the program’s first bowl victory (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). Bowden is 19-30 through four seasons at Akron, but the program has showed marked improvement under his watch. After a 1-11 debut in 2012, the Zips finished 5-7 in back-to-back years before the 2015 breakout campaign. Prior to his stint at Akron, Bowden went 29-9 at North Alabama, 47-17-1 at Auburn, 45-23-1 at Samford and 19-13 at Salem.

 

76. Craig Bohl, Wyoming

Bohl is just 6-18 through two years at Wyoming, but there’s no reason to panic. After all, this is the coach that went 104-32 at North Dakota State and won three consecutive national championships from 2011-13. It’s only a matter of time before Bohl has Wyoming back in the mix for winning seasons, and 2015 was clearly a rebuilding year with youth littering the depth chart on both sides of the ball. Progress in the win column could be minimal in 2016, but Bohl is still the right coach for this program.

 

75. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

MacIntyre inherited a mess and a program that went 4-21 from 2011-12 under former coach Jon Embree. There were no quick fixes in MacIntyre’s rebuilding effort, and the former San Jose State coach has made some progress over the last three seasons. The Buffaloes finished 4-8 in MacIntyre’s first year (2013), regressed to 2-10 in 2014 but finished 4-9 last season. While Colorado has been more competitive under MacIntyre’s watch, this program still has only two Pac-12 wins over the last three seasons. Prior to Colorado, MacIntyre went 16-21 in three years at San Jose State, including a 10-2 record in 2012.

 

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74. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

After cycling through four different full-time head coaches in four years, Arkansas State has stability at the top. Anderson enters his third season with the Red Wolves and has guided the program to back-to-back bowl appearances and a 16-10 record. Arkansas State claimed the Sun Belt title last season and begins 2016 as one of the favorites to win the league crown once again. Prior to Arkansas State, Anderson worked for two years under Larry Fedora at North Carolina and also has stops on his resume as an assistant from Southern Miss, UL Lafayette, MTSU and New Mexico.

 

73. Rick Stockstill, MTSU

Consistent. That’s the best way to describe Stockstill’s tenure at MTSU. Since taking over the program in 2006, Stockstill has guided the Blue Raiders to a 64-61 record and has four bowl appearances over the last seven years. MTSU has a winning mark in league play over the last four seasons and has only one year of fewer than six wins since 2009. With one of the league’s top quarterback-receiver combinations (Brent Stockstill to Richie James) in place, 2016 could be the perfect opportunity for Stockstill to break through and win the Conference USA East title.

 

72. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech

Holtz’s three-year run at South Florida ended after a 16-21 record, but the rest of his resume as a head coach features plenty of highlights. After a four-year stint as an assistant at Notre Dame from 1990-93, Holtz was hired as UConn’s head coach and recorded a 34-23 mark in five seasons. With a chance to work under his father Lou Holtz, Skip returned to the assistant ranks in 1999 at South Carolina and remained with the Gamecocks until 2004. Holtz took over East Carolina’s program in 2005 and guided the Pirates to a 38-27 record and four consecutive bowl trips. While the stint at USF was a disappointment, Holtz is back on track with a 22-17 mark in three years at Louisiana Tech.

 

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71. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Carey inherited big shoes to fill from Dave Doeren in 2012. Doeren guided Northern Illinois to a BCS bowl appearance that year, with the Huskies losing 31-10 in the Orange Bowl to Florida State. The program hasn’t slipped under Carey’s watch, as Northern Illinois is 31-11 and has three trips to the MAC title game over the last three seasons. The Huskies finished 8-6 last year, but the program was hit hard by injuries at the quarterback position. Carey should have Northern Illinois back in the mix to win the MAC once again in 2016.

 

70. Doc Holliday, Marshall

Holliday is known for his recruiting prowess, but he’s doing more than just winning on signing day for the Thundering Herd. Holliday is 50-28 in six seasons and has guided Marshall to three consecutive years of at least 10 wins. The Thundering Herd won the 2014 Conference USA title and finished No. 23 nationally in the Associated Press poll. Additionally, Marshall is 4-0 in bowl games under Holliday’s watch. 

 

69. Frank Solich, Ohio

Solich is the dean of MAC coaches and enters 2016 with a 138-80 record in his career. Solich guided Nebraska to a 58-19 record from 1998-03 and was hired at Ohio in 2005. The Bobcats are 80-61 under Solich and only have two losing seasons since his arrival. Additionally, Ohio has played in six bowl games over the last seven years and recorded three trips to the MAC title game since 2006. Solich isn’t flashy, but he’s brought consistent success to the Bobcats.

 

68. Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

Hudspeth opened his tenure at UL Lafayette with four straight 9-4 campaigns and four consecutive trips to the New Orleans Bowl. Even though the Ragin’ Cajuns had personnel losses to overcome for 2015, this program wasn’t expected to suffer too much in the win column. However, Hudspeth’s team slipped to 4-8 and finished the year with a four-game losing streak. Was 2015 just a small speed bump for Hudspeth? The guess here is yes, as the Ragin’ Cajuns should rebound back into a bowl this fall.

 

67. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

Replacing a coaching legend like Jerry Moore wasn’t easy for Satterfield, but the former Appalachian State quarterback has settled in and emerged as the top coach in the Sun Belt. Satterfield went 4-8 in his debut with the Mountaineers in 2013 but guided the program to a 7-5 mark in its first year at the FBS level. Appalachian State fell just short of a Sun Belt title last season with an 11-2 record and also earned the program’s first bowl victory with a 31-29 win over Ohio in the Camellia Bowl. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Appalachian State, Satterfield worked from 1998-08 as an assistant under Moore and also had short stints at Toledo (2009) and FIU (2010-11).

 

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66. Matt Wells, Utah State

Last season’s 6-7 record represented Utah State’s first losing mark since 2010. Even though the six victories was a disappointment, this program has progressed significantly after recording zero winning seasons from 1998-2010. Wells is 25-16 over the last three years and has not finished lower than second in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division. Additionally, Utah State has played in three consecutive bowl games. Injuries and turnover in the assistant coach ranks have hit the program hard over the last couple of seasons, but the Aggies are still in good shape with Wells on the sidelines.

 

65. Lovie Smith, Illinois

Even though the timing (March) was unusual, new athletic director Josh Whitman wasted no time putting his stamp on the program. On his first official day on the job, Whitman fired Bill Cubit and made a standout hire by bringing Smith to Champaign. While Smith hasn’t coached in college since 1995, he brings plenty of name value to Illinois, which should add credibility on the recruiting trail. In 11 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, Smith went 89-87 and guided the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. It may take a year for Smith to adjust to the collegiate ranks, and he’s already getting a late start due to the March hire. However, he hired a good staff to ease the transition and there’s plenty of potential for this program to improve in the Big Ten West.

 

64. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Clawson wasn’t going to be able to immediately turn around Wake Forest in his first two seasons, but there have been signs of improvement. The Demon Deacons are 6-18 under Clawson’s direction and have recorded back-to-back 1-7 records in ACC play. But the program’s depth and talent level is improving, as evidenced by four losses coming by eight points or less in 2015. Clawson is a proven winner from three prior stops – Bowling Green, Richmond and Fordham – and has a blueprint for getting Wake Forest back in contention for winning seasons. With a favorable schedule ahead in 2016, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Demon Deacons hit the six-win mark.

 

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63. Dave Doeren, NC State

Doeren replaced Tom O’Brien at NC State after a successful two-year stint at Northern Illinois and has made steady progress over the last three seasons in Raleigh. The Wolfpack went 3-9 in Doeren’s debut but rebounded with an 8-5 mark in 2014 and finished 7-6 last year. Additionally, NC State has recorded back-to-back bowl trips and has inked three consecutive top 50 recruiting classes. While there are signs of progress, Doeren is just 6-18 in conference play and has yet to defeat a Power 5 opponent that finished a season with a winning record. The 2016 schedule is challenging, and the Wolfpack have to break in a new quarterback with Jacoby Brissett out of eligibility. This fall should provide good insight into just how far this program has developed under Doeren’s watch.

 

62. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

Fleck is known for his energy and ability to recruit. However, through three seasons at Western Michigan, Fleck is proving to be more than a coach that just wins on signing day. After a 1-11 record in Fleck’s first season (2013), the Broncos are 16-10 over the last two years. Additionally, the program is coming off back-to-back bowl games for the first time in program history. Fleck also guided Western Michigan to its first postseason win by defeating MTSU 45-31 in the Bahamas Bowl last year. With 13 returning starters back for 2016, Western Michigan should challenge for its first trip to the MAC title game since 2000.

 

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61. Jeff Brohm, WKU

In just two seasons at WKU, Brohm has quickly emerged as the No. 1 coach in Conference USA. Brohm was promoted to head coach in 2014 after Bobby Petrino left to return to Louisville. The Hilltoppers finished 8-5 in Brohm’s first year but claimed the Conference USA title with a 12-2 mark in 2015. Additionally, Brohm has emerged as one of the top offensive minds in the Group of 5 ranks. WKU has ranked inside of the top 10 nationally in scoring offense over the last two seasons and finished third nationally by averaging 7.23 yards a play in 2015. Even with quarterback Brandon Doughty off to the NFL, WKU’s program is in good hands with Brohm leading the way.

 

60. D.J. Durkin, Maryland

Durkin was considered one of the rising stars in the assistant ranks over the last few seasons and lands at a program (Maryland) with some upside. The Ohio native comes to College Park after one season at Michigan, where he coordinated a Wolverine defense that ranked third in the Big Ten in fewest points allowed. Prior to Michigan, Durkin worked for five seasons at Florida and also spent time at Stanford (2007-09) and Bowling Green (2005-06). Durkin has a lot of work ahead in 2016 after Maryland finished 3-9 last year. However, Durkin hired a good staff and should be able to utilize his experience as an assistant under two of the nation’s best coaches – Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh – to help Maryland improve over the next few seasons.

 

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59. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

After back-to-back 9-4 seasons, Tuberville slipped to 7-6 in his third year at Cincinnati. The win total regression was largely due bad luck with a minus-19 turnover margin. A quick rebound to nine wins again wouldn’t be a surprise for the Bearcats, as there’s a track record of success for Tuberville. He went 20-17 at Texas Tech from 2010-12, 85-40 at Auburn from 1999-08 and 25-20 at Ole Miss from 1995-98. In Tuberville’s 20-year coaching career, he’s had only four seasons with losing records. 

 

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58. Matt Rhule, Temple

Rhule delivered a breakout season for Temple in 2015, as the Owls tied a program record with 10 victories. Temple finished 10-4 overall last year and claimed the American Athletic East Division title. Rhule is no stranger to success at Temple, as he worked as an assistant under Al Golden from 2006-10 and again for one year with Steve Addazio (2011). Rhule also has one season of experience in the NFL, working with the Giants’ offensive line in 2012. After three years at Temple, it’s clear Rhule is one of the top coaches in the Group of 5 ranks.

 

57. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

The bar is set high at any program whenever nine wins is considered a disappointing year. That’s the standard set at Boise State, as the Broncos are one of the top Group of 5 programs and should challenge for the bowl spot in the New Year’s Six on an annual basis. Harsin did just that in year one, finishing 12-2 with a victory over Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl in 2014. However, the Broncos slipped to 9-4 last year and lost the division title to Air Force. Don’t expect Boise State to be under 10 wins for too long, as Harsin has this program on the verge of a quick rebound in 2016.

 

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56. Willie Taggart, South Florida

Taggart was feeling the pressure to produce after a 6-18 start to his tenure at South Florida. But Taggart certainly eased concerns about the direction of the program with an 8-5 mark and a trip to the Miami Beach Bowl last year. The 8-5 record improved Taggart’s overall mark at USF to 14-23, and the Bulls should start out 2016 as the favorite to win the American Athletic East Division. Prior to taking over at USF, Taggart went 16-20 in three years at WKU, which included back-to-back 7-5 campaigns. After a slow start to his tenure, Taggart seems to have this program trending up for 2016 and beyond.

 

55. Rocky Long, San Diego State

With a fertile recruiting area in its backyard, San Diego State has been considered a sleeping giant. After having some sporadic success from 1986-2009, this program took a big step forward in 2010 with a 9-4 mark in Brady Hoke’s second year with the Aztecs. After Hoke left for Michigan, Long was promoted to the top spot. Under his watch, San Diego State continues to climb even higher in the Mountain West. The Aztecs have earned four consecutive bowl trips and finished 2015 by tying the school record with 11 victories. Long also worked as New Mexico’s head coach from 1998-08, guiding the program to a 65-69 record with five bowl trips. He’s also regarded as one of the top defensive minds in the Group of 5 conferences and should have San Diego State in contention for 10 (or more) wins in 2016.  

 

54. Kirby Smart, Georgia

Smart patiently waited for his first opportunity to be a head coach, and the former Georgia defensive back lands at his alma mater after nine seasons at Alabama. While Smart is back at his alma mater, there’s plenty of pressure to win right away. After all, he’s replacing a coach (Mark Richt) who won 145 games in 15 seasons. The challenge for Smart is simple: Elevate Georgia into contention for playoff berths and be a consistent SEC title contender. That’s something that has eluded the Bulldogs in recent years, as the program’s last SEC title was in 2005. Smart certainly has the right background and experience to win big. However, this is his first opportunity to be a head coach and it comes at one of top 10 jobs in the nation.

 

53. Willie Fritz, Tulane

Tulane made one of the offseason’s best coaching hires by bringing Fritz to New Orleans after a successful two-year stint at Georgia Southern. From 2014-15 with the Eagles, Fritz went 17-7 and helped the program complete a successful transition to the FBS level. Prior to taking over at Georgia Southern, Fritz guided Sam Houston State to 40 wins from 2010-13 and back-to-back appearances in the FCS Championship (2011-12). He also coached at Central Missouri from 1997-09, recording a 97-47 mark in that span. Fritz has been a winner at each coaching stop and should continue that track record at Tulane over the next few years.

 

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52. Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Campbell was an outstanding hire for Iowa State and easily one of the best coaching moves of the 2015-16 carousel. The 36-year-old coach comes to Ames after four full seasons (and one bowl game in 2011), earning a 35-15 record with the Rockets. Toledo did not have a losing season under Campbell’s watch and recorded bowl trips in three out of four years. Campbell has been on a fast rise through the coaching ranks and played his college ball at the ultra-successful Mount Union program. Iowa State is a tough job, so Campbell will find it tough to match is win total from Toledo on an annual basis. However, the Cyclones should take a step forward under Campbell’s direction and contend for bowl games on a consistent basis.

 

51. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Kingsbury is known as one of the nation’s top offensive-minded coaches and has Texas Tech trending up after a 7-6 mark in 2015. The Red Raiders went 8-5 in Kingsbury’s debut (2013) but regressed to 4-8 in 2014. However, Texas Tech had a solid rebound year last season and could challenge for a winning mark in Big 12 play in 2016. Prior to taking over as the head coach in Lubbock, Kingsbury engineered some of the nation’s top offenses at Houston and Texas A&M. At 36 years old, Kingsbury is still learning on the job and could move up this list in future seasons.

 

50. Troy Calhoun, Air Force

Air Force has been a consistent winner under Calhoun’s watch, and the program is coming off its first trip to the Mountain West Conference title game. The Falcons won the Mountain Division last year and lost by three points on the road at San Diego State in the conference title game. Calhoun has recorded a 67-50 mark since replacing Fisher DeBerry in 2007. Air Force also has eight bowl appearances under Calhoun and just one season of fewer than six wins. Calhoun is also the Mountain West’s longest-tenured coach and the 18 victories over the last two years is the best mark by the program since posting 22 from 1997-98.

 

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49. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

Chryst had a solid debut in his return to Madison, as the Badgers finished 10-3 and capped the 2015 season with a victory over USC in the Holiday Bowl. Chryst is entrenched in the program, as he’s a Madison native, played his college ball with the Badgers and spent time as an assistant at Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez in 2005 and with Bret Bielema from 2006-11. However, Chryst will be tested in 2016, as Wisconsin takes on a brutal schedule, including a non-conference game versus LSU and crossover matchups in Big Ten play against Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State. Prior to taking over for Gary Andersen at Wisconsin, Chryst went 19-19 in three years at Pittsburgh. So far, so good for Chryst at his alma mater.

 

48. Kevin Wilson, Indiana

Things are looking up for Indiana after the Hoosiers reached the postseason for the first time in Kevin Wilson’s tenure. After a 1-11 debut in 2011, Indiana has made progress under Wilson’s watch, finishing with at least four wins in each of the last four seasons. That may seem like a small feat, but this job is the toughest in the Big Ten East and has only two bowl appearances since 1994. Indiana has been more competitive under Wilson, and he was rewarded with a contract extension at the end of the 2015 season. Additionally, the program is investing more into facilities and stepped up in assistant salaries to hire Tom Allen as the program’s new defensive coordinator. The Big Ten East isn’t forgiving, but Indiana will be a tough out for the rest of the division with Wilson continuing to push this program to improve over the next few years. 

 

47. Steve Addazio, Boston College

After starting his tenure at Boston College with back-to-back 7-6 records, the Eagles regressed with a 3-9 mark in 2015. However, it’s unfair to penalize Addazio too much for last year’s record, as the Eagles were hit hard by injuries on offense and averaged only 9.1 points in ACC contests. Can Addazio quickly get Boston College back on track? The defense ranked among the nation’s best last year and still returns enough of a core (six starters) to prevent a huge drop in production. Additionally, the addition of transfer quarterback Patrick Towles should provide some stability to the offense. Prior to Boston College, Addazio went 13-11 in two years at Temple and also worked as an assistant at Florida, Indiana and Notre Dame.

 

46. Dino Babers, Syracuse

Babers is one of the top coaching hires in the 2015-16 coaching carousel and comes to Syracuse after a successful two-year stint at Bowling Green. The Orange needed to get this hire right, as the program can’t afford to fall too far behind in the top-heavy ACC Atlantic. Under Babers’ watch, the Falcons won back-to-back MAC East titles and finished 18-9 from 2014-15. Prior to Bowling Green, Babers went 19-7 in two seasons at Eastern Illinois (2012-13) and also made stops as an assistant at Baylor, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M and Arizona. Babers’ four-year stint at Baylor as an assistant under Art Briles proved to be one of the most influential stops in his career and helped the California native emerge as one of the nation’s top offensive minds. Babers led Bowling Green’s offense to an average of 42.2 points a game last season and also developed Jimmy Garoppolo into a NFL draft pick while at Eastern Illinois. Hiring Babers should help get Syracuse moving back in the right direction.

 

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45. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Holgorsen enters 2016 in an interesting position. Last season, the Mountaineers recorded their highest win total (eight) since joining the Big 12 in 2012. However, contract negotiations between Holgorsen and athletic director Shane Lyons ended earlier this spring. Holgorsen is not signed beyond 2017, so there’s some uncertainty about his future in Morgantown. Under Holgorsen’s watch, West Virginia is 36-28 overall and has played in four bowl games over the last five years.

 

44. Sonny Dykes, California

Coming off his best season at California (8-5 in 2015), Dykes has momentum and a contract extension on his side. The Golden Bears went 1-11 in Dykes’ first year with the program but improved to 5-7 in 2014 and recorded their first winning season since 2011 with a solid 8-5 campaign in 2015. Additionally, quarterback Jared Goff went No. 1 in the NFL Draft, which certainly doesn’t hurt Dykes on the recruiting trail. The Golden Bears also received good news in mid-May, as transfer quarterback Davis Webb is headed to California instead of Colorado. Repeating last year’s 8-5 mark will be tough, but Dykes has this program trending in the right direction.

 

43. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia

Mendenhall might be one of the nation’s most intriguing coaches to watch in 2016. Virginia’s decision to hire Mendenhall to replace Mike London was arguably the biggest surprise of the offseason coaching carousel. Mendenhall has spent most of his career out west, including stops as an assistant at Oregon State, Northern Arizona, New Mexico and BYU. Mendenhall was promoted to head coach at BYU in 2005 and led the Cougars to 99 wins over the last 11 years. Mendenhall has a strong track record of success and is regarded for his work with defenses. However, the schedule will be tough on annual basis and adapting to a new recruiting area and conference opponents will require a transition period.

 

42. Gary Andersen, Oregon State

Andersen’s decision to leave Wisconsin for Oregon State came as a surprise. In his two seasons with the Badgers, Andersen went 19-7 and guided the program to a Big Ten West Division title in 2014. And prior to Wisconsin, Andersen went 26-24 at Utah State and finished his tenure in Logan with back-to-back bowl appearances. While Andersen’s hire came as a surprise, Oregon State’s 2015 performance was not. The Beavers were in clear rebuild mode last year and struggled to a 2-10 finish. Andersen has a track record of success but it’s going to take some time to get the Beavers back in contention for winning seasons.

 

41. Mike Riley, Nebraska

A 6-7 record in his first season at Nebraska certainly isn’t what Riley had in mind. However, a deeper look at the Cornhuskers’ 2015 season shows this team wasn’t far from eight or nine wins. Six of Nebraska’s seven losses came by eight points or less, with the close defeats largely fueled by a minus-12 turnover margin. With small improvement in the turnover department, the Cornhuskers should be able to rebound back into the right side of the winning column in 2016. Prior to Nebraska, Riley went 93-80 at Oregon State – one of the Pac-12’s toughest jobs – and also spent time in the NFL as a head coach with the Chargers. And here’s another positive sign for Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are off to a great start on the recruiting trail for the 2017 signing class. Riley didn’t inherit a team stocked with depth and was hit by some bad luck last year. 2016 should provide some better insight into the direction of this program under Riley’s watch. 

 

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40. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy

Navy embarked on a new era for its football program in 2015 by joining the American Athletic Conference. However, the change from being a FBS independent to a conference member didn’t have any impact on the Midshipmen. Niumatalolo guided Navy to a school-record 11 wins last season and finished No. 18 in the final Associated Press poll. Under Niumatalolo’s direction, the Midshipmen are 68-37 since the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl and have only one season of fewer than eight wins.

 

39. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh

Narduzzi ranks ninth among his ACC counterparts for 2016, but the second-year coach should move up this list in future seasons. In his first year in the Steel City, Narduzzi led Pittsburgh to an 8-5 overall record and a second-place finish in the ACC’s Coastal Division. Three of the five losses last season were by a touchdown or less, with the other two defeats coming at the hands of Notre Dame and Navy (in its home stadium in the Military Bowl). Narduzzi has Pittsburgh trending in the right direction and should have this team positioned for another run at eight or nine wins in 2016.

 

38. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

A case could be made for Johnson to rank higher among his ACC counterparts here, but the Yellow Jackets are coming off their worst season (3-9) since a 1-10 mark in 1994. Despite the disappointing 2015 campaign, Georgia Tech is 61-44 under Johnson’s direction and is just one year removed from winning 11 games and the Orange Bowl in 2014. Additionally, the Yellow Jackets have just one losing season (2015) in ACC play under Johnson. A quick turnaround in 2016 wouldn’t be a surprise with Johnson’s track record, as he went 62-10 in five seasons at Georgia Southern (1997-01) and 45-29 at Navy (2002-07) before landing at Georgia Tech in 2008.

 

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37. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Sumlin has slipped on this list over the last few seasons, and 2016 will be an important year for the fifth-year coach. After an 11-2 finish in 2012, Texas A&M went 9-4 in 2013 and recorded back-to-back 8-5 campaigns. Additionally, the Aggies are just 11-13 in SEC play over the last three seasons and have not finished in the top 25 over the last two years. Sumlin’s program also suffered a setback with the departure of two talented quarterbacks – Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen – prior to last season’s bowl game. Graduate transfer Trevor Knight alleviates some of the concern under center, but the Aggies are also breaking in a new offense behind coordinator Noel Mazzone. Sumlin took a step forward by hiring John Chavis to coordinate the defense last year, and now it’s up to Mazzone to provide stability on offense.

 

36. Larry Fedora, North Carolina

Fedora delivered a breakout year in his fourth season in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels finished 11-3, won the Coastal Division and finished No. 15 nationally in the Associated Press poll. The 11-win season was a huge boost for Fedora after 6-7 mark in 2014. Fedora has a solid 32-20 record over the last four years and has never finished below .500 in ACC play. Prior to North Carolina, Fedora had a successful stint at Southern Miss, recording a 34-19 mark in four seasons. The Tar Heels face a tougher schedule and have a few key personnel question marks to address, but Fedora’s team opens 2016 as the favorite in the ACC Coastal. 

 

35. Jim Mora, UCLA

The Pac-12 has one of the nation’s deepest collections of coaches. Need evidence? Mora ranks eighth on this list, but a strong argument could be made for the UCLA head coach to rank higher after a 37-16 mark over the last four seasons. Under Mora’s watch, the Bruins have won at least eight games every year and claimed the Pac-12 South title in 2012. UCLA has some key players to replace from its 2015 team, but a favorable schedule and the development of sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen has this program poised to enter the 2016 season as the favorite in the South Division.

 

34. Mark Helfrich, Oregon

Life after Marcus Mariota wasn’t going to be easy, but Oregon’s 2015 season was hindered by an early-season injury to quarterback Vernon Adams. After a 3-3 start, Helfrich guided the Ducks to a 9-4 final record in 2015, which included road wins at Washington, Arizona State and Stanford. The nine-win season elevated Helfrich to 33-8 in three years at Oregon and an impressive 22-5 mark in Pac-12 play. Helfrich faces a couple of challenges in 2016, as the Ducks need to improve on defense and find a quarterback to replace Adams. The hire of Brady Hoke as the team’s new defensive coordinator should help, and Helfrich seems to have two capable quarterbacks in Dakota Prukop and Travis Jonsen. 

 

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33. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Fuente has big shoes to fill in replacing Virginia Tech coaching legend Frank Beamer. However, as Fuente’s four-year run at Memphis showed, he’s certainly capable of keeping Virginia Tech near the top of the ACC. Fuente inherited a Memphis program that was in disarray and won three games in the two years prior to his arrival. The Tigers showed steady improvement under his watch, winning four games in 2012 and transitioned to the American Athletic Conference in 2013. Memphis went 3-9 in the tougher AAC but finished 19-6 from 2014-15. The Tigers’ 10-win season in 2014 set a new program high for wins and also resulted in Memphis’ first top 25 finish in the Associated Press poll. Fuente is also regarded for his work with quarterbacks and played a key role in Andy Dalton’s development at TCU during his stint as the offensive coordinator from 2009-11.

 

32. Charlie Strong, Texas

With an 11-14 record through two seasons in Austin, the pressure is starting to build on Strong to turn things around. While Strong didn’t inherit a roster filled with talent, Texas is one of college football’s best jobs and the expectation level is certainly higher than six wins. After a 6-7 record in his first year, Strong went 5-7 last season and the losing mark prompted changes. Five new assistants were hired, including Sterlin Gilbert as the team’s play-caller on offense to bring a new spread, up-tempo approach to Texas. Strong has a track record of turning around programs, as evidenced by his 37-15 mark in four years at Louisville (2010-13). Assuming Texas continues to recruit at a high level and the offense improves in 2016, the future still looks bright for Strong’s long-term outlook in Austin.

 

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31. James Franklin, Penn State

After a 24-15 three-year stint at Vanderbilt, high expectations surrounded Franklin’s arrival at Penn State. However, improvement has been tough to come by for the Nittany Lions over the last two seasons. Penn State has posted back-to-back 7-6 records under Franklin, but the program was still digging out from recent NCAA sanctions. Entering 2016, Penn State’s overall depth has improved with back-to-back top 20 signing classes, and Franklin is attempting to fix the offensive woes by hiring Joe Moorhead as the program’s new play-caller. Franklin didn’t have the instant success most predicted at Penn State, but there’s still plenty of time for the third-year coach to get the Nittany Lions closer to Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State in the Big Ten East pecking order.

 

30. Jim McElwain, Florida

An argument could be made for McElwain to rank higher on this list after leading the Gators to a SEC East title and a 10-4 record in his first season in Gainesville. McElwain’s first year came with its share of obstacles, as Florida lost starting quarterback Will Grier to a midseason suspension and struggled on offense in the second half of 2015. Despite the offensive woes, the Gators still managed to hold onto the East title and head into 2016 as a projected top 25 team. Prior to Florida, McElwain went 22-16 at Colorado State, increasing his win total each year after a 4-8 debut in 2012. One area for McElwain to work on - recruiting. Florida has ranked No. 13 (2016) and No. 21 (2015) after three top-10 finishes from 2012-14.

 

29. Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Malzahn’s tenure at Auburn started on a high note with a 12-2 record and an appearance in the national championship. The Tigers fell short of winning it all in 2013, but all signs seemed to point to this program as one on the rise. However, that hasn’t been the case. Over the last two seasons, Auburn is just 15-11 and needed a win over Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl to avoid a losing record (7-6). Additionally, the 2-6 mark in SEC play last year was the program’s lowest win total in conference action since 2012. Another problem spot for Malzahn was his side of the ball - the offense. The Tigers averaged 5.4 yards per play – the lowest of Malzahn’s tenure as head coach. With a declining win total in each of the last two seasons, 2016 is shaping up to be a critical year for Malzahn.

 

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28. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

A year after a Pac-12 South title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, Arizona took a step back in the win column with a 7-6 overall mark and a 3-6 record in league play. The seven wins in 2015 were the fewest by Arizona under Rodriguez’s watch, but despite injuries to key players on offense, the Wildcats earned their fourth consecutive winning record. Rodriguez is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive minds and should get this program back on track over the next two seasons. Scoring points won’t be a problem for the Wildcats, but the defense has to improve. Rodriguez took steps to fix this unit in the offseason, hiring new play-caller Marcel Yates to highlight a revamped staff. Prior to taking over in Tucson, Rodriguez went 60-26 at West Virginia from 2001-07 and 15-22 in three years at Michigan.  

 

27. Todd Graham, Arizona State

High expectations surrounded Arizona State last season, but the Sun Devils finished with their lowest win total (six) in Todd Graham’s four years in Tempe. The 6-7 record last season was just the second losing mark in Graham’s 10-year career as a FBS head coach. However, it’s safe to assume Graham won’t allow Arizona State to be down for long. Graham has a strong track record of success at the FBS level, leading Rice to a six-game improvement in the win column in his only year with the Owls (2006), finishing 36-17 at Tulsa from 2007-10 and leading Pittsburgh to a 6-6 mark in one season (2011) with the Panthers.

 

26. Mike Leach, Washington State

Entering his fifth year in Pullman, Leach seems to have Washington State poised to challenge for eight or nine wins on a consistent basis. After a surprising loss to Portland State in Week 1 last season, the Cougars rebounded by winning nine games and finished 6-3 in league play – the program’s first winning mark in Pac-12 action since 2003. Under Leach’s watch, Washington State is 21-29 overall and has played in two bowl games over the last four years. Success is nothing new to Leach, as he went 84-43 at Texas Tech from 2000-09. Leach is one of college football’s top offensive-minded coaches and returns one of the nation’s top quarterbacks for 2016 in Luke Falk. 

 

25. Les Miles, LSU

Miles might be the toughest coach to rank in the SEC. He’s won 112 games in 11 seasons, guided LSU to the 2007 national championship and a No. 2 finish in 2011. However, Miles was nearly fired at the end of 2015 and the Tigers have not finished higher than No. 13 in the Associated Press poll over the last four years. That’s not ideal for a program that has the No. 4 roster in the nation and averages a  over the last five seasons. Additionally, LSU is just 14-10 in SEC play in the last three years. With Leonard Fournette and a strong defense returning, the Tigers could win it all in 2016. However, after last year’s bizarre coaching drama and recent finishes, LSU – just like its coach – is one of the hardest teams to figure out this offseason.

 

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24. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

A quick peek at Northwestern’s year-by-year history provides plenty of insight into why Fitzgerald deserves a spot among the Big Ten’s top coaches. The Wildcats have made 12 bowl trips in program history, with six coming under Fitzgerald’s watch. Additionally, two of the program’s four double-digit win seasons occurred in Fitzgerald’s tenure. Overall, the former Northwestern linebacker has guided his alma mater to a 70-56 record and two top 25 finishes in the Associated Press poll. Winning at Northwestern isn’t easy, but Fitzgerald has transformed this program into a consistent bowl team.

 

23. Butch Jones, Tennessee

Tennessee has made steady progress over the last three seasons and is poised to win the SEC East in 2016. Jones is the driving force behind the improvement, as the Volunteers have increased their win total by two games in each of the last two years. Tennessee went 5-7 in Jones’ first season (2013) but rebounded to 7-6 in 2014 and finished 9-4 in 2015. Last year’s nine wins were the most for this program since a 10-win season in 2007. The Volunteers are also recruiting at a higher level, inking three consecutive top-15 classes after recording a No. 24 finish in 2013 and a No. 20 rank in 2012. Tennessee isn’t the first successful coaching stop for Jones, as he went 27-13 in three years at Central Michigan (2007-10) and finished 23-14 in three seasons at Cincinnati (2010-12).

 

22. Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Whittingham’s stock continues to rise among Pac-12 coaches after leading Utah to a 10-3 record last season – the program’s best mark since joining the league in 2011. Additionally, the Utes have back-to-back finishes (2014-15) in the Associated Press poll for the first time since 2008-09. Whittingham has only two losing seasons in his Utah tenure and has four years of at least 10 wins, including a perfect 13-0 mark in 2008. Utah doesn’t recruit on the same level as South Division rivals UCLA or USC, but the Utes will always be a factor in the Pac-12 with Whittingham leading the way.

 

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21. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has emerged as an annual threat to win the Big 12 title under Gundy’s watch, and last year’s 10-3 mark represented the Cowboys fourth double-digit win season over the last six years. The 10-win season was capped by an appearance in the Sugar Bowl, giving Gundy 10 consecutive bowl trips. In 11 years guiding his alma mater, Gundy is 94-47 and is already the winningest coach in program history. The Cowboys finished No. 3 nationally in 2011 and have not experienced a losing season since 2005. 

 

20. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Mississippi State is the toughest job in the SEC West, but the program has made steady progress under Dan Mullen’s watch. The Bulldogs have recorded six consecutive winning seasons and set a school record with 19 victories over the last two years. Additionally, Mullen has guided Mississippi State to six straight bowl games after the program recorded just one postseason trip from 2001-09. The Bulldogs also spent time as the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff committee rankings in 2014. Despite losing quarterback Dak Prescott and a couple of other key contributors in 2016, Mullen won’t let Mississippi State slide too far in the SEC West.  

 

19. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Ferentz’s tenure at Iowa seemed to be at a crossroads entering 2015. After an 11-2 finish in 2009, the Hawkeyes failed to win more than eight games in a season over the next five years, which included a 4-8 mark in 2012. And after a 7-6 record in 2014, Ferentz’s seat was starting to warm. However, Ferentz and Iowa responded with a school-record 12 wins, fell just short of winning the Big Ten title and made the program’s first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1990. Since taking over in 1999, Ferentz has recorded a 127-87 record and has only one losing season since 2001.

 

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18. Bret Bielema, Arkansas

Bielema inherited a program in need of repair after a 4-8 mark under John L. Smith in 2012. Establishing a foundation for success took a year, as the Razorbacks went 3-9 in Bielema’s debut, but there were signs of progress late in the 2013 season. Arkansas used that momentum to finish 7-6 in 2014, which included a 31-7 Texas Bowl blowout over Texas. And the Razorbacks took another step forward in 2015, finishing 8-5 and 5-3 in conference play and just outside of the top 25 in the final Associated Press poll. Considering how difficult the SEC West is, going from 0-8 in conference play (2013) to 5-3 (2015) is quite an accomplishment for Bielema. Entering 2016, it’s clear Bielema has this program trending up and on stable ground.

 

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17. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss

Over the last few seasons, no team in the  West has improved its standing nationally more than Ole Miss. Freeze is a big reason for the improvement, as he came to Oxford with a track record of success. Freeze went 20-5 in two seasons at Lambuth and finished 10-2 in his only year at Arkansas State (2011). It didn’t take long for Freeze to generate improvement at Ole Miss, as the Rebels increased their win total by five games in his first year. And after an 8-5 finish in 2013, Ole Miss continued its rise with a 9-4 record in 2014, followed by a 10-3 mark in 2015. The program has recorded back-to-back New Year’s Six bowl appearances and finished No. 10 in the Associated Press poll last year. While three NFL first-round picks must be replaced in 2016, Ole Miss is equipped to handle the transition with four straight top-20 recruiting classes.

 

16. Mark Richt, Miami

Despite winning 145 games in 15 seasons at Georgia, Richt was dismissed at the 2015 regular season. While Richt won plenty of games at Georgia, a change of scenery (for both parties) and a return to his alma mater isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Richt seems to be energized by transition to Miami, and his return to Coral Gables should help this program take a step forward. The Hurricanes are still looking for their first trip to the ACC title game, and Richt should be the right coach to get this team back in contention for division titles and top 25 finishes. Another bonus for Miami in the coaching transition: Richt plans on calling the plays in 2016.

 

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15. David Cutcliffe, Duke

Thanks to Cutcliffe’s nine-year run with the Blue Devils, Duke is no longer an easy pick to finish in the cellar of the ACC Coastal. Prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival in 2008, the Blue Devils recorded 13 consecutive losing seasons. Cutcliffe guided the program to 15 wins in his first four years, before leading Duke to a 6-7 mark and a bowl trip in 2012. Since 2012, the Blue Devils are 27-13 and have played in three consecutive bowls, with an ACC Coastal title in 2013.

 

14. Tom Herman, Houston

The H-Town Takeover for Herman and Houston’s football program is officially underway. In Herman’s first season, the Cougars won the American Athletic Conference, finished with a 13-1 record and defeated Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. And with a strong core of talent returning for 2016, Herman has Houston positioned as the top Group of 5 program once again this season. Herman was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches prior to his hire with the Cougars. Herman worked as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer from 2012-14 and was an instrumental part of the Buckeyes’ 2014 championship team. Herman also has stops as a play-caller at Iowa State, Texas State and Rice. Herman is the top coach from the Group of 5 ranks.

 

13. Chris Petersen, Washington

Petersen’s record through two seasons in Seattle is only 15-12, but there are plenty of signs this program is on the right path. The Huskies went 8-6 in Petersen’s first year (2014) and finished 7-6 last season. Despite the slight decrease in wins, Washington was considered a . The seven-win 2015 campaign featured a handful of underclassmen in key roles and an additional year of experience should allow the Huskies to push for a breakout year and contend for the Pac-12 title. Prior to Washington, Petersen went 92-12 and claimed two BCS bowl victories in eight seasons at Boise State. Although it’s a small sample size, Petersen has already emerged one of the Pac-12’s top coaches.

 

12. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

If this list was just based on the X’s and O’s ability of a coach, Petrino would be ranked No. 2 in the ACC over Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. In his second stint with the Cardinals, Petrino – regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive-minded coaches – is 17-9 over the last two seasons and has Louisville projected to  for 2016. Petrino also has stops on his resume from Arkansas (2008-11) and WKU (2013), with a four-year run at Louisville from 2003-06. Entering 2016, Petrino has the program on stable ground and poised to be a consistent top 25 team over the next few seasons.

 

11. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

An argument could be made for Snyder as the top Big 12 coach in Athlon’s 2016 rankings. The Wildcats are always a dangerous opponent with Snyder on the sidelines, and the 76-year-old coach has completely changed the outlook of this program. Prior to Snyder’s arrival in 1989, Kansas State had only two winning seasons since 1955 and just one bowl appearance in program history. After a 1-10 mark in 1989, Snyder went 5-6 in his second year and has won at least four games in every season since his debut. Snyder had a brief retirement in 2006, but he returned to the sidelines in 2009 and has guided Kansas State to six straight bowl appearances and recorded 21 wins from 2011-12. Considering how difficult of a job Kansas State is and the lack of success prior to 1989, it’s a strong testament to Snyder’s coaching ability for this program to have 193 wins under his watch.

 

10. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish just missed out an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season, but Kelly has the program on stable ground and poised for another run at the top four in 2016. Since taking over in South Bend in 2010, Kelly is 55-23 at Notre Dame, including an appearance in the BCS National Championship game in 2012. The Fighting Irish have won at least eight games in each of Kelly’s seasons at the helm and finished No. 11 in the Associated Press poll last year. Winning at a high level at different programs is nothing new for Kelly. From 1991-03, Kelly went 118-35-2 at Grand Valley State, including back-to-back Division II titles (2002-03). Additionally, he went 19-16 in three years at Central Michigan (2004-06) and 34-6 at Cincinnati from 2004-06. Kelly is a proven winner at four different jobs and clearly has a place among the top 15 coaches in the nation.

 

9. Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Swinney continues to raise expectations at Clemson. The Tigers fell just short in their quest to win the national title last season and are loaded for another run in 2016. Under Swinney’s watch, Clemson has shed its underachieving label. The Tigers have won at least 10 games in each of the last five seasons and claimed the 2011 and 2015 ACC Championships. Swinney has surrounded himself with a good staff of assistants, including one of the nation’s top defensive minds in Brent Venables. Clemson’s recruiting is also trending up. The Tigers average a 13.2 finish nationally over the last five seasons, which is second in the ACC to Florida State (4.6).

 

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8. David Shaw, Stanford

Stanford’s rigid academic standards are no secret, but the tough admissions and smaller prospect pool hasn’t stopped Shaw from transforming this program into a top 10-15 team nationally on an annual basis. Over the last five seasons, Shaw has guided Stanford to a 54-14 record, and the Cardinal finished No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll last year. Additionally, Stanford has claimed three out of the last four Pac-12 titles and has only one season (2014) of fewer than 11 wins under Shaw’s direction. Despite losing several key pieces from last year’s 12-2 team, Shaw’s leadership should ensure the Cardinal won’t slip too far in the national rankings.

 

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7. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Fisher has returned Florida State to a spot among the nation’s elite. In six seasons under Fisher, the Seminoles are 68-14 and have won at least 10 games in five of those years. Additionally, Florida State won the 2013 national championship, made the College Football Playoff in 2014 and played in a New Year’s Six Bowl (Peach) last season. Fisher is not only a strong recruiter and a sharp offensive mind, he’s got an eye for identifying talent and moving players from one side of the ball to another or to a different position to find the best fit for their skill set. After winning 10 games in a rebuilding year, Fisher has Florida State poised to contend for a playoff spot and a national title in 2016.

 

6. Gary Patterson, TCU

As mentioned with Bob Stoops, there’s very little separation among the top three coaches – Stoops, Patterson and Snyder – in the Big 12. With that in mind, we wouldn’t disagree with a ranking that listed Patterson as the No. 1 coach from the Big 12. Patterson has been instrumental in TCU’s rise into a Big 12 title contender, recording a 143-47 record since becoming the program’s coach at the end of the 2000 season. The Horned Frogs have shifted conferences three times under Patterson but appear to be fully entrenched in the Big 12 after winning 23 games over the last two years. Not only is Patterson one of the nation’s top coaches, he’s also one of the best at developing talent and gameplans on defense. 

 

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5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

There’s very little separation among the top three coaches in the Big 12. Stoops returns the No. 1 spot in Athlon’s rankings after slipping down the list last season. After an 8-5 record in 2014, Stoops hit the reset button on offense and made significant changes to his staff. The moves paid off in a big way for Oklahoma, as the Sooners finished 11-2, won the Big 12 title and played in the College Football Playoff. The eight-win season in 2014 was only the fourth time in Stoops’ 17-year tenure Oklahoma won fewer than 10 games. Maintaining a high level of success at any program for nearly 20 years isn’t easy. But Stoops continues to push the right buttons and should have the Sooners in the mix to earn another trip to the playoffs in 2016.

 

Related: 

 

4. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Dantonio has elevated Michigan State to new heights and the Spartans have emerged as an annual contender for the Big Ten title. Under Dantonio’s watch, Michigan State is 87-33 since 2007 and claimed the conference title for the second time in three seasons in 2015. Additionally, last year’s 12-win campaign resulted in a trip to the College Football Playoff. Dantonio has guided the program to at least 11 victories in five out of the last six seasons and has only one losing record (2009) in his tenure in East Lansing. The Spartans lose a handful of key players from last year’s playoff team, but Dantonio should keep Michigan State among the top 10-15 teams in the nation.

 

Related: 

 

3. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

As expected, it didn’t take long for Harbaugh to return Michigan back among the nation's best. The Wolverines finished 10-3 in Harbaugh’s first season – a five-game improvement from the previous year. Additionally, the 10 wins last season nearly matched the program’s combined victory total from 2013-14 (12). And the expectation level is high going into 2016, as the Wolverines are picked among the favorites to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Prior to Michigan, Harbaugh won 44 games in four seasons with the 49ers, transformed Stanford into a top-five team over four years and also went 29-6 at San Diego. Winning at a high level (and right away) is nothing knew for Harbaugh.

 

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

With 50 wins, a national championship and three top-five finishes in the Associated Press poll in the last four years, Meyer continues to set the bar high for success in the Big Ten. Ohio State is 50-4 overall under Meyer’s watch and has lost only one regular season league contest over the last four years. Success at a high level is something Meyer has experienced at each stop in his coaching career. In two years at Bowling Green, Meyer guided the Falcons to a 17-6 record and went 22-2 in two seasons at Utah. At Florida, Meyer won 65 games in six years and claimed two national titles (2006 and 2008). Despite heavy personnel losses in 2016, Meyer won’t allow Ohio State to slip too far in the win column, which should allow the Buckeyes to compete for another playoff bid this fall.

 

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

With three national championships over the last five years, the rest of college football is chasing Alabama and Nick Saban. Under Saban’s direction, the Crimson Tide have won 105 games since 2007 and are the only team to make the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons. Alabama has only lost more than one game in SEC play once since 2008 and has not finished outside of the Associated Press top 10 since 2007. There’s no question the bar is set high at Alabama and maintaining this level of success isn’t easy for any program. However, Saban is the unquestioned No. 1 coach in the nation and continues to reel in elite talent every year.

Teaser:
Ranking All 128 College Football Head Coaches for 2016
Post date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Oklahoma is the Big 12’s clear favorite this season, and despite the loss of a couple of key players on both sides of the ball, the Sooners lead the way on Athlon’s All-Big 12 team with 18 selections for 2016. Additionally, eight Oklahoma players – including running back Samaje Perine and quarterback Baker Mayfield – are projected to earn first-team honors this year. TCU (15) and Oklahoma State (13) are just behind Oklahoma in overall selections, while Texas checks in with 11 picks.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Big 12 last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

 

Big 12 Team Previews for 2016
           
 

National

Rank:

25 71 99 48 6
 

National

Rank:

24 17 43 42 40

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big 12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 10 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Big 12 Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Baker Mayfield

Oklahoma 

Patrick Mahomes

Texas Tech 

Seth Russell

Baylor 

Mason Rudolph

Okla. State 

RB

Samaje Perine

Oklahoma 

Shock Linwood

Baylor 

Rushel Shell

WVU 

Johnny Jefferson

Baylor 

RB

Mike Warren

Iowa State 

D'Onta Foreman

Texas 

Chris Warren

Texas 

Kyle Hicks

TCU 

AP

Joe Mixon

Oklahoma 

Justin Stockton

Texas Tech 

Shelton Gibson (WR)

WVU 

Winston Dimel

K-State 

WR

Allen Lazard

Iowa State 

Marcell Ateman

Okla. State 

Mark Andrews

Oklahoma 

Devin Lauderdale

Texas Tech 

WR

James Washington

Okla. State 

Dede Westbrook

Oklahoma 

John Burt

Texas 

Geno Lewis

Oklahoma 

WR

KD Cannon

Baylor 

KaVontae Turpin
TCU 

Ian Sadler

Texas Tech 

Deante' Gray

TCU 

C

Tyler Orlosky

WVU 

Dalton Risner

K-State 

Jonathan Alvarez

Oklahoma 

Austin Schlottman

TCU 

OL

Kyle Fuller

Baylor 

Kyle Bosch

WVU 

Zachary Crabtree

Okla. State 

Victor Salako

Okla. State 

OL

Patrick Vahe

Texas 

Baylen Brown

Texas Tech 

Adam Pankey
WVU 

Aviante Collins

TCU 

OL

Connor Williams

Texas 

Jake Campos

Iowa State 

Kent Perkins

Texas 

Yodny Cajuste

WVU 

OL

Orlando Brown

Oklahoma 

Joseph Noteboom

TCU 

Dru Samia

Oklahoma 

Dom Desouza

Baylor 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Josh Carraway

TCU 

James McFarland

TCU 

Breiden Fehoko

Texas Tech 

K.J. Smith

Baylor 

DL

Noble Nwachukwu

WVU 

Demond Tucker

Iowa State 

Poona Ford

Texas 

Aaron Curry

TCU 

DL

Charles Walker

Oklahoma 

Vincent Taylor

Okla. State 

Jordan Brailford

Okla. State 

Matt Romar

Oklahoma 

DL

Will Geary

K-State 

Jordan Willis

K-State 

Christian Brown

WVU 

Dorance Armstrong

Kansas 

LB

Elijah Lee

K-State 

Jordan Burton

Okla. State 

Chad Whitener

Okla. State 

Joe Dineen

Kansas 

LB

Malik Jefferson

Texas 

Taylor Young

Baylor 

Travon Blanchard

Baylor 

Charmeachealle

Moore

K-State  

LB

Jordan Evans

Oklahoma 

Travin Howard

TCU 

Willie Harvey

Iowa State 

Montrel Wilson

TCU 

CB

Jordan Thomas

Oklahoma 

Ashton Lampkin

Okla. State 

Holton Hill

Texas 

Ranthony Texada

TCU 

CB

Davante Davis

Texas 

Brian Peavy

Iowa State 

Duke Shelley

K-State 

Orion Stewart (S)

Baylor 

S

Jordan Sterns

Okla. State 

Steven Parker

Oklahoma 

Fish Smithson

Kansas 

Jah'Shawn Johnson

Texas Tech 

S

Dante Barnett

K-State 

Denzel Johnson

TCU 

Ahmad Thomas

Oklahoma 

Dravon

Henry-Askew

WVU 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Matthew McCrane

K-State 

Clayton Hatfield

Texas Tech 

Austin Seibert

Oklahoma 

Ben Grogan

Okla. State 

P

Austin Seibert

Oklahoma 

Zach Sinor

Okla. State 

Michael Dickson

Texas 

Nick Walsh

K-State 

KR

KaVontae Turpin

TCU 

Justin Stockton

Texas Tech 

Shelton Gibson

WVU 

Ryan Schadler

Kansas 

PR

KaVontae Turpin

TCU 

Joe Mixon

Oklahoma 

Trever Ryen

Iowa State 

De'Quan Bowman

Texas Tech 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Big 12 Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Baylor

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Kansas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Kansas State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Oklahoma

Offense: 4

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Oklahoma State

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

TCU

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 4

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas Tech

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

West Virginia

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 17, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/conference-usa-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

There’s plenty of intrigue in Conference USA for 2016. The league’s top four teams – WKU, Marshall, MTSU and Southern Miss – all have key players to replace from last year’s squad, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to start the process of making another run at a conference title. On Athlon’s projected All-Conference USA team for 2016, WKU leads the way with 14 selections, with Marshall and MTSU tied for second with 10 picks. Southern Miss is just a step behind with eight selections, but four of those picks earned first-team honors. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Conference USA last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Conference USA 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

125 103 105 73 70 104 76
West Division
 

National

Rank:

85 128 109 68 92 123

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Conference USA Team

  First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Nick Mullens

USM 

Brent Stockstill

MTSU 

Chase Litton

Marshall 

Alex McGough

FIU 

RB

Ray Lawry

ODU 

Aaron Jones

UTEP 

Kalif Phillips

Charlotte 

I'Tavius Mathers

MTSU 

RB

Anthony Wales

WKU 

Jarveon Williams

UTSA 

Jeffrey Wilson

North Texas 

Darik Dillard

Rice 

AP

Richie James (WR)

MTSU 

Ito Smith (RB)

USM 

Alex Gardner (RB)

FIU 

Carlos Henderson

La. Tech 

WR

Taywan Taylor

WKU 

Zach Pascal

ODU 

Thomas Owens

FIU 

Deon-Tay McManus

Marshall 

WR

Trent Taylor

La. Tech 

D.J. Thompson

USM 

Nicholas Norris

WKU 

Zach Wright

Rice 

TE

Jonnu Smith

FIU 

Ryan Yurachek

Marshall 

Hayden Plinke

UTEP 

Connor Cella

Rice 

C

Cameron Tom

USM 

Michael Montero

FIU 

Kaydon Kirby

North Texas 

Max Halpin

WKU 

OL

Reggie Bain

FAU 

Darrell Brown

La. Tech 

O'Shea Dugas

La. Tech 

Dillon DeBoer

FAU 

OL

Forrest Lamp

WKU 

Will Hernandez

UTEP 

Jordan Budwig

FIU 

Calvin Anderson 

Rice 

OL

Michael Selby

Marshall 

Brandon Ray

WKU 

Jamal Covington

Charlotte 

Daniel Stephens

MTSU 

OL

Clint Van Horn

Marshall 

Maurquice Shakir

MTSU 

Kelly Parfitt

FAU 

Jerome Daniels

UTEP 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Dylan Bradley

USM 

Ryan Bee

Marshall 

Chris Hale

MTSU 

Omarius Bryant

WKU 

DL

Jaylon Ferguson

La. Tech 

Marcus Davenport

UTSA 

Hunter Snyder

FAU 

Graysen Schantz

Rice 

DL

Trey Hendrickson

FAU 

Larry Ogunjobi

Charlotte 

Jarrian Roberts

North Texas 

Jimal McBride

MTSU 

DL

Gary Thompson

Marshall 

Oshane Ximines

ODU 

Derik Overstreet

WKU 

Nick

Dawson-Brents

WKU 

LB

T.J. McCollum

WKU 

D'Nerius Antoine

USM 

Dalton Santos

La. Tech 

Davison Colimon

FIU 

LB

T.J. Ricks

ODU 

Keith Brown

WKU 

Alvin Jones

UTEP 

Shawn Petty

Marshall 

LB

Anthony Wint

FIU 

Alex Lyons

Rice 

Azeez Al-Shaair

FAU 

Nick Usher

UTEP 

CB

Cornell Armstrong

USM 

Mike Minter

MTSU 

Terrance Winchester

Charlotte 

C.J. Reavis

Marshall  

CB

Jeremy Cutrer

MTSU 

Aaron Young

ODU 

Jalen Young (S)

FAU 

Brandon Addison

ODU 

S

Tiquan Lang

Marshall 

Kishawn McClain

North Texas 

Ocie Rose

FAU 

Devin Cockrell

UTEP 

S

Xavier Woods

La. Tech 

Marcus Ward

WKU 

Michael Egwuagu

UTSA 

Picasso Nelson

USM 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Jonathan Barnes

La. Tech 

Jay Mattox

UTEP 

Trevor Moore

North Texas 

Austin Taylor 

FIU 

P

Dalton Schomp

FAU 

Alan Luna

UTEP 

Eric Keena

North Texas 

Gerald Shouse

La. Tech 

KR

Kylen Towner

WKU 

Carlos Henderson

La. Tech 

Anthony Jones

FIU 

Terry Juniel

UTEP 

PR

Trent Taylor

La. Tech 

Richie James

MTSU 

Anthony Jones

FIU 

Nacarius Fant

WKU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-C-USA Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Charlotte

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

FAU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense:  0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

FIU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Louisiana Tech

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Marshall

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

MTSU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

North Texas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Old Dominion

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Rice

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 4

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Southern Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

UTEP

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

UTSA

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

WKU

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
Conference USA Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 17, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

An intriguing race is set to unfold in the Pac-12 this season, as there’s not a clear frontrunner or team projected to finish in the top four and in the mix for a playoff berth. However, while the league may not have a dominant team in place for 2016, there’s no shortage of talent across the conference for all 12 teams. UCLA leads the way on Athlon’s projected All-Pac-12 team with 15 selections, while Washington is the top team from the North with 14 picks. USC (12), Utah (10), Stanford (11) and Arizona State (12) also hit the double-digit mark in selections for Athlon’s All-Pac-12 team for 2016. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Related: 

 

 

Pac-12 Team Previews for 2016
North Division
 

National

Rank:

44 23 90 12 11 30
South Division
 

National

Rank:

50 46 61 14 22 32

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Pac-12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 12 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Pac-12 Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Josh Rosen

UCLA 

Luke Falk

Wazzu 

Jake Browning

Washington 

Davis Webb

California 

RB

Royce Freeman

Oregon 

Ronald Jones

USC 

Soso Jamabo

UCLA 

Nick Wilson

Arizona 

RB

Myles Gaskin

Washington 

Demario Richard

Arizona State 

Joe Williams

Utah 

Justin Davis

USC 

AP

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

Victor Bolden

Oregon State 

Kalen Ballage

Arizona State 

WR

Gabe Marks

Wazzu 

Darren Carrington

Oregon 

Darren Andrews

UCLA 

John Ross

Washington 

WR

JuJu

Smith-Schuster

USC 

Michael Rector

Stanford 

Tim White

Arizona State 

Samajie Grant

Arizona 

TE

Dalton Schultz

Stanford 

Darrell Daniels

Washington 

Pharaoh Brown

Oregon 

Kody Kohl

Arizona State 

C

Riley Sorenson

Wazzu 

Toa Lobendahn

USC 

Coleman Shelton

Washington 

Alex Kelley

Colorado 

OL

Tyrell Crosby

Oregon 

Trey Adams

Washington 

Jacob Alsadek

Arizona 

Casey Tucker

Stanford 

OL

Zach Banner

USC 

Johnny Caspers

Stanford 

Chris Borrayo

California 

Kenny Lacy

UCLA  

OL

J.J. Dielman

Utah 

Chad Wheeler

USC 

Cole Madison

Wazzu 

Sean Harlow

Oregon State 

OL

Conor McDermott

UCLA 

Isaac Asiata

Utah 

Damien Mama

USC 

Scott Quessenberry

UCLA 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Kylie Fitts

Utah 

Hunter Dimick

Utah 

Greg Gaines

Washington 

Rasheem Green

USC 

DL

Eddie Vanderdoes

UCLA 

Hercules Mata'afa

Wazzu 

Takkarist McKinley

UCLA 

Josh Tupou

Colorado 

DL

Lowell Lotulelei

Utah 

Elijah Qualls 

Washington 

Henry Mondeaux

Oregon 

James Looney

California 

DL

Solomon Thomas

Stanford 

JoJo Wicker

Arizona State 

Tashon Smallwood

Arizona State 

Torrodney Prevot

Oregon 

LB

Salamo Fiso

Arizona State 

Peter Kalambayi

Stanford 

Keishawn Bierria

Washington 

Deon Hollins

UCLA 

LB

Cameron Smith

USC 

Peyton Pelluer

Wazzu 

Jayon Brown

UCLA 

Paul Magloire

Arizona 

LB

Azeem Victor

Washington 

Christian Sam

Arizona State 

Derek McCartney

Colorado 

Addison Gillam

Colorado 

CB

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Chidobe Awuzie

Colorado 

Alijah Holder

Stanford 

Darrien Molton

Wazzu 

CB

Sidney Jones

Washington 

Iman Marshall
USC 

Marcus Rios

UCLA 

Dominique Hatfield

Utah 

S

Budda Baker

Washington 

Randall Goforth

UCLA 

Shalom Luani

Wazzu 

Kareem Orr

Arizona State 

S

Marcus Williams

Utah 

Jaleel Wadood

UCLA 

Tedric Thompson

Colorado 

Fabian Moreau (CB)

UCLA 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Andy Phillips

Utah 

Aidan Schneider

Oregon 

Conrad Ukropina

Stanford 

Zane Gonzalez

Arizona State 

P

Matt Haack

Arizona State 

Nick Porebski

Oregon State 

Alex Kinney

Colorado 

Mitch Wishnowsky

Utah 

KR

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Tim White

Arizona State 

John Ross

Washington 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

PR

Dante Pettis

Washington 

Adoree' Jackson

USC 

Christian McCaffrey

Stanford 

Ishmael Adams

UCLA 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Pac-12 Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Arizona

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Arizona State

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

California

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Colorado

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Oregon

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Oregon State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Stanford

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UCLA

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

USC

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Utah

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Washington

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Washington State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Teaser:
Pac-12 Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 12:00
Path: /college-football/mountain-west-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Boise State and San Diego State are the favorites to meet in the Mountain West title game in early December, and the Broncos and Aztecs feature plenty of representation on the Athlon Sports 2016 All-Mountain West team. The Broncos lead all Mountain West teams with 15 selections, while the Aztecs feature 11 picks. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien and San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey are two of the top players in the Group of 5 ranks, with both claiming first-team honors for 2016. San Jose State (11), Nevada (12) and Utah State (10) also hit double-digit selections on the projected all-conference team. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Mountain West last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Mountain West Conference 2016 Team Previews
Mountain Division
 

National

Rank:

51 34 89 93 82 114
West Division
 

National

Rank:

108 121 86 36 96 106

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Mountain West Team
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Brett Rypien

Boise State 

Kent Myers

Utah State 

Nick Stevens

Colorado State 

Kenny Potter

SJSU 

RB

Brian Hill

Wyoming 

James Butler

Nevada 

Paul Harris

Hawaii 

Teriyon Gipson

New Mexico 

RB

Donnel Pumphrey

SDSU 

Jacobi Owens

AFA 

Devante Mays

Utah State 

Dalyn Dawkins

Colorado State 

AP

Jeremy McNichols (RB)

Boise State 

Timothy McVey

AFA 

Tyler Winston

SJSU 

Chaz Anderson

Boise State 

WR

Devonte Boyd

UNLV 

Tanner Gentry

Wyoming 

Jalen Robinette

AFA 

Jamire Jordan

Fresno State 

WR

Thomas Sperbeck

Boise State 

Hasaan Henderson

Nevada 

Jerico Richardson

Nevada 

Marcus Kemp

Hawaii 

TE

Billy Freeman

SJSU 

Jake Roh

Boise State 

Jarred Gipson

Nevada 

Wyatt Houston

Utah State 

C

Jake Bennett

Colorado State 

Austin Stephens

Utah State 

Will Kreitler 

UNLV 

Arthur Flores

SDSU 

OL

Chase Roullier

Wyoming 

Dejon Allen

Hawaii 

Kwayde Miller

SDSU 

Kyle Saxelid

UNLV 

OL

Nico Siragusa

SDSU 

Austin Corbett

Nevada 

Travis Averill

Boise State 

Zach Wallace

Wyoming 

OL

Mario Yakoo

Boise State 

Jake Simonich

Utah State 

Colin Sandor

AFA 

Jeremiah Kolone

SJSU 

OL

Fred Zerblis

Colorado State 

Nate Velichko

SJSU 

Reno Henderson

New Mexico 

Steven Baggett

Boise State 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Alex Barrett

SDSU 

Kyle Kelley

SDSU 

Gabe Perez

Boise State 

Nate Madsen

Fresno State 

DL

Nik D'Avanzo

New Mexico 

Ricky Ali'fua

Utah State 

Carl Granderson

Wyoming 

Isaiah Irving

SJSU 

DL

Travis Seefeldt

Utah State 

Sam McCaskill

Boise State 

Malik Reed

Nevada 

Keenan Sykes

SJSU 

DL

Kennedy*

Tulimasealii

Hawaii 

Ryan Watson

AFA 

Kory Rasmussen

Hawaii 

Mike Hughes

UNLV 

LB

Calvin Munson

SDSU 

Dakota Cox

New Mexico 

Tau Lotulelei

UNLV 

D.J. Dunn

AFA 

LB

Christian Tago

SJSU 

Kevin Davis

Colorado State 

Lucas Wacha

Wyoming 

Jeff Camilli

Fresno State 

LB

Tanner Vallejo

Boise State 

Ben Weaver

Boise State 

Jerrol 

Garcia-Williams

Hawaii 

Ryan McAleenan

UNLV 

CB

Damontae Kazee

SDSU 

Jalen Davis

Utah State 

Daquawn Brown

Fresno State 

Andre Chachere

SJSU 

CB

Ronald Ladipo

AFA 

Jonathan Moxey

Boise State 

Tyquwan Glass

Fresno State 

Torry McTyer

UNLV 

S

Weston 

Steelhammer

AFA 

Dylan 

Sumner-Gardner

Boise State 

Asauni Rufus

Nevada 

Maurice McKnight

SJSU 

S

Andrew Wingard

Wyoming 

Dameon Baber

Nevada 

Malik Smith

SDSU 

Dallin Leavitt

Utah State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Tyler Rausa

Boise State 

Brent Zuzo

Nevada 

Nicolai Bornand

UNLV 

Wyatt Bryan

Colorado State 

P

Hayden Hunt

Colorado State 

Michael Carrizosa

SJSU 

Rigoberto Sanchez

Hawaii 

Alex Boy

Nevada 

KR

Rashaad Penny

SDSU 

D.J. May

Wyoming 

Elijah Mitchell

Nevada 

Keelan Ewaliko

Hawaii 

PR

Andrew Rodriguez

Utah State 

Tanner Gentry

Wyoming 

Andrew Celis

Nevada 

Mikah Holder

SDSU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Mountain West Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Air Force

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Boise State

Offense: 4

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Colorado State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Fresno State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Hawaii

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Nevada

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

New Mexico

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

San Diego State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

San Jose State

Offense: 1

Defense:  1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

UNLV

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Utah State

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense:  2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Wyoming

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

* Tulimasealii was dismissed from the team in late June - after Athlon's All-Mountain West team was released for 2016.

Teaser:
Mountain West Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa are projected to be the Big Ten’s top four teams this season, so it should be no surprise these programs dominate the Athlon Sports projected All-Big Ten team for 2016. Michigan leads the way with 13 overall selections, while Iowa and Michigan State rank a close second with 12 picks. Ohio State returns only six starters, but the Buckeyes have a strong showing on Athlon’s projected all-conference team with 10 selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Big Ten Team Previews for 2016

East Division
 

National

Rank:

55 66 5 13 3 39 87
West Division
 

National

Rank:

74 19 60 31 45 95 33

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big Ten Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

J.T. Barrett

Ohio State 

C.J. Beathard

Iowa 

Tommy Armstrong

Nebraska 

Wes Lunt

Illinois 

RB

Saquon Barkley

Penn State 

Corey Clement

Wisconsin 

Devine Redding

Indiana 

LeShun Daniels

Iowa 

RB

Justin Jackson

Northwestern 

LJ Scott

Michigan State 

Mike Weber

Ohio State 

Shannon Brooks

Minnesota 

AP

Jordan Westerkamp (WR)

Nebraska 

Curtis Samuel 

Ohio State 

Ke'Shawn Vaughn

Illinois 

Markell Jones

Purdue 

WR

Jehu Chesson

Michigan 

Simmie Cobbs

Indiana 

R.J. Shelton

Michigan State 

Malik Turner

Illinois 

WR

Chris Godwin

Penn State 

Amara Darboh

Michigan 

Matt VandeBerg

Iowa 

D.J. Moore

Maryland 

TE

Jake Butt

Michigan 

Josiah Price

Michigan State 

Brandon Lingen

Minnesota  

George Kittle

Iowa 

C

Pat Elflein

Ohio State 

Michael Deiter

Wisconsin 

Dylan Utter

Nebraska  

Michael Dunn

Maryland 

OL

Brian Allen

Michigan State 

Cole Croston

Iowa 

Christian DiLauro

Illinois 

Jordan Roos

Purdue 

OL

Mason Cole

Michigan 

Nick Gates

Nebraska 

Kodi Kieler

Michigan State 

Blake Hance

Northwestern 

OL

Sean Welsh

Iowa 

Erik Magnuson

Michigan 

Andrew Nelson

Penn State 

Dimitric Camiel

Indiana 

OL

Dan Feeney

Indiana 

Billy Price

Ohio State 

Jonah Pirsig

Minnesota 

Kyle Kalis

Michigan 

 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Malik McDowell

Michigan State 

Taco Charlton

Michigan 

Darius Hamilton

Rutgers 

Freedom Akinmoladun

Nebraska 

DL

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

Jaleel Johnson

Iowa 

Demetrius Cooper

Michigan State 

Parker Hesse

Iowa 

DL

Sam Hubbard

Ohio State 

Garrett Sickels

Penn State 

Tyler Lancaster

Northwestern 

Bryan Mone

Michigan 

DL

Chris Wormley

Michigan 

Dawuane Smoot

Illinois 

Jake Replogle

Purdue 

Olive Sagapolu

Wisconsin 

LB

Raekwon McMillan

Ohio State 

Vince Biegel

Wisconsin 

Hardy Nickerson

Illinois 

Brandon Bell

Penn State 

LB

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

Riley Bullough

Michigan State 

Jason Cabinda

Penn State 

Jack Lynn

Minnesota 

LB

Anthony Walker

Northwestern 

Josey Jewell

Iowa 

T.J. Edwards

Wisconsin 

Marcus Oliver

Indiana 

CB

Desmond King

Iowa 

Gareon Conley

Ohio State 

Matthew Harris

Northwestern 

Vayante Copeland

Michigan State 

CB

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

William Likely

Maryland 

Sojourn Shelton

Wisconsin 

Grant Haley

Penn State 

S

Nate Gerry

Nebraska 

Marcus Allen

Penn State 

Jonathan Crawford

Indiana 

Demetrious Cox

Michigan State 

S

Montae Nicholson

Michigan State 

Godwin Igwebuike

Northwestern 

Damarius Travis

Minnesota 

Taylor Barton

Illinois 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Griffin Oakes

Indiana 

Drew Brown

Nebraska 

Ryan Santoso

Minnesota 

Rafael Gaglianone

Wisconsin 

P

Cameron Johnston

Ohio State 

Sam Foltz

Nebraska 

Jake Hartbarger

Michigan State 

Joe Schopper

Purdue 

KR

Janarion Grant

Rutgers 

Solomon Vault

Northwestern 

Desmond King

Iowa 

Jourdan Lewis

Michigan 

PR

William Likely

Maryland 

Desmond King

Iowa 

De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska 

Jabrill Peppers

Michigan 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Big Ten Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Illinois

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Indiana

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Maryland

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense:  1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Michigan State

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Minnesota

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Nebraska

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Northwestern

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Ohio State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Penn State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Purdue

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Rutgers

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Wisconsin

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The balance of power in the MAC clearly resides in the West Division this season, as 38 of the selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team for 2016 come from the league’s top three teams – Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan. The Rockets lead the MAC with 15 selections, while the Huskies check in at No. 2 with 12. Bowling Green takes the top spot among East Division programs with 10 selections on Athlon’s All-MAC team.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the MAC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

MAC 2016 Team Previews

East Division
 

National

Rank:

98 97 113 118 112 91
West Division
 

National

Rank:

116 88 124 80 79 69

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Zach Terrell

WMU 

Cooper Rush

CMU 

Drew Hare

NIU 

Thomas Woodson

Akron 

RB

Kareem Hunt

Toledo 

Jamauri Bogan

WMU 

Warren Ball

Akron 

Darian Green

Ball State 

RB

Joel Bouagnon

NIU 

Terry Swanson

Toledo 

A.J. Ouellette

Ohio 

Fred Coppet

BGSU 

AP

Jerome Lane (WR)

Akron 

Jordan Johnson (RB)

Buffalo 

Shaq Vann (RB)

EMU  

Alfonso Smith (RB)

Miami 

WR

Corey Davis

WMU 

Jesse Kroll

CMU 

Marcus McGill

Buffalo 

JoJo Natson

Akron 

WR

Kenny Golladay

NIU 

Sebastian Smith

Ohio 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Jordan Reid

Ohio 

WR

Ronnie Moore

BGSU 

Cody Thompson

Toledo 

Rokeem Williams

Miami 

Corey Willis

CMU 

C

Tim McAuliffe

BGSU 

John Keenoy

WMU 

James O'Hagan

Buffalo 

Mitch Palmer

Miami 

OL

Jacob Bennett

BGSU 

Mike Ebert

Toledo 

Josh Ruka

NIU 

Reno Reda

Kent State 

OL

Taylor Moton

WMU 

Zach Hovey

Miami 

Troy Watson

Ohio 

Ryan Hunter

BGSU 

OL

Levon Myers

NIU 

Drake Miller

Ball State 

Logan Dietz

BGSU 

Paul Perschon

Toledo 

OL

Storm Norton

Toledo 

Darien Terrell

EMU 

Max Scharping

NIU 

Chukwuma Okorafor

WMU 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

J.T. Jones

Miami 

Ikeem Allen

Miami 

Luke Maclean

EMU 

Brandon Crawford

Buffalo 

DL

Jamal Marcus

Akron 

Treyvon Hester

Toledo 

Terrance Bush

BGSU 

Earl Moore

Toledo 

DL

Josh Posley

Ball State 

Pat O'Connor

EMU 

Tarell Basham

Ohio 

Kurt Laseak

Ohio 

DL

Terence Waugh

Kent State 

Se'Von Pittman

Akron 

Keion Adams

WMU 

Joe Ostman

CMU 

LB

Quentin Poling

Ohio 

Brandon Berry

Buffalo 

Sean Folliard

NIU 

Jeremi Powell

Toledo 

LB

Austin Valdez

BGSU 

Blair Brown
Ohio 

Paul Moses

Miami 

Elcee Refuge

Kent State 

LB

Sean Wiggins

Ball State 

Jaylen Coleman

Toledo 

Trenton Greene

BGSU 

Caleb Bailey

WMU 

CB

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Heath Harding

Miami 

DeAndre Scott

Akron 

CB

Demetrius Monday

Kent State 

Boise Ross

Buffalo 

Najee Murray

Kent State 

Amari Coleman

CMU 

S

Asantay Brown

WMU 

Tony Annese

CMU 

Ryan Williamson

Buffalo 

Martez Hester

Ball State 

S

Nate Holley

Kent State 

DeJuan Rogers

Toledo 

Brandon Mayes

NIU 

Zach Guiser

Akron 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Christian Hagan

NIU 

Jameson Vest

Toledo 

Brian Eavey

CMU 

Morgan Hagee

Ball State 

P

Joe Davidson

BGSU 

Austin Barnes

EMU 

Kyle Schmidt

Ball State 

Nick Ellis

Toledo 

KR

Aregeros Turner

NIU 

KeVonn Mabon

Ball State 

Darius Phillips

WMU 

Diontae Johnson

Toledo 

PR

Corey Jones

Toledo 

JoJo Natson

Akron

Corey Lacanaria

Ball State 

Shawun Lurry

NIU 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-MAC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Akron

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ball State

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Bowling Green

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Buffalo

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Central Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Eastern Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Kent State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Miami

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Northern Illinois

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Ohio

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Toledo

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Western Michigan

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Teaser:
MAC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The SEC – college football’s best conference – is never short on talent and features some of the nation’s best players once again in 2016. The balance of power in the SEC is tilted to the West this fall, with 63 of the 108 selections on Athlon’s projected all-conference team coming from this division. Alabama leads the way with 14 overall selections, followed by LSU with 12, with Tennessee, Georgia and Florida tied with 11. The Volunteers, Bulldogs and Gators account for 33 of the East Division’s 45 selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-SEC team. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the SEC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

SEC 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

20 16 56 62 63 7 57
West Division
 

National

Rank: 

1 26 35 9 41 10 28

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 SEC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First-Team
Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Chad Kelly

Ole Miss 

Joshua Dobbs

Tennessee 

Brandon Harris

LSU 

Jacob Eason

Georgia 

RB

Leonard Fournette

LSU 

Nick Chubb

Georgia 

Ralph Webb

Vanderbilt 

Jovon Robinson

Auburn 

RB

Jalen Hurd 

Tennessee 

Sony Michel

Georgia 

Bo Scarbrough

Alabama 

Keith Ford

Texas A&M 

AP

Boom Williams

Kentucky 

Alvin Kamara 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Terry Godwin (WR)

Georgia 

WR

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Fred Ross

Miss. State 

Josh Reynolds

Texas A&M 

Malachi Dupre

LSU 

WR

Calvin Ridley

Alabama 

Damore'ea Stringfellow

Ole Miss 

Drew Morgan

Arkansas 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

TE

Evan Engram

Ole Miss 

O.J. Howard

Alabama 

Jeremy Sprinkle

Arkansas 

Jeb Blazevich

Georgia 

C

Ethan Pocic

LSU 

Jon Toth

Kentucky 

Brandon Kublanow

Georgia 

Jamaal Clayborn

Miss. State 

OL

Alex Kozan

Auburn 

Will Clapp

LSU 

Javon Patterson

Ole Miss 

David Sharpe

Florida 

OL

Cam Robinson

Alabama 

Avery Gennesy

Texas A&M 

Andrew Jelks

Vanderbilt 

Maea Teuhema

LSU 

OL

Dan Skipper

Arkansas 

Braden Smith

Auburn 

Austin Golson

Auburn 

Martez Ivey

Florida 

OL

Jashon Robertson

Tennessee 

Greg Pyke

Georgia 

Ross Pierschbacher

Alabama 

Dylan Wiesman

Tennessee 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team
Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team
Defense
DL

Myles Garrett

Texas A&M 

Charles Harris

Missouri 

Trent Thompson

Georgia 

Da'Shawn Hand

Alabama 

DL

Jonathan Allen

Alabama 

Deatrich Wise

Arkansas 

Davon Godchaux

LSU 

A.J. Jefferson

Miss. State 

DL

Derek Barnett

Tennessee 

Carl Lawson

Auburn 

Lewis Neal

LSU 

Caleb Brantley

Florida 

DL

Arden Key

LSU 

Marquis Haynes

Ole Miss 

Cece Jefferson

Florida 

Montravius Adams

Auburn 

LB

Zach Cunningham

Vanderbilt 

Kendell Beckwith

LSU 

Richie Brown

Miss. State 

Oren Burks

Vanderbilt 

LB

Reuben Foster

Alabama 

Jarrad Davis

Florida 

Brooks Ellis

Arkansas 

Michael Scherer

Missouri 

LB

Jalen 

Reeves-Maybin

Tennessee 

Tim Williams

Alabama 

Ryan Anderson

Alabama 

Lorenzo Carter

Georgia 

CB

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Alabama 

Torren McGaster

Vanderbilt 

Aarion Penton

Missouri 

CB

Tre'Davious White

LSU 

Cam Sutton

Tennessee 

Carlton Davis

Auburn 

Chris Westry

Kentucky 

S

Jamal Adams

LSU 

Tony Conner

Ole Miss 

Armani Watts

Texas A&M 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

S

Eddie Jackson

Alabama 

Marcus Maye

Florida 

Dominick Sanders

Georgia 

Brandon Bryant

Miss. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Daniel Carlson

Auburn 

Adam Griffith

Alabama 

Gary Wunderlich

Ole Miss 

Eddy Pineiro

Florida 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Johnny Townsend

Florida 

Trevor Daniel

Tennessee 

Sean Kelly

South Carolina 

KR

Evan Berry 

Tennessee 

Speedy Noil

Texas A&M 

Brandon Holloway

Miss. State 

Johnathan Ford

Auburn 

PR

Cameron Sutton

Tennessee 

Antonio Callaway

Florida 

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M 

Isaiah McKenzie

Georgia 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-SEC Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Alabama

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Arkansas

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Auburn

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Florida

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Georgia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Kentucky

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

LSU

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Missouri

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Miss. State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Ole Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Tennessee

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas A&M

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Vanderbilt

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
SEC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State were the top three teams in the Sun Belt last season and open 2016 at the top of predictions for this conference. Considering the strong returning core of talent for the Red Wolves, Mountaineers and Eagles, it should be no surprise these three teams dominate the Athlon Sports 2016 All-Sun Belt team. The Red Wolves lead the way with 19 overall selections, with the Mountaineers checking in second with 16 picks. Georgia Southern and Georgia State are tied for third with 12 selections, with South Alabama (10) and Idaho (10) up next.  

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Sun Belt last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related: 

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

2016 Sun Belt Team Previews
             
 

National

Rank:

58 78 81 110 119 107
   

National

Rank:

126 120 115 122 102  

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team 

 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Taylor Lamb

App. State 

Kevin Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Brandon Silvers

Troy 

Matt Linehan

Idaho 

RB

Matt Breida

Ga. Southern 

Elijah McGuire

ULL 

L.A. Ramsby

Ga. Southern 

Jalin Moore

App. State 

RB

Larry Rose

NMSU 

Xavier Johnson

South Alabama 

Johnston White

Ark. State 

Jordan Chunn

Troy 

AP

Marcus Cox (RB)

App. State 

Callen Hightower

Idaho 

Cameron 

Echols-Luper

Ark. State 

Warren Wand (RB)

Ark. State 

WR

Robert Davis

Georgia State 

Ajalen Holley

ULM 

Tyrian Taylor

NMSU 

Josh Magee

South Alabama 

WR

Penny Hart

Georgia State 

Dijon Paschal

Ark. State 

Shaedon Meadors

App. State 

Marcus Green

ULM  

TE

Gerald Everett

South Alabama 

Buck Cowan

Idaho 

Keith Rucker

Georgia State 

Deon Watson

Idaho 

C

Andy Kwon

Ga. Southern 

Devin Mondie

Ark. State 

Steven Matlock

Idaho 

Eddie Gordon

ULL 

OL

Jemar Clark

Ark. State 

Colby Gossett

App. State 

Jeremiah Culbreth

Ga. Southern 

Frank Sutton

ULM 

OL

Parker Collins

App. State 

Ryan Melton

Texas State 

Alex Stoehr

Georgia State 

Gabe Mobley

Georgia State 

OL

Antonio Garcia

Troy 

Beau Nunn

App. State 

Joseph Bacchus

Ark. State 

Curtis Williams

South Alabama 

OL

Colton Jackson

Ark. State 

Jordan Rose

Idaho 

Anthony McMeans

NMSU 

Tommy Boynton

Ga. Southern 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Rashad Dillard

Troy 

Tre Alford

South Alabama 

Waylon Roberson

Ark. State 

Mario Osborne

ULL 

DL

Jay Ellison

Ga. Southern 

Bernard Dawson

Ga. Southern 

Jamal Stadom

Troy 

Mackendy Cheridor

Georgia State 

DL

Dee Liner

Ark. State 

Shawayne Lawrence

Georgia State 

Jamal Johnson

Ga. Southern 

Tyson Fernandez

App. State 

DL

Ja'Von

Rolland-Jones

Ark. State 

Nate Norwood

App. State 

Dallas McClarty

Texas State 

Jimmie Gipson III

South Alabama 

LB

Eric Boggs

App. State 

Ironhead Gallon

Ga. Southern 

Rodney Butler

NMSU 

Ukeme Eligwe

Ga. Southern 

LB

John Law

App. State 

Alonzo McGee

Georgia State 

Roman Buchanan

South Alabama 

Devan Stringer

App. State 

LB

Xavier

Woodson-Luster

Ark. State 

Otha Peters

ULL 

Kaden Elliss

Idaho 

Khari Lain

Ark. State 

CB

Latrell Gibbs*

App. State 

Chandon Sullivan

Georgia State 

Jayshawn Jordan

Idaho 

Lenzy Pipkins

ULM 

CB

Jeremy Reaves

South Alabama 

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Jerome Smith

Georgia State 

Kamryn Melton

Troy 

S

Cody Brown

Ark. State 

Bobby Baker

Georgia State 

Alex Gray

App. State  

Tre Hunter

ULM 

S

Kalen Jackson

South Alabama 

Savion Brown

ULL 

Tracy Walker

ULL 

Chris Humes

Ark. State 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Aleem Sunanon

South Alabama 

J.D. Houston

Ark. State 

Younghoe Koo

Ga. Southern 

P

Austin Rehkow

Idaho 

Bentlee Critcher 

App. State 

Lumi Kaba

Texas State 

Steven Coutts

ULL 

KR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Marquan Greene

Georgia State 

Marcus Green

ULM 

Gabe Fuselier

ULL 

PR

Blaise Taylor

Ark. State 

Brandon McDowell

Texas State 

Gary Haynes

ULL 

Latrell Gibbs

App. State 

 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-Sun Belt Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Appalachian State

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Arkansas State

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 2 

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia State

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Southern

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Idaho

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 3

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UL Lafayette

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

ULM

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

New Mexico State

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

South Alabama

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Troy

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

 

* Gibbs was later ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season in early July.

 

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/acc-football-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

The ACC featured four teams – Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and North Carolina – in Athlon's projected top 25 for 2016, and those four teams are home to a good chunk of the league’s talent this fall. The Tigers lead the way with 14 overall selections on Athlon’s 2016 All-ACC team, while North Carolina and Louisville are tied for second with 12. Projected ACC champion Florida State is slightly behind Clemson, North Carolina and Louisville with 10 overall selections. 

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the ACC last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related:

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

ACC 2016 Team Previews

Atlantic Division
 

National

Rank:

65 4 2 18 59 75 64
Coastal Division
 

National

Rank:

53 49 27 21 38 72 29

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 ACC Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 14 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Athlon's All-ACC Team for 2016
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Deshaun Watson

Clemson 

Brad Kaaya

Miami 

Lamar Jackson

Louisville 

Mitch Trubisky

North Carolina 

RB

Dalvin Cook

Florida State 

Elijah Hood

North Carolina 

Matt Dayes

NC State 

Joseph Yearby

Miami 

RB

Wayne Gallman

Clemson 

James Conner

Pitt 

Travon McMillian

Va. Tech 

Jon Hilliman

Boston College 

AP

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Jaylen Samuels

NC State 

Taquan Mizzell (RB)

Virginia  

James Quick (WR)

Louisville 

WR

Isaiah Ford

Va. Tech 

Mack Hollins

North Carolina 

Stacy Coley

Miami 

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

WR

Mike Williams

Clemson 

Travis Rudolph

Florida State 

Jamari Staples

Louisville 

Steve Ishmael

Syracuse 

TE

Jordan Leggett

Clemson 

Bucky Hodges

Va. Tech 

Cam Serigne

Wake Forest 

Cole Hikutini

Louisville 

C

Jay Guillermo

Clemson 

Lucas Crowley

North Carolina 

Freddie Burden

Ga. Tech 

Jackson Matteo

Virginia 

OL

Roderick Johnson

Florida State 

Geron Christian

Louisville 

Kareem Are

Florida State 

Tony Adams

NC State 

OL

Mitch Hyatt

Clemson 

Jon Heck

North Carolina 

Casey Blaser

Duke 

Jonathan McLaughlin

Va. Tech 

OL

Dorian Johnson

Pitt 

Caleb Peterson

North Carolina 

Danny Isidora

Miami 

Jon Baker

Boston College 

OL

Adam Bisnowaty

Pitt 

Tyrone Crowder

Clemson 

Wyatt Teller

Va. Tech 

Gabe Brandner

Duke 

 

First-Team

Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

Ejuan Price

Pitt 

Ken Ekanem

Va. Tech 

DeAngelo Brown

Louisville 

KeShun Freeman

Ga. Tech 

DL

DeMarcus Walker

Florida State 

Harold Landry

Boston College 

Bradley Chubb

NC State 

Nazair Jones

North Carolina 

DL

Carlos Watkins

Clemson 

Josh Sweat

Florida State 

Duke Ejiofor

Wake Forest 

A.J. Wolf

Duke 

DL

Al-Quadin
Muhammad

Miami 

Christian Wilkins

Clemson 

Derrick Nnadi

Florida State 

B.J. Hill

NC State 

LB

Ben Boulware

Clemson 

Micah Kiser

Virginia 

P.J. Davis

Ga. Tech 

Connor Strachan

Boston College 

LB

Devonte Fields

Louisville 

Marquel Lee

Wake Forest 

Matt Galambos

Pitt 

Zaire Franklin

Syracuse 

LB

Keith Kelsey

Louisville 

Matt Milano

Boston College 

Jermaine Grace

Miami 

Ro'Derrick Hoskins

Florida State 

CB

Marquez White

Florida State 

Des Lawrence

North Carolina 

Trumaine Washington

Louisville 

Brandon Facyson

Va. Tech 

CB

Cordrea Tankersley

Clemson 

M.J. Stewart

North Carolina 

Brad Watson

Wake Forest 

Corn Elder

Miami 

S

Derwin James

Florida State 

Quin Blanding

Virginia 

Chuck Clark

Va. Tech 

Donnie Miles

North Carolina 

S

Jordan Whitehead

Pitt 

J. Harvey-Clemons

Louisville 

DeVon Edwards (CB/S)

Duke 

Shaq Wiggins (CB)

Louisville  

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Greg Huegel

Clemson 

Michael Badgley

Miami 

Cole Murphy

Syracuse 

Chris Blewitt

Pitt 

P

Justin Vogel

Miami 

Nicholas Conte

Virginia 

Ryan Winslow

Pitt 

A.J. Cole

NC State 

KR

DeVon Edwards

Duke 

Artavis Scott

Clemson 

Michael Walker

Boston College 

Nyheim Hines

NC State 

PR

Ryan Switzer

North Carolina 

Brisly Estime

Syracuse 

Bra'Lon Cherry

NC State 

Jaire Alexander

Louisville 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 All-ACC Team
  First Second Third Fourth
Boston College

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Clemson

Offense: 7

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Duke

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Florida State

Offense: 2

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Tech

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Louisville

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Miami

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

North Carolina

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 5

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

NC State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Pitt

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Syracuse

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Virginia Tech

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Wake Forest

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

 

 

Teaser:
ACC Football 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/american-athletic-2016-all-conference-team
Body:

Houston, USF and Temple are considered the top three teams and favorites to win the American Athletic Conference in 2016, so it should be no surprise these programs dominate the projected all-conference team by Athlon Sports. The Cougars and the Bulls are tied with 14 selections on Athlon Sports’ 2016 American Athletic all-conference team, with the Owls checking in at No. 3 with 11 selections. UConn and Tulsa are just a step behind with 10 picks.

 

The 2016  season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project what could happen this year.

 

Athlon Sports released its  last week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2016.

 

Related:

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2016. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2016 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

American Athletic Conference 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

54 77 94 37 52 100
West Division
 

National

Rank:

15 83 67 101 117 84

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

 

Athlon's American Athletic All-Conference Team for 2016
 

First-Team

Offense

Second-Team

Offense

Third-Team

Offense

Fourth-Team

Offense

QB

Greg Ward

Houston  

Quinton Flowers

USF 

Gunner Kiel

Cincinnati 

Dane Evans

Tulsa 

RB

Marlon Mack

USF 

Dontrel Hilliard

Tulane 

Dishan Romine

Navy 

Mike Boone

Cincinnati 

RB

Jahad Thomas

Temple 

Duke Catalon

Houston 

Doroland Dorceus

Memphis 

Taj McGowan

UCF 

AP

Arkeel Newsome

UConn 

Sam Craft

Memphis 

Trevon Brown

East Carolina 

D'Angelo Brewer (RB)

Tulsa 

WR

Zay Jones

East Carolina 

Rodney Adams

USF 

Ra'Shaad Samples

Houston 

Ventell Bryant

Temple 

WR

Keevan Lucas

Tulsa 

Chance Allen

Houston 

Jamir Tillman

Navy 

Noel Thomas

UConn 

WR

Courtland Sutton

SMU 

Tre'Quan Smith

UCF 

Josh Atkinson

Tulsa 

Avery Peterson

Cincinnati 

C

Deyshawn Bond

Cincinnati 

Will Noble

Houston 

Chandler Miller

Tulsa 

Drew Kyser

Memphis 

OL

Kofi Amichia

USF 

Blake Belcher

Tulsa 

Brian Carter

Temple 

Evan Brown

SMU 

OL

J.T. Boyd

East Carolina 

Trevon Tate

Memphis 

Na'Ty Rodgers

Houston 

Robert Lindsey

Navy 

OL

Dion Dawkins

Temple 

Chris Taylor

Tulane 

Gabe Kuhn

Memphis 

Tyler Hudanick

UCF 

OL

Ryan Leahy

Cincinnati 

Dominique Threatt

USF 

Andreas Knappe

UConn 

Leon Johnson

Temple 

  First-Team
Defense

Second-Team

Defense

Third-Team

Defense

Fourth-Team

Defense

DL

B.J. Singleton

Houston 

Luke Carrezola

UConn 

Amos Mason

Navy 

Ed Oliver

Houston 

DL

Tanzel Smart

Tulane 

Jamiyus Pittman

UCF 

Fred Presley

East Carolina 

Justin Lawler

SMU 

DL

Folorunso

Fatukasi

UConn 

Deadrin Senat

USF 

Bruce Hector

USF 

Jeremy Smith

Tulsa 

DL

Haason Reddick

Temple 

Praise-Martin

Oguike

Temple 

Cameron Malveaux

Houston 

Kevin Bronson

USF 

LB

Steven Taylor

Houston 

Matt Linscott

Tulsa 

Jarred Alwan

Temple 

Daniel Gonzales

Navy 

LB

Nico Marley

Tulane 

Eric Wilson

Cincinnati 

Chequan Burkett

UCF 

Tyus Bowser

Houston 

LB

Auggie Sanchez

USF 

Junior Joseph

UConn 

Trent Martin

Tulsa 

Jordan Williams

East Carolina 

CB

Jamar Summers

UConn 

Brandon Wilson

Houston 

Jhavon Williams

UConn 

Parry Nickerson

Tulane 

CB

Sean Chandler 

Temple 

Deatrick Nichols

USF 

Brendon Clements*

Navy 

DaShaun Amos

East Carolina 

S

Zach Edwards

Cincinnati 

Travon Simmons

East Carolina 

Devin Abraham
USF 

Delvon Randall

Temple  

S

Obi Melifonwu

UConn 

Nate Godwin

USF 

Jeremy Brady

Tulsa 

Daiquan Thomasson

Navy 

 

First-Team

Specialists

Second-Team

Specialists

Third-Team

Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Jake Elliott

Memphis 

Andrew Gantz

Cincinnati 

Austin Jones

Temple 

Bobby Puyol

UConn 

P Caleb Houston
UCF 

Worth Gregory

East Carolina 

Spencer Smith

Memphis 

Sam Geraci

Cincinnati 

KR

Brandon Wilson

Houston 

Rodney Adams

USF 

Dishan Romine

Navy 

Braedon West

SMU 

PR

Tajee Fulwood

USF 

Quay Johnson

East Carolina 

Roderick Proctor

Memphis 

Ra'Shaad Samples

Houston 

 

 

Breakdown of Athlon's 2016 American Athletic All-Conference Team
  First Second Third Fourth

Cincinnati

Offense: 2

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

UConn

Offense: 1

Defense: 3 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

East Carolina

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Houston

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Memphis

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Navy

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

SMU

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Temple

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Tulane

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Tulsa

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

UCF

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

USF

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

* Clements was dismissed from the team in early July.

 

(Credit to /Stephen Pinchback for the top photo of QB Greg Ward)

Teaser:
American Athletic 2016 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/conference-usa-football-2016-predictions
Body:

WKU cruised to the Conference USA title last season behind quarterback Brandon Doughty and a dynamic offense. However, with Doughty off to the NFL, the gap between the Hilltoppers and the rest of the league should close in 2016. Marshall and MTSU are threats to WKU’s division crown, and Southern Miss returns 12 starters from a team that won the West Division last season.

 

Only five Conference USA teams finished with a winning record and qualified for a bowl trip last year. That number should grow in 2016, as WKU, Marshall, MTSU, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech are safe bets for bowls, with FAU, Old Dominion and UTEP expected to take a step forward this fall. New coaches Seth Littrell (North Texas) and Frank Wilson (UTSA) should provide a spark, but both programs have a ways to go before contending for a winning record.

 

5 Key Questions That Will Shape C-USA in 2016

 

1. Replacing Brandon Doughty at WKU

Brandon Doughty leaves big shoes to fill at quarterback after guiding WKU to a 12-2 record and a Conference USA title last season. Finding the right answer under center is likely the difference between the Hilltoppers winning the league once again or falling just short of the division title. Coach Jeff Brohm is one of the nation’s top offensive minds, and there’s a strong supporting cast in place to alleviate some of the concern at quarterback. USF transfer Mike White is the frontrunner to replace Doughty, and the Florida native showed promise in his limited action with the Bulls. Nelson Fishback was expected to push White for the starting job, but he is out 4-6 months due to a pectoral injury. Louisville transfer Tyler Ferguson and sophomore Drew Eckels are the next in line behind White. It’s unrealistic to expect White to match Doughty’s 2015 totals, but the USF transfer has the talent to be one of Conference USA’s top quarterbacks.

 

2. Marshall, WKU or MTSU in the East?

Most of the discussion in Athlon’s Conference USA prediction meeting was spent sorting out the top of the East Division. Not much separates WKU, Marshall and MTSU, and all three teams have key question marks to address. For WKU, how quickly will Mike White settle into the quarterback role and replace Brandon Doughty? Additionally, the Hilltoppers return only four starters on defense, and the schedule features road trips to MTSU, Marshall and Louisiana Tech. MTSU returns the league’s top pass-catch combination in quarterback Brent Stockstill and receiver Richie James, but Rick Stockstill’s team has a few voids to patch on both sides of the ball. Additionally, there’s a road trip to Marshall in mid-November that could decide the division title. The Thundering Herd have the best collection of talent in Conference USA and return promising sophomore quarterback Chase Litton. A crossover game against Southern Miss is challenging, but Marshall hosts WKU and MTSU. Litton needs a few weapons to emerge in the supporting cast, while the defense suffered key losses at each level. There’s no clear favorite in the East, but Athlon eventually picked MTSU thanks to its edge at quarterback.

 

3. Impact of Coaching Change at Southern Miss?

Coaching changes are never easy, especially ones that take place late in the offseason. Todd Monken’s departure to Tampa Bay came as a surprise, but Southern Miss landed a quality replacement in Jay Hopson. The Mississippi native has a wealth of experience as an assistant (including two previous stints at Southern Miss) and guided Alcorn State to a 32-17 record over the last four seasons as the program’s head coach. Hopson has to put his own stamp on the program, but it’s hard to envision many major changes for 2016. The Golden Eagles return 12 starters from a team that won Conference USA’s West Division last year and own one of the top offenses from the Group of 5 ranks. While the transition may have a few bumps in the road, Southern Miss still has quarterback Nick Mullens to lean on. That should be more than enough to win the West Division and push for the overall league title.

 

4. FAU and Old Dominion Poised for a Breakout Year?

MTSU, Marshall and WKU are the clear favorites at the top of Conference USA’s East Division, but FAU and Old Dominion are two teams to keep an eye on. The Owls have recruited well under Charlie Partridge, and the pieces are starting to fall into place for the third-year coach. After losing four games by seven points or less in 2015, the development of FAU’s young talent this offseason could translate into a bowl for 2016. The Monarchs played better over the second half of last year and just missed on a six-win season after a two-point defeat to FAU in the finale. Coach Bobby Wilder is a sharp offensive mind, and the Old Dominion attack should get back on track in 2016. Quarterback David Washington is expected to recover from a knee injury by the opener, and sophomore Shuler Bentley had a promising close to 2015. The defense surrendered 35.8 points a game last year, but there’s hope for improvement with seven returning starters. FAU and Old Dominion are longshots to win the division. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both teams make a trip to a bowl in 2016.

 

5. Which Team Can Challenge Southern Miss in the West?

Even though the coaching change has added some uncertainty at Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles are a heavy favorite to win the West Division. But if Jay Hopson’s team slips, Louisiana Tech and UTEP should have the best shot at the top spot. The Bulldogs must replace quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Kenneth Dixon and return only three starters on defense. However, Louisiana Tech has a good foundation in terms of talent and coaching in place, which should prevent a major drop in wins. Injuries hit UTEP hard last season, including a season-ending knee injury to standout running back Aaron Jones early in the 2015 campaign. With Jones back to full strength and a favorable schedule in place for coach Sean Kugler’s team, the Miners should easily rebound back into the postseason. With Southern Miss visiting El Paso on Sept. 24, UTEP has a chance early in the year to stake its claim for the division title. 

 

Conference USA 2016 Team Previews
East Division
 

National

Rank:

125 103 105 73 70 104 76
West Division
 

National

Rank:

85 128 109 68 92 123

 

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Conference USA Predictions for 2016
         
East Division
Rank Team   Projected C-USA Record Overall Record
1

(No. 70)

6-2 8-5
.
2

(No. 73)

6-2 8-4
.
3

(No. 76)

6-2 8-4
.
4

(No. 103)

4-4 6-6
.
5

(No. 104)

4-4 6-6
.
6

(No. 105)

3-5 4-8
.
7

(No. 125)

1-7 2-10
.
         
West Division
Rank Team   Projected C-USA Record Projected Overall Record
1

(No. 68)

7-1 10-3
.
2

(No. 85)

5-3 7-5
.
3

(No. 92)

4-4 7-5
.
4

(No. 109)

3-5 4-8
.
5

(No. 123)

2-6 3-9
.
6

(No. 128)

1-7 2-10
.
 
Conference USA Championship
 Southern Miss over MTSU 
 
C-USA 2016 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

Mark

Ross

David

Fox

 
Offensive POY

Nick Mullens

QB, USM

Nick Mullens

QB, USM

Nick Mullens

QB, USM

Brent Stockstill

QB, MTSU

Defensive POY Trey Hendrickson
DE, FAU

Trey Hendrickson

DE, FAU

Trey Hendrickson

DE, FAU

Jaylon Ferguson

DE, La. Tech

Coach of the Year

Rick Stockstill

MTSU

Jay Hopson

USM

Jay Hopson

USM

Rick Stockstill

MTSU

Coach on Hot Seat

Ron Turner

FIU

Ron Turner

FIU

Ron Turner

FIU

David Bailiff

Rice

Top Freshman

Daniel Parr

QB, FAU

Daniel Parr

QB, FAU

Daniel Parr

QB, FAU

Kevin McCrary

DT, FAU

Top Newcomer

Mike White

QB, WKU

Mike White

QB, WKU

I'Tavius Mathers

RB, MTSU

Mike White

QB, WKU

Sleeper Team UTEP UTEP FAU FAU
Top Coordinator Hire

Tony Franklin

OC, MTSU

Tony Franklin

OC, MTSU

Tony Franklin

OC, MTSU

Tony Franklin

OC, MTSU

Key Position to Watch MTSU LBs MTSU LBs MTSU LBs MTSU LBs
Hardest to Evaluate WKU WKU WKU Old Dominion
Coach on the Rise

Jeff Brohm

HC, WKU

Jeff Brohm
HC, WKU

Jeff Brohm

HC, WKU

Jeff Brohm

HC, WKU

Must-See Game

MTSU at

Marshall

MTSU at

Marshall

MTSU at

Marshall

MTSU at

Marshall

Breakout Player

David Washington

QB, ODU

I'Tavius Mathers

RB, MTSU

Jeffrey Wilson

RB, N. Texas

Jarveon Williams

RB, UTSA

Comeback Player Aaron Jones
RB, UTEP

Jordan Budwig

OL, FIU

Graysen Schantz

DE, Rice

David Washington

QB, ODU

 

Ranking Conference USA's Coaches for 2016

 

1. Jeff Brohm, WKU

2. Doc Holliday, Marshall

3. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech

 

 

Grading Conference USA's New Coach Hires for 2016

 

1. Seth Littrell, North Texas (B+)

2. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss (B+)

3. Frank Wilson, UTSA (C+)

 

 

Ranking Conference USA's Quarterbacks for 2016

 

1. Nick Mullens, Southern Miss

2. Brent Stockstill, MTSU

3. Chase Litton, Marshall

4. Alex McGough, FIU

5. Mike White, WKU

 

Conference USA's Top 10 Players on the Rise for 2016

 

1. Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech

2. Chase Litton, QB, Marshall

3. Mike White, QB, WKU

4. Azeez Al-Shaair, LB, FAU

5. Keith Brown, LB, WKU 

6. Jeffrey Wilson, RB, North Texas

7. I'Tavius Mathers, RB, MTSU

8. Oshane Ximines, DE, ODU 

9. Darian Yancey, DE, Southern Miss

10. Calvin Anderson, OT, Rice

 

Conference USA's Top Five Non-Conference Games for 2016

 

1. WKU at Alabama (Sept. 10)

2. Louisville at Marshall (Sept. 24)

3. Marshall at Pittsburgh (Oct. 1)

4. Vanderbilt at WKU (Sept. 24)

5. MTSU at Vanderbilt (Sept. 10)

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2016

 

1. Tony Franklin, Offensive Coordinator, MTSU

2. Travis Trickett, Offensive Coordinator, FAU

3. Tom Mason, Defensive Coordinator, UTEP

4. Frank Scelfo, Offensive Coordinator, UTSA

5. Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator, Southern Miss 

6. Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator, North Texas

 

Top Incoming Freshmen for 2016 ()

 

1. Jaquan Yulee, LB, Marshall

2. Xavier Gaines, QB, Marshall

3. Pro Wells, TE, Marshall

4. Jaquelle Green, S, UTSA

5. JaCorey Morris, LB, Southern Miss

6. JaQua Daniels, RB, Marshall

7. Sir Patrick Scott, CB, Marshall

8. Jon Randall Belton, QB, Louisiana Tech

9. Steven Frank, QB, FAU

10. Keon Howard, QB, Southern Miss

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Conference USA Football 2016 Predictions
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After missing out on the College Football Playoff in 2014, the Big 12 had better fortune last season, as Oklahoma overcame an early loss to Texas to earn a playoff bid and a trip to the Orange Bowl against Clemson. As the focus shifts to 2016, the Sooners begin this season where they left off and in control of the Big 12. Quarterback Baker Mayfield headlines a dynamic offense, and two huge non-conference games – Houston and Ohio State – provide opportunities for the Sooners to earn marquee wins to build the playoff resume.

 

While Oklahoma is a clear favorite by Athlon Sports for the Big 12 title, TCU is a team to watch as a potential sleeper. The Horned Frogs must replace quarterback Trevone Boykin, but there’s still plenty of talent for coach Gary Patterson to build around, including a defense that could be the best in the conference.

 

Oklahoma State, Baylor, West Virginia, Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas State are all projected by Athlon Sports to earn bowl bids this season. Iowa State should show improvement under new coach Matt Campbell, but the Cyclones face a tough schedule. Kansas should break into the win column for second-year coach David Beaty after an 0-12 record last fall.

 

5 Key Questions That Will Shape the Big 12 in 2016
 

1. Back-to-Back Titles for Oklahoma?

Repeating as a conference champion is never easy, but it’s hard to find a reason to pick against Oklahoma in the Big 12. The Sooners return a solid core of talent with 12 returning starters, and the offense is led by Heisman Trophy candidate and quarterback Baker Mayfield. The combination of coordinator Lincoln Riley and Mayfield provided a much-needed spark for the Oklahoma offense last fall, and there’s optimism for this unit to be just as dynamic in 2016. The one-two punch of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon might be the nation’s best backfield duo, and Dede Westbrook, Mark Andrews and Penn State graduate transfer Geno Lewis headline a solid group of receivers. But there are question marks for Riley to address this offseason. Will a clear No. 1 receiver emerge to replace Sterling Shepard? And how will the offensive line jell after losing two starters? Each level of the defense suffered a key loss, but end Charles Walker, linebacker Jordan Evans and cornerback Jordan Thomas are three of the Big 12’s top returning defenders. With matchups against Houston and Ohio State in non-conference play, along with games against TCU and Texas before the midway point of the season, Oklahoma should quickly find out where it stacks up nationally in its quest to get back to the playoff. There are holes to fill for coach Bob Stoops, but the Sooners are a heavy favorite to win the Big 12 and push for a playoff trip once again.

 

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2. TCU or Oklahoma State at No. 2?

While Oklahoma was a clear favorite in Athlon’s Big 12 prediction meeting, there was plenty of discussion between TCU or Oklahoma State for the next spot. The edge eventually went to the Horned Frogs, but both teams are projected as top 25 teams this season. Why TCU over Oklahoma State? Take a look at the schedule. The Horned Frogs catch Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech at home, while the Cowboys have road trips to Baylor, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma. Additionally, Oklahoma State had a bit of good fortune on its side with a plus-13 turnover margin and a 4-0 mark in one-score games last year. Despite losing standout end Emmanuel Ogbah, the Cowboys should be one of the Big 12’s best on defense. Quarterback Mason Rudolph and a deep group of receivers will carry the offense, but coach Mike Gundy’s team has to run the ball better and improve the line to push Oklahoma or TCU in the standings. The Horned Frogs have to break in a new quarterback – likely Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill – and retool the offensive line. However, there’s a deep cast of skill players in place, and the defense returns four starters, while four key players return from season-ending injuries. If Hill settles in at quarterback, TCU will have a chance to spoil Oklahoma’s run at back-to-back titles in the Big 12.

 

College Football: Breaking Down Athlon’s 2016 Top 25



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3. Reassessing Baylor for 2016

The fallout from the scandal that has rocked Baylor’s football program will continue well into the 2016 season and beyond. Art Briles transformed the Bears into a national title contender, but there will be a cloud of uncertainty hanging over this program in 2016, as interim coach Jim Grobe attempts to keep the team in contention for the Big 12 title. Even before the off-field issues cost Briles his job, Baylor had significant personnel concerns to address on both lines of scrimmage. Rebuilding both of those units will be an even bigger challenge with the departure of junior college recruits B.J. Autry (OL) and Jeremy Faulk (DL), while the status of the rest of the 2016 signing class is up in the air. Quarterback Seth Russell is expected to return to full strength from a neck injury, and there’s no shortage of skill talent in place with wide receiver KD Cannon and running backs Johnny Jefferson and Shock Linwood. Grobe is a good choice to clean up the program for 2016, but how will his style mesh with the current roster and schemes in place? Additionally, how much will the ongoing uncertainty weigh on this team this fall? After spring practice, Baylor was considered a top 10-15 team for 2016. Fast forward to June and it’s fair to wonder if the Bears will finish as a top 25 team this fall.

 

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4. Texas…The Big 12’s Mystery Team

With an 11-14 record in his two seasons at Texas, it’s no secret there’s a lot of pressure on coach Charlie Strong. While the Longhorns continue to reel in solid recruiting classes and have a promising core of talent in place, Strong needs a good season to show the program is clearly headed in the right direction. A breakout year from Texas wouldn’t be a surprise, especially if the pieces fall into place under new offensive play-caller Sterlin Gilbert. The Longhorns are hitting the reset button on offense after averaging only 26.4 points a game in 2015, and true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele should provide stability under center. Buechele needs time to get acclimated to the FBS level, and Gilbert can ease his quarterback into the starting role by leaning on the one-two punch of running backs D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren. More weapons need to emerge at receiver, but the Longhorns are starting to build a good foundation in the trenches. Texas finished fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense (30.3 ppg allowed) in 2015, and the back seven could take a big step forward with the emergence of sophomores Malik Jefferson (LB), Holton Hill (CB) and Davante Davis (CB). With a non-conference schedule of Notre Dame and California, along with road trips to Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech, the path to marked improvement in the win column isn’t easy. However, if the offense improves as expected and the young talent on defense delivers, the Longhorns will easily exceed Athlon’s projected finish of No. 7 in the Big 12.

 

5. Defensive Question Marks at Texas Tech and West Virginia

With uncertainty surrounding Baylor and Texas still trying to put the right pieces in place, Texas Tech or West Virginia has an opportunity to surprise in the final Big 12 standings. However, both teams must rely on their offense to win games, while the defense looks to fill major voids. Offense hasn’t been the problem for Texas Tech in recent years, and there’s no shortage of firepower in Lubbock with the return of quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Coach Kliff Kingsbury has to restock the trenches and find a go-to receiver to replace Jakeem Grant, but the offense shouldn’t miss a beat. Coordinator David Gibbs is the right coach to help Texas Tech’s defense take a step forward, and there’s a lot of work ahead this offseason after giving up 43.6 points a game in 2015. Each level of the defense has significant concerns, but the Red Raiders have two potential impact transfers up front (Kolin Hill and Ondre Pipkins), and a few sophomores – Breiden Fehoko, Jah’Shawn Johnson and D’Vonta Hinton – providing hope for improvement. West Virginia’s offense returns eight starters and needs more consistency out of quarterback Skyler Howard to alleviate concerns on a defense that features a rebuilt back seven. How quickly will both teams find the right answers on defense? 

 

College Football: Others Receiving Votes



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Big 12 Team Previews for 2016
           
 

National

Rank:

25 71 99 48 6
 

National

Rank:

24 17 43 42 40

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 Big 12 Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 10 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 
 

Big 12 Predictions for 2016
         
Rank Team   Projected Big 12 Record Projected Overall Record
1

(No. 6)

7-2 10-2
.
2

(No. 17)

6-3 9-3
.
3

(No. 24)

6-3 9-3
.
4

(No. 25)

5-4 8-4
.
5

(No. 40)

5-4 8-4
.
6

(No. 42)

5-4 8-4
.
7

(No. 43)

5-4 7-5
.
8

(No. 48)

4-5 6-6
.
9

(No. 71)

2-7 4-8
.
10

(No. 99)

0-9 2-10
.

 

 

Big 12 2016 Superlatives and Season Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

Mark

Ross

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

 
Offensive POY

Baker Mayfield

QB, Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield

QB, Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield

QB, Oklahoma

Patrick Mahomes

QB, TTU

Patrick Mahomes

QB, TTU

Defensive POY

Malik Jefferson

LB, Texas

Charles Walker

DL, Oklahoma

Malik Jefferson

LB, Texas

Malik Jefferson

LB, Texas

Malik Jefferson

LB, Texas

Coach of the Year

Gary Patterson

TCU

Gary Patterson

TCU

Bob Stoops

Oklahoma

Gary Patterson

TCU

Gary Patterson

TCU

Coach on Hot Seat

Dana Holgorsen

WVU

Charlie Strong

Texas

Charlie Strong

Texas

Charlie Strong

Texas

Charlie Strong

Texas

Top Freshman

Shane Buechele

QB, Texas

Shane Buechele

QB, Texas

Jameson Houston

DB, Baylor

Jeff Gladney

CB, TCU

Shane Buechele

QB, Texas

Top Newcomer

Kenny Hill

QB, TCU

Kenny Hill

QB, TCU

Kenny Hill

QB, TCU

Kenny Hill

QB, TCU

Kenny Hill

QB, TCU

Sleeper Team Texas West Virginia Oklahoma State Texas Texas
Top Coordinator Hire

Sterlin Gilbert

OC, Texas

Sterlin Gilbert

OC, Texas

Tom Manning

Co-OC, ISU

Sterlin Gilbert

OC, Texas

Jon Heacock

DC, ISU

Key Position to Watch TCU OL TCU OL Oklahoma WR Oklahoma WR TCU OL
Hardest to Evaluate Texas Texas Baylor Oklahoma State Texas
Coach on the Rise

Lincoln Riley

OC, Oklahoma

Lincoln Riley

OC, Oklahoma

Matt Campbell

HC, ISU

Lincoln Riley

OC, Oklahoma

Lincoln Riley

OC, Oklahoma

Must-See Game

Ohio State at

Oklahoma

TCU at

Baylor

Ohio State at 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma at

TCU

Oklahoma at

TCU

Breakout Player

Connor Williams

OL, Texas

Jesse Ertz

QB, KSU

Malik Jefferson

LB, Texas

Justin Stockton

RB, TTU

Connor Williams

OL, Texas

Comeback Player

Seth Russell

QB, Baylor

Dante Barnett

S, KSU

Dante Barnett

S, KSU

James McFarland

DE, TCU

Seth Russell

QB, Baylor

 

Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2016

 

1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

2. Gary Patterson, TCU

3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State 

 

 

Grading the Big 12's New Head Coach Hires for 2016

 

1. Matt Campbell, Iowa State (A+)

2. Jim Grobe, Baylor (B)

 

 

Ranking the Big 12 Quarterbacks for 2016

 

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

2. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

3. Seth Russell, Baylor

 

 

Big 12's Top 15 Players on the Rise for 2016

 

1. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

2. Connor Williams, OT, Texas

3. KaVontae Turpin, RB/WR, TCU

4. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

5. Kyle Bosch, OL, West Virginia

6. Justin Stockton, RB, Texas Tech

7. Jordan Brailford, DE, Oklahoma State

8. Jarrell Owens, DE, Oklahoma State

9. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

10. Willie Harvey, LB, Iowa State

11. Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State

12. Ryan Willis, QB, Kansas

13. Breiden Fehoko, DT, Texas Tech

14. Jameson Houston, CB, Baylor

15. Shane Buechele, QB, Texas

 

Big 12's Top 10 Non-Conference Games for 2016

 

1. Ohio State at Oklahoma (Sept. 17)

2. Oklahoma vs. Houston (Sept. 3 - NRG Stadium)

3. Notre Dame at Texas (Sept. 4)

4. Arkansas at TCU (Sept. 10)

5. Texas at California (Sept. 17)

6. Pittsburgh at Oklahoma State (Sept. 17)

7. Texas Tech at Arizona State (Sept. 10)

8. Missouri at West Virginia (Sept. 3)

9. West Virginia vs. BYU (Sept. 24 - Landover, Md.)

10. Kansas State at Stanford (Sept. 2)

 

Key Coordinator Hires for 2016

 

1. Sterlin Gilbert, Offensive Coordinator, Texas

2. Tom Manning, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Iowa State

3. Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator, Iowa State

4. Joe Wickline, Offensive Coordinator, West Virginia

 

Big 12's Top 15 Incoming Freshmen (from 247Sports)

 

1. Caleb Kelly, LB, Oklahoma

2. Devin Duvernay, WR, Baylor*

3. Brandon Jones, DB, Texas

4. Patrick Hudson, OL, Baylor*

5. Jeffrey McCulloch, LB, Texas

6. Erick Fowler, LB, Texas

7. Tramonda Moore, OL, Oklahoma State

8. Jordan Elliott, DL, Texas

9. Jean Delance, OL, Texas

10. Sewo Olonilua, RB, TCU

11. Isaiah Chambers, DE, TCU

12. Brendan Ferns, LB, West Virginia

13. Brandon Bowen, DL, Baylor*

14. Amani Bledsoe, DE, Oklahoma

15. Jordan Parker, DB, Oklahoma

 

* Due to the coaching change at Baylor, the incoming recruiting class is unsettled and several players may ask out of their LOI.

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The Mountain West is a step behind the American Athletic Conference for the nod as the top Group of 5 league, but this conference has two programs – Boise State and San Diego State – capable of challenging Houston as the top team from the Group of 5 ranks in 2016. After winning the conference and defeating Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl in 2014, the Broncos took a step back in coach Bryan Harsin’s second season. However, the continued development of quarterback Brett Rypien provides plenty of optimism for Boise State to return to the top of the Mountain West. In the West Division, the Aztecs are a heavy favorite and an undefeated regular season mark isn’t an unreasonable expectation.

 

Boise State and San Diego State are Athlon’s projected top teams from the Mountain West, but Air Force – the defending Mountain Division champion – could knock off the Broncos from the top spot in the division once again. There’s plenty of depth behind Boise State and Air Force, as Utah State, Colorado State and New Mexico should earn bowl bids in 2016. Additionally, Wyoming is expected to take a step forward under coach Craig Bohl.

 

Nevada and San Jose State are San Diego State’s biggest threats in the West Division, but there’s a considerable gap between the Aztecs and these two teams. Fresno State, UNLV and Hawaii rank in the next tier, with the Rebels trending up under second-year coach Tony Sanchez.

 

Five Key Questions That Will Shape the Mountain West in 2016

 

1. Will Boise State Find the Right Answers on Defense?

Scoring points won’t be a problem for the Broncos in 2016. Eight starters return from an offense that averaged 39.1 points a game last season, and this unit will only get better with the development of sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien. Running back Jeremy McNichols also returns after leading the conference with 20 rushing scores in 2015, while top receiver Thomas Sperbeck provides a big-play threat for Rypien after catching 88 passes last fall. The offensive line has to be retooled a bit, but Boise State’s biggest question mark in 2016 is a defense that returns only four starters. The defensive line is new coordinator Andy Avalos’ biggest concern, as this unit was hit hard by departures after 2015. The return of Gabe Perez from injury should help, and junior college recruit Daniel Auelua should push for immediate snaps. However, considering Boise State will have to face a talented group of running backs in 2016 – including a potential matchup against San Diego State in the Mountain West title game – the front line’s development holds the key to the Broncos’ season.

 

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2. Christian Chapman’s Development at San Diego State

San Diego State isn’t going to stray too far from its formula for success. Rocky Long’s team will lean on its punishing ground attack and defense to contend for another season of 10 (or more wins) and the Mountain West title. Sophomore quarterback Christian Chapman showed promise in limited action last year, finishing 2015 by completing 8 of 11 passes for 113 yards and one score in the Hawaii Bowl win over Cincinnati. While Chapman doesn’t have to be an All-Mountain West quarterback this season, his development could be the difference in San Diego State finishing as a top 25 team or losing to Boise State in the Mountain West title game. The Aztecs also have to find Chapman a few targets on the outside and get more consistency out of the receiving corps.

 

3. Sorting Out the Middle of the Mountain West

Most of the preseason attention in the Mountain West is likely to surround Boise State and San Diego State. However, the conference quietly has a solid group of teams forming in the next tier after Boise State, San Diego State and Air Force. Utah State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Jose State and Nevada are all projected to reach at least .500 in Athlon’s predictions. Which of these teams could surprise this fall? Utah State has some significant voids to fill on defense, but the Aggies return a rising star at quarterback in Kent Myers and are led by one of the Mountain West’s top coaches in Matt Wells. Colorado State should improve in coach Mike Bobo’s second year, and there’s a solid core of talent in place on offense despite the loss of receiver Rashard Higgins to the NFL. Nevada should have one of the league’s top offenses, but the defense suffered heavy losses in the front seven. San Jose State and New Mexico took a step forward in the win column last season and another jump in victories isn’t out of the question. Both programs need to improve on defense in order to challenge for a better finish in their respective division.

 

Related:

 

4. UNLV…A Team on The Rise?

Making the jump from high school coach to leading a FBS program is no easy task. However, Tony Sanchez certainly proved he is capable of guiding the Rebels. UNLV only won three games but lost four games by eight points or less last season. Additionally, the Rebels improved to No. 105 nationally last year after ranking No. 118 in 2014 in Football Outsiders F+ rankings. More improvement is expected out of UNLV this fall, as the home schedule features winnable games against Wyoming, Fresno State and Nevada, and junior college recruit Johnny Stanton should provide a spark at quarterback. A bowl game is probably a year away, but the Rebels have some positive momentum headed into 2016.

 

5. Will Fresno State Rebound in 2016?

Tim DeRuyter’s tenure at Fresno State started with 20 wins and a Mountain West title in 2013. However, the Bulldogs have been trending in the wrong direction over the last two seasons. Fresno State is just 9-17 since 2014, and last year’s 3-9 mark was the program’s lowest win total since 1978. DeRuyter wasted no time making changes this offseason, as two new coordinators – Eric Kiesau (offense) and Lorenzo Ward (defense) – provide optimism for improvement. Finding a quarterback is Kiesau’s biggest concern after four players took snaps in 2015, and a new running back must emerge to replace Marteze Waller. On defense, Fresno State returns only four starters, with significant concerns in the front seven. With a schedule that features crossover games against Air Force, Utah State and Colorado State, there’s very little margin for error as DeRuyter hopes to get Fresno State back on track. 

 

Mountain West Conference 2016 Team Previews
Mountain Division
 

National

Rank:

51 34 89 93 82 114
West Division
 

National

Rank:

108 121 86 36 96 106

 

Visit the  to order a copy of the 2016 National College Football Preview Magazine, which features in-depth analysis and previews for all 128 teams, predictions, rankings and features to prepare for the upcoming year. 

 

Mountain West Conference Predictions for 2016
         
Mountain Division
Rank Team   Projected MW Record Projected Overall Record
1

(No. 34)

7-1 11-2
.
2

(No. 51)

6-2 10-2
.
3

(No. 82)

5-3 7-5
.
4

(No. 89)

4-4 6-6
.
5

(No. 93)

3-5 6-6
.
6

(No. 114)

1-7 3-9
.
         
West Division
Rank Team   Projected MW Record Projected Overall Record
1

(No. 36)

7-1 10-3
.
2

(No. 86)

5-3 7-5
.
3

(No. 96)

5-3 6-6
.
4
(No. 106)
2-6 4-8
.
5

(No. 108)

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