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 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 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, 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, 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 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-2015-all-america-team
Body:

The 2015 college football season is just around the corner, and it’s time to honor the best of the best for the upcoming year. Several of the nation’s top players from 2014 are in the NFL ranks, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to the FBS level.

 

Athlon Sports released its 2015 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.

 

And it should be no surprise Ohio State - the defending national champion and Athlon's pick to win it all in 2015 - leads the All-America team with 11 selections. Alabama is second with seven selections, followed by USC (six) and then four teams tied with five (full table of team selections at the bottom of page). The SEC leads the way with 27 overall selections, and the BIg Ten checks in at No. 2 with 24 picks. 

 

An important note on the All-America teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and previous awards matter in player evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 All-America team and all-conference teams are largely based on predicting and projecting the upcoming year.

 

2015 Athlon Sports All-Conference Teams

 

Power 5: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

Group of 5: American | C-USA | MAC | Mountain West | Sun Belt

 

Athlon Sports 2015 All-America Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBTrevone Boykin
TCU 
Dak Prescott
Miss. State 
Cody Kessler
USC 
Cardale Jones
Ohio State 
RBNick Chubb
Georgia 
James Conner
Pittsburgh 
Dalvin Cook
Florida State 
Samaje Perine
Oklahoma 
RBEzekiel Elliott
Ohio State 
Leonard Fournette
LSU 
Derrick Henry
Alabama 
Devontae Booker
Utah 
APPharoh Cooper
South Carolina 
Adoree' Jackson
USC 
D.J. Foster
Arizona State 
De'Mornay Pierson-El
Nebraska  
WRTyler Boyd
Pittsburgh 
JuJu Smith
USC 
Corey Coleman
Baylor 
Will Fuller
Notre Dame 
WRLaquon Treadwell
Ole Miss 
D'haquille Williams
Auburn 
Rashard Higgins
Colorado State 
Sterling Shepard
Oklahoma 
TEHunter Henry
Arkansas 
Evan Engram
Ole Miss 

O.J. Howard

Alabama 

Bucky Hodges
Virginia Tech 
CMax Tuerk 
USC 
Ryan Kelly
Alabama 
Jack Allen
Michigan State 

Jake Brendel
UCLA 

GPat Elflein 
Ohio State 
Sebastian Tretola
Arkansas 
Greg Pyke
Georgia 
Joshua Garnett
Stanford  
GTaylor Decker (OT)
Ohio State 
Landon Turner
North Carolina 
Le'Raven Clark (OT)
Texas Tech 
Denver Kirkland (OT)
Arkansas 
TLaremy Tunsil
Ole Miss 
Cam Robinson
Alabama  
Ronnie Stanley
Notre Dame 
Kyle Murphy
Stanford 
TSpencer Drango
Baylor 
Jack Conklin
Michigan State 
Cody Whitehair
Kansas State 
John Theus
Georgia 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEJoey Bosa
Ohio State 
Derek Barnett
Tennessee 
Myles Garrett
Texas A&M 
DeForest Buckner
Oregon 
DEShilique Calhoun
Michigan State 
Shawn Oakman
Baylor 
Emmanuel Ogbah
Oklahoma State 
Dadi Nicolas
Virginia Tech 
DTRobert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss 
Andrew Billings
Baylor 
Maliek Collins
Nebraska 

Kenny Clark
UCLA  

DTA'Shawn Robinson
Alabama 
Anthony Zettel
Penn State 
Adolphus Washington
Ohio State 
Sheldon Day
Notre Dame  
LBMyles Jack
UCLA 
Darron Lee
Ohio State 

Su'a Cravens
USC 

Tyler Matakevich
Temple 
LBReggie Ragland
Alabama 
Jaylon Smith
Notre Dame 
Joshua Perry
Ohio State 
Vince Biegel
Wisconsin 
LBScooby Wright
Arizona 
Eric Striker
Oklahoma 
Jordan Jenkins
Georgia 
Darian Thompson (S)
Boise State 
CBKendall Fuller
Virginia Tech 
Eli Apple
Ohio State 
Mackensie Alexander
Clemson 
B. Boddy-Calhoun
Minnesota 
CBVernon Hargreaves III
Florida 
Zack Sanchez
Oklahoma 
William Likely
Maryland 
KeiVarae Russell
Notre Dame 
SJalen Ramsey (CB)
Florida State 
Jeremy Cash
Duke 
Karl Joseph
West Virginia 
Dante Barnett
Kansas State 
STony Conner
Ole Miss 
Vonn Bell
Ohio State 
Quin Blanding
Virginia 
Budda Baker
Washington  
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KRoberto Aguayo
Florida State 
Brad Craddock
Maryland 
Andy Phillips
Utah 
Josh Lambert
West Virginia 
PTom Hackett
Utah 
JK Scott
Alabama 
Austin Rehkow
Idaho 
Peter Mortell
Minnesota 
KRAlex Ross
Oklahoma 
Adoree' Jackson
USC 
Myles Willis
Boston College 
Janarion Grant
Rutgers 
PR

De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska 

Charles Nelson
Oregon 
Jalin Marshall
Ohio State 
Isaiah McKenzie
Georgia 

 

Conference Breakdown of All-America Selections
 FirstSecondThirdFourthTotal
ACC434213
Big 12345416
Big Ten666624
Pac-12444719
SEC1095327
Independents01135
American Athletic00011
Mountain West00112
Sun Belt00101

 

Team Breakdown of All-America Selections
TeamNumber of Selections
Ohio State11
Alabama7
USC6
Oklahoma5
Georgia5
Ole Miss5
Notre Dame5
Baylor4
Florida State3
Virginia Tech3
Michigan State3
Nebraska3
UCLA3
Utah3
Arkansas3
Pittsburgh2
Kansas State2
West Virginia2
Maryland2
Minnesota2
Oregon2
Stanford2
Boston College1
Clemson1
Duke1
North Carolina1
Virginia1
Oklahoma State1
TCU1
Texas Tech1
Penn State1
Rutgers1
Wisconsin1
Arizona1
Arizona State1
Washington1
Florida1
LSU1
Mississippi State1
South Carolina1
Texas A&M1
Tennessee1
Auburn1
Boise State1
Temple1
Idaho1
Colorado State1
Teaser:
College Football 2015 All-America Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/10-position-groups-under-pressure-big-12-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

10 Big 12 Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Baylor Defensive Backs

The Bears return four starters from a secondary ranked 70th nationally in pass efficiency defense. Junior corner Xavien Howard and safety Orion Stewart are the group’s headliners and should perform at an All-Big 12 level in 2015. But coordinator Phil Bennett needs better overall play from this unit, with Howard and Stewart elevating their performance even higher. The Bears allowed 17 passing plays of 40 yards or more last season and 24 scores through the air. Those numbers have to decrease if Baylor is to earn a spot in the four-team playoff.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

Iowa State Defensive Line

The Cyclones have several position groups in need of attention after a 2-10 campaign in 2014. While running back is a position with plenty of inexperience, the defensive line is an even bigger concern for coach Paul Rhoads. Iowa State allowed 246.3 rushing yards per game last year and generated only 15 sacks – the fewest in the Big 12. That’s the bad news. The good news? This group has experienced bodies returning, and two junior college recruits – Demond Tucker and Bobby Leath – should contribute in 2015.

 

Kansas Wide Receivers

Improving one unit isn’t going to be enough for Kansas to reach a bowl in 2015. There’s just too many holes for coach David Beaty to address in his first year in Lawrence. With the status of quarterback Michael Cummings uncertain after a spring game knee injury, the supporting cast on offense is even more critical to the development of this group. Senior Rodriguez Coleman was dismissed from the team in June, which leaves only two out of last year’s top 10 statistical receivers. Senior Tre’ Parmalee, sophomores Bobby Hartzog and Derrick Neal will be pressed to emerge as targets for Cummings, Montell Cozart or true freshman Carter Stanley or Ryan Willis in 2015.

 

Kansas State Wide Receivers

Kansas State returns six starters on offense, but this unit lost its top players from last year in quarterback Jake Waters and receiver Tyler Lockett. In addition to Lockett, the receiving corps also has to replace Curry Sexton and Zach Trujillo. There’s experience returning in the way of Kody Cook (20 catches last year), Deante Burton and Kyle Klein. But is one of these players capable of replacing the big-play ability that Lockett brought to the offense?

 

Oklahoma Defensive Backs

A couple of position groups could be listed here for Oklahoma, including the offensive or defensive lines or the receiving corps. But the secondary deserves a mention in this space, as the Sooners fell from 29th nationally in pass efficiency defense (2013) to 55th last year. Oklahoma also allowed 24 passing plays of 30 yards or more (tied for sixth in the conference). Junior Zack Sanchez should be a candidate for All-America honors, but who will step up around him? Sophomores Jordan Thomas (CB) and Steven Parker (S) are two names to watch.

 

Related: Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2015

 

Oklahoma State Offensive Line

Flip a coin between running backs and offensive line here. Considering it’s easier to reload at running back than in the trenches, we’ll go with the five guys up front in this space. Oklahoma State’s offensive line struggled last year, allowing 40 sacks in 13 contests. But there’s hope for quick improvement in 2015. UAB transfer Victor Salako is penciled in at left tackle, and sophomore Zachary Crabtree is a rising star on the right side. This group should be better with a full offseason to mesh, and will have plenty of time during the regular season to grow before three critical games in November.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers to Watch in 2015

 

TCU Linebackers

There are few areas of concern for coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs finished 2014 at 12-1 overall, and Patterson’s team is in good shape to push for a playoff bid once again. Although defense is usually a strength for TCU, this unit does have a few critical areas of concern. The secondary loses three All-Big 12 performers, and the linebacking corps must replace standouts Marcus Mallet and first-team All-Big 12 selection in Pawl Dawson. Proven experience is thin here, and true freshman Mike Freeze and junior Sammy Douglas finished spring as the favorites to start.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Texas Wide Receivers

It’s no secret quarterback play is still the biggest concern for Texas headed into its second year under Charlie Strong. But quarterbacks also need a good supporting cast to succeed. Running back Johnathan Gray is a good place to start the ground attack, and the offensive line should improve with four starters back and better depth. But the receiving corps is a concern for Strong, as John Harris and Jaxon Shipley both expired their eligibility. Senior Marcus Johnson (27 catches) is the top returning target, and there’s promising youngsters in the mix, including sophomore Lorenzo Joe, junior Jacorey Warrick and true freshman John Burt.

 

Texas Tech Defensive Line

Fixing the defense was the top priority for coach Kliff Kingsbury this offseason. The first step was hiring David Gibbs to work as the team’s coordinator. Now, Gibbs has to find the right pieces to run his scheme and improve a defense that allowed a whopping 41.3 points per game in 2014. Winning the defensive battle starts up front, and the Red Raiders have a key senior returning in standout Pete Robertson. But outside of Robertson, who will step up? Seniors Rika Levi and Keland McElrath need to plug the interior better, while Branden Jackson should anchor the other end spot. Developing depth and better overall play is a must.

 

Related: College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise for 2015

 

West Virginia Wide Receivers

It’s safe to assume a Dana Holgorsen-coached offense will continue to rank among the Big 12’s best even with a few personnel question marks. But in order for Holgorsen to elevate West Virginia in the conference standings, the play of the receiving corps will be under the spotlight. No. 1 target Kevin White (109 catches) and Mario Alford (65) have expired their eligibility, leaving Jordan Thompson, Daikiel Shorts and Shelton Gibson as the top returning options at wide receiver. Running back Wendell Smallwood may also see time on the outside to help alleviate the losses of Alford and White. Incoming freshmen Gary Jennings and Jovon Durante, along with junior college recruit Ka’Raun White (Kevin’s brother) may also crack the rotation. 

Teaser:
10 Position Groups Under Pressure in the Big 12 for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/florida-state-makes-slight-change-helmets-2015
Body:

Florida State unveiled new uniforms, an updated logo and helmet design last season. And after one year, the Seminoles are making a slight tweak to the helmets for 2015.

 

Last year’s helmets featured crossing spears at the back. However, the Seminoles plan on altering the helmets to not have the spears cross paths.

 

Check out last year’s helmets, followed by the 2015 update: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
Florida State Makes Slight Change to Helmets for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/14-position-groups-under-pressure-sec-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

14 SEC Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Alabama Defensive Backs

The receiving corps also deserves a mention here, but Alabama’s defense has to do a better job against the pass if this team wants to win the national title in 2015. Two starters return in the secondary in senior Cyrus Jones and junior Eddie Jackson. However, there’s a glaring void at safety with Landon Collins off to the NFL. Replacing Collins is expected to be senior Geno Smith or sophomore Hootie Jones, while sophomore Tony Brown and redshirt freshman Marlon Humphrey need to step up in the battle to start opposite of Cyrus Jones at cornerback. True freshmen Kendall Sheffield or Minkah Fitzpatrick may also factor in the mix. After giving up 19 pass plays of 30 yards or more last year, the Crimson Tide need better play from this unit.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Arkansas Wide Receivers

It’s a tossup between wide receiver or defensive end for Arkansas. The Razorbacks may not have a standout end like Trey Flowers, but the overall depth has improved to alleviate some of the pass rush concerns. At receiver, Keon Hatcher is back after catching 43 passes for 558 yards and six scores last year. And tight end Hunter Henry is poised for another solid season after grabbing 37 passes for 513 yards in 2014. But who will emerge as consistent No. 3 or No. 4 options for quarterback Brandon Allen? Is it sophomore Jared Cornelius? Or will juniors Cody Hollister or Drew Morgan fill that void?

 

Related: Ranking College Football's Best Running Back Tandems

 

Auburn Defensive Backs

With Will Muschamp calling the defensive signals, and end Carl Lawson back from injury, Auburn should show improvement after giving up 26.7 points per game in 2014. Getting Lawson and the performance of the defensive line on track is a key priority for Muschamp, but the secondary also needs attention after giving up 22 passing scores last year. Senior corner Jonathan Jones and junior safety Johnathan Ford are candidates for All-SEC honors, while additional help is expected to come in the form of transfers Tray Matthews (Georgia) and Blake Countess (Michigan). Depth is a concern here.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

Florida Offensive Line

While the uncertainty at quarterback is a concern for Jim McElwain, the offensive line is probably the group keeping the first-year coach up at night. The Gators return only one starter (Trip Thurman), and depth is a major issue. This unit showed improvement under the direction of Mike Summers last season, and the veteran coach was retained by McElwain. Summers does have talent to build around, including sophomore David Sharpe at left tackle and five-star recruit Martez Ivey. Fordham graduate transfer Mason Halter is also expected to factor in the mix.

 

Georgia Wide Receivers

As we mentioned above, there’s no doubt quarterback play is the No. 1 concern on any roster. Georgia enters fall camp with uncertainty under center, as Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta are locked into a tight battle for the top spot. But regardless of which player starts, the Bulldogs will be looking for improved play at receiver. Chris Conley and Michael Bennett expired their eligibility, leaving tight end Jeb Blazevich and receiver Malcolm Mitchell as the top targets. Will Mitchell stay healthy? And who steps up outside of Mitchell this year? Those are two key questions to watch in Athens.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Kentucky Defensive End/Rush Linebackers

There’s no doubt Kentucky will miss Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith as the defense’s top edge rushers. Dupree played the hybrid rush end position under coach Mark Stoops, while Smith was the Wildcats’ top defensive end. This duo combined for 12 of Kentucky’s 27 sacks last year. Who will replace that production off a defense that struggled (31.3 points per game) in 2014? Junior Jason Hatcher is one answer at edge rusher, while seniors Farrington Huguenin and Cory Johnson will be tasked with replacing Smith’s production.

 

LSU Defensive Ends

Make no mistake: Talent is not an issue for LSU in the trenches. The Tigers are anchored on the interior by junior Christian LaCouture and rising star in sophomore Davon Godchaux. But the pass rush is a concern for new coordinator Kevin Steele. Since LSU led the SEC with 38 sacks in 2011, the Tigers have watched their sack total decline for three consecutive seasons. Last year, LSU managed only 19 sacks in 13 games, with Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter (combined for 5.5 sacks) off to the NFL. Steele plans on incorporating more 3-4 looks, which adds to the uncertainty of the end/linebacker position. Juniors Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal and sophomore Deondre Clark are three names to watch off the edge, along with true freshman Arden Key (assuming he makes it to campus).

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Mississippi State Offensive Line

A number of positions could be listed here for the Bulldogs. But on the bright side, coach Dan Mullen has upgraded the talent through recruiting in recent years. Only two starters return up front for Mississippi State, with left tackle Blaine Clausell, center Dillon Day and guard Ben Beckwith expiring their eligibility. Junior Justin Senior may switch to left tackle to replace Clausell or that job could fall to senior Rufus Warren. Guard Justin Malone should be among the best in the SEC. How quickly will the Bulldogs find the right mix at the other three spots? Will junior college recruit Martinas Rankin claim a starting job this fall?

 

Missouri Wide Receivers

Defensive end also deserves a mention in this space after Missouri loses Shane Ray and Markus Golden, but the Tigers have reloaded there in recent years without much trouble. The same could be said for Missouri’s recent history at receiver, and there is talent to work with for quarterback Maty Mauk. However, the Tigers must replace their top four leading receivers from last season, with Nate Brown (five) and Wesley Leftwich (three) returning as the top options on the outside. 

 

Ole Miss Offensive Line

There are few areas of concern for coach Hugh Freeze in 2015. However, the two biggest problem spots – quarterback and offensive line – are enough to prevent this team from winning the SEC West. In 13 games last season, the Rebels allowed 31 sacks and generated just 3.9 yards per carry in conference play. With all five starters back in the trenches, Freeze should expect better play up front. The anchor is junior Laremy Tunsil, but he is recovering from a leg injury suffered in the Peach Bowl loss against TCU. Depth and overall talent in this group has improved. Will the performance and improvement show on the field this year?

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

South Carolina Defensive Line

After giving up 30.4 points per game last year, it’s fair to say every unit on South Carolina’s defense must improve. Getting the defense back on track has to start up front. The Gamecocks addressed this unit through recruiting, adding junior college recruit Marquavius Lewis and talented freshman Dexter Wideman. Both players, along with Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon Jr. are critical pieces for a unit that generated only 14 sacks and gave up 212.2 rushing yards per game in 2014.

 

Tennessee Offensive Line

The Volunteers had to replace all five starters from its 2013 unit last season. And it was no surprise this group had its share of struggles, allowing 43 sacks in 13 games and generating only 3.6 yards per carry. The inconsistency and development of this group last year should pay dividends for 2015. Tennessee returns four starters this season, and the depth has improved with the addition of talented freshmen Drew Richmond and Jack Jones. If this group takes a step forward in its development, the Volunteers should have one of the SEC’s top offenses.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Texas A&M Linebackers

With John Chavis calling the defensive signals for Texas A&M, improvement should be noticeable in 2015. Personnel concerns still exist at each level, including linebacker where the Aggies struggled with injuries and overall performance last year. But there’s hope for quick improvement in 2015, as sophomore Otaro Alaka is one of the SEC’s breakout players this year, and junior A.J. Hilliard is back from a leg injury that sidelined him nearly all of 2014. Junior college recruit Claude George is also pushing for snaps, while the Aggies expect sophomore (and former four-star prospect) Josh Walker to take a step forward this season.

 

Related: Stop Arguing: The SEC West is College Football's Best Division

 

Vanderbilt Offensive Line

Quarterback play is easily the biggest concern for new coordinator Andy Ludwig. But regardless of which player takes the first snap, the offensive line has to improve its protection and run blocking. The Commodores featured four returning starters last season, yet this unit allowed 21 sacks and rushers averaged only 3.4 yards per carry. A year later, the same storyline is set to unfold. Four starters are back, and the starting group is expected to feature three juniors and one senior. That’s the type of experience that usually translates to improved production. 

Teaser:
14 Position Groups Under Pressure in the SEC for 2015
Post date: Monday, June 22, 2015 - 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 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 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, 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, 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 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-footballs-top-transfers-watch-2015
Body:

Transfers are a huge part of any college football season. Whether it’s a graduate transfer eligible right away or a player that sat out the previous year due to NCAA rules, impact players are available in the transfer ranks every year.

 

Quarterbacks are always under the microscope in the transfer ranks, and there’s no shortage of intriguing moves for 2015. Everett Golson left Notre Dame for Florida State, and Vernon Adams is transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon.

 

Related: Impact Quarterback Transfers for 2015

 

Every position has an impact transfer for 2015, including running back with Indiana’s Jordan Howard, Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and Auburn center Austin Golson.

 

Here’s a look at 25 key transfers to watch this year:

 

25 Impact College Football Transfers for 2015

 

1. The Quarterbacks

Several quarterbacks are slated to make an impact at a new program in 2015. Vernon Adams (Oregon), Everett Golson (Florida State), Jake Rudock (Michigan), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Jeff Driskel (Louisiana Tech) and Max Wittek (Hawaii) are just a few of the key quarterback transfers to watch this year.

 

Here’s the complete breakdown of QB transfers for 2015.

 

2. Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (from UAB)

Howard is eligible immediately after UAB disbanded its football program in December. The junior rushed for 2,468 yards and 15 scores in two years with the Blazers. Tevin Coleman leaves big shoes to fill, but Howard is capable of being an All-Big Ten running back.

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 Predictions

 

3. Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville (from Georgia)

Even though Louisville’s secondary must replace all four starters from last season, the pass defense won’t suffer too big of a drop with two Georgia transfers stepping into the lineup. Harvey-Clemons was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and made 11 starts for the Bulldogs in 2013.

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

4. Blake Countess, CB, Auburn (from Michigan)

Auburn’s secondary has to improve after giving up 44 pass plays of 20 yards or more last year. The Tigers have lost a few players here via transfer, but the addition of Countess should help at corner. The Maryland native played in 38 games for the Wolverines, recorded 114 tackles and six interceptions. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2013.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

5. Austin Golson, C, Auburn (from Ole Miss)

Golson is making the rare move of transferring within the SEC West, as the Alabama native left Ole Miss after playing in 12 games with the Rebels in 2013. Golson is considered the frontrunner to start at center and replace Reese Dismukes for a talented Auburn offensive line.

 

6. Matt Hegarty, OL, Oregon (from Notre Dame)

Oregon’s offensive line loses stalwarts in left tackle Jake Fisher and center Hroniss Grasu, but a solid foundation remains intact with three other returning starters. Hegarty started 11 games for the Fighting Irish last season and will push for starting spot at guard or center.

 

Related: Pac-12 2015 Predictions

 

7. Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State (from UCLA)

With the departure of Jaelen Strong to the NFL, Arizona State’s offense is in need of a receiver (or two) to emerge. But the answers are falling into place for coach Todd Graham, as running back D.J. Foster is shifting to receiver, and Lucien is eligible immediately after transferring from UCLA. The California native averaged 12.9 yards per catch in three years with the Bruins.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

8. Wayne Lyons, CB, Michigan (from Stanford)

Michigan lost cornerback Blake Countess in a transfer to Auburn but gained a starter in Lyons. The Florida native is a good fit for the Wolverines’ defensive scheme in press coverage and was recruited to Stanford by Jim Harbaugh. Lyons recorded 30 tackles in 13 games with the Cardinal in 2014.

 

9. Tray Matthews, S, Auburn (from Georgia)

Auburn’s defense should be among the most improved groups in the SEC this season. The addition of Will Muschamp at coordinator will help to turn around a unit that allowed 26.7 points per game in 2014. Matthews is the second defensive back transfer for Auburn to make this list, as the sophomore is likely to start at safety after transferring from Georgia. The sophomore played in eight games for the Bulldogs in 2013 and recorded 36 tackles.

 

10. Ty Isaac, RB, Michigan (from USC)

Jim Harbaugh loves to establish the run, and the Wolverines are due for improvement in this area after generating only 162.8 yards per game in 2014. Getting junior Derrick Green back to full strength after a broken clavicle last year will help, and Isaac is ready to contribute after sitting out a season due to transfer rules. Isaac was a five-star recruit out of high school and rushed for 236 yards and two scores in 14 games with the Trojans in 2013.

 

11. Freddie Tagaloa, OT, Arizona (from California)

Rich Rodriguez’s high-powered Arizona offense will be breaking in three new starters on the line this season. Tagaloa should help to ease some of the transition up front, as the California native has starting experience from his two-year stint in Berkeley. The junior is expected to start at left tackle in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the Pac-12 Quarterbacks for 2015

 

12. Victor Salako, OT, Oklahoma State (from UAB)

Oklahoma State’s offensive line struggled last season, but this unit showed improvement late in the year. Salako transferred to Stillwater after UAB disbanded its football program in December, and the Alabama native is expected to start at left tackle after making 23 starts with the Blazers.

 

Related: Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2015

 

13. Mike Mitchell, LB, Texas Tech (from Ohio State)

It’s no secret Texas Tech’s defense is in need of repair. Coach Kliff Kingsbury took a major step forward in addressing the defensive woes by hiring David Gibbs away from Houston, while the talent on the field is bolstered by the addition of Mitchell. The five-star recruit never played at Ohio State and redshirted in his only season with the Buckeyes.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

14. Shaq Wiggins, CB, Louisville (from Georgia)

Wiggins is the second Georgia transfer to Louisville in this article. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is expected to join Wiggins as starters in the secondary for coordinator Todd Grantham. Wiggins started eight games for the Bulldogs in 2013, recording 19 tackles and two interceptions. 

 

15. Brennan Scarlett, DE, Stanford (from California)

Scarlett’s decision to transfer from California to Stanford certainly raised some eyebrows around the Pac-12, but the senior is a solid pickup for the Cardinal defense. Injuries marred Scarlett’s tenure at California, as he never played in a full season and was limited to 17 appearances in four years. Stanford is thin on depth up front, which should allow Scarlett to carve out a role in the trenches this season.

 

16. Ja’Quay Savage, WR, Louisville (from Texas A&M)

Louisville has some big shoes to fill in the receiving corps with the departure of receivers DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers and tight end Gerald Christian. But the Cardinals aren’t hurting for talent on the outside, as UAB transfer Jamari Staples, junior James Quick and Savage will be a trio of capable targets. Savage (formerly Ja’Quay Williams) transferred to Louisville after one year at Texas A&M. The Georgia native caught four passes with the Aggies in 2013.

 

17. Isaiah Johnson, S, South Carolina (from Kansas)

South Carolina’s defense struggled mightily last year, giving up 30.4 points per game and 6.2 yards per play. Coach Steve Spurrier hopes the addition of new co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke helps to turn around this unit, along with addition of a few new faces and more experience from the underclassmen. Johnson was one of the few bright spots on a struggling Kansas team last year, recording 75 tackles and one interception. Johnson should push for a starting spot at safety.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

18. Richard Mullaney, WR, Alabama (from Oregon State)

Amari Cooper leaves big shoes to fill after catching 124 of Alabama’s 290 passes last year. And Cooper isn’t the only loss for coordinator Lane Kiffin as No. 2 target DeAndrew White and No. 3 receiver Christion Jones have expired their eligibility. Mullaney is a post-spring pickup for coach Nick Saban, and the Oregon State graduate transfer should be a valuable pickup for an inexperienced receiving corps. Mullaney caught 52 passes in 2013 but was limited by injury in 2014.

 

19. Rodney Coe, DT, Akron (from Iowa State)

Akron’s starting defense could feature five transfers from Power 5 programs. Linebacker Darryl Monroe is a name to watch, but Coe could be the biggest impact transfer for coach Terry Bowden. The 305-pound tackle recorded 37 tackles at Iowa State in 2013 and will anchor the interior of Akron’s defensive front this year.

 

Related: College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise

 

20. Kelsey Young, RB, Boise State (from Stanford)

With Jay Ajayi moving onto the NFL, uncertainty surrounds the Boise State backfield. Jeremy McNichols and Cory Young are the favorites to replace Ajayi’s production, but Kelsey Young (Cory’s brother) adds to the competition after transferring to Boise for his final year. He rushed for 331 yards on 66 attempts with Stanford in 2014.

 

21. Kaiwan Lewis, LB, Rutgers (from South Carolina)

Rutgers’ Big Ten debut was a success, but coach Kyle Flood has some work to do in order to get the Scarlet Knights back in the postseason in 2015. Upgrading the performance on defense is a must, and Lewis – a graduate transfer from South Carolina – is slated to compete for the starting job at middle linebacker. Lewis regarded 20 tackles for the Gamecocks last year but made 10 starts in 2013.

 

22. Mason Halter, OL, Florida (from Fordham)

Florida taking a graduate transfer from Fordham isn’t going to be a common occurrence, but the Gators desperately need offensive line help, and Halter is a good pickup to bolster the available talent. The senior started 33 games at Fordham and was one of the top linemen at the FCS level. With the Gators short on talent and depth, Halter figures to make an impact in his only year in Gainesville.

 

23. Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss (from Washington)

Stringfellow certainly has the talent to be an impact receiver for Ole Miss, but coach Hugh Freeze indicated the Washington transfer needs to show more consistency to earn playing time in 2015. In his only season with the Huskies, Stringfellow caught 20 passes for 259 yards and one score.

 

24. Jake Ganus, LB, Georgia (from UAB)

The Bulldogs are loaded with talent on the outside in the linebacking corps, featuring All-SEC candidates in Lorenzo Carter, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. The interior spots in this group are up for grabs, and Ganus could push Reggie Carter or Tim Kimbrough for a starting job. Ganus led UAB in tackles in 2013-14 and was a second-team All-Conference USA selection last year.

 

25. Kyle Bosch, OL, West Virginia (from Michigan)

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen received good news in late May when Bosch was declared eligible for the 2015 season. The Illinois native played in one game for Michigan in 2014 but started three in 2013. He should push for time at guard in 2015.

 

Other Transfers to Watch

 

Quarterback Transfers for 2015

 

RB Ralph David Abernathy IV, Cincinnati to Tennessee

RB Andrew Buie, West Virginia to Charlotte

RB Donnell Alexander, Colorado State to Akron

RB Dalyn Dawkins, Purdue to Colorado State

RB Justice Hayes, Michigan to Southern Miss

RB Malin Jones, Northwestern to Louisville

RB Demarcus Kirk, UAB to Georgia State

RB Albert Reid, Maryland to Virginia

RB Patrick Skov, Stanford to Georgia Tech
RB Donovan Wilson, Georgia Tech to Bowling Green

RB/WR D.J. Vinson, UAB to South Alabama

 

WR Chance Allen, Oregon to Houston

WR K.J. Brent, South Carolina to Wake Forest

WR Dylan Collie, BYU to Hawaii

WR Kenny Golladay, North Dakota to Northern ILlinois

WR Marqui Hawkins, UAB to Indiana

WR Nyiakki Height, UAB to Georgia State

WR A.J. Legree, Kentucky to South Florida

WR Uriah Lemay, Georgia to Charlotte

WR Collin Lisa, UAB to Buffalo

WR Quincy Perdue, UAB to Kansas

WR Robbie Rhodes, Baylor to Bowling Green

WR Jamari Staples, UAB to Louisville

WR T.J. Thorpe, North Carolina to Virginia

WR Andrew Rodriguez, Houston to Utah State

 

TE Gerald Everett, UAB to South Alabama

TE M.J. McFarland, Texas to UTEP

TE Taylor McNamara, Oklahoma to USC

TE Mitch Parsons, Vanderbilt to Colorado State

TE Kent Taylor, Florida to Kansas

 

OL Cameron Blankenship, UAB to South Alabama

OL Roscoe Byrd, UAB to Georgia Southern

OL Ruben Carter, Florida State to Toledo

OL Lee Dufour, UAB to South Alabama

OL Derek Edinburgh Jr., LSU to Louisiana Tech

OL Kelepi Folau, UAB to Georgia State

OL Tim Gardner, Ohio State to Indiana

OL Reilly Gibbons, Stanford to USF

OL Rami Hammad, Texas to Baylor

OL Taylor Hindy, Washington to Syracuse

OL Ryan Mack, Louisville to Memphis

OL Kyle Marrs, Oklahoma to Houston

OL T.J. McCoy, NC State to Florida

OL Emeka Okafor, Houston to Texas Tech

OL Kevin Reihner, Stanford to Penn State

OL Sam Rice, SMU to North Texas

OL Ben Wysocki, UCLA to Utah State

 

DL Justin Akins, Georgia Tech to MTSU

DL Aaron Curry, Nebraska to TCU

DL Kylie Fitts, UCLA to Utah

DL Nick Internicola, Rutgers to FAU

DT Mickey Johnson, LSU to Louisiana Tech

DL Evan Kelly, Richmond to Boston College

DL James Looney, Wake Forest to California

DE Jamal Marcus, Ohio State to Akron

DT Suleiman Masumbuko, Baylor to Tulsa

DL Kevin McReynolds, UCLA to Nevada

DL Robert Mondie, UAB to Arkansas State

DT Jontavious Morris, UAB to WKU

DL Joshua Posley, Cincinnati to Ball State

DL Mark Scarpinto, Michigan State to Pittsburgh

 

LB Jefferson Ashiru, UConn to Maryland

LB Blake Dees, Texas Tech to South Alabama

LB Samson Faifili, Kansas to Utah State

LB Anthony Harrell, Georgia Tech to Florida

LB Davonte James, West Virginia to Kent State

LB Makani Kema-Kaleiwahe, Arizona to Hawaii

LB TJ McCollum, UAB to WKU

LB Alonzo McGee, UAB to Georgia State

LB Daryl Monroe, Washington State to Akron

LB Otha Peters, Arkansas to UL Lafayette

LB Shawn Petty, Maryland to Marshall

LB Marquise Roberts, South Carolina to Kansas

LB Chad Whitener, California to Oklahoma State

 

CB Derek Babiash, Arizona to San Diego State

DB Bobby Baker, UAB to Georgia State

DB Kelton Brackett, UAB to UMass

CB Ahmad Christian, South Carolina to Utah

DB Jordan Collier, UAB to Buffalo

DB Zach Dancel, Maryland to Wake Forest

CB Demarco Davis, UAB to Georgia State

CB Lamarcus Farmer, UAB to Troy

DB Travis Green, Kansas State to New Mexico

DB Bryant Gross-Armiento, Rutgers to Wake Forest

DB Eilar Hardy, Notre Dame to Bowling Green

DB Kiy Hester, Miami to Rutgers

CB Larry Hope, Miami to Akron

CB Michael Hunter, Indiana to Oklahoma State

DB Kalen Jackson, UAB to South Alabama

DB Rashad Jackson, New Mexico to North Texas

DB Vershad Jackson, New Mexico to North Texas

DB Rolan Milligan, UAB to Toledo

CB Chris Murphy, Arkansas to Cincinnati

S Avery Sebastian, California to Notre Dame

CB Trenton Trammell, BYU to UTEP

 

P Blake O’Neill, Weber State to Michigan

P Nathan Renfro, Maryland to Tennessee

Teaser:
College Football's Top Transfers to Watch in 2015
Post date: Monday, June 22, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/what-if-nfl-logos-were-canadian
Body:

Logos for any sports franchise or league are a critical part of identification and merchandise. And tweaking a logo is one way to drive up a little revenue.

 

But the internet has succeeded in creating awesome redesigned or tweaked logos. At Uproxx, the question was posed: What if NFL logos were Canadian.

 

As you can imagine, the results were terrific.

 

A few of our favorites are below. Click here to view all of the redesigned logos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
What if NFL Logos Were Canadian?
Post date: Friday, June 19, 2015 - 12:27
Path: /college-football/alabama-unveils-2014-sec-championship-rings
Body:

Alabama has won plenty of hardware since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide missed out on an opportunity to play for the national championship last year after a loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, but the 2014 team recorded an impressive 42-13 win over Missouri for the SEC title.

 

And it should be no surprise that Alabama is celebrating the SEC Championship with some fancy hardware.

 

Check out the Crimson Tide’s 2014 SEC title rings:

 

 

A photo posted by reggieragland (@reggieragland) on

Teaser:
Alabama Unveils 2014 SEC Championship Rings
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 15:09
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-running-back-tandems-2015
Body:

Having two running backs is almost essential for every college football team. While some teams have workhorse options that can handle 275 or 300 carries, most programs want to have at least two (and sometimes three) running backs to split up the workload. The thought process is pretty simple: Take the workload off one player and spread it around to keep everyone fresh.

 

Arkansas has mastered that philosophy under coach Bret Bielema, as the Razorbacks boast the nation’s best tandem in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Both players eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2014 and should reach that level in 2015.

 

But Arkansas isn’t the only program with two solid running backs, as Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon and Alabama are the next teams in the mix.

 

Which teams have the best No. 1 and No. 2 running backs? Here’s the top 20 in college football, with an emphasis on talent, production so far in their career and projection for 2015. 

 

College Football's Top 20 Running Back Tandems for 2015

 

1. Arkansas

 

The Razorbacks have the best one-two punch at running back for 2015. Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins return after each eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark last season and combined for 24 rushing scores. This duo will also have one of the nation’s top offensive lines at their disposal, which includes three All-America candidates in guard Sebastian Tretola and tackles Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland.

 

Related: Ranking the SEC's Offensive Lines for 2015

 

2. Georgia

 

Georgia’s rushing attack didn’t skip a beat despite losing Todd Gurley to a suspension, then a torn ACL in the win over Auburn. Nick Chubb emerged as one of the SEC’s top running backs in the second half of 2014, averaging 165.4 rushing yards per game over the final eight contests. Sony Michel – a five-star recruit in 2014 – is the No. 2 back after averaging 6.4 yards per carry last year.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

3. Oklahoma

 

Even though Oklahoma has a new play-caller (Lincoln Riley) and a few tweaks to its offensive scheme, the rushing attack is still going to be a huge part of the gameplan. Samaje Perine headlines the backfield after rushing for 1,713 yards and 21 scores as a true freshman, while the No. 2 spot is up for grabs between Joe Mixon and Alex Ross.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

4. Oregon

 

Having a deep stable of running backs and receivers should help to ease the transition of Eastern Washington transfer quarterback Vernon Adams into the starting lineup. Royce Freeman had a huge freshman campaign in 2014, rushing for 1,365 yards and 18 scores. Thomas Tyner missed four games due to injury, but the junior has rushed for 1,284 yards over the last two years.

 

Related: Pac-12 Football Predictions for 2015

 

5. Alabama

 

In every season since 2008, Alabama has posted two running backs to reach the 600-yard mark. That streak should extend to eight consecutive years in 2015, as the Crimson Tide can lean on Derrick Henry as the No. 1 option, with Kenyan Drake the No. 2 rusher after returning from a leg injury. Henry shared carries with T.J. Yeldon last season and rushed for 990 yards and 11 scores. 

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

6. Ohio State

 

Ezekiel Elliott opens 2015 as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and the junior closed 2014 playing as well as any running back in the nation. In Ohio State’s run to the national championship, Elliott rushed for 220 yards against Wisconsin, 230 versus Alabama and 246 in the 42-20 win over Oregon. Curtis Samuel (6.6 ypc in 2014) should see a bigger role in 2015.

 

7. Florida State

 

With the departure of quarterback Jameis Winston to the NFL, the focus in the Florida State offense shifts to Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack. The Miami native rushed for 1,008 yards and eight scores as a true freshman in 2014 and should push for All-America honors in 2015. Cook won’t have to carry the entire workload, as Florida State also has Mario Pender and four-star recruit Jacques Patrick.

 

Related: College Football's Top Impact Transfer Quarterbacks for 2015

 

8. Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh has the ACC’s No. 1 running back in James Conner, and sophomore Chris James is a solid No. 2 option for new coach Pat Narduzzi. Conner rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 scores last year, while James averaged five yards a carry on 87 attempts. 

 

9. Tennessee

 

Since we are projecting ahead to 2015, this backfield is one on the rise for 2015. Jalen Hurd led the team with 899 yards as a true freshman in 2014, and he will have help from junior college recruit (and former Alabama back) Alvin Kamara. The stats don’t back up this ranking in June. But the Volunteers are primed to take a step forward on the ground in 2015.

 

10. West Virginia

 

Although coach Dana Holgorsen likes to throw the ball around, don’t overlook the Mountaineers’ rushing attack. Rushel Shell recorded 788 yards and seven scores in his first season of playing time at West Virginia, while Wendell Smallwood is one of the Big 12’s top all-around backs after recording 1,057 total yards last year. Redshirt freshman Donte Thomas-Williams is a name to remember.

 

11. Baylor

 

Art Briles’ high-powered offense isn’t limited to only the aerial assault. The Bears averaged 215.5 rushing yards per game last year, headlined by Shock Linwood (1,252 yards) and Devin Chafin (4.8 ypc on 80 attempts).

 

12. Toledo

 

The Rockets must replace all five starters on the offensive line, but coach Matt Campbell can still rely on his ground attack with the return of Kareem Hunt (1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns). Hunt’s 1,631 yards and 16 scores is even more impressive when you consider he only played in 10 games last year. The Rockets are overflowing with depth at running back, starting with Terry Swanson (6.5 ypc in 2014), Damion Jones-Moore and Marc Remy.

 

13. San Diego State

 

Behind running back Donnel Pumphrey, the Aztecs are the favorite to win the Mountain West’s West Division in 2015. Pumphrey finished fourth nationally with 1,873 yards in 2014. Chase Price should be the top backup after recording 674 yards and five touchdowns last year.

 

Related: Mountain West 2015 Predictions

 

14. Marshall

 

With quarterback Rakeem Cato expiring his eligibility, the Thundering Herd may lean more on its rushing attack in 2015. That’s no problem for Marshall, as Devon Johnson (1,767 yards) and Remi Watson (546 yards) return.

 

15. Arizona State

 

D.J. Foster is moving to receiver, which means Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage will handle the bulk of the carries for coach Todd Graham. Both players are due for a breakout season after combining for 604 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014.

 

16. Western Kentucky

 

The Hilltoppers have one of the nation’s top offenses for the 2015 season. Quarterback Brandon Doughty returns, and the ground attack is bolstered by Leon Allen (1,542 yards in 2014). Allen is among the top running backs in Conference USA. Anthony Wales (518 yards last year) is Allen’s primary backup.

 

Related: Conference USA 2015 Predictions

 

17. Miami

 

Potential. That’s the word to remember when examining Miami’s backfield for 2015. Sophomore Joseph Yearby is a breakout candidate after rushing for 509 yards and one score in a backup role to Duke Johnson last year. Gus Edwards is the No. 2 back but could earn a split of the carries (349 yards, six touchdowns in 2014).

 

18. Georgia Southern

 

Georgia Southern had a successful debut on the FBS level by finishing 9-3 overall and a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. The offense led the way for coach Willie Fritz, as two players – running back Matt Breida and quarterback Kevin Ellison – each eclipsed 1,000 yards. Breida averaged 8.7 yards per carry and recorded 14 rushing plays of 30 yards or more. Alfred Ramsby (4.5 yards per carry and 12 scores in 2014) is Georgia Southern’s No. 2 back.

 

Related: Sun Belt 2015 Predictions

 

19. Texas Tech

 

Texas Tech had the fewest rushing attempts of any Big 12 team in 2014, but the Red Raiders maximized their opportunities by averaging 5.2 yards per carry. DeAndre Washington is one of the Big 12’s most underrated players after leading the team with 1,103 yards last year. Justin Stockton is a big-play threat, averaging 8.3 yards per carry in 2014.

 

20. Appalachian State

 

Similar to its conference comrade Georgia Southern, Appalachian State made a splash in its first year of FBS play. The Mountaineers finished 2014 on a six-game winning streak and enter 2015 as one of the favorites. Marcus Cox is the headliner at running back (1,415 yards), and coach Scott Satterfield plans on utilizing Terrence Upshaw (573 yards) more in 2015.

 

Other Backfield Tandems to Watch in 2015

 

Power 5

 

Auburn: Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas/Peyton Barber

 

Boston College: Jon Hilliman and Myles Willis

 

California: Daniel Lasco and Vic Enwere/Khalfani Muhammad

 

LSU: Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams

 

Michigan: Derrick Green and Ty Isaac

 

NC State: Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes

 

Nebraska: Terrell Newby and Imani Cross

 

Notre Dame: Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant

 

Rutgers: Paul James and Josh Hicks/Robert Martin

 

TCU: Aaron Green and Shaun Nixon

 

UCLA: Paul Perkins and Nate Starks

 

Group of 5

 

Buffalo: Anthone Taylor and Devin Campbell

 

Cincinnati: Hosey Williams and Mike Boone

 

Houston: Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson

 

Louisiana Tech: Kenneth Dixon and Jarred Craft

 

New Mexico: Teriyon Gipson and Jhurell Pressley

 

Nevada: Don Jackson and James Butler

 

Wyoming: Brian Hill and Shaun Wick

Teaser:
College Football's Top 20 Running Back Tandems for 2015
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/15-world-cities-need-host-college-football-game
Body:

Baylor’s non-conference scheduling has been criticized frequently over the last few years. But the Bears are doing their best to upgrade the schedule and are on talks to appear in Australia (Sydney or Melbourne) against a Pac-12 opponent to open the 2016 season.

 

So that news got us thinking. What overseas cities need to have a college football game for an opener?

 

Here are a few cities or foreign destinations we think need to host a college football game in the future: 

 

Aircraft Carrier

Location to be determined and it would take some creativity to fit the football field on the top deck. But if college basketball can do it, then let’s make it happen for college football. The military's newest supercarrier, the USS Gerald Ford (not pictured at right), is scheduled for deployment in 2019. Let’s go with an Air Force vs. Navy matchup.

 

Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the top travel destinations and is known for that other kind of football. And in tandem with the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, we could position a USF versus Buffalo matchup.

 

Bermuda

This is actually not an unrealistic trip or a location for a bowl. Since we are still trying to figure out the Bermuda Triangle, let’s go with an all-Hurricane matchup between Miami and Tulsa. Or since Bermuda is just off the coast of the Carolinas, we could propose a South Carolina-North Carolina pairing. Bermuda has to have good golf courses for Steve Spurrier, right?

 

Bora Bora

This small Pacific Ocean island nation has some awesome views. Squeezing in a field will be a challenge. But let’s just say the fanbase for any team would appreciate a game in this location.

 

Dubai

Dubai has been mentioned as a possible spot for a bowl or a game for Texas. Seems like it’s only a matter of time before a college football game ends up in the Middle East.

 

Havana

Relations between the United Stats and Cuba are thawing and what better way to continue that deicing than a game in Havana? After all, that’s where the Bacardi Bowl was played in the early 1900s to the mid-1940s.

 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s picturesque skyline would be a good backdrop for the opening of the telecast. And the bright lights of the city would be a great place for Oregon to unveil another awesome uniform combination.

 

London

London already gets a few NFL games, but bringing a college matchup might have more spice than just a Jaguars contest. Let’s see: How about Michigan versus Alabama?

 

Mexico City

One of the world’s largest cities has a 95,500-seat stadium just waiting for a game. The 49ers-Cardinals played a NFL preseason game here in 2005. How about an Arizona-Texas Tech game?

 

Paris

There’s no shortage of stadiums in Paris. Let’s take LSU and the French Quarter overseas in the future to take on UL Lafayette.

 

Rio

The Olympics are coming to Rio in 2016, with the games scheduled to last from Aug. 5 to Aug. 21. That’s perfect timing to host a college football opener in late August/early September.

 

Rome

This would be even better if the game could take place in the old Colosseum. And for our modern day gridiron gladiators, how about Notre Dame and Florida State?

 

Seoul

Asia is a region the Pac-12 wants to tap into, and Seoul is a good place to stage a game in the coming years. 

 

Siberia

I know. It’s cold and unrealistic. But Washington vs. Northern Illinois in a Huskies showdown has a good sound to it.

 

Tokyo

The Tokyo Dome has hosted MLB and NFL preseason games. Why not a college football matchup between two West Coast teams or a West Coast squad and team from the Midwest? Let’s say UCLA and Texas?

 

Other Locations Considered

 

Amsterdam

An F1 racetrack (Don't forget that Virginia Tech and Tennessee are set to tangle at Bristol Motor Speeday in 2016)

Beijing

Dubai

Easter Island

Frankfurt

Greenland

Istanbul

Madrid

Moscow

Shanghai

Singapore

South Africa

Taipei

 

(Sydney photo at top by Jeff Turner, USS George Washington photo courtesy of the United States Navy, Hong Kong photo by momo)

Teaser:
15 World Cities That Need to Host a College Football Game
Post date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 16:11
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-impact-quarterback-transfers-2015
Body:

Finding a dependable and productive starting quarterback is a huge challenge for all 128 college football coaches each season. While recruiting and developing a player is the easiest and preferred route, sometimes that plan doesn’t work. Transfers are a huge part of any offseason and can help the coaching staff bridge the gap to the next prospect or fill a void after a player didn’t develop as expected.

 

There are several players expected to make an impact as a transfer quarterback in 2015, including Everett Golson at Florida State and Vernon Adams at Oregon. Outside of the Power 5 ranks, Jeff Driskel at Louisiana Tech and Max Wittek at Hawaii are two names to watch among Group of 5 teams.

 

Power 5 Quarterback Transfers

 

Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington to Oregon

Adams is one of the most interesting quarterback transfers to hit the FBS level in recent years. The California native was one of the top players in the FCS ranks over the last three seasons, throwing for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns and rushing for 1,232 yards and 11 scores. While Adams has been an elite quarterback for Eastern Washington, he has to translate that production to the Pac-12 and a level of play with more talent. The Ducks certainly aren’t hurting for options or talent at the skill positions. If Adams quickly settles into the starting job, Oregon should be in the mix for a playoff spot once again.

 

Related: Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

 

Connor Brewer, Arizona to Virginia

Virginia has been a busy place for quarterback transactions this offseason. David Watford departed to Hampton, and Greyson Lambert left for Georgia after spring practice. Adding Brewer as a graduate transfer makes a lot of sense for Virginia, as more depth is needed behind starter Matt Johns. The junior has two years of eligibility left and was a four-star recruit coming out of high school. Brewer has yet to throw a pass on the FBS level.

 

Tyler Ferguson, Penn State to Louisville

Ferguson left Penn State after one season in Happy Valley. In his only year with the Nittany Lions, the California native played in five games and completed 10 of 15 passes for 155 yards and one score. Louisville’s quarterback competition is a crowded one, as Reggie Bonnafon, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin and Ferguson are all competing for the first snap. Bonnafon has the edge to start in 2015.

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

Daxx Garman, Oklahoma State to Maryland

Garman was a late addition to Maryland’s 2015 roster, joining the team in late May as a graduate transfer. Caleb Rowe is expected to be the Terrapins’ quarterback this year, but the junior is recovering from a torn ACL. Garman completed only 54.9 percent of his passes (277) at Oklahoma State in 2014. However, he also has a knack for producing big plays, completing 19 passes of 30 yards or more.

 

Everett Golson, Notre Dame to Florida State

Golson transferred from Notre Dame following spring practice and was brought in to compete with Sean Maguire for the starting job. Replacing Jameis Winston is no easy task, but Golson – 3,445 passing yards and 29 passing touchdowns in 2014 – should be one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC if he beats out Maguire.

 

Greyson Lambert, Virginia to Georgia

Lambert started nine games for Virginia in 2014 but was edged by Matt Johns at the end of spring practice for the starting job. The Georgia native is eligible to compete immediately as a graduate transfer and will open fall practices at No. 3 after Jacob Park announced his intentions to transfer in June. Lambert is a good addition for a team with an uncertain quarterback situation, but it’s unlikely he wins the job with Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey ahead on the depth chart.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech to Oklahoma

Mayfield has traveled an interesting path to Oklahoma. The Texas native was a walk-on recruit to Texas Tech and started the season opener for the Red Raiders in 2013. Mayfield finished 2013 with 2,315 passing yards and 12 touchdowns but decided to transfer at the end of the regular season. And after sitting out 2014 due to transfer rules, the junior is the frontrunner to take the first snap for Oklahoma in 2015. New play-caller Lincoln Riley is tweaking the Sooners’ offensive scheme, and Mayfield should benefit by the shift to more of an Air Raid style.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

Nathan Peterman, Tennessee to Pittsburgh

Chad Voytik returns as Pittsburgh’s starter after throwing for 2,233 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2014. But with a new coaching staff and offensive scheme, Peterman will have an opportunity to push for time in the fall. Peterman was recruited to Tennessee by current Pittsburgh play-caller Jim Chaney. The familiarity should help Peterman quickly acclimate to his new surroundings.

 

Hayden Rettig, LSU to Rutgers

Rettig – a former four-star prospect out of high school – is locked into a tight battle with Chris Laviano for the starting job. Rettig redshirted in his only year at LSU but threw for 3,424 yards and 40 touchdowns in his senior year at Cathedral High School. While Laviano won the job in the spring, Rettig will have an opportunity to claim the starting spot in the fall.

 

Jake Rudock, Iowa to Michigan

Rudock left Iowa for a chance to start at Michigan and learn under Jim Harbaugh for one season. In four seasons with the Hawkeyes, Rudock completed 417 of 691 passes for 4,819 yards and 34 scores. The senior is expected to edge Shane Morris for the starting job in the fall.

 

Other Power 5 Quarterback Transfers to Watch

 

Josh Grady, Vanderbilt to Florida

Ty Griffin, Georgia Tech to Oregon

Nic Shimonek, Iowa to Texas Tech

 

Group of 5 Quarterback Transfers

 

Trey Anderson, Pittsburgh to FIU

FIU has a promising sophomore in Alex McGough, but it never hurts to add competition for a team that finished 4-8 and averaged only 23 points per game in 2014. Anderson completed 25 of 53 passes for 263 yards and one touchdown in three seasons of playing time at Pittsburgh.

 

Russell Bellomy, Michigan to UTSA

Bellomy was buried on the Michigan depth chart and transferred to UTSA as a graduate transfer for 2015. The Texas native played in six career game with the Wolverines and will push Blake Bogenschutz and Austin Robinson for snaps.

 

Michael Birdsong, James Madison to Marshall

Birdsong started for James Madison in 2013, throwing for 2,728 yards and 22 scores and adding 310 yards and three scores on the ground. Marshall’s offense is one of the best among the Group of 5 ranks, and Birdsong is inheriting plenty of talent to work with in 2015. The junior finished spring at the top of the depth chart.

 

Related: Conference USA 2015 Predictions

 

Tra'Von Chapman, Pittsburgh to Akron

The Zips are looking for a spark in their passing attack after throwing only seven touchdown passes in MAC play last year. Chapman – a former four-star recruit – is expected to push returning starter Kyle Pohl for the starting job.

 

Cody Clements, UAB to South Alabama

Clements was a good find for UAB on the recruiting trail last season, as the Cerritos College transfer threw for 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games. The California native transferred to South Alabama after UAB disbanded its football team for 2015 and is expected to start for coach Joey Jones.

 

Cameron Coffman, Indiana to Wyoming

Wyoming averaged 227.8 passing yards per game last season, but this offense should have an upgrade at quarterback with the addition of Coffman. The Indiana transfer threw for 2,734 yards and 15 scores in 2012 with the Hoosiers.

 

Jeff Driskel, Florida to Louisiana Tech

Driskel was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, but the Florida native had his share of ups and downs in Gainesville. With one year of eligibility left and a new offensive scheme for the Gators, Driskel decided to transfer to Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs had good success with a graduate transfer last year (Cody Sokol), and Driskel will have plenty of talent to work with, including star running back Kenneth Dixon. Driskel threw for 3,411 yards and 23 touchdowns to 20 interceptions in his Florida career.

 

Adam Schulz, Utah to Houston

Greg Ward is a rising star at quarterback for new Houston coach Tom Herman, but depth behind the junior was an issue. Schulz is a graduate transfer from Utah and threw for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns in three years with the Utes.

 

Related: College Football's Head Coaches on the Rise for 2015

 

Maxwell Smith, Kentucky to San Diego State

Smith battled shoulder injuries at Kentucky and used the 2014 season as a redshirt year. But when he’s healthy, Smith has proven he can be a solid FBS quarterback. The senior threw for 21 touchdowns and 3,070 yards in three seasons with the Wildcats.

 

Tyler Matthews, TCU to Southern Miss

Southern Miss has a returning starter at quarterback in junior Nick Mullens (12 TDs, 9 INTs in 2014), but Matthews – a four-star recruit in the 2012 signing class – will have an opportunity to win the starting job. The Kansas native was also recruited to Oklahoma State by current Southern Miss coach Todd Monken.

 

Bryant Shirreffs, NC State to UConn

UConn is desperately looking for a spark on offense after averaging only 169.3 passing yards per game in 2014. Shirreffs had success in a limited role at NC State in 2013, completing 4 of 5 passes for 17 yards and one score, along with 158 yards on the ground. Shirreffs has an edge over Tim Boyle and Garrett Anderson to start.

 

Max Wittek, USC to Hawaii

With an 8-29 mark in three years at Hawaii, Norm Chow is squarely on the hot seat entering 2015. But Chow has reason for optimism this year, as Wittek was a former top 100 recruit in the 2011 signing class and a four-star prospect. Wittek only completed 50 of 95 passes for 600 yards and three scores in two seasons of playing time with the Trojans. However, he’s a talented passer and is an upgrade for the Rainbow Warriors at quarterback.

 

Other Quarterback Transfers to Watch

 

Damion Hobbs, Oregon to Utah State

Jake Rodrigues, Oregon to San Diego State

Blaire Sullivan, UTEP to Texas State

Teaser:
College Football's Impact Quarterback Transfers for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-offensive-lines-2015
Body:

The success of any college football offense starts in the trenches. Although the skill positions and quarterbacks get all of the attention, it’s the five players up front that set the tone for the rest of the offense.

 

The SEC is never short on talent in the trenches, and 2015 features two teams – Arkansas and Georgia – that could have the nation’s best overall group. The Bulldogs have a slight edge over the Razorbacks in Athlon’s offensive line rankings, but there’s very little separating these groups.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

Ranking the SEC’s Offensive Lines for 2015

 

1. Georgia

Returning Starters: 4

 

It’s a close call for the No. 1 spot between Georgia and Arkansas. A slight edge goes to the Bulldogs over the Razorbacks, as new Georgia line coach Rob Sale inherits four starters from a unit that led the way for rushers to average 5.5 yards per carry in 2014. This group also allowed only 12 sacks in eight SEC contests. Guard Greg Pyke is a first-team All-SEC selection by Athlon Sports for 2015, while the tackle spots are anchored by seniors John Theus and Kolton Houston.

 

2. Arkansas

Returning Starters: 4

 

As mentioned with Georgia, very little separates Georgia and Arkansas in SEC offensive line rankings for 2015. The Razorbacks return four starters, including All-America candidates in guard Sebastian Tretola and tackles Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland. In SEC games last season, Arkansas averaged four yards per carry and allowed only 12 sacks. In just three years in Fayetteville, coach Bret Bielema has already assembled one of the nation’s top offensive lines.

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

3. Auburn

Returning Starters: 3

 

Center Reese Dismukes will be missed, but coach Gus Malzahn should feel confident in the offensive line’s ability for 2015. The Tigers return three starters, with right tackle Avery Young the best of the bunch. But this group should receive a huge boost with the return of guard Alex Kozan from injury, along with the emergence of Ole Miss transfer Austin Golson at center. Sophomore Braden Smith is another promising player for this unit.

 

Related: New Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson Could be Even Better than Nick Marshall

 

4. LSU

Returning Starters: 3

 

With question marks about the quarterbacks, the strength of LSU’s offense will be its rushing attack once again. Standout left tackle La’el Collins will be missed, but three starters are back, including guard Vadal Alexander and right tackle Jerald Hawkins. Both players should be in the mix for All-SEC honors.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

5. Alabama

Returning Starters: 2

 

Alabama’s offense returns only two starters. That’s the bad news. But the good news is the two returning starters – center Ryan Kelly and left tackle Cam Robinson – are among the nation’s top offensive linemen. Even though this unit will have three new starters in 2015, it’s safe to assume the Crimson Tide will have one of the nation’s best offensive lines. Redshirt freshman Ross Pierschbacher is a breakout candidate at guard, while senior Dominick Jackson is slated to take over at right tackle after playing in eight games last year.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

6. Missouri

Returning Starters: 4

 

Missouri’s offensive line played better throughout the course of 2014, and this group should be in the top half of the SEC with four returning starters. Center Evan Boehm is the unit’s best player, and senior guard Conner McGovern was critical in the second-half improvement after switching from right tackle. The addition of junior college recruits Tyler Howell and Malik Cuellar bolster the depth.

 

7. Texas A&M

Returning Starters: 3

 

Will the Aggies make it four years in a row with a lineman going in the first round of the NFL Draft? Maybe not, but there’s a solid group for new line coach Dave Christensen to develop. Center Mike Matthews is the best of the group, while senior Joseph Cheek and guard Germain Ifedi return as starters. The development of the left side – Avery Gennesy and Jermaine Eluemunor are the early favorites to start – will be critical for the Aggies in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the SEC's Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

8. Ole Miss

Returning Starters: 5

 

This unit could be among the most-improved lines in the SEC in 2015. All five starters are back for coach Hugh Freeze, including standout left tackle Laremy Tunsil and four seniors with experience in the SEC. Tunsil is recovering from a leg injury suffered in the Peach Bowl but is expected to be at full strength by the opener. True freshman guard Javon Patterson is a name to watch in 2015.

 

9. South Carolina

Returning Starters: 3

 

The left side of South Carolina’s line must be revamped after stalwarts Corey Robinson (left tackle) and A.J. Cann (guard) expired their eligibility. There’s a good core to build around in 2015 with the return of right tackle Brandon Shell and guard Will Sport. But who will step up to replace Cann and Robinson? With a new starter at quarterback, having a steady offensive line would be a huge plus for coach Steve Spurrier.

 

10. Tennessee

Returning Starters: 4

 

If Tennessee wants to challenge for the SEC East title, this group must take a step forward in its development. The Volunteers had zero returning starters going into 2014 and this unit struggled to get on track. In eight SEC games, the line allowed 28 sacks (most in the conference), and Tennessee rushers averaged only 3.5 yards per carry. Improvement is expected with four starters back, and the overall depth is better with another stellar recruiting class.

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

11. Mississippi State

Returning Starters: 2

 

Rebuilding the offensive line is the top challenge for coach Dan Mullen this offseason. Last year’s group helped rushers average five yards per carry and allowed just 15 sacks in league play. Gone are three standouts, including All-SEC guard Ben Beckwith, left tackle Blaine Clausell and center Dillon Day. The good news is Mullen and this staff have recruited well, so there’s capable replacements waiting to emerge. Senior Justin Malone is the anchor, but junior college recruit Martinas Rankin is a player to watch.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

12. Kentucky

Returning Starters: 4

 

The Wildcats gave up 36 sacks in 2014, but with four starters back, improvement is expected in 2015. Center Jon Toth is the anchor for coach Mark Stoops, while guard Zach West should be in the mix for all-conference honors this season.

 

13. Vanderbilt

Returning Starters: 4

 

Despite four returning starters last season, Vanderbilt’s offensive line struggled. The Commodores averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in SEC games and allowed 21 sacks in 12 overall contests. With four starters back once again for 2015, there’s hope for improvement for new coordinator Andy Ludwig. Junior Andrew Jelks and center Spencer Pulley need to be the anchors for this group.

 

14. Florida

Returning Starters: 1

 

This is the biggest concern for new coach Jim McElwain. Only one starter returns (Trip Thurman), and overall depth and proven bodies are in short supply. FCS transfer Mason Halter and true freshman Martez Ivey are likely to play a huge roles this season. The Gators showed improvement here under line coach Mike Summers last year, but he will have his hands full in 2015.

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Offensive Lines for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-coordinators-rise-2015
Body:

Razorbacks CommunicationsCollege football coordinators have a huge impact on their team in any season. And it’s no secret that hiring good coordinators and retaining them is critical to the long-term success of any head coach. Changing coordinators or a promotion of an assistant into the play-calling role can also provide a boost for any team or provide a fix for a struggling unit.

 

Every year there’s a new crop of coordinators emerging into the national spotlight or primed for a promotion. Which coordinators are on the rise or which ones could be in the mix to be a head coach in the coming years?

 

Here’s a few names to watch from the Power 5 ranks and a couple of coordinators from the Group of 5 teams to monitor in 2015.

 

(Photo of Arkansas' Robb Smith courtesy of Razorbacks Communications)

 

Power 5 Coordinators on the Rise

 

Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator, Wisconsin

In just two years at Wisconsin, Aranda has established himself as one of the Big Ten’s top assistants. Under Aranda’s direction, the Badgers have finished No. 2 in the conference in scoring defense in back-to-back years. Additionally, Wisconsin ranked No. 8 nationally in fewest yards per play in 2013 and gave up only 4.9 yards per play in 2014. Prior to the last two years in Madison, Aranda was a defensive coordinator for one year at Utah State and two seasons at Hawaii.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

Chris Ash, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Ohio State

Ash was hired by coach Urban Meyer to work as the co-defensive coordinator with Luke Fickell last season. And the hire paid dividends for the Buckeyes’ defense, as this unit allowed only 22 points per game en route to a national championship. Ash also coordinated defenses at Arkansas and Wisconsin and is known for his work with defensive backs. Ohio State’s secondary showed significant progress under Ash, giving up only 17 touchdown passes after allowing 31 in 2013. Additionally, the Buckeyes cut down on some of the big plays that plagued this unit in 2013. 

 

Kendal Briles, Offensive Coordinator, Baylor

With Philip Montgomery departing to be the head coach at Tulsa, Briles will assume the controls of Baylor’s high-powered offense. The former Houston receiver has worked on his father's (Art) coaching staff in Waco since 2008 and called the plays in the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State. Although the Bears came up short on the scoreboard, the offense averaged 7.9 yards per play against a rugged Michigan State defense.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator, Florida

Collins is known as the “Minister of Mayhem,” and the Georgia native left Starkville to coordinate Florida’s defense under new coach Jim McElwain. Under Collins’ watch, Mississippi State held opponents to 23 points per game in 2013 and 21.7 in 2014. The Bulldogs also ranked second in the SEC with 37 sacks last year. Prior to his stint with Mississippi State (2011-14), Collins also worked at FIU (2010), UCF (2008-09) and Alabama (2006).

 

Josh Conklin, Defensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh

Conklin has been on a fast rise through the coaching ranks, and the Wyoming native was picked by defensive guru Pat Narduzzi to run Pittsburgh’s defense in 2015. Prior to his hire with the Panthers, Conklin spent two years at FIU and guided the 2014 defense to a No. 3 finish in points allowed in Conference USA and 33 forced turnovers.

 

D.J. Durkin, Defensive Coordinator, Michigan

Jim Harbaugh is one of the nation’s top coaches and offensive minds, but the former Michigan quarterback will have plenty of help from a standout defensive staff. Veteran assistant Greg Mattison remained in Ann Arbor, while Durkin was hired from Florida to coordinate the defense. Durkin worked closely with Will Muschamp from 2010-14 in developing a Gators’ defense that was consistently among the best in the SEC. Prior to the four-year stint at Florida, Durkin worked for three years at Stanford under Harbaugh.

 

Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator, Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons are in rebuild mode under second-year coach Dave Clawson. The defense was a bright spot for Clawson last season, as despite a non-existent offense, Wake Forest gave up 26.4 points per game and held opponents to 5.2 yards per play. Elko followed Clawson from Bowling Green and coordinated the Falcons’ defense to a No. 1 rank among MAC defenses in fewest points allowed in 2013.

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator, Oregon

Oregon’s offense hasn’t missed a beat since Chip Kelly left for the NFL. Having a quarterback like Marcus Mariota certainly helps, but Frost has emerged as one of the nation’s top play-callers. The Ducks averaged 45.4 points per game in 2014 and have recorded back-to-back seasons of at least seven yards per play.

 

David Gibbs, Defensive Coordinator, Texas Tech

Texas Tech is consistently among the Big 12’s best on offense, but the defense has experienced its share of struggles and gave up 41.3 points per game in 2014. However, coach Kliff Kingsbury took a big step in addressing the defensive needs by hiring David Gibbs from Houston. In Gibbs’ tenure with the Cougars, the defense ranked among the best in the American Athletic Conference in fewest points allowed and generated 73 turnovers from 2013-14. Gibbs should be the right hire to get Texas Tech’s defense on the right track.

 

Doug Meacham, Co-Offensive Coordinator, TCU

Meacham was one of the nation’s top coordinator hires in 2014 and made a huge impact on TCU’s push for a playoff spot. The Horned Frogs offense struggled in 2013 by averaging only 25.1 points per game. But Meacham’s hire immediately paid big dividends for coach Gary Patterson, as TCU ranked second in the Big 12 by averaging 46.5 points per game last year. Additionally, the Horned Frogs averaged 6.7 yards per play in 2014. Meacham also improved Houston’s offense in his one year with the Cougars, guiding the 2013 attack to an average of 33.2 points per game.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

Scottie Montgomery, Offensive Coordinator, Duke

David Cutcliffe is the mastermind behind Duke’s offense, but Montgomery was promoted to the offensive coordinator role after a one-year stint as receivers coach in 2013. Prior to the 2013 season, Montgomery spent three years with the Steelers and worked from 2006-09 as an assistant at Duke.

 

Mike Norvell, Offensive Coordinator, Arizona State

It’s only a matter of time before Norvell gets a chance to run a Power 5 program. The 33-year-old offensive coordinator has been a key cog in Arizona State’s rise under coach Todd Graham. Norvell has worked for the last three years as the Sun Devils’ play-caller and previously spent time with Graham at Pittsburgh and Tulsa. Arizona State has averaged at least 38 points per game in each of Norvell’s three years in Tempe.

 

Barry Odom, Defensive Coordinator, Missouri

After three years at Memphis, Odom is returning to a familiar place: Missouri. The Oklahoma native played with the Tigers from 1996-99 and later coached under Gary Pinkel in Columbia from 2003-11. Memphis showed dramatic improvement under Odom and limited opponents to 19.5 points per game in 2014. Odom has big shoes to fill after Dave Steckel left to be the head coach at Missouri State. However, Odom is a top-notch hire and should keep Missouri’s defense performing at a high level in 2015 and beyond.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator, Georgia

In just two years, Pruitt has already moved into the conversation as one of the top defensive coordinators in the nation. Pruitt coordinated Florida State’s defense in its 2013 national championship season and led the nation by holding opponents to just 12.1 points per game. In Pruitt’s first year at Georgia, the Bulldogs held opponents to 4.8 yards per play and 20.7 points per game. Pruitt is also regarded as an excellent recruiter.

 

Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma

Bob Stoops overhauled his staff after a disappointing 8-5 season last year, and Riley was handed the keys to the Sooners’ offense. Riley’s background is in the Air Raid offense, as he worked under Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2003-09 and joined Ruffin McNeill’s staff at East Carolina as the play-caller from 2010-14. Under Riley’s direction, the Pirates averaged 40.2 points per game in 2013 and led the American Athletic Conference in passing yards per contest in 2014.

 

Mike Sanford, Offensive Coordinator, Notre Dame

Sanford has only been an offensive coordinator for just one season (2014), but the Virginia native is highly regarded assistant. Under Sanford’s watch last year, Boise State led the Mountain West by averaging 39.7 points per game. Additionally, the Broncos averaged 6.5 yards per play and ranked among the nation’s best in red zone offense. Prior to Boise State, Sanford spent three years at Stanford (2011-13) and also worked one year (2010) at WKU.

 

Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator, Oregon State

When Gary Andersen was hired at Oregon State this offseason, he turned to a familiar name to coordinate the defense. Sitake worked with Andersen at Southern Utah in 2003 and at Utah from 2005-08. The Hawaii native comes to Corvallis after spending six years as the Utes’ defensive coordinator. Utah led the nation with 55 sacks in 2014 and led the Pac-12 in scoring defense (20.2 ppg) in 2011. The combination of Andersen and Sitake should be a huge addition for an Oregon State defense in rebuild mode in 2015.

 

Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator, Penn State

Shoop was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistant hires last season, and the Pennsylvania native helped Penn State lead the Big Ten in scoring defense and rank No. 3 nationally in yards per play allowed. Shoop also worked under Penn State coach James Franklin at Vanderbilt, and the Commodores held opponents under 25 points per game in all three seasons (2011-13). Shoop also has stops on his resume at William & Mary, UMass, Columbia, Boston College and Army. The Pennsylvania native is one of the top defensive coordinators in the nation.

 

Robb Smith, Defensive Coordinator, Arkansas

Bret Bielema has a good track record of hiring assistants. And it’s no surprise Bielema hit a home run when he hired Smith to coordinate Arkansas’ defense last season. After a one-year stint in the NFL with the Buccaneers, Smith returned to the collegiate level and transformed the defense into one of the best in the SEC. The Razorbacks allowed only 19.2 points per game and gave up only 28 points over the final four contests. Prior to his 2014 season at Arkansas, Smith also worked from 2009-12 at Rutgers and from 2002-08 at Maine.

 

Group of 5 Coordinators on the Rise

 

Kevin Clune, Defensive Coordinator, Utah State

Clune is back at Utah State after a one-year stint at Hawaii. He replaces Todd Orlando, who left Logan for a chance to coordinate Houston’s defense. Clune’s one year with the Rainbow Warriors brought marked improvement to their defense. Hawaii allowed 38.8 points per game in 2013 but gave up only 26.8 under Clune. Prior to the one-year stint at Hawaii and working from 2009-13 at Utah State, Clune also spent time as the defensive coordinator at Weber State and Southern Utah.

 

Tyson Helton, Offensive Coordinator, WKU

Helton assumed controls of WKU’s offense in 2014, and the Florida native’s first opportunity to call plays at a FBS program was a huge success. The Hilltoppers averaged 44.4 points per game in 2014 and ranked second nationally by averaging 374.3 passing yards per game.

 

Related: Conference USA 2015 Predictions

 

Brent Key, Offensive Coordinator, UCF

Key is regarded for his work on the recruiting trail, and the Birmingham native will take over play-calling duties for the Knights in 2015. Key has worked on UCF’s staff since 2005 and played at Georgia Tech under coach George O’Leary.

 

Todd Orlando, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Houston

Orlando was hired by Tom Herman to coordinate Houston’s defense after a successful two-year run at Utah State. Under Orlando’s watch, the Aggies led the Mountain West in scoring defense and fewest yards per play allowed in back-to-back years. The Pittsburgh native also has stops in his career as a defensive coordinator at FIU and UConn.

 

Related: American Athletic Conference 2015 Predictions

 

Nick Rolovich, Offensive Coordinator, Nevada

Rolovich – the former Hawaii quarterback – is in his four season coordinating the Wolf Pack offense. Nevada’s best season under Rolovich’s watch took place in 2012, as the Wolf Pack averaged 37.8 points per game and 6.2 yards per play. The California native will be tested in 2015 with the departure of quarterback Cody Fajardo.

 

Related: Mountain West 2015 Predictions

 

Tyson Summers, Defensive Coordinator, Colorado State

After spending one season as the defensive coordinator at UCF, Summers headed out west to work with Mike Bobo at Colorado State. The Knights’ defense held opponents to just 19.2 points per game last year and limited American Athletic Conference teams to just 3.9 yards per play.

 

Bryant Vincent, Offensive Coordinator, South Alabama

Vincent is back at South Alabama after a one-year stop at UAB. The Kentucky native guided the Blazers to a No. 4 finish in Conference USA scoring offense last season, and a 5.5 mark in yards per play. Vincent will be working with a few familiar faces from UAB, as quarterback Cody Clements and standout offensive lineman Cameron Blankenship transferred to Mobile for their senior year.

Teaser:
College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/parking-urban-meyers-spot-really-bad-idea
Body:

Parking in spaces that are marked or designated for certain individuals is never a good idea.

 

And it’s always a bad idea to block a college football coach in his parking spot. After all, most coaches work long hours and burn the midnight oil.

 

Thanks to running back Warren Ball, we are finding out Urban Meyer likes to block in anyone who parks in his space. Planning on leaving? Looks like this person will be waiting a while. And it's safe to say they won't be in Meyer's spot again. 

Teaser:
Parking in Urban Meyer's Spot is a Really Bad Idea
Post date: Monday, June 15, 2015 - 13:27
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-15-coaches-rise-2015
Body:

Coaching in the college football ranks is no easy task. The pressure to win and produce at a high level is higher than ever before. And as a result of the pressure, programs can’t wait for five seasons to give a coach time to produce a winning record. Getting the hire right is critical to any college football program.

 

Change in any college football offseason is inevitable. There will be coaching changes after the 2015 season. So what names might intrigue athletic directors when jobs open up?

 

Let’s take a look at 15 college football coaches on the rise, followed by a few other names to know this year.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

15 College Football Coaches on the Rise for 2015

 

Craig Bohl, Wyoming

2014 was a rebuilding year for Wyoming, so it was no surprise Bohl and the Cowboys struggled last season. But the long-term outlook in Laramie is promising for this coaching staff. Bohl went 104-32 in 11 years at North Dakota State, which included three consecutive FCS national championships from 2011-13. With nine starters returning in 2015, progress could be slow for Bohl this year. However, there’s a strong track record of success, and Wyoming hit a home run when it lured Bohl away from North Dakota State.

 

Related: Mountain West 2015 Predictions

 

Matt Campbell, Toledo

The Rockets are still looking for their first MAC West title under Campbell, but there’s no doubt the 35-year-old coach has this program headed in the right direction. Toledo is 26-13 under Campbell’s watch and is coming off its best record in MAC play over the last three years. The Rockets are Athlon’s pick to win the MAC West in 2015, and Campbell should have Toledo positioned to win at least eight games for the fifth time in six seasons.

 

Related: MAC 2015 Predictions

 

P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

Fleck was hired to energize Western Michigan’s program and get the Broncos back into contention for MAC championships. So far, it’s safe to say Fleck has succeeded in both of those areas, as Western Michigan is among the favorites to win the MAC in 2015. The Broncos went 1-11 in Fleck’s debut, but were one of the most improved teams in college football last season. Western Michigan went 8-5 and made its first bowl appearance since 2011. Fleck is known as an ace recruiter, as this program has reeled in the No. 1 recruiting class in the MAC in back-to-back years.

 

Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern

Transitioning from the FCS to FBS ranks with a new coach is supposed to be difficult. However, Georgia Southern crushed that narrative last season. In Fritz’s first season, the Eagles went 9-3 and recorded a perfect 8-0 mark in Sun Belt play. And Georgia Southern was much closer to double-digit wins than some may realize, as the Eagles lost to NC State and Georgia Tech by a combined five points. Prior to taking over at Georgia Southern, Fritz was a successful coach at Sam Houston State (40-14) and Central Missouri (97-47).

 

Related: Sun Belt 2015 Predictions

 

Justin Fuente, Memphis

Memphis hit rock bottom after a dismal two-year stint under Larry Porter from 2010-11. But thanks to Fuente, the Tigers needed just one season to match Porter’s two-year win total, as Memphis improved to 4-8 in his debut.The Tigers followed up with a 3-9 showing in 2013, albeit in the tougher American Athletic Conference after leaving Conference USA. Memphis then had a breakthrough 2014 campaign in Fuente’s third year, as the Tigers went 10-3 and finished No. 25 in the final Associated Press poll. Memphis has a few holes to fill going into 2015, but the Tigers will remain a factor in the American Athletic Conference with Fuente at the helm.

 

Related: American Athletic Conference 2015 Predictions

 

Bryan Harsin, Boise State

It’s hard to find a coach that’s better suited to guide the Boise State program than Harsin. The Boise native also played quarterback for the Broncos and was an assistant with the program from 2001-10. After Chris Petersen left for Washington, Harsin returned to Boise State after one year as Arkansas State’s head coach. The Broncos went 12-2 in Harsin’s debut, won the Fiesta Bowl over Arizona and finished No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll. With a strong core of talent in place for 2015, Boise State should be the top Group of 5 program this season.

 

Related: Mountain West 2015 Predictions

 

Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

Hudspeth was the highest-ranked coach from a Group of 5 program in Athlon’s 128 coach rankings for 2015. Over the last four years at UL Lafayette, Hudspeth has recorded a 36-16 record and four consecutive bowl wins. The Ragin’ Cajuns have won exactly nine games in each of Hudspeth’s four years and went 7-1 in conference play last season. Prior to UL Lafayette, Hudspeth made stops as an assistant at Mississippi State, Navy and Delta State and went 66-21 as North Alabama’s head coach from 2002-08.

 

Related: Sun Belt 2015 Predictions

 

Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Jim Harbaugh grabbed the offseason attention as college football’s best coaching hire, but Buffalo’s decision to hire Leipold shouldn’t be overlooked. Leipold was ultra-successful in a stint at Wisconsin-Whitewater, guiding the Warhawks to 109 wins from 2007-14. Additionally Wisconsin-Whitewater won six Division III Championships under Leipold’s watch. The Wisconsin native also has stops in his career as an assistant at Nebraska and Wisconsin (graduate assistant).

 

Related: MAC 2015 Predictions

 

Pete Lembo, Ball State

The seven losses suffered by Ball State in 2014 were the most in Lembo’s coaching tenure, but the New York native is still one of the top coaches in the Group of 5 ranks. Lembo is 30-20 in four years with the Cardinals, including a 10-3 mark in 2013. Ball State also has two bowl appearances under Lembo. Prior to coming to Muncie, Lembo went 35-22 at Elon and 44-14 at Lehigh, with three combined FCS playoff appearances among the two programs.

 

Tom Herman, Houston

Herman has been on a fast track through the coaching ranks and was a key cog in Ohio State’s run to the national championship last season. The story for the Buckeyes in 2014 was no secret, as the offense never missed a beat despite losing its top two quarterbacks. Herman did a good job of preparing Cardale Jones over the last three games of the season, and the California native landed his first FBS head coaching opportunity at Houston. Herman is no stranger to the state of Texas, as he has stops in his career at Rice, Texas State, Sam Houston State and Texas as an assistant. Prior to calling the plays for the Buckeyes from 2012-14, Herman was the offensive coordinator at Iowa State. Houston is a program with potential. There’s a new stadium and a fertile recruiting territory to tap into. Herman should be a home-run hire for the Cougars.

 

Chad Morris, SMU

Morris is one of the brightest offensive minds in college football. The Texas native has been on a fast rise through the coaching ranks due to his offensive acumen, as he was hired to coordinate Tulsa’s offense in 2010 after a lengthy stint (1994-2009) in the high school coaching ranks. After one year with the Golden Hurricane, Morris was hired by Dabo Swinney to fix a Clemson offense that ranked 10th in the ACC in scoring in 2010. The Tigers ranked first or second in the conference in scoring offense in three out of Morris’ four years calling the plays. Additionally, Morris was a key cog in Clemson’s turnaround, as the Tigers won at least 10 games in each of his four years in Death Valley. With his ties to Texas and background on offense, Morris should help spark a SMU program that has only four bowl appearances since 1985.

 

Matt Rhule, Temple

Looking for a sleeper team in the American Athletic Conference this year? Keep an eye on Temple. Rhule is just 8-16 in his two seasons with the Owls, but this program improved its win total by four games from 2013 to '14. And Rhule’s 2013 team wasn’t quite as bad as the win tally suggested, as the Owls lost six games by 10 points or less. Rhule replaced Steve Addazio after he left to be the head coach at Boston College and has the program in good shape headed into 2015.

 

Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

Georgia Southern grabbed most of the attention and headlines last season, but Appalachian State’s first year in the FBS ranks shouldn’t go unnoticed. The Mountaineers went 7-5 and finished 2014 on a six-game winning streak. Satterfield has only been at the helm for two years and went 4-8 in his debut after replacing legendary coach Jerry Moore. Satterfield played quarterback for Appalachian State from 1991-95, and he’s got the program trending up entering the 2015 campaign.

 

Matt Wells, Utah State

Utah State has been one of the most unfortunate teams when it comes to injuries over the last two years. However, despite injuries to a few key players, the Aggies are 19-9 in Wells’ two seasons and have recorded back-to-back bowl wins. Wells worked under Gary Andersen from 2011-12 as an assistant and was promoted to the top spot after Andersen left for Wisconsin. Wells should have Utah State in the mix to win the Mountain West title once again in 2015.

 

Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion

Thanks to Wilder’s coaching, Old Dominion has been on a fast rise through the college football ranks. The Monarchs restarted their football program after a 69-year absence in 2009. Old Dominion went 17-5 in its first two seasons and played in the FCS playoffs in 2011-12 with double-digit wins in both years. The program transitioned from the FCS ranks to the FBS level and went 6-6 in its debut last season. Wilder also runs a high-powered offense, which averaged 34 points per game behind star quarterback Taylor Heinicke last year. Wilder will have to retool the roster with Heinicke out of eligibility, but the Monarchs are a team on the rise in Conference USA.

 

Related: Conference USA 2015 Predictions

 

Other Names to Watch

 

Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

Arkansas State has experienced its share of coaching turnover in recent years, as Anderson’s 2014 season marked the fifth consecutive season with a new head coach in Jonesboro. Anderson went 7-6 in his debut and should have Arkansas State among the teams to beat in the Sun Belt this year.

 

Dino Babers, Bowling Green

Babers has a wealth of experience in his career at several programs, and the former Baylor assistant has spent the last three years as a head coach. In two years at Eastern Illinois, Babers went 19-7 with two playoff appearances. And despite losing starting quarterback Matt Johnson in the season opener last year, Bowling Green won the MAC East and finished 8-6.

 

Neal Brown, Troy

Brown is one of the nation’s youngest head coaches at just 35 years old. The Kentucky native has stops on his resume as an offensive coordinator at Troy, Texas Tech and Kentucky, along with previous experience as an assistant at UMass, Sacred Heart and Delaware. This season will be Brown’s first as a head coach in the FBS ranks.

 

Jeff Brohm, WKU

Brohm had big shoes to fill after the departure of Bobby Petrino but guided WKU to an 8-5 record last season. The Hilltoppers are Athlon’s pick to win Conference USA in 2015.

 

Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois has remained the team to beat in the MAC in Carey’s two years in DeKalb. The Huskies are 23-6 under Carey – with only one loss in conference play – and claimed the 2014 MAC championship. Carey inherited plenty of talent from former coach Dave Doeren and has maintained success so far. Now, the challenge for Carey is to show he is capable of recruiting and building success at Northern Illinois for the long haul.

 

Bill Clark, UAB

Even though UAB doesn’t have a football team in 2015, Clark deserves a mention in this space. The Alabama native went 11-4 with Jacksonville State in 2013 and guided UAB to a 6-6 mark in '14. The Blazers showed tremendous progress in Clark’s first season, and he should be the right coach to rebuild the program once it returns to FBS play.

 

Doc Holliday, Marshall

Holliday has rebuilt Marshall’s program back among the best in Conference USA. After Mark Snyder failed to lead the Thundering Herd to a season of more than seven wins, Holliday is 23-5 in his last two years and has three bowl appearances under his watch. Holliday was known for his recruiting ability when hired at Marshall, but he’s proven he’s more than just a good recruiter.

 

Joey Jones, South Alabama

Jones has built the South Alabama program from scratch, taking over in Mobile after spending time at Birmingham-Southern for two seasons. The Jaguars are 37-28 in six seasons under Jones, and most importantly, the program continues to show progress in each season at the FBS level. South Alabama is also coming off its first bowl appearance in program history.

Teaser:
College Football's Top 15 Coaches on the Rise for 2015
Post date: Monday, June 15, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

With a solid core of experienced quarterbacks and playmakers returning, the Sun Belt should provide plenty of intriguing matchups and offensive fireworks in 2015. Arkansas State’s Fredi Knighten is Athlon Sports’ first-team All-Sun Belt quarterback, and the senior is a big reason why the Red Wolves are one of the favorites to win the conference this year.

 

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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 Sun Belt Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

2015 Sun Belt Team Previews

       
 
National
Rank:
90767712612587
  
National
Rank:
11512410893118 

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-Sun Belt Team 
 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBFredi Knighten
Ark. State  
Kevin Ellison
Ga. Southern 
Tyler Jones
Texas State 
Taylor Lamb
Appalachian State 
RBMatt Breida
Ga. Southern 
Marcus Cox
App. State 
Robert Lowe
Texas State 
Brandon Burks
Troy 
RBElijah McGuire
UL Lafayette 
Michael Gordon
Ark. State 
Larry Rose III
NMSU 
Elijhaa Penny
Idaho 
WR

Donovan Harden

Georgia State 

Jamal Robinson
UL Lafayette 
Rashon Caesar
ULM 
Dijon Paschal
Ark. State 
WRTeldrick Morgan
NMSU 
Dezmon Epps
Idaho 
J.D. McKissic
Ark. State 
Malachi Jones
App. State 
TEAjalen Holley (WR)
ULM  
Joel Ruiz (TE)
Georgia State 
Bryan Holmes (WR)
Troy 
Darion Griswold (TE)
Ark. State 
CDalton Bennett
Troy 
Joseph Scelfo
South Alabama 
Devin Mondie
Ark. State 
Jesse Chapman
App. State 
OGMykhael Quave
UL Lafayette 
I. Folasa-Lutui
NMSU 
Felix Romero
Texas State 
Alex Stoeher
Georgia State 
OGDarien Foreman
Ga. Southern 
Cameron Blankenship
South Alabama 
Donovan Williams
UL Lafayette 
Parker Collins
App. State 
OTAdrian Bellard
Texas State 
Colton Jackson
Ark. State 
Beau Nunn
App. State 
Jemar Clark
Ark. State 
OTChris May
South Alabama 
Antonio Garcia
Troy 
Ryan Melton
Texas State 
Octravian Anderson
UL Lafayette 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DERonald Blair
App. State 
Tyler Roberts
Troy 
Bernard Dawson
Ga. Southern 
Jamal Stadom
Troy 
DEChris Stone
Ark. State 
Quinton Bradley
Idaho 
Lorenzo Jackson
ULM 
Dallas McClarty
Texas State 
DTGerrand Johnson
ULM 
Jimmie Gipson III
South Alabama 
Jacoby Briscoe
UL Lafayette 
Kennan Gilchrist (LB)
App. State 
DTJa'Von Rolland-Jones
Ark. State 
Jay Ellison
Ga. Southern 
Lonnie Gosha
Troy 
Kawe Johnson (DB)
NMSU  
LBHunter Kissinger
ULM 
Xavier Woodson
Ark. State 
Marc Millan
Idaho 
Otha Peters
UL Lafayette 
LBJohn Law
App. State 
Dominique Tovell
UL Lafayette 
Michael Johnson
ULM 
Blake Dees
South Alabama 
LBJoseph Peterson
Georgia State 
Rodney Butler
NMSU 
Antwione Williams
Ga. Southern 
Trey McGowan
Texas State 
CBDavid Mims
Texas State  
Trey Caldwell
ULM 
Winston Rose
NMSU 
Latrell Gibbs
App. State 
CBDoug Middleton
App. State 
Rocky Hayes
Ark. State 
Bruce Dukes
Georgia State 
Jayshawn Jordan
Idaho 
SMitch Lane
ULM 
Matt Dobson
Ga. Southern 
Tarris Batiste
Georgia State 
Tracy Walker
UL Lafayette 
SMontres Kitchen
Troy 
Roman Buchanan
South Alabama 
Money Hunter
Ark. State 
Bobby Baker
Georgia State 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KAleem Sunanon
South Alabama 
Austin Rehkow
Idaho 
Wil Lutz
Georgia State 
Ryan Kay
Troy 
PAustin Rehkow
Idaho 
Brandon McKee
South Alabama 

Luke Ferguson

Ark. State 

Bentlee Crichter
App. State 
KRDerek Keaton
Ga. Southern 
Teldrick Morgan
NMSU 
Brandon Smith
Texas State 
Tyler Cain
ULM 
PRBlaise Taylor
Ark. State 
Rashon Caesar
ULM 
Elijah McGuire
ULL 
Dezmon Epps
Idaho 
Related: 2015 Sun Belt Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-Sun Belt Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Appalachian State

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 4

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 1

Arkansas State

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 3

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia Southern

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Georgia State

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Idaho

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

UL Lafayette

Offense: 2 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

ULM

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

NMSU

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

South Alabama

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas State

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 4

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Troy

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 12, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

Baylor and TCU ended 2014 at the top of the Big 12 standings, and the Horned Frogs and Bears begin 2015 as the favorites to win the league crown once again. Both teams are loaded with returning talent on both sides of the ball, as Baylor and TCU each place over 10 selections on Athlon’s 2015 All-Big 12 team. 

 

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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 Big 12 Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Big 12 Team Previews for 2015
      
 
National
Rank:
3741034417
 
National
Rank:
285334836

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-Big 12 Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBTrevone Boykin
TCU 
Mason Rudolph
Oklahoma State 
Seth Russell
Baylor 
Patrick Mahomes
Texas Tech 
RBSamaje Perine
Oklahoma 
Aaron Green
TCU 
Rushel Shell
West Virginia 

Alex Ross

Oklahoma 

RBShock Linwood
Baylor 
DeAndre Washington
Texas Tech 
Johnathan Gray
Texas 
Wendell Smallwood
West Virginia 
WRCorey Coleman
Baylor 
KD Cannon
Baylor 
Allen Lazard
Iowa State 
Devin Lauderdale
Texas Tech 
WRSterling Shepard
Oklahoma 
Jakeem Grant
Texas Tech 
Jordan Thompson
West Virginia 
Kolby Listenbee
TCU 
WRJosh Doctson
TCU 
Brandon Sheperd
Oklahoma State 
Quenton Bundrage
Iowa State 
Jay Lee
Baylor 
CJoey Hunt
TCU 
Tyler Orlosky
West Virginia 
Ty Darlington
Oklahoma 
Jared Kaster
Texas Tech 
OGHala Vaitai
TCU 
Kent Perkins
Texas 
Nila Kasitati
Oklahoma  
Jamelle Naff
TCU 
OGCody Whitehair (OT)
Kansas State 
Boston Stiverson
Kansas State 
Adam Pankey
West Virginia 
Alfredo Morales
Texas Tech 
OTSpencer Drango
Baylor 
Zachary Crabtree
Oklahoma State 
Jake Campos
Iowa State 
Victor Salako
Oklahoma State  
OTLe'Raven Clark
Texas Tech 
Sedrick Flowers
Texas 
Jarell Broxton
Baylor 
Daniel Burton
Iowa State 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEShawn Oakman
Baylor 
Charles Tapper
Oklahoma 

James McFarland

TCU 

Ben Goodman
Kansas 
DEEmmanuel Ogbah
Oklahoma State 
Travis Britz (DT)
Kansas State 
Branden Jackson
Texas Tech 
Jamal Palmer
Baylor 
DTAndrew Billings
Baylor 
Davion Pierson
TCU 
Desmond Jackson
Texas 
Beau Blackshear
Baylor 
DTPete Robertson (DE)
Texas Tech 
Hassan Ridgeway
Texas 
Vincent Taylor
Oklahoma State 
Will Geary
Kansas State 
LBEric Striker
Oklahoma 
Dominique Alexander
Oklahoma 
Elijah Lee
Kansas State 
Malik Jefferson
Texas 
LBNick Kwiatkoski
West Virginia 
Taylor Young
Baylor 
Seth Jacobs
Oklahoma State 
Micah Awe
Texas Tech 
LBRyan Simmons
Oklahoma State 
Jordan Evans
Oklahoma 
Xavien Howard (CB)
Baylor  
Nigel Bethel (DB)
Texas Tech 
CBZack Sanchez
Oklahoma 
Danzel McDaniel
Kansas State 

Nigel Tribune
Iowa State 

Morgan Burns
Kansas State 
CBDaryl Worley
West Virginia 
Kevin Peterson
Oklahoma State 
Duke Thomas
Texas 
Ranthony Texada
TCU 
SKarl Joseph
West Virginia 
Derrick Kindred
TCU 
Jason Hall
Texas 
Kamari Cotton-Moya
Iowa State 
SDante Barnett
Kansas State 
Orion Stewart
Baylor 
Jordan Sterns
Oklahoma State 
Dravon Henry
West Virginia 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KJosh Lambert
West Virginia 
Jaden Oberkrom
TCU 
Matthew McCrane
Kansas State 
Ben Grogan
Oklahoma State 
PNick O'Toole
West Virginia 
Ethan Perry
TCU 
Taylor Symmank
Texas Tech 
Nick Walsh
Kansas State 
KRAlex Ross
Oklahoma 
Morgan Burns
Kansas State 
Jakeem Grant
Texas Tech 
Daje Johnson
Texas 
PRCameron
Echols-Luper
TCU 
Dede Westbrook
Oklahoma 
Corey Coleman
Baylor 
Sterling Shepard
Oklahoma 

Related: 2015 Big 12 Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-Big 12 Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Baylor

Offense: 3

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa State

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Kansas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Kansas State

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Oklahoma

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Oklahoma State

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 3 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

TCU

Offense: 4

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 0 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Texas

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 3 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Texas Tech

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 4

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

West Virginia

Offense: 0

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 12, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

Ohio State is the favorite to win college football’s 2015 national championship, and a quick glance at Athlon’s projected All-Big Ten shows how loaded coach Urban Meyer’s team is for this year. The Buckeyes place nine players on the first team, including projected starting quarterback Cardale Jones and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

 

Athlon Sports released its full predictions for the Big Ten 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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 Big Ten Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Big Ten Team Previews for 2015

East Division
 
National
Rank:
605734713265
West Division
 
National
Rank:
64534529588419

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-Big Ten Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBCardale Jones
Ohio State 
Connor Cook
Michigan State 
Christian Hackenberg
Penn State 
Wes Lunt
Illinois 
RBEzekiel Elliott
Ohio State 

Justin Jackson
Northwestern 

Josh Ferguson
Illinois 
Ty Isaac
Michigan 
RBCorey Clement
Wisconsin 
Jordan Howard
Indiana 

Akeel Lynch
Penn State 

Terrell Newby
Nebraska 
APDe'Mornay Pierson-El
Nebraska 
Curtis Samuel
Ohio State 
Dan Vitale (TE)
Northwestern 
Amara Darboh (WR)
Michigan  
WRLeonte Carroo
Rutgers 
Michael Thomas
Ohio State 
Jordan Westerkamp
Nebraska 
Geronimo Allison
Illinois 
WRDaeSean Hamilton
Penn State 
Jalin Marshall
Ohio State 
Alex Erickson
Wisconsin 
Aaron Burbridge
Michigan State 
TEJosiah Price
Michigan State  
Jake Butt
Michigan 
Nick Vannett
Ohio State 
Kyle Carter
Penn State 
CJack Allen
Michigan State 
Dan Voltz
Wisconsin 
Austin Blythe
Iowa 
Robert Kugler
Purdue 
OGPat Elflein
Ohio State 
Dan Feeney
Indiana 
Ted Karras
Illinois 
Brian Allen
Michigan State 
OGTyler Marz (OT)
Wisconsin 
Josh Campion
Minnesota 
Jordan Walsh
Iowa 
Chris Muller
Rutgers 
OTTaylor Decker
Ohio State 
Alex Lewis
Nebraska 
Keith Lumpkin
Rutgers 
Jacoby Boren (C)
Ohio State 
OTJack Conklin
Michigan State 
Jason Spriggs
Indiana 
Andrew Nelson
Penn State 
Mason Cole
Michigan 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEJoey Bosa
Ohio State 
Drew Ott
Iowa 
Jihad Ward
Illinois 
Kemoko Turay
Rutgers 
DEShilique Calhoun
Michigan State 
Yannick Ngakoue
Maryland 
Lawrence Thomas
Michigan State  
Dean Lowry
Northwestern 
DTAnthony Zettel
Penn State 
Adolphus Washington
Ohio State 
Austin Johnson
Penn State 
Theiren Cockran (DE)
Minnesota  
DTMaliek Collins
Nebraska 
Darius Hamilton
Rutgers 
Vincent Valentine
Nebraska 
Malik McDowell
Michigan State 
LBDarron Lee
Ohio State 
Ed Davis
Michigan State 
Mason Monheim
Illinois 
James Ross III
Michigan 
LBJoshua Perry
Ohio State 
Nyeem Wartman
Penn State 

Steve Longa
Rutgers 

De'Vondre Campbell
Minnesota 
LBVince Biegel
Wisconsin 
Raekwon McMillan
Ohio State 
Ja'Whaun Bentley
Purdue 
Joe Schobert
Wisconsin  
CBWilliam Likely
Maryland 
Eric Murray
Minnesota 
Darius Hillary
Wisconsin 
Desmond King
Iowa 
CBEli Apple
Ohio State 
Briean Boddy-Calhoun
Minnesota 
Nick VanHoose
Northwestern 
Sojourn Shelton
Wisconsin 
SVonn Bell
Ohio State 
Nate Gerry
Nebraska 
Jabrill Peppers
Michigan 
Tyvis Powell
Ohio State 
SMichael Caputo
Wisconsin 
Jordan Lucas
Penn State  
Frankie Williams
Purdue 
Jordan Lomax
Iowa 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KBrad Craddock
Maryland 
Rafael Gaglianone
Wisconsin 
Paul Griggs
Purdue 
Jack Mitchell
Northwestern 
PPeter Mortell
Minnesota 
Cameron Johnston
Ohio State 
Sam Foltz
Nebraska 
Blake O'Neill
Michigan 
KRJanarion Grant
Rutgers 
R.J. Shelton
Michigan State 
Jalen Myrick
Minnesota 
William Likely
Maryland 
PRDe'Mornay Pierson-El
Nebraska 
Jalin Marshall
Ohio State 
William Likely
Maryland 
Frankie Williams
Purdue 

Related: 2015 Big Ten Predictions


 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-Big Ten Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Illinois

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Indiana

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Iowa

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Maryland

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Michigan

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Michigan State

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Minnesota

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Nebraska

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Northwestern

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Ohio State

Offense: 4

Defense: 5

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Penn State

Offense: 1

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Purdue

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

Rutgers

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Wisconsin

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

The MAC should have plenty of offensive fireworks in 2015. There’s no shortage of talent at quarterback in this league, beginning with UMass’ Blake Frohnapfel, as the senior headlines Athlon’s 2015 All-MAC team. However, Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell, Buffalo’s Joe Licata, Northern Illinois’ Drew Hare and Central Michigan’s Cooper Rush are all in the mix for all-conference honors. The MAC also features two star running backs capable of pushing for All-America honors in Toledo’s Kareem Hunt and Western Michigan’s Jarvion Franklin.

 

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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 MAC Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

MAC 2015 Team Previews
East Division
 
National
Rank:
97781051191219892
West Division
 
National
Rank:
94111127807581

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-MAC Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBBlake Frohnapfel
UMass 
Matt Johnson
BGSU 
Zach Terrell
WMU 
Joe Licata
Buffalo 
RBKareem Hunt
Toledo 
Travis Greene
BGSU 
A.J. Ouellette
Ohio 
 
Trayion Durham
Kent State 
RBJarvion Franklin
WMU 
Anthone Taylor
Buffalo 
Joel Bouagnon
NIU 
Devon Spalding
CMU 
APTajae Sharpe (WR)
UMass  
Ron Willoughy (WR)
Buffalo 
Daniel Braverman (WR)
WMU 

Ronnie Moore (WR)

BGSU 

WRCorey Davis
WMU 
Corey Jones
Toledo 
Alonzo Russell
Toledo 
Jesse Kroll
CMU  
WRRoger Lewis
BGSU 
Jordan Williams
Ball State 
KeVonn Mabon
Ball State 
Rokeem Williams
Miami (Ohio)  
TERodney Mills
UMass  
Matt Weiser
Buffalo  
Tommylee Lewis (WR)
NIU  
Juwan Brescacin (WR)
NIU  
CAndrew Ness
NIU 
Nick Beamish
CMU 
Jacob Richard
Ball State 
Lucas Powell
Ohio 
OGAlex Huettel
BGSU 
Dylan Brumbaugh
Akron 
Logan Dietz
BGSU 
Mike Lucas
Ohio 
OGJames Kristof
WMU 
Aidan Conlon
NIU 
Trevan Brown
Miami, Ohio 
Jalen Schlachter
Ball State 
OTWillie Beavers
WMU 
Steven Bell
Ball State 
Ramadan Ahmeti
CMU 
Reno Reda
Kent State 
OTStorm Norton
Toledo 
Tyrell Smith
UMass 
Jacob Bennett
BGSU  
Taylor Moton
WMU  
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEPerez Ford
NIU 
Tarell Basham
Ohio 
Blake Serpa
CMU 
Jamal Marcus
Akron 
DETrent Voss
Toledo 
Joe Ostman
CMU 
Bryson Albright
Miami, Ohio 
Nathan Braster
WMU 
DTPat O'Connor
EMU 
Treyvon Hester
Toledo 
Jabari Dean
CMU  
Nate Terhune
Kent State 
DTCody Grice
Akron 
Orion Jones
Toledo 
Rodney Coe
Akron 
Darnell Smith
Ball State 
LBJatavis Brown
Akron 
Grant DePalma
WMU 
Ben Ingle
Ball State 
Zack Ryan
Ball State 
LBGreat Ibe
EMU 
Boomer Mays
NIU 
Quentin Poling
Ohio  
Rasheen Lemon
NIU  
LBJovan Santos-Knox
UMass 
Jovon Johnson
Ohio 
Kent Kern
Miami, Ohio  
Matt Dellinger
Kent State 
CBRandall Jette
UMass 
Cheatham Norrils
Toledo 
Najee Murray
Kent State  
Ian Wells
Ohio 
CBParis Logan
NIU 
Ronald Zamort
WMU 
Heath Harding
Miami, Ohio  
Trey Dudley-Giles
UMass 
STony Annese
CMU 
Jordan Italiano
Kent State 
DeJuan Rogers
Toledo 
Kavon Frazier
CMU  
SNate Holley
Kent State 
Marlon Moore
NIU 
Rontavious Atkins
WMU  
Larry Hope (CB)
Akron 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KTyler Tate
BGSU 
Andrew Haldeman
WMU 
Robert Stein
Akron 
Dylan Mulder
EMU  
PAnthony Melchiori
Kent State 
Zach Paul
Akron 
Joe Davidson
BGSU 
J. Schroeder
WMU 
KRDarius Phillips
WMU 
Devin Campbell
Buffalo 
Khary Bailey-Smith
UMass 
Clint Stephens
BGSU 
PRCorey Jones
Toledo 
Tommylee Lewis
NIU 
Ryan Burbrink
BGSU 
Daz'mond Patterson
Ohio 
Related: 2015 MAC Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-MAC Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Akron

Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Ball State

Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Bowling Green

Offense: 2
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: 1 

Buffalo

Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Central Michigan

Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0

Eastern Michigan

Offense: 0 
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 1

Kent State

Offense: 0 
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0 
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Miami, Ohio

Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0 
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Northern Illinois

Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Ohio

Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1

Toledo

Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0

UMass

Offense: 3
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1 
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Western Michigan

Offense: 3
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

 

Teaser:
MAC Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

It’s no secret college football’s best talent resides in the SEC. While the talent at quarterback is down this year, there’s no shortage of potential All-America candidates on defense and at running back. And choosing which players from the 14 teams make Athlon’s 2015 All-SEC team is no easy assignment considering the overall depth of this league.

 

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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 SEC Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

SEC 2015 Team Previews
East Division
 
National
Rank:
26105527372279
West Division
 
National
Rank:
216415211120

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-SEC Team
First Team Second TeamThird TeamFourth Team
QB Dak Prescott
Mississippi State 
Jeremy Johnson
Auburn 
Joshua Dobbs
Tennessee 
Kyle Allen
Texas A&M 
RB Nick Chubb
Georgia  
Derrick Henry
Alabama 
Jalen Hurd
Tennessee 
Ralph Webb
Vanderbilt 
RB Leonard Fournette
LSU 
Jonathan Williams
Arkansas 
Russell Hansbrough
Missouri  
Boom Williams
Kentucky 
AP Pharoh Cooper
South Carolina 
Alex Collins (RB)
Arkansas 
Speedy Noil (AP) 
Texas A&M 
Jovon Robinson (RB)
Auburn 
WR Laquon Treadwell
Ole Miss 
De'Runnya Wilson
Mississippi State 
Josh Reynolds
Texas A&M 
Keon Hatcher
Arkansas 
WR D'haquille Williams
Auburn 
Demarcus Robinson
Florida 
Marquez North
Tennessee 
Travin Dural
LSU 
TE Hunter Henry
Arkansas 
Evan Engram
Ole Miss 
O.J. Howard
Alabama 
Jeb Blazevich
Georgia 
C Ryan Kelly
Alabama 
Mike Matthews
Texas A&M 
Evan Boehm
Missouri  
Jon Toth
Kentucky 
OG Greg Pyke
Georgia 
Conner McGovern
Missouri 
Justin Malone
Miss. State 
Jashon Robertson
Tennessee 
OG Sebastian Tretola
Arkansas 
Alex Kozan
Auburn 
Avery Young (OT)
Auburn 
Brandon Kublanow
Georgia 
OT Laremy Tunsil
Ole Miss 
Denver Kirkland
Arkansas 
Vadal Alexander
LSU 
Jerald Hawkins
LSU 
OT Cam Robinson
Alabama 
Dan Skipper 
Arkansas 
John Theus
Georgia 
Germain Ifedi
Texas A&M 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEDerek Barnett
Tennessee 
Jon Bullard
Florida 
Carl Lawson
Auburn 
Jarran Reed
Alabama 
DEMyles Garrett
Texas A&M 
Jonathan Allen
Alabama 
Marquis Haynes
Ole Miss 
Issac Gross
Ole Miss 
DTRobert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss 
Harold Brantley
Missouri 
Montravius Adams
Auburn 
Taiwan Johnson
Arkansas 
DTA'Shawn Robinson
Alabama 
Chris Jones
Miss. State 
Davon Godchaux
LSU 
Adam Butler
Vanderbilt 
LBReggie Ragland
Alabama 
Antonio Morrison
Florida 
Cassanova McKinzy
Auburn 
Stephen Weatherly
Vanderbilt 
LBJordan Jenkins
Georgia 

Curt Maggitt (DE/LB)

Tennessee 

Kendell Beckwith
LSU 
Kris Frost
Auburn 
LBKentrell Brothers
Missouri 
Leonard Floyd
Georgia 
Skai Moore
South Carolina 
Denzel Nkemdiche
Ole Miss 
CBVernon Hargreaves III
Florida 
Tre'Davious White
LSU 
Jared Collins
Arkansas 
Taveze Calhoun
Miss. State 
CBJonathan Jones
Auburn 
Cam Sutton
Tennessee 
Cyrus Jones
Alabama 
Kenya Dennis
Missouri 
STony Conner
Ole Miss 
Jalen Mills
LSU 
Mike Hilton
Ole Miss 
Quincy Mauger
Georgia 
SJamal Adams
LSU 
Brian Randolph
Tennessee 
Johnathan Ford
Auburn 
Brian Poole
Florida 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KAustin MacGinnis
Kentucky 
Marshall Morgan
Georgia 
Elliott Fry
South Carolina 
Daniel Carlson
Auburn 
PJK Scott
Alabama 
Drew Kaser
Texas A&M 
Jamie Keehn
LSU 
Landon Foster
Kentucky 
KRDarrius Sims
Vanderbilt 
Boom Williams
Kentucky 
Leonard Fournette
LSU 
Speedy Noil
Texas A&M 
PRIsaiah McKenzie
Georgia 

Tre'Davious White
LSU 

Speedy Noil
Texas A&M 
Cam Sutton
Tennessee 

Related: 2015 SEC Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-SEC Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Alabama

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Arkansas

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 4

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Auburn

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Florida

Offense: 0

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 

Georgia

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Kentucky

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

LSU

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 2

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Missouri

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 2

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Miss. State

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Ole Miss

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0 

South Carolina

Offense: 1 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Tennessee

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 0

Defense: 3 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Texas A&M

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0 

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1 

Vanderbilt

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
SEC Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/conference-usa-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

Could Conference USA have a contender for the Group of 5 bowl spot among college football’s top postseason destinations? WKU is a team to watch as the Hilltoppers return an explosive offense behind quarterback Brandon Doughty. The senior headlines the All-Conference USA team, along with two other members from WKU’s offense on the first team. In addition to WKU’s players, there’s no shortage of Louisiana Tech and Marshall players in the mix for all-conference 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 2015.

 

Related: 2015 Conference USA Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Conference USA 2015 Team Previews
East Division
 
National
Rank:
128107112708811369
West Division
 
National
Rank:
8611789116100123

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-Conference USA Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBBrandon Doughty
WKU 
Driphus Jackson
Rice 

Jaquez Johnson

FAU 

Jeff Driskel
Louisiana Tech 
RBDevon Johnson
Marshall 
Leon Allen
WKU 
Ray Lawry
ODU 
Shane Tucker
MTSU 
RBKenneth Dixon
Louisiana Tech 
Aaron Jones
UTEP 
Kalif Phillips
Charlotte 
Jowan Davis
Rice 
WRJared Dangerfield
WKU 
Zach Pascal
ODU 
Paul Turner
Louisiana Tech 
Carlos Henderson
Louisiana Tech 
WRTrent Taylor
Louisiana Tech 
Taywan Taylor
WKU 
Austin Duke
Charlotte 
David Washington
ODU 
APCarlos Harris (WR)
North Texas 
Deon-Tay McManus (WR)
Marshall 
Michael Thomas (WR)
Southern Miss 
Jeffrey Wilson (RB)
North Texas 
TEJonnu Smith
FIU 
Tyler Higbee
WKU 
Marcus Smith
North Texas 
David Morgan II
UTSA 
CKaydon Kirby
North Texas 

Cameron Tom

Southern Miss 

Kirby Wixson
Louisiana Tech 
Eric Lee
UTEP 
OGDarius Johnson
MTSU 
Will Hernandez
UTEP 
Brandon Ray
WKU  
Mikingson Marsaille
FAU 
OGAndrew Reue
Rice 
Tyler Fisher
ODU 
Jordan Budwig
FIU 
Derek Elmendorff
UTEP 
OTClint Van Horn
Marshall 
Reggie Bain
FAU 
Connor Mewbourne
ODU 
Rashod Hill
Southern Miss 
OTForrest Lamp
WKU 
Caleb Williams
Rice 
Aaron Nielsen
FIU 
Jamal Covington
Charlotte 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEMichael Wakefield
FIU 
Roy Robertson-Harris
UTEP 
Trey Hendrickson
FAU 
Gary Thompson
Marshall 
DEVontarrius Dora
Louisiana Tech 
Gavin Rocker
WKU 
Denzell Perine
FIU 
Chad Polk
North Texas 
DTVernon Butler
Louisiana Tech 
Brandin Bryant
FAU 
Jontavious Morris
WKU 
Poncho Barnwell
ODU 
DTTrevon Coley
FAU 
Stuart Mouchantaf
Rice 
Patrick McNeil
MTSU  
Brian Price
UTSA 
LBT.T. Barber
MTSU 
Alex Lyons
Rice 
Alvin Jones
UTEP 
Nick Thomason
Louisiana Tech 
LBD.J. Hunter
Marshall 
Drew Douglas
UTSA 
T.J. Ricks
ODU 
Fred Scott
North Texas 
LBNick Holt
WKU 
Evan McKelvey
Marshall 
Davison Colimon
FIU 
Treyvon Williams
FIU 
CBRichard Leonard
FIU 
Cre'von LeBlanc
FAU 
Wonderful Terry
WKU 
Kenny Buyers
North Texas 
CBAdairius Barnes
Louisiana Tech 
Bennett Okotcha
UTSA 
Ryan Pollard
Rice 
Bryson Abraham
Louisiana Tech 
SXavier Woods
Louisiana Tech 
Taj Letman
Marshall 
A.J. Leggett
Marshall 
Devin Cockrell
UTEP 
SKevin Byard
MTSU 
Kentrell Brice
Louisiana Tech 
Fellonte Misher
ODU 
Branden Leston
WKU 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KTrevor Moore
North Texas 
Jay Mattox
UTEP 
Garrett Schwettman
WKU 
Austin Taylor
FIU 
PTyler Williams
Marshall 
Dalton Schomp
FAU 
James Farrimond
Rice 
Eric Keena
North Texas 
KRAutrey Golden
UTEP 
Deandre Reaves
Marshall 
Carlos Henderson
Louisiana Tech 
Richard Leonard
FIU 
PRRichard Leonard
FIU 
Darvin Kidsy
North Texas 
Casey Martin
Southern Miss 
Trent Taylor
Louisiana Tech 

 

Related: 2015 Conference USA Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-C-USA Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Charlotte

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

FAU

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

FIU

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 2

Louisiana Tech

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Marshall

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

MTSU

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

North Texas

Offense: 2

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

Sp. Teams: 1

Old Dominion

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Rice

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2 

Defense: 2 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Southern Miss

Offense: 0 

Defense: 0 

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

UTEP

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 2 

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 2

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

UTSA

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 0

Defense: 0

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

WKU

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 3

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

Offense: 1

Defense: 2

Sp. Teams: 1

Offense: 0

Defense: 1

Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
Conference USA Football 2015 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 10:00
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 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 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, 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, 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 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-2015
Body:

Ranking every college football coach is an impossible task. However, coaching is a critical component to every collegiate program. Needless to say, 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.

 

Here’s the full 128 list of coach rankings, as voted on by the Athlon Sports staff for 2015.

 

By Conference: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

Record at Alabama: 91-17 (8 years)

Career Record: 182-59-1 (19 years)

 

Maintaining a place among college football’s elite every year is no easy task. However, as long as Alabama has Saban, the Crimson Tide will factor into the Playoff mix and remain among the nation’s top threats to win the national championship every season. In Saban’s eight years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has won 10 games at least seven times and has not lost more than one game in SEC play in four years. And of course, we can’t forget about the three national championships during the BCS era. Additionally, the Crimson Tide has seven consecutive finishes inside of the top 10 in the final Associated Press poll. Recruiting and developing talent is another strength of the program under Saban, as Alabama has reeled in the No. 1 recruiting class over the last five seasons and 48 players have been drafted since 2009. 

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Record at Ohio State:
 38-3 (3 years)

Career Record: 142-26 (13 years)

 

There was never really any doubt about his place among the nation’s best coaches, but if there was, Meyer clearly solidified his top billing with Ohio State’s 2014 season. The Buckeyes lost their No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, yet won 14 games and claimed the national championship over Oregon. In three seasons at Ohio State, Meyer is 38-3 and has not lost a regular season game in Big Ten play. The 2014 national title was Meyer’s third as a head coach, as he claimed two during his tenure at Florida (2006, 2008). In addition to his national championships in Gainesville, Meyer went 65-15 with the Gators, 22-2 in two years at Utah and 17-6 in two seasons with Bowling Green.

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 Predictions

 

3. Art Briles, Baylor

Record at Baylor: 55-34 (7 years)

Career Record: 89-62 (12 years)

 

Briles has completely changed the perception of Baylor football over the last seven years. Prior to Briles’ tenure, the Bears did not play in a bowl or post a winning record from 1995-2007. Baylor went 8-16 in Briles’ first two years, but has played in five consecutive bowl games and tied or won the conference championship in back-to-back years. The Bears are 22-4 over the last two seasons and have three double-digit victory totals in three out of the last four years. Prior to taking over at Baylor, Briles went 34-28 at Houston. Briles is a Texas coaching lifer and has changed this program from one of the bottom teams in the Big 12 into a conference championship contender. The talent level on this team has improved with four consecutive top-40 signing classes, and the program just opened brand-new McLane Stadium in 2014. Momentum at Baylor is at an all-time high with Briles at the controls – and it doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

4. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Record at Michigan: First Year

Career Record: 58-27 (7 years)

 

Harbaugh is the right coach to return Michigan back among the nation’s elite. At three different coaching jobs, Harbaugh has delivered a quick turnaround and won at a high level. At San Diego from 2004-06, Harbaugh went 29-6 and lost only two games over the final two years. Harbaugh moved to the FBS level in 2007 at Stanford and won 29 games in four seasons. The Cardinal missed a bowl appearance in the first two years, but managed 20 wins over Harbaugh’s last two seasons, including a 12-1 finish in 2010. Harbaugh left Stanford for the NFL and won 44 games with the 49ers from 2011-14. San Francisco lost in the NFC Championship Game twice under Harbaugh’s watch and lost to Baltimore in Super Bowl XLVII. As a former Michigan quarterback and player under Bo Schembechler, Harbaugh knows what it takes to win in Ann Arbor. Expect to see the Wolverines back among the top 10-15 teams in the nation in the next few years.

 

Related: Jim Harbaugh is the No. 1 College Football Coach Hire for 2015

 

5. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Record at Kansas State: 187-94-1 (23 years)

Career Record: 187-94-1 (23 years)

 

There’s not a coach in the nation doing more with less every year. Kansas State is not an easy job, yet Snyder continues to keep the Wildcats in contention for the Big 12 title on a yearly basis. Kansas State won only three games in the four previous years prior to his hire in November 1988, and after a 1-10 record in his first season, Snyder’s teams have won fewer than six games only four times and claimed double-digit victories in seven years. Don't forget that following his retirement after the 2005 season, Kansas State went just 17-20 in three years under Ron Prince before Snyder returned in November 2008. Regardless of how much talent or key personnel Kansas State loses, the Wildcats are always a threat to win the conference championship and finish among the top 25 teams in the nation. Developing and finding talent in the junior college ranks is one of Snyder’s biggest strengths. Kansas State doesn’t recruit at a high level, so it’s important to develop talent and find ways to win games with less. That’s exactly what Snyder has accomplished, as from 2011-14, the Wildcats have the best record in Big 12 games (27-9).

 

Related: Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings: No. 1 to 128

 

6. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

Record at Michigan State: 75-31 (8 years)

Career Record: 93-48 (11 years)

 

Dantonio has transformed Michigan State from an underachieving program to one of the best in the Big Ten. The Spartans have won at least 11 games in four out of the last five years and finished No. 3 nationally after winning the Big Ten Championship Game and Rose Bowl in 2013. Under Dantonio’s watch, Michigan State also has claimed four consecutive bowl victories and went 15-1 in conference play from 2013-14. And if you needed any more information on why Dantonio is among the nation’s best: The Spartans have six seasons of 10 or more wins in program history. Four of those have come with Dantonio at the helm. 

 

Related: Michigan State's Connor Cook Ranks as the Big Ten's No. 2 QB in 2015

 

7. Gary Patterson, TCU

Record at TCU: 132-45 (14 years)

Career Record: 132-45 (14 years)

 

Coming off a 12-1 season and a No. 3 ranking in the final Associated Press poll, TCU is among the favorites to contend for the 2015 national championship. The Horned Frogs have come a long way in a short amount of time since joining the Big 12. TCU finished 7-6 in its Big 12 debut in 2012 but followed that up with a 4-8 mark in 2013, thanks in large part to a struggling offense. The The 8-1 mark in conference play last season is easily the best of TCU’s three-year stint in the Big 12. In Patterson’s 14 years, the Horned Frogs have won 132 games and claimed 10 or more victories in nine of those seasons. Winning at a high level is nothing new for Patterson in Fort Worth. In 2010, TCU finished No. 2 nationally with a 13-0 mark, No. 7 in 2008 and No. 6 in 2009. With Patterson at the helm, TCU will be a consistent threat to win the Big 12 title.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

8. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Record at Oklahoma: 168-44 (16 years)

Career Record: 168-44 (16 years)

 

With 16 seasons at Oklahoma, Stoops is the second-longest tenured coach in college football. The Sooners have consistently ranked among the Big 12’s best under Stoops, winning at least 10 games in 12 of his years in Norman. Additionally, Stoops has guided Oklahoma to eight Big 12 titles and one national championship (2000). Winning at a high level and competing for a spot in one of college football’s top bowl games has become the norm for the Sooners under Stoops. However, Oklahoma finished 8-5 in 2014, which was the worst mark under Stoops since 2009 (8-5). Maintaining success at one job for a long period of time is no easy task for any college football coach. Stoops will try to get the program back on track with a few staff changes, including new offensive play-caller Lincoln Riley. There’s no question Stoops is among the best in the nation, and it will be interesting to see if 2014 was just a small blip on the radar or if it’s the beginning of a down period for the program. 

 

9. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Record at Auburn:
 20-7 (2 years)
Career Record: 29-10 (3 years)

 

In just three seasons as a head coach, Malzahn has already entrenched his name among the best in the nation. After a 9-3 record at Arkansas State in 2012 (his first as a head coach on the FBS level), Malzahn has guided Auburn to a 20-7 mark over the last two years. The Tigers played for the 2013 national championship and finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll after the loss to Florida State. Auburn slipped to 8-5 last year, but Malzahn should have this team back in contention for the SEC title in 2015. Prior to being a head coach on the FBS level, Malzahn was one of the nation’s top offensive coordinators at Auburn and Tulsa, with a one-year stop at Arkansas in 2006. He’s also known for his stint as a high school coach at Springdale High School in Arkansas from 2001-05. Malzahn is one of the game’s top X’s and O’s tacticians on offense and upgraded his defense with the addition of Will Muschamp as his new coordinator.

 

10. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
Record at Florida State:
58-11 (5 years)

Career Record: 58-11 (5 years)

 

Fisher has returned Florida State to the nation’s elite, guiding the Seminoles to a 27-1 mark over the last two seasons and the 2013 national championship. Under Fisher’s watch, Florida State has averaged 11.6 wins a season and has three consecutive finishes in the final Associated Press poll. Replacing Jameis Winston won’t be easy, but Fisher is one of the nation’s best at talent evaluation, and the Seminoles will continue to win at a high level under his watch.  

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

11. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

Record at South Carolina: 84-45 (10 years)

Career Record: 226-85-2 (25 years)

 

Spurrier enters 2015 ranked No. 2 among active FBS coaches with 226 career wins. South Carolina slipped in 2014 after three consecutive 11-win seasons, but Spurrier has elevated a program that had only one 10-win campaign prior to his arrival in 2005. Additionally, out of the six times the Gamecocks have won at least nine games, four of those have taken place under Spurrier’s watch. And Spurrier’s track record is no secret, as he went 122-27-1 at Florida from 1990-2001 and 20-13-1 at Duke from 1987-89. It’s not easy for coaches to maintain success over a 20-year span. Spurrier has had to tweak a few things along the way, but as evidenced by his recent success at South Carolina, he’s still one of the game’s top coaches.

 

12. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

Record at Louisville: 50-13 (5 years)

Career Record: 92-34 (10 years)

 

Petrino’s return to Louisville was a success, as the Cardinals finished 9-4 in their first season in the ACC. And Petrino’s team was neck-and-neck with the top teams in the conference, losing by just six points to Clemson and was defeated by Florida State after leading the defending national champs going into the fourth quarter. In Petrino’s 10 years as a college head coach, he’s won at least eight games every season but one. The Cardinals have some key pieces to replace for 2015, but the program is in good shape for the long haul with Petrino in control.

 

13. Todd Graham, Arizona State

Record at Arizona State: 28-12 (3 years)

Career Record: 77-41 (9 years)

 

It’s a close call between Graham and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez for the No. 1 spot among current Pac-12 coaches. The Sun Devils enter 2015 as one of the favorites for the conference title, and Graham has guided the program to 28 wins over the last three seasons. The Sun Devils won the South Division in 2013 and tied for second in '12 and '14. Under Graham’s watch, Arizona State has clearly removed the label of a program that struggles to reach expectations. And the Sun Devils are in the midst of a stadium renovation that will only help Graham and this staff sell a program that has inked back-to-back top-25 signing classes. Graham’s success isn’t just limited to Arizona State, as he helped Rice make a six-game improvement in the win column in 2006, won 36 games in four years at Tulsa and went 6-6 in his only season at Pittsburgh.

 

Related: Arizona State is a Team on the Rise in 2015

 

14. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

Record at Arizona: 26-14 (3 years)
Career Record: 146-98-2 (21 years)

 

Rodriguez is in the process of elevating Arizona into a yearly contender for the Pac-12 title. The Wildcats claimed the South Division championship last season with a 7-2 conference record and won double-digit games (10) for the first time since 1998. Additionally, the 10 wins last year was only the third time in program history that Arizona has won more than nine in a season. Rodriguez only went 15-22 in three years at Michigan, but he won 60 games in seven seasons at West Virginia and guided the program to three finishes in the final Associated Press poll from 2005-07. The bad news for the rest of the Pac-12: Rodriguez is really just getting started and this program is only going to get better in the coming years.

 

Related: Pac-12 2015 Predictions

 

15. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

Record at Notre Dame: 45-20 (5 years)

Career Record: 216-77-2 (24 years)

 

Kelly hasn’t quite returned Notre Dame to national prominence since he took over in 2010, but the Fighting Irish are 45-20 under his watch and has one appearance in the national championship game (2012). Outside of 2012, Notre Dame has won at least eight games every season under Kelly and has two top 25 finishes in the final Associated Press poll. Prior to Notre Dame, Kelly went 34-6 at Cincinnati – including a 12-0 record in the 2009 regular season – 19-16 at Central Michigan from 2004-06 and a 118-35-2 mark at Division II Grand Valley State from 1991-2003.   

 

16. Mark Richt, Georgia

Record at Georgia: 136-48 (14 years)

Career Record: 136-48 (14 years)

 

Georgia hasn’t won a SEC title since 2005, but the Bulldogs usually rank near the top of the conference. Richt has guided Georgia to three double-digit win seasons over the last four years, and the Bulldogs finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll in 2007. The talent level certainly isn’t an issue for Georgia, as the program owns the No. 3 roster in the SEC over the last five seasons. And with a 7.6 national average, the talent level is in place for the Bulldogs to contend for a national title. Under Richt’s direction, Georgia has never finished lower than third in the East and has lost more than two games in SEC play only five times over the last 14 years.

 

17. Gary Pinkel, Missouri

Record at Missouri: 113-66 (14 years)

Career Record: 186-104-3 (24 years)

 

Pinkel has been a consistent winner throughout his tenure at Missouri. The Tigers average 8.1 wins a season under Pinkel and have claimed back-to-back East Division titles after a 5-7 record in their SEC debut. Prior to joining the SEC, Missouri posted seven consecutive winning campaigns from 2005-11, including a 12-2 mark and a No. 4 finish in the final Associated Press poll in 2007. Pinkel’s success isn’t limited to just Missouri, as he went 73-37-3 in 10 years at Toledo. Despite a national recruiting rank of 39th nationally over the last five years, the Tigers won the SEC East in back-to-back years and will begin 2015 as one of the favorites in the division once again. That’s a huge credit to Pinkel and his staff’s ability to find and develop talent every year. 

 

18. David Cutcliffe, Duke

Record at Duke: 40-48 (7 years)

Career Record: 84-77 (13 years)

 

Cutcliffe has elevated Duke into an annual bowl team in the ACC, and after winning the Coastal Division title in 2014, the Blue Devils finished second last season. How big of a difference has Cutcliffe made with Duke since 2008? The 10-win 2013 campaign, and the 19 victories in a two-year span are the best marks in school history. Cutcliffe is regarded for his work with offenses and quarterbacks, but he deserves more credit for his work as a head coach, especially at a program like Duke where it’s not easy to maintain success.  

 

19. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

Record at Mississippi State: 46-31 (6 years)

Career Record: 46-31 (6 years)

 

Mullen is the perfect example of why job hierarchy within a conference matters when ranking coaches. Mississippi State is the toughest job in the SEC West, and this program’s 27.4 finish nationally over the last five years in recruiting ranks No. 7 within its own division. However, the Bulldogs are 46-31 under Mullen and are coming off just the third double-digit win season in program history. Last season, Mississippi State climbed as high as No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for the first time and finished No. 11 in the final ranking – the second-highest mark in school history. Since a 5-7 mark in Mullen’s debut, Mississippi State has recorded a winning record in five consecutive years and is 22-26 in the SEC. Even though the Bulldogs suffered some heavy personnel losses this offseason, Mullen has elevated this program and the talent level has improved to ensure a quick rebuild.

 

Related: Mississippi State's Dak Prescott ranks as the SEC's No. 1 QB for 2015

 

20. Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss

Record at Ole Miss: 24-15 (3 years)

Career Record: 54-22 (6 years)

 

Ole Miss has made steady improvement under Freeze, including a nine-win campaign in 2014. The Rebels have made a bowl game in all three of Freeze’s seasons in Oxford and went as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press poll in 2014. And if injuries didn’t take a toll on the 2014 team, Ole Miss easily could have won 10 games for the first time since '03. While Freeze doesn’t have the track record of some of the coaches in this league, he’s already a proven winner at three different jobs. In addition to the 24 wins at Ole Miss, he went 20-5 at Lambuth from 2008-09 and 10-2 at Arkansas State in '11. As we mentioned in the introduction, it’s not a list of career accomplishments. Based upon what Freeze inherited and has done in three years at Ole Miss, his career trajectory is higher than several names on this list.

 

21. David Shaw, Stanford

Record at Stanford: 42-12 (4 years)

Career Record: 42-12 (4 years)

 

For the first time in Shaw’s tenure at Stanford, the Cardinal are coming off a season with fewer than 11 wins. After winning 34 games through Shaw’s first three years, Stanford regressed to 8-5 but still finished second in the North with a 5-4 conference record. Under Shaw’s direction, the Cardinal has finished inside of the top 11 of the final Associated Press poll three times and played for the conference title in back-to-back years (2012-13). Additionally, Shaw and his staff continue to do an excellent job on the recruiting trail, signing top-25 classes in four out of the last five years. The biggest challenge for Shaw in 2015 will be improving an offense that averaged only 23.8 points per game in conference play last year (11th in the Pac-12). Even with significant departures on defense, Stanford can push Oregon in the North if Shaw is able to find the right answers on offense.

 

22. James Franklin, Penn State

Record at Penn State: 7-6 (1 year)

Career Record: 31-21 (4 years)

 

Franklin will return Penn State back to contention for the Big Ten title and as a consistent top-25 team – it just may take a little longer than we anticipated. High expectations surrounded the Nittany Lions last year, but Franklin’s team finished 7-6 and won only two games in Big Ten play. Fixing the offensive line is Franklin’s top priority in 2015, and there’s hope for improvement with one of the nation’s top assistants (Herb Hand) leading this group. Franklin went 24-15 in three years with Vanderbilt and recorded back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2012-13. Considering what Franklin managed to accomplish at Vanderbilt – the SEC’s toughest job – combined with the success on the recruiting trail, it’s only a matter of time before Penn State wins again at a high level.

 

Related: Penn State 2015 Schedule Analysis

 

23. Chris Petersen, Washington

Record at Washington: 8-6 (1 year)

Career Record: 100-18 (9 years)

 

After one of the most successful stints by a coach during the BCS era, Petersen decided to make the jump to a Power 5 job and replaced Steve Sarkisian at Washington. Petersen went 92-12 at Boise State and led the Broncos to double-digit win seasons in seven out of his eight years. But Petersen didn’t quite find the same success in his first year with the Huskies. Washington’s defense had three first-team All-Pac-12 selections on defense, but a struggling secondary and offense dropped Petersen’s first team to just 8-6 overall and 4-5 in Pac-12 play. Petersen and his staff will be tested even more in 2015, as Washington returns only nine starters, loses standout defenders Shaq Thompson, Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha, and could have a true freshman start at quarterback. 

 

Related: Washington safety Budda Baker is a Player on the Rise for 2015

 

24. Les Miles, LSU

Record at LSU: 103-29 (10 years)

Career Record: 131-50 (14 years)

 

2015 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting years of Miles’ tenure at LSU. The Tigers have slipped in the SEC pecking order over the last three seasons and last year finished outside of the Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time since 2008. LSU’s 4-4 mark in SEC play in 2014 was the first non-winning record in conference games in six seasons. Additionally, Miles lost top assistant and defensive coordinator John Chavis to rival Texas A&M, and the offense ranked 13th in the SEC in scoring last year. Plenty of question marks surround LSU for 2015, but Miles has showed before he’s capable of getting the program back among the best in the SEC. The Tigers went 17-9 from 2008-09, yet rebounded with four consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins from 2010-13. LSU has averaged a 6.8 finish nationally in recruiting rankings over the last five years. With that type of talent in place, the Tigers have the necessary pieces in place to get back to the top of the SEC.

 

25. Butch Jones, Tennessee

Record at Tennessee: 12-13 (2 years)

Career Record: 62-40 (8 years)

 

The arrow on Tennessee’s program under Jones' leadership is clearly pointing up entering 2015. The Volunteers went 5-7 in Jones’ first season but improved to 7-6 and returned to a bowl for the first time since 2010. Upgrading the talent on Tennessee’s roster has been a priority for Jones, and the coaching staff has inked back-to-back top-10 signing classes. With the talent on the rise, a solid core of personnel in place, and a team that won four out of its final five games, Tennessee is poised to take another step forward in 2015. Prior to Tennessee, Jones guided Central Michigan to a 27-13 record in three years (2007-09) and led Cincinnati to a 23-14 mark from 2010-12.

 

Related: Tennessee is a Team on the Rise for 2015

 

26. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Record at Texas A&M: 28-11 (3 years)

Career Record: 63-28 (7 years)

 

Texas A&M has made a successful transition to the SEC under Sumlin’s watch. In addition to fielding an explosive offense, the Aggies are 28-11 over the last three years and have a 13-11 record in SEC play in that span. With the program entrenched in the nation’s toughest conference, along with facility upgrades to compete with the SEC’s elite, Sumlin will be looking to push Texas A&M even higher in the conference standings. The Aggies’ win total in SEC games has declined from six (2012) to four (2013) to three (2014). While the offense has been among the league’s best since 2012, the defense has struggled mightily. But Sumlin took a big step in fixing that side of the ball by hiring John Chavis away from LSU. Prior to the last three seasons at Texas A&M, Sumlin guided Houston to a 35-17 record in four years from 2008-11. 

 

27. Bret Bielema, Arkansas

Record at Arkansas: 10-15 (2 years)

Career Record: 78-39 (9 years)

 

The overall coaching depth in the SEC is on display when Bielema ranks as the No. 11 coach on this list. Arkansas has showed marked improvement under Bielema in the last two years, and the Razorbacks are poised to take another step forward in 2015. After a 3-9 mark and a winless record in SEC play in 2013, Arkansas finished 7-6 and lost four games by a touchdown or less last fall. The Razorbacks closed 2014 by winning four out of their final six games, including a 31-7 destruction of Texas in the Texas Bowl. Prior to Arkansas, Bielema went 68-24 at Wisconsin and led the Badgers to four seasons of double-digit wins. The Razorbacks are clearly headed in the right direction, and Bielema’s physical style of play fits right at home in the SEC.

 

Related: Arkansas Razorbacks 2015 Schedule and Analysis

 

28. Jerry Kill, Minnesota

Record at Minnesota: 25-26 (4 years)

Career Record: 152-99 (21 years)

 

As we mentioned above, college football coaches can’t be judged strictly on wins and losses. Kill is a perfect example of why record isn’t the best indicator of coaching ability, as he’s only 25-26 in four years with Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have made significant improvement under his watch, going from 3-9 in his first year to three consecutive bowl games. And Minnesota is coming off back-to-back eight-win seasons and finished 5-3 in Big Ten play last year – the first winning mark in conference play since 2003. Kill is a proven winner at four other coaching stops in his career, including a 23-16 record at Northern Illinois and a 55-32 mark at Southern Illinois.

 

29. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Record at Oklahoma State: 84-44 (10 years)

Career Record: 84-44 (10 years)

 

Oklahoma State took a step back in the win column in 2014, needing a late punt return for a touchdown to beat Oklahoma and secure bowl eligibility for the ninth consecutive season. The win over Washington in the Cactus Bowl gave Oklahoma State its ninth winning season in Gundy’s 10 years. The Cowboys have won at least 10 games in three out of the last five seasons and finished No. 3 nationally in 2011. Gundy consistently has Oklahoma State finishing in the top half of the Big 12, and the Cowboys are poised to return to the top 25 after last year’s 7-6 mark. Gundy’s name popped up in the rumor mill for other jobs over the last three offseasons, but the former Oklahoma State quarterback seems to be reenergized headed into 2015. 

 

Related: Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph is a Player on the Rise for 2015

 

30. Charlie Strong, Texas

Record at Texas: 6-7 (1 year)

Career Record: 43-23 (5+ years)

 

As expected, Strong had to reset the foundation at Texas. The Longhorns finished 6-7 last year and won five games in Big 12 action. However, Texas beat only two teams with a winning record and was thoroughly dominated by TCU and Arkansas in the final two games of 2014. The Longhorns only went 16-11 in Big 12 games over Mack Brown’s final three years and recorded just one finish in the final Associated Press poll in that span. The program clearly slipped in Brown’s final four years, and Strong needs a little time to rebuild the talent and get Texas back into contention for Big 12 championships. It’s only a matter of time before that happens, as Strong went 37-15 in four years at Louisville, including a 23-3 record from 2012-13. 

 

Related: Texas Ranks as the No. 1 Coaching Job in the Big 12

 

31. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

Record at Georgia Tech: 58-35 (7 years)

Career Record: 165-74 (18 years)

 

2014 wasn’t necessarily a make-or-break year for Johnson at Georgia Tech, but it was fair to wonder where the program was headed after a 14-13 mark from 2012-13. The Yellow Jackets entered 2014 with low expectations and delivered with a surprising 11-3 season and a Coastal Division title. In Johnson’s seven seasons in Atlanta, Georgia Tech has never finished under .500 in conference play. Additionally, the Yellow Jackets have played for the ACC Championship three times. 

 

32. Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Record at Utah: 85-43 (10 years)

Career Record: 85-43 (10 years)

 

Whittingham has successfully transitioned Utah from a Mountain West team to a solid Pac-12 program in just four years. The Utes don’t have the resources or recruiting base of a UCLA or USC, but Whittingham’s team knocked off both programs last year as well as Stanford and Michigan en route to a 9-4 record. Utah also finished No. 21 in the final Associated Press poll – it’s first top-25 finish since 2009 – and claimed its first winning mark in Pac-12 play (5-4). In his 10-year tenure in Salt Lake City, Whittingham is 85-43 overall and has led his team to eight bowl games. 

 

33. Gary Andersen, Oregon State

Record at Oregon State: First Year

Career Record: 49-38 (7 years)

 

Andersen’s move from Wisconsin to Oregon State came as a surprise, but the Utah native is a great hire for this program. In two seasons at Wisconsin, Andersen went 19-7 and guided the Badgers to a Big Ten West Division title in 2014. Prior to Wisconsin, Andersen guided Utah State to a 26-24 record in four years. To show how big of an impact Andersen had on the Aggies – in the four years prior to his arrival in Logan, Utah State won only nine games. Utah State won 26 during Andersen’s four years, including 18 over the last two. Andersen is a proven winner at two different jobs and was a successful assistant at Utah prior to becoming a head coach. Oregon State is rebuilding in 2015, but Andersen’s hire will pay big dividends for the Beavers.

 

Related: Gary Andersen is one of the top coaching hires for 2015

 

34. Mark Helfrich, Oregon

Record at Oregon: 24-4 (2 years)

Career Record: 24-4 (2 years)

 

Helfrich is the only current Pac-12 coach to play for the national championship and has picked up where Chip Kelly left off by guiding Oregon to a 24-4 record over the last two years. The Ducks finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll after a loss to Ohio State in college football’s national championship in January. Helfrich and his staff navigated several injuries and overcame an early loss against Arizona to win the Pac-12 title and finish 13-2 overall. Prior to his promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach with the Ducks, Helfrich was an assistant at Arizona State, Colorado and Boise State. Helfrich won’t have Marcus Mariota in 2015, but the third-year coach has this program in great shape and poised to continue finishing near the top of the Pac-12. 

 

Related: Oregon is the No. 2 Coaching Job in the Pac-12

 

35. Jim Mora, UCLA

Record at UCLA: 29-11 (3 years)

Career Record: 29-11 (3 years)

 

A case could be made Mora should be higher among his conference peers. In three seasons at UCLA, the Bruins are 29-11 under his watch and have won six Pac-12 games each year. Mora guided UCLA to the Pac-12 South title in 2012 and finished (or tied) for second in the other two seasons. High expectations surrounded this program last year, but the Bruins were easily handled by Oregon in mid-October and on Nov. 28 lost to Stanford 31-10 with a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game up for grabs. Mora has recruited four consecutive top-20 classes, so talent isn’t an issue for this program. Contending for the South Division in 2015 should be a reasonable expectation, but the Bruins have to replace quarterback Brett Hundley.

 

36. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

Record at Virginia Tech: 231-115-2 (28 years)

Career Record: 273-138-4 (34 years)

 

Beamer is college football’s longest-tenured coach entering the 2015 season. Virginia Tech has won 231 games under Beamer’s watch, which includes a streak of eight consecutive seasons of at least 10 wins from 2004-11. While Beamer’s longevity deserves plenty of consideration here, it’s also worth noting Virginia Tech is just 22-17 over the last three seasons and has not finished in the final Associated Press poll in that span after recording 12 top-25 finishes in 13 years from 1998-2011. The Hokies tied for second in the Coastal Division in 2013 but slipped to fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2014. Can Beamer return this program back to the top of the Coastal in 2015? 

 

37. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

Record at Northwestern: 60-53 (9 years)

Career Record: 60-53 (9 years)

 

Northwestern is coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time under Fitzgerald and is 4-12 in Big Ten play over the last two years. While it’s easy to only judge coaches by recent history, this is not an easy job and Fitzgerald has won 60 games since 2006. Additionally, the Wildcats went to five consecutive bowl games from 2008-12, including a 10-win campaign in '12, concluding with just the program’s second postseason victory. Considering what Fitzgerald has accomplished at one of the Big Ten’s toughest jobs, what could he do at a program with more resources?

 

38. Dabo Swinney, Clemson

Record at Clemson: 61-26 (7 years)

Career Record: 61-26 (7 years)

 

Swinney has helped Clemson football reach its potential with four consecutive seasons of at least 10 victories. The Tigers have not lost more than two games in ACC play during that span and finished No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll in 2013. Swinney is also regarded for his work on the recruiting trail, as Clemson has averaged a 13.2 finish – including two top-10 classes – among all 128 teams over the last five seasons. It’s no secret the Tigers invested heavily in their coordinators – Chad Morris (now at SMU) and defensive play-caller Brent Venables – to allow Swinney to focus on being the program CEO. What type of impact will Morris leaving have on the offense? That’s the big question facing Clemson in 2015 and beyond.

 

Related: Clemson's Deshaun Watson is the ACC's No. 1 QB in 2015

 

39. Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

Record at UL Lafayette: 36-16 (4 years)

Career Record: 102-37 (11 years)

 

Hudspeth has been a home-run hire for UL Lafayette, and it won’t be long before Power 5 programs inquire if he’s interested in moving to a bigger job. In each of Hudspeth’s four seasons, the Ragin’ Cajuns have won nine games and claimed a bowl victory. Prior to the last four years at UL Lafayette, Hudspeth went 66-21 at North Alabama from 2002-08 and also worked as an assistant at Mississippi State. Hudspeth is one of college football’s top rising stars in the coaching ranks.

 

40. Mike Riley, Nebraska

Record at Nebraska: First Year

Career Record: 93-80 (14 years)

 

Nebraska’s hire of Riley came as a surprise, but the Idaho native seems to be the right coach at the right time. The Cornhuskers won at least nine games in each of Bo Pelini’s seven seasons, yet never finished higher than 14th in the Associated Press poll or claimed a conference title. That’s the challenge for Riley in 2015 and beyond. Can he elevate Nebraska back into contention for a national title or compete with Ohio State and Michigan for Big Ten championships? Oregon State is a challenging job, yet Riley won 93 games in 14 seasons and guided the Beavers to a winning conference record in six of those years. Another mark in favor of Riley’s hire is his experience in recruiting and finding talent in Texas and California. Also, Riley and his staff did a good job of developing talent while in Corvallis. If Nebraska can’t beat Ohio State or Michigan for five-star recruits, it needs to develop three-star talent into five-star players.

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 Predictions

 

41. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati

Record at Cincinnati: 18-8 (2 years)

Career Record: 148-86 (19 years)

 

Tuberville is a proven winner at four different stops and is off to a strong start at Cincinnati with an 18-8 mark in two years. The Bearcats claimed a share of the conference title in 2014 and is considered the favorite to win the American Athletic Conference this fall. Prior to taking over at Cincinnati, Tuberville went 20-17 at Texas Tech, 85-40 at Auburn and 25-20 at Ole Miss. In 19 years as a head coach, Tuberville has posted only four losing seasons.

 

Related: American Athletic Conference 2015 Predictions

 

42. Justin Fuente, Memphis

Record at Memphis: 17-20 (3 years)

Career Record: 17-20 (3 years)

 

Fuente is one of the nation’s top rising stars in the head coach ranks. The Oklahoma native worked as an assistant at Illinois State and TCU before replacing Larry Porter at Memphis in 2012. Fuente inherited a program that went 3-21 from 2010-11 and the Tigers showed immediate progress in Year One, finishing with a 4-8 mark in 2012. Memphis finished 3-9 in its debut in the American Athletic Conference but went 10-3 and finished No. 25 in the final Associated Press poll in 2014. With Memphis among the contenders to win the AAC in 2015, Fuente could be pursued by bigger programs this offseason.

 

43. Steve Addazio, Boston College

Record at Boston College: 14-12 (2 years)

Career Record: 27-23 (4 years)

 

Even though he’s won only 14 games in two seasons at Boston College, Addazio is off to an impressive start with the Eagles. In the two years prior to Addazio’s tenure, Boston College went 6-18 and missed out on a bowl appearance in both seasons. But Addazio has made the Eagles a tough out in the ACC once again, and the program is coming off back-to-back bowl appearances. Addazio’s tenure is even more impressive when you consider he was able to mesh his systems with the returning talent in 2013, as well as recruit a graduate transfer (Tyler Murphy) at quarterback with a slightly different approach on offense. With only nine returning starters, Addazio has a tough assignment just getting Boston College back to a bowl in 2015. However, the track record suggests the Eagles will be pushing for a winning record once again. 

 

44. Matt Wells, Utah State

Record at Utah State: 19-9 (2 years)

Career Record: 19-9 (2 years)

 

Despite a few major injuries to key players over the last two seasons, Wells has navigated Utah State to a 19-9 record and a 13-3 mark in conference play in that span. The Aggies played for the 2013 Mountain West title and have back-to-back bowl victories under Wells’ direction. Even though Wells inherited plenty of talent from former coach Gary Andersen, his coaching ability has been on full display with the key injuries this team has been forced to overcome over the last two years.

 

45. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU

Record at BYU: 90-39 (10 years)

Career Record: 90-39 (10 years)

 

Mendenhall has been a consistent winner during his 10 years in Provo and has guided the program into FBS independence after BYU left the Mountain West at the end of the 2010 season. The Cougars finished in the final Associated Press poll in four consecutive years from 2006-09 and won 22 games from 2006-07. BYU went 10-3 in its debut as an independent in 2011 and has finished 8-5 in three consecutive seasons. A challenging schedule awaits the Cougars in 2015, but Mendenhall’s team will be a tough opponent for the four Power 5 teams on their schedule, along with matchups against Boise State and Utah State. 

 

46. Steve Sarkisian, USC

Record at USC: 9-4 (1 year)

Career Record: 43-33 (6 years)

 

By this time next year, Sarkisian could rank higher on this list – if USC ends up winning the Pac-12 as the early odds for 2015 suggest. Sarkisian’s first year with the Trojans had its share of ups and downs. USC beat Stanford 13-10 in Week 2 but lost 37-31 at Boston College the following Saturday. The Trojans lost on the last play of the game to Arizona State and in the final seconds to Utah. With better depth due to the end of NCAA scholarship sanctions, USC should have the manpower needed to close the door in tight games. Prior to taking over at USC, Sarkisian went 35-29 at Washington and guided the Huskies to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-13. The challenge for Sarkisian is simple: Get USC back among the nation’s elite and contend for national championships. Is he the right coach to do so?

 

Related: USC's Cody Kessler Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 QB for 2015

 

47. Mike Leach, Washington State

Record at Washington State: 12-25 (3 years)

Career Record: 96-68 (13 years)

 

Entering his fourth year in Pullman, Leach is still looking to elevate Washington State into a consistent winner and a bowl team every season. At Texas Tech, Leach guided the Red Raiders to an 84-43 record in 10 years and never finished a season with fewer than seven victories. But winning at a high level has been much tougher at Washington State. The Cougars are 12-25 over the last three years, and a 6-7 team from 2013 is bookended by 3-9 records in '12 and '14. Offense is Leach’s specialty, and Washington State has ranked in the top 10 nationally of passing offense from 2012-14. But fixing the defense has to be a priority after allowing at least 36 points in Pac-12 games in each of the last three years.

 

48. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Record at West Virginia: 28-23 (4 years)

Career Record: 28-23 (4 years)

 

Under Holgorsen’s direction over the last four years, West Virginia has made the successful transition from the Big East to the Big 12. The Mountaineers won the Big East title in Holgorsen’s first season and finished 7-6 in their Big 12 debut in 2012. After stumbling to a 4-8 record in 2013, West Virginia rebounded with a 7-6 record in 2014 and claimed its first winning mark in conference play since joining the Big 12. And with 15 starters back for 2015, West Virginia should have a good chance to improve on last year’s record. Holgorsen is a highly regarded offensive mind and is settling into his role as the head coach. With Holgorsen stabilizing the program and competing in the Big 12, the future looks bright in Morgantown. 

 

49. Craig Bohl, Wyoming

Record at Wyoming: 4-8 (1 year)

Career Record: 108-40 (12 years)

 

Bohl’s first season at Wyoming resulted in a 4-8 mark, but that record wasn’t unexpected. Most anticipated 2014 and ‘15 would be rebuilding years for the Cowboys, but Bohl’s team should show progress throughout the course of the upcoming season. In 11 years at North Dakota State, Bohl went 104-32 and claimed three consecutive FCS national championships from 2011-13. Give Bohl a couple of years and Wyoming will be a consistent winner in the Mountain West.

 

50. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

Record at Boise State: 12-2 (1 year)

Career Record: 19-7 (2 years)

 

Harsin is a coach on the rise entering the 2015 season. After a 7-5 mark in 2013 as Arkansas State’s head coach, Harsin left Jonesboro to replace Chris Petersen at Boise State. The former Bronco quarterback went 12-2 in his debut and guided the program to a win in the Fiesta Bowl. Expect Harsin to climb higher in these rankings over the next few years.

 

51. Sonny Dykes, California

Record at California: 6-18 (2 years)

Career Record: 28-33 (5 years)

 

The depth of the Pac-12’s coaching prowess is on full display when Sonny Dykes ranks as the No. 11 coach on this list. After a successful 22-15 stint at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12, Dykes is 6-18 in two seasons at California. The Golden Bears went 1-11 in 2013, but showed marked improvement last fall. California finished 5-7 overall and lost four games by eight points or less. Dykes has this program trending in the right direction, and the offense should be among the nation’s best in 2015. If Dykes can solve the defensive woes, California will make a bowl game this year.

 

Related: California's Jared Goff Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 2 QB for 2015

 

52. George O’Leary, UCF

Record at UCF: 81-60 (11 years)

Career Record: 133-93 (18 years)

 

The Knights have averaged 10.3 wins over the last three years, and O’Leary has led UCF to four double-digit win seasons since taking over the program in 2004. The Knights also have three consecutive bowl appearances and finished No. 10 nationally in the final 2013 Associated Press poll. Prior to UCF, O’Leary coached at Georgia Tech (1994-01) and led the Yellow Jackets to a 52-33 mark in eight years.

 

53. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy

Record at Navy: 57-35 (7 years)

Career Record: 57-35 (7 years)

 

Navy is set to transition to the American Athletic Conference in 2015, and Niumatalolo is the right coach to guide this program into a new era. The Midshipmen are 57-35 under Niumatalolo’s direction, including six seasons of at least eight wins in the last seven years. Navy also has a bowl appearance in six of Niumatalolo’s seasons, and the 10-win campaign in 2009 was only the third year of double-digit wins in program history.

 

54. Jim McElwain, Florida

Record at Florida: First Year

Career Record: 22-16 (3 years)

 

After three seasons at Colorado State, McElwain was tapped as the replacement for Will Muschamp at Florida. Although Muschamp guided the Gators to an 11-2 mark in 2012, this program underachieved over the last four years with a 29-21 record. McElwain seems like the right coach to get the program back on track after a 22-16 record with the Rams, as well as a previous stint as an offensive coordinator under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2008-11. Colorado State improved its win total in each of McElwain’s three years, including a 10-win mark in 2014. Prior to calling the plays at Alabama, McElwain made stops as an assistant at Fresno State, Michigan State, Louisville and in the NFL with the Raiders. His offensive background will pay dividends for a program that has struggled mightily on that side of the ball in recent years.

 

55. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

Record at Iowa: 115-85 (16 years)

Career Record: 127-106 (19 years)

 

Ferentz enters 2015 as the nation’s third-longest tenured coach. Over the last 16 seasons, Ferentz’s tenure with the Hawkeyes has experienced its share of ups and downs. And entering 2015, it’s fair to wonder where this program is headed after a 9-7 mark in Big Ten play over the last two years. Iowa has won 10 games at least four times under Ferentz but has not finished better than 8-5 since 2010. Maintaining success at a program for a long period isn’t easy, and as the nation’s ninth highest-paid coach in 2014, Ferentz is drawing plenty of criticism from the Iowa fanbase. In Athlon’s recent expert poll, Iowa tied with Maryland as the No. 7 coaching job in the Big Ten. This program has its share of challenges (in-state talent in recruiting), but there's really no reason why the Hawkeyes can't contend for the Big Ten West Division title each year.

 

56. Randy Edsall, Maryland

Record at Maryland: 20-30 (4 years)

Career Record: 94-100 (16 years)

 

Edsall’s tenure at Maryland got off to a rocky start with a 2-10 record in 2011. But since that two-win campaign, the Terrapins are 18-20 over the last three seasons and finished their first year in the Big Ten with a 7-6 record and a 4-4 mark in conference play. Prior to Maryland, Edsall went 74-70 at UConn, guiding the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl and a share of the Big East title in 2010. After earning back-to-back bowl appearances, Edsall’s next challenge is to elevate Maryland into the Big Ten East Division’s top tier, which includes Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State. That’s not an easy task, but with the talent available in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area, Edsall should be able to keep some of those players at home. This fall looks like a rebuilding season for Maryland, but Edsall should have this team in contention for a bowl.

 

57. Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern

Record at Georgia Southern: 9-3 (1 year)

Career Record: 185-70-1 (21 years)

 

Fritz was one of the top coaching hires from 2014, as he guided Georgia Southern to a 9-3 record and a perfect 8-0 mark in Sun Belt play. Adding to the impressive 2014 season was the fact it was Georgia Southern’s debut on the FBS level. Fritz’s success isn’t just limited to Georgia Southern either, as he went 40-14 in four years at Sam Houston State and 97-47 at Central Missouri. 

 

58. Al Golden, Miami

Record at Miami: 28-22 (4 years)

Career Record: 55-56 (9 years)

 

2015 is a critical season for Golden at Miami. The Hurricanes are just 16-16 in four years of ACC play under Golden and 28-22 overall. For a program that has the ability to recruit at a top 10-15 level, a .500 mark in conference games is a troubling sign. Golden did inherit some obstacles when he took over the program, including the Nevin Shapiro scandal and NCAA investigation, which was a cloud hanging over the program for over two years. Prior to taking over at Miami, Golden went 27-34 at Temple, which included a 17-8 record over the final two years (2009-10). With one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks in Brad Kaaya, Miami has the potential to challenge for the Coastal Division title. But potential has been the key word surrounding this program for a few years. It’s time for Golden to deliver.  

 

59. Dave Doeren, NC State

Record at NC State: 11-14 (2 years)

Career Record: 34-18 (4 years)

 

If NC State picks up in 2015 where it left off last season, it’s a safe bet Doeren will rank higher on this list next year. The Wolfpack showed marked improvement in Doeren’s second season, going from a 3-9 and winless team in the ACC in 2013 to an 8-5 squad in 2014. NC State also finished 3-5 in ACC games and won four out of its final five games, including a 35-7 rout over rival North Carolina. Prior to NC State, Doeren went 23-4 at Northern Illinois and guided the Huskies to an appearance in the Orange Bowl in the 2012 season. Recruiting at NC State is on the rise too, as the Wolfpack have signed back-to-back top-35 classes after not finishing higher than 54th from 2011-13.

 

60. Pete Lembo, Ball State

Record at Ball State: 30-20 (4 years)

Career Record: 109-56 (14 years)

 

Ball State went 5-7 in a rebuilding year last season, but it won’t be long before the Cardinals are back in contention for a bowl or the MAC title. Under Lembo’s watch, Ball State is 30-20 and has won 21 of 32 conference matchups over the last four years. Additionally, Lembo guided the Cardinals to back-to-back bowl games from 2012-13. Lembo’s success isn’t limited to just Ball State. He went 35-22 in five years at Elon and 44-14 in five seasons at Lehigh.

 

61. Troy Calhoun, Air Force

Record at Air Force: 59-44 (8 years)

Career Record: 59-44 (8 years)

 

Calhoun is the longest-tenured Mountain West coach at his current job. Over the last eight years, Calhoun has led Air Force to 59 wins and seven bowl appearances. After a 2-10 mark in 2013, the Falcons rebounded with their best season under Calhoun with a 10-3 record in ‘14. 

 

62. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

Record at Colorado: 6-18 (2 years)

Career Record: 22-39 (5 years)

 

MacIntyre didn’t inherit much to work with when he replaced Jon Embree after the 2012 season. The Buffaloes are 6-18 over the last two years and have won only one contest in conference play. While the overall record isn’t pretty, MacIntyre has this program on the right track. Colorado lost four Pac-12 games by five points or less last season, and with an experienced roster returning in 2015, the Buffaloes should show progress in the win column. Prior to Colorado, MacIntyre went 16-21 at San Jose State, including a 15-9 mark over the final two years. MacIntyre should move up this list in the coming seasons.

 

63. Kevin Wilson, Indiana

Record at Indiana: 14-34 (4 years)

Career Record: 14-34 (4 years)

 

Indiana is one of the Big Ten’s toughest jobs, but Wilson has this program moving in the right direction. The Hoosiers won only one game in Wilson’s first year (2011), improved to 4-8 in 2012 and just missed on a bowl game in '13 by finishing 5-7. Bad luck hit Indiana last season, as this program was poised to hit six wins but starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld was lost midway through the year with a shoulder injury. Sudfeld is back in 2015, giving the Hoosiers an opportunity to push for six wins once again. Considering Wilson’s background on offense, along with Indiana’s production on that side of the ball over the last four years, scoring points won’t be a problem. However, the defense has allowed six yards per play in Big Ten games in five consecutive seasons. That must be addressed for this program to move forward.

 

64. Larry Fedora, North Carolina

Record at North Carolina: 21-17 (3 years)

Career Record: 55-36 (7 years)

 

The ongoing NCAA investigation/uncertainty at North Carolina certainly isn’t helping Fedora’s tenure in Chapel Hill. However, the Tar Heels have regressed in wins since posting an 8-4 record in 2012. North Carolina finished 7-6 in 2013 and slipped to 6-7 in 2014. Aside from the regression in the win column, the biggest concern for Fedora has to be fixing a defense that ranked 14th in the ACC in yards per play allowed. The hire of Gene Chizik as the team’s coordinator should address that side of the ball, and North Carolina has one of the league’s most talented offenses in place. Could 2015 be the best year of Fedora’s tenure with the Tar Heels?

 

65. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin

Record at Wisconsin: First Year

Career Record: 19-19 (3 years)

 

Gary Andersen surprisingly departed Wisconsin for Oregon State this offseason, but the Badgers were able to turn to a familiar name in Chryst. After three years as Pittsburgh’s head coach, Chryst is coming back to Madison to guide a program that has won at least 10 games in four out of the last six seasons. In addition to being a Madison native, Chryst played quarterback for the Badgers and served as an assistant with the program in 2002 and again from 2005-11. There’s no denying that Chryst is an excellent fit at Wisconsin. However, he was only 19-19 in three seasons with the Panthers.  

 

Related: Wisconsin RB Corey Clement is a Player on the Rise for 2015

 

66. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

Record at Wake Forest: 3-9 (1 year)

Career Record: 93-88 (15 years)

 

Prior to taking over at Wake Forest, Clawson was a successful head coach at three previous stops. From 1999-2003, Clawson went 29-29 at Fordham, with 19 of those victories coming in the final two seasons. After five years with the Rams, Clawson went 29-20 with two FCS playoff appearances at Richmond, followed by a 32-30 mark at Bowling Green from 2009-13. Clawson didn’t inherit a loaded roster and finished 3-9 with just one of those wins coming in conference play. However, Clawson seems to have Wake Forest moving in the right direction with a talented, young core in place for 2015 and '16.  

 

67. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Record at Northern Illinois: 23-6 (2 years)

Career Record: 23-6 (2 years)

 

Carey has continued to keep Northern Illinois at the top of the MAC in his two years in DeKalb. The Wisconsin native inherited a loaded team from former coach Dave Doeren and guided the Huskies to a 12-2 mark in 2013. Northern Illinois finished 7-1 in conference play last season and claimed the MAC Championship with a blowout 51-17 win over Bowling Green. In two years, Carey has won 23 games and has lost only once in MAC play.

 

68. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh

Record at Pittsburgh: First Season

Career Record: First Season

 

If we are buying stock in coaches for 2016 and beyond, Narduzzi is on the must-have list. The former Michigan State coordinator is ready to be a head coach after leading one of the nation’s top defenses from 2007-14. The Spartans ranked in the top five nationally for fewest yards per play and points allowed per game from 2011-13. Narduzzi’s defense was a big reason why Michigan State won at least 11 games in four out of the last five years. Pittsburgh is on its fourth coach in six seasons. However, Narduzzi seems like the right coach at the right time for the Panthers. 

 

Related: Grading College Football's New Coaching Hires for 2015

 

69. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

Record at Western Michigan: 9-16 (2 years)

Career Record: 9-16 (2 years)

 

Western Michigan showed marked improvement in Fleck’s second season, and the Broncos will be picked near the top of the MAC once again in 2015. After a seven-win jump from 2013 to ‘14, Fleck has proven he is not just an ace recruiter. Western Michigan has recorded the top signing class in back-to-back years and is coming off a solid 8-5 record. The arrow on Fleck and this program is clearly pointing up going into 2015.

 

70. Matt Rhule, Temple

Record at Temple: 8-16 (2 years)

Career Record: 8-16 (2 years)

 

Temple is trending in the right direction entering Rhule’s third season. The Owls went 2-10 in Rhule’s debut (2013), but lost seven games by 10 points or less. Temple took a step forward last year by improving to 6-6 and winning games against Vanderbilt and East Carolina. Prior to taking over as Temple’s head coach, Rhule was an assistant with the New York Giants and worked with the Owls as an assistant from 2006-11. The 2015 version of Rhule’s team should be his best yet.

 

71. Tom Herman, Houston

Record at Houston: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

After a successful run as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator (2012-14), Herman is ready for his opportunity to run a program. The Ohio native lands at a solid program too, as Houston as the resources to be one of the top contenders in the American Athletic Conference on an annual basis. Prior to the last three years with the Buckeyes, Herman spent time as an offensive coordinator at Iowa State (2009-11), Rice (2007-08) and Texas State (2005-06).

 

72. Chad Morris, SMU

Record at SMU: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Morris is regarded as one of the top offensive minds in college football. After a one-year stint as Tulsa’s play-caller in 2010, Morris was hired to coordinate Clemson’s offense and was a key piece of the Tigers’ recent success over the last four years. The Tigers averaged at least 30 points in each of Morris’ four seasons, including back-to-back years of at least 40 points (2012-13). This is Morris’ first opportunity to be a head coach on the collegiate level, but he was a successful high school coach from 1994-2009. As a Texas native and with connections to the high school level, Morris should have no trouble recruiting to SMU. This should be a great hire for the Mustangs. 

 

73. Mark Stoops, Kentucky

Record at Kentucky: 7-17 (2 years)

Career Record: 7-17 (2 years)

 

Kentucky is making progress under Stoops, making the jump from two wins in 2013 to five in '14. The Wildcats also went 2-6 in SEC play last year, equaling the amount of conference victories recorded from 2012-13. Kentucky was close to bowl eligibility in 2014, losing to Florida by six in three overtimes and by four to Louisville in the regular-season finale. The overall talent level and direction of this program have each improved since Stoops took over after the 2012 season. The next challenge is getting Kentucky to the postseason. With 12 starters back, that could happen this fall.

 

74. Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina

Record at East Carolina: 37-27 (5 years)

Career Record: 38-27 (5+ years)

 

McNeill has successfully transitioned East Carolina from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference, and the Pirates will remain a factor in the league despite the departure of quarterback Shane Carden and receiver Justin Hardy. McNeill is a former ECU player, and before taking the head coaching job, he spent one year as an assistant with the program in 1992. McNeill is 37-27 over the last five years in Greenville, with the Pirates winning 26 games over the last three seasons.

 

75. Frank Solich, Ohio

Record at Ohio: 72-56 (10 years)

Career Record: 130-75 (16 years)

 

Solich is the MAC’s longest-tenured coach, entering his 11th season at the helm. Ohio has won at least four games in each of Solich’s 10 years and has played in six bowls. The Bobcats went 10-4 in 2011 and won nine games in ‘12. And entering the 2015 season, Ohio has a streak of six years without a losing overall record.

 

76. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech

Record at Louisiana Tech: 13-13 (2 years)

Career Record: 101-84 (15 years)

 

Holtz is coaching at his fourth FBS program and eclipsed 100 wins in his career in 2014. After a 16-21 three-year stint at USF, Holtz landed at Louisiana Tech and guided the Bulldogs to a Conference USA West Division title last season. Holtz also has successful stops on his resume from UConn (34 wins) and East Carolina (38 victories).

 

77. Terry Bowden, Akron

Record at Akron: 11-25 (3 years)

Career Record: 151-87-2 (21 years)

 

Improvement has been noticeable for Akron under Bowden’s watch. After a 1-11 mark in 2012, the Zips have recorded back-to-back five-win campaigns. But Akron is still looking to take the next step and reach a bowl. With 10 starters and a few transfers from Power 5 teams, the Zips should have a good chance to reach six wins in 2015. Bowden was successful at previous stops at Auburn and North Alabama. It shouldn’t be much longer before Akron takes a step forward and becomes a consistent bowl team.

 

78. Matt Campbell, Toledo

Record at Toledo: 26-13 (3+ years)

Career Record: 26-13 (3+ years)

 

Campbell is one of college football’s youngest head coaches at 35 years old, and through three full seasons, the former Mount Union defensive lineman has guided Toledo to 26 wins. The Rockets tied for the MAC West title in 2014 but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Northern Illinois. Campbell is a rising star in the coaching ranks, and with running back Kareem Hunt returning for 2015, Toledo should be among the favorites to win the conference this year.

 

79. David Bailiff, Rice

Record at Rice: 48-53 (8 years)

Career Record: 69-68 (11 years)

 

Bailiff has quietly transformed Rice into a consistent winner during his eight years with the program. The Owls won 25 games and appeared in three consecutive bowl matchups from 2012-14 and are one of the frontrunners to win the West Division in 2015. Rice is not an easy job, but Bailiff has won 48 games over the last eight years and the 2013 Conference USA Championship.

 

80. Doc Holliday, Marshall

Record at Marshall: 40-25 (5 years)

Career Record: 40-25 (5 years)

 

Holliday was known as an ace recruiter when he was hired at Marshall in 2010, but the West Virginia native has proven he’s more than just a Signing Day specialist. The Thundering Herd has won 40 games under Holliday’s watch and has played in back-to-back Conference USA Championship games. Also, Marshall has 23 wins over the last two seasons and finished No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll in 2014.

 

81. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Record at Texas Tech: 12-13 (2 years)

Career Record: 12-13 (2 years)

 

Kingsbury was one of the nation’s top assistants when he was tapped to replace Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech in 2013. And the Red Raiders started Kingsbury’s tenure on a high note, winning their first seven games and jumping as high as No. 16 in the Associated Press poll. But Texas Tech lost its last five regular season games and used a bowl victory over Arizona State to finish 8-5. 2014 was a step back for Kingsbury, as the Red Raiders slipped to 4-8 and recorded three wins by seven points or less against Central Arkansas, UTEP and Iowa State. There’s no doubt Kingsbury is one of the Big 12’s top offensive minds and will have his unit performing at a high level. However, fixing the defense has to be a priority after allowing 42.8 points in Big 12 games in 2014. Hiring David Gibbs should pay dividends for the defense, which should allow Texas Tech to return to the postseason in 2015.

 

Related: Texas Tech Needs David Gibbs to Reverse Defensive Woes

 

82. Dino Babers, Bowling Green

Record at Bowling Green: 8-6 (1 year)

Career Record: 27-13 (3 years)

 

Babers turned in a solid 8-6 record in his debut at Bowling Green last season. The Falcons managed to overcome the loss of starting quarterback Matt Johnson in the season opener to claim the MAC East title. Babers came to Bowling Green after a 19-7 record in two years at Eastern Illinois. With Johnson back under center, along with a standout core of offensive talent, Babers’ “Falcon Fast” offense should take flight in 2015.

 

83. Rocky Long, San Diego State

Record at San Diego State: 32-20 (4 years)

Career Record: 97-89 (15 years)

 

Long enters his fifth season at San Diego State with 32 wins over the last four years, and the Aztecs begin 2015 as the frontrunner to win the Mountain West’s West Division. Long has led the program to four consecutive bowl appearances, and his success in the Mountain West also extends to his tenure at New Mexico. Long was the head coach in Albuquerque from 1998-2008, during which he won 65 games. Long is a steady winner with a proven track record in the Mountain West.

 

84. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State

Record at Fresno State: 26-14 (3 years)

Career Record: 27-14 (3+ years)

 

DeRuyter enters his fourth season at Fresno State looking to rebound after a 6-8 campaign. In DeRuyter’s first two years, the Bulldogs went 20-6 and claimed at least a share of the Mountain West title in both seasons. The program took a step back in 2014 without quarterback Derek Carr but still managed to win the West Division title with a 5-3 record in conference play. One mark for DeRuyter to improve on in 2015: Getting Fresno State a bowl victory. The Bulldogs are 0-3 in the postseason under DeRuyter and lost each game by at least 20 points.

 

85. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

Record at Iowa State: 29-46 (6 years)

Career Record: 29-46 (6 years)

 

Iowa State is one of the nation’s toughest Power 5 jobs. The in-state recruiting base is small, the Big 12 slate isn’t easy and you have to be good at developing talent or mining the junior college ranks for quick fixes. As an Iowa native, Rhoads knows all about the challenges of coaching in Ames. He also served as an assistant with the Cyclones in 1995-99. In six years as the program’s head coach, Rhoads is 29-46 overall with three bowl appearances. Iowa State has slipped after earning back-to-back bowl bids in 2011-12 with a 5-19 mark over the last two years. Rhoads is a good coach that can squeeze the most out of his roster. However, after a winless record in Big 12 play, Rhoads needs to get the program back to qualifying for a bowl game.

 

86. Rick Stockstill, MTSU

Record at MTSU: 57-55 (9 years)

Career Record: 57-55 (9 years)

 

Stockstill is the dean of Conference USA coaches. In nine years with MTSU, Stockstill has guided the program to four bowl appearances and has only one losing record in the last four seasons. The Blue Raiders also have a winning mark in C-USA play in each of the last three years. Stockstill’s best season at MTSU took place in 2009, as the Blue Raiders finished 10-3 and claimed a victory in the New Orleans Bowl.

 

87. Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion

Record at Old Dominion: 52-20 (6 years)

Career Record: 52-20 (6 years)

 

Wilder has guided Old Dominion from start-up program to a bowl contender in the FBS ranks. The Monarchs restarted football in 2009 and went 17-5 as a FCS independent from 2009-10. Wilder guided ODU to playoff appearances in 2011-12, with a program-best 11-2 record in ‘12. And in the Monarchs’ first season at the FBS level, Old Dominion finished 6-6 and went .500 in C-USA play. Wilder is a coach on the rise and will be a name to remember for coaching searches at Power 5 jobs if the program continues to progress.

 

88. Tim Beckman, Illinois

Record at Illinois: 12-25 (3 years)

Career Record: 33-41 (6 years
 

Beckman enters 2015 facing a make-or-break year at Illinois. The Fighting Illini have showed some improvement in Beckman’s tenure by increasing their win total by two games in each year after a 2-10 mark in 2012. Illinois finished 4-8 in 2013 and improved to 6-7 with a 3-5 mark in Big Ten play in 2014. While improvement has been noticeable in the overall win column, this program is just 4-20 in Big Ten games over the last three years and has not finished higher than fifth in its division. Beckman’s tenure got off to a rough start, but things have stabilized over the last two years. A few more wins this fall would help Beckman ensure a fifth season.

 

89. Kyle Flood, Rutgers

Record at Rutgers: 23-16 (3 years)

Career Record: 23-16 (3 years)

 

Rutgers was one of the Big Ten’s biggest surprises last year. In the Scarlet Knights’ debut in their new conference, Flood guided the program to an 8-5 record and a 3-5 mark in Big Ten play. Rutgers improved late in the season and finished with wins in three out of their last four games, including a 40-21 victory over North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl. The 8-5 record in 2014 was the second winning mark during Flood’s tenure, as he finished 9-4 in his debut (2012) and finished 2013 with a 6-7 mark. Keeping Rutgers in bowl contention in the Big Ten East will be a challenge in 2015. And Flood’s task was made even more difficult when Ralph Friedgen decided not to return to his staff in 2015. Flood was on the hot seat entering 2014, but a solid 8-5 record in the first season of Big Ten play has reduced some of the pressure on him.

 

90. Joey Jones, South Alabama

Record at South Alabama: 37-28 (6 years)

Career Record: 40-35 (7 years)

 

Jones started the South Alabama program from scratch and has guided the Jaguars to five seasons of at least six wins. And South Alabama is trending up after making the program’s first bowl appearance last year. Jones has plenty of roots within the state of Alabama, playing for the Crimson Tide under Bear Bryant and spending time as a high school head coach at Dora and Mountain Brook. The Jaguars return only five starters for 2015, but Jones should keep this team in contention for another bowl.

 

91. Dennis Franchione, Texas State

Record at Texas State: 36-34 (6 years)

Career Record: 210-126-2 (29 years)

 

Texas State has been on the cusp of reaching the program’s first bowl appearance under Franchione. Can the Bobcats take the next step in 2015? Franchione has guided the program to at least six wins in three out of the last four seasons, including a 7-5 mark in 2014. While Franchione has been solid at Texas State, he’s better known for his stops at Alabama (2001-02), Texas A&M (2003-07) and TCU (1998-00). In his 29-year coaching career, Franchione has recorded 210 wins.

 

92. Todd Berry, ULM

Record at ULM: 27-34 (5 years)

Career Record: 56-93 (13 years)

 

ULM is not an easy job, but Berry has been able to transform the Warhawks into a consistent threat for bowl appearances. ULM has won at least four games in each of Berry’s five years and won 14 contests from 2012-13, which included a bowl appearance in ‘12. With a 13-game slate and uncertainty at quarterback, reaching a bowl this season won’t be easy for ULM. However, Berry has a solid defense, and the Warhawks will be a tough out once again in the Sun Belt.

 

93. Mark Whipple, UMass

Record at UMass: 52-35 (7 years)

Career Record: 124-68 (17 years)

 

Whipple returned to UMass after a 10-year absence and guided the Minutemen to a 3-9 record in his debut. While the 3-9 mark might not seem like much, UMass was significantly more competitive than under Charley Molnar and the three wins was more than the program recorded from 2012-13 combined. Whipple has won 52 games in seven years as the head coach at UMass, including a FCS Championship in 1998.With 18 starters returning, the Minutemen could challenge for a bowl in 2015.

 

94. Dan McCarney, North Texas

Record at North Texas: 22-27 (4 years)

Career Record: 78-112 (16 years)

 

McCarney enters his fifth season at North Texas still looking to push the program into consistent C-USA West contender status. The Mean Green has one bowl appearance (2013) under McCarney’s direction, but has three losing seasons as well. McCarney also coached from 1996-2006 at Iowa State, guiding the Cyclones to five bowl appearances over his final seven years in Ames. 

 

95. Larry Coker, UTSA

Record at UTSA: 23-23 (4 years)

Career Record: 83-38 (10 years)

 

UTSA has made the successful transition from FCS to the FBS ranks. Now, Coker has the difficult task of rebuilding a roster that returns just three starters for 2015 and loses several other key contributors. The Roadrunners are 23-23 under Coker’s direction and won 15 games from 2012-13. However, UTSA underachieved at 4-8 last year and won its three games in conference play by seven points or less. Coker has a national championship on his resume from six years at Miami and has been instrumental in getting UTSA’s program off of the ground.

 

96. Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

Record at Appalachian State: 11-13 (2 years)

Career Record: 11-13 (2 years)

 

Satterfield is a coach on the rise. The former Appalachian State quarterback had the tough assignment of replacing Jerry Moore in 2013, and the Mountaineers went 4-8 in his debut. The program transitioned to the FBS ranks last season, and Satterfield’s team finished with a 7-5 mark, including a 4-4 record in the Sun Belt. With 20 starters returning, Appalachian State should be one of the favorites to win the conference in 2015.

 

97. Sean Kugler, UTEP

Record at UTEP: 9-16 (2 years)

Career Record: 9-16 (2 years)

 

UTEP showed considerable progress in Kugler’s second season after a 2-10 mark in 2013. The Miners finished 7-6 and played in the New Mexico Bowl – the program’s first postseason appearance since 2010. As a former offensive line coach, it’s no surprise Kugler emphasizes the running game and toughness. UTEP should be in the mix for a bowl once again in 2015.

 

98. Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky

Record at WKU: 8-5 (1 year)

Career Record: 8-5 (1 year)

 

Brohm is a coach that could easily climb this list by the end of the 2015 season. WKU finished 8-5 in Brohm’s debut, which included a thrilling 49-48 victory over Central Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl. Behind prolific quarterback Brandon Doughty, WKU is the frontrunner to win Conference USA in 2015. Judging by Brohm’s first season and what’s to come next year, this program is in good hands for the foreseeable future.

 

99. Willie Taggart, USF

Record at USF: 6-18 (2 years)

Career Record: 22-38 (5 years)

 

Taggart was considered one of the top coaching hires in 2013, but USF is only 6-18 in his first two years. Taggart enters 2015 squarely on the hot seat, and the Florida native hopes a revamped offensive style and staff helps to push the program in the right direction. Taggart has recruited well, so there’s no shortage of talent in place. How quickly will the talent and unproven players mesh with the scheme? Prior to USF, Taggart went 16-20 at Western Kentucky, including a 14-10 mark over the final two years.

 

100. Darrell Hazell, Purdue

Record at Purdue: 4-20 (2 years)

Career Record: 20-30 (4 years)

 

After guiding Kent State to a 16-10 record in two years, including an impressive 11-3 mark in 2012, Hazell appeared to be the right coach for Purdue. After two years with the Boilermakers, however, it's apparent that there’s still a lot of work ahead for Hazell. Purdue is only 4-20 over the last two seasons and has won only one game in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers had two losses in conference play by seven points or less, but lost three out of their last four games by 15 points or more. Hazell has made small gains through his first two years. However, plenty of work remains going into 2015, and Hazell needs to show progress in year three.

 

101. Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Record at Buffalo: First Year

Career Record: 109-6 (8 years)

 

Leipold was one of the top coaching hires this offseason, as he heads to Buffalo after eight successful years at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Warhawks won 109 games and six national championships under Leipold’s watch. The Bulls could be a dark horse to contend in the MAC East this year, as Leipold inherits a talented offense (his specialty) and senior quarterback Joe Licata.

 

102. Mike London, Virginia

Record at Virginia: 23-38 (5 years)

Career Record: 47-43 (7 years)

 

London entered 2014 on the hot seat but managed to earn another season in Charlottesville after the Cavaliers finished 5-7 and lost five games by eight points or less. London enters 2015 in the same situation, as his contact expires at the end of 2016 and there’s pressure to get Virginia back into a bowl game after three consecutive losing seasons. Recruiting has been a strength for London and his staff, with the Cavaliers averaging a 31.8 finish nationally since 2011. The 31.8 mark ranks No. 6 among ACC teams, ahead of three other Coastal Division teams in Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Duke. But despite the success on the recruiting trail, Virginia has won only five games in ACC play over the last three seasons. 2015 is a make-or-break year for London.

 

103. Scott Shafer, Syracuse

Record at Syracuse: 10-15 (2 years)

Career Record: 10-15 (2 years)

 

Shafer went 7-6 in his first season at Syracuse (2013), but the Orange regressed to 3-9 last season. The four-win decline had a lot to do with injuries to key players, including quarterback Terrel Hunt. Improving the offense has to be a priority for Shafer and coordinator Tim Lester, especially since the Orange managed only 24 points in their final three games. Prior to Shafer’s promotion to head coach, he worked as a defensive coordinator with the Orange from 2009-12. Additionally, he made stops as an assistant at Michigan, Stanford, Western Michigan, Illinois and Northern Illinois. Syracuse seemed to be trending in the right direction after 2013. But after a three-win campaign last year, can Shafer get the program back into contention for a bowl? With a new athletic director coming, the pressure is on Shafer to produce.

 

104. Mike Bobo, Colorado State

Record at Colorado State: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Bobo has spent most of his life in the state of Georgia, so moving to Colorado will be a definite change of scenery for the former SEC quarterback. After spending 1993-97 under center for the Bulldogs, Bobo worked as a coach with the program from 1998-99 and again from 2001-14. Bobo was promoted to call the plays for Georgia in 2007 and coordinated an offense that led the SEC last season by averaging 41.3 points per game. Bobo has never been a college head coach. However, this seems like a good hire for a program like Colorado State.

 

105. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

Record at Arkansas State: 7-6 (1 year)

Career Record: 7-6 (1 year)

 

The arrow on Anderson’s coaching career is pointing up. Arkansas State went 7-6 in Anderson’s debut, but the Red Wolves are among the favorites to win the Sun Belt in 2015. Prior to taking the job in Jonesboro, Anderson was an assistant at North Carolina, Southern Miss, UL Lafayette, MTSU and New Mexico. Last year, Anderson represented the fifth coach at Arkansas State in five years, and the stability of the coaching staff for 2015 should pay dividends.

 

106. Curtis Johnson, Tulane

Record at Tulane: 12-25 (3 years)

Career Record: 12-25 (3 years)

 

As a New Orleans native and former assistant with the Saints, Johnson is familiar with Tulane and what it takes to win in the Big Easy. The job is a challenging one, but an on-campus stadium should help Johnson recruit and rebuild this program. The Green Wave went 2-10 in Johnson’s first year (2012) but rebounded into the postseason with a 7-6 mark in 2013. Tulane finished 3-9 in 2014, and there’s hope for a turnaround in 2015 with 13 returning starters.  

 

107. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt
Record at Vanderbilt: 
3-9 (1 year)
Career Record: 3-9 (1 year)

 

James Franklin left big shoes to fill in Nashville after leading the Commodores to three consecutive bowl appearances. While repeating that success in the first year was going to be tough for Mason, Vanderbilt slipped to 3-9 and went winless in SEC play for the first time since 2009. The Commodores also lost four conference games by 20 or more points, and two of their three wins came by less than three points. Mason plans on taking over the defensive play-calling duties in 2015 and a staff overhaul should help the offense improve after averaging only 12.8 points per game in SEC contests. Mason had plenty of success as a coordinator at Stanford. Will the Commodores show big improvement in year two?

 

108. Brian Polian, Nevada

Record at Nevada: 11-14 (2 years)

Career Record: 11-14 (2 years)

 

Nevada made steady progress in Polian’s second year. After a 4-8 record in his 2013 debut, the Wolf Pack finished 7-6 and 4-4 in conference play last season. Nevada also returned to the postseason after a one-year absence with a trip to the New Orleans Bowl, defeated one Power 5 opponent (Washington State), while losing by just seven points to another (Arizona). Polian has Nevada moving in the right direction. However, improving on the win total in 2015 could be difficult without quarterback Cody Fajardo. 

 

109. Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio)

Record at Miami (Ohio): 2-10 (1 year)

Career Record: 76-17 (7 years)

 

Miami (Ohio) won only two games in Martin’s first season, but the RedHawks were more competitive and there’s a promising outlook for this program headed into 2015. The former Notre Dame assistant took over in Oxford after spending four years under Brian Kelly at Notre Dame and worked from 2004-09 as the head coach at Grand Valley State. The Lakers went 74-7 with two Division II championships under Martin’s watch. It may take another year or two for Miami to get back to a bowl, but Martin has this program trending in the right direction.

 

110. Jeff Monken, Army West Point

Record at Army: 4-8 (1 year)

Career Record: 42-24 (5 years)

 

Army West Point is one of college football’s toughest coaching jobs, and Monken has plenty of work to do with just six returning starters in 2015. The Black Knights went 4-8 in Monken’s debut last season but also suffered a surprising 49-43 loss at Yale in late September. Prior to the 2014 season at Army, Monken went 38-16 in four years at Georgia Southern. Monken is a good fit at West Point, but he needs more time to rebuild a program that has only one winning record since 1997.

 

111. Bob Davie, New Mexico

Record at New Mexico: 11-26 (3 years)

Career Record: 46-51 (8 years)

 

Davie inherited a major rebuilding project in 2012, and the Lobos have made noticeable improvement over the last three years. New Mexico is only 11-26 under Davie’s watch, but the Lobos just missed on a bowl last year after losing three games by seven points or less. With 11 returning starters and more overall depth in the program, 2015 will be a critical year for Davie and the Lobos.

 

112. Bob Diaco, UConn

Record at UConn: 2-10 (1 year)

Career Record: 2-10 (1 year)

 

Diaco was regarded as one of the nation’s rising stars in the assistant ranks after coordinating Notre Dame’s defense from 2010-13. Under Diaco’s watch, the Fighting Irish finished No. 2 nationally in scoring defense in 2012. But Diaco’s first year guiding the UConn program was a struggle, as the Huskies finished 2-10 and lost the final four games of 2014.

 

113. Todd Monken, Southern Miss

Record at Southern Miss: 4-20 (2 years)

Career Record: 4-20 (2 years)

 

Southern Miss has fallen on hard times recently, as the Golden Eagles were once one of the annual contenders in Conference USA but has failed to record a winning record since 2011. Monken has a tough job and needs a few years to rebuild the talent and overall depth of the roster. Southern Miss did improve its win total by two games in Monken’s second year. The Golden Eagles are on the right path. 

 

114. Trent Miles, Georgia State

Record at Georgia State: 1-23 (2 years)

Career Record: 21-59 (7 years)

 

Georgia State is struggling to put all of the pieces together since reaching the FBS level, and Miles is just 1-23 with the Panthers over the last two years. But prior to Georgia State, Miles turned around Indiana State’s struggling program, guiding the Sycamores to three winning records from 2010-12. There’s a lot of work ahead for Miles in Atlanta.

 

115. Neal Brown, Troy

Record at Troy: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Brown is one of the nation’s youngest head coaches (35) and has the tough assignment of following Larry Blakeney after the long-time coach retired at the end of last season. Brown is known for his offensive background and has stops as an assistant in his career at Texas Tech and Kentucky. Brown previously worked at Troy as an assistant from 2006-09. The Kentucky native is unproven, but he should be a good hire for the Trojans.

 

116. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa

Record at Tulsa: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Montgomery is tasked with turning around a Tulsa program that slipped to a 5-19 record in the final two years under Bill Blankenship. Montgomery has never been a head coach on the collegiate level, but he worked under Art Briles at Baylor from 2006-14 and Houston from 2003-05. Montgomery’s background on offense should be a good fit for Tulsa.

 

117. Ron Caragher, San Jose State

Record at San Jose State: 9-15 (2 years)

Career Record: 53-37 (8 years)

 

Caragher had the tough assignment of following Mike MacIntyre, who left for Colorado at the end of the 2012 season. And after two years with the program, Caragher is starting to feel a little heat. The Spartans finished just 6-6 in 2013 with standout quarterback David Fales at the helm and slipped to 3-9 last season. There is optimism at San Jose State in 2015, as the program returns 12 starters and inked one of the Mountain West’s top signing classes this year.

 

118. David Beaty, Kansas

Record at Kansas: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Beaty is a former Kansas assistant and comes to Lawrence after a three-year stint at Texas A&M. He has never been a head coach, but the Jayhawks hope his recruiting ties to Texas and previous experience at Kansas help to turn around a program that has not won more than three games in each of the last five years. Beaty retained last year’s interim coach Clint Bowen but isn’t inheriting much to work with going into 2015 and just getting to three or four wins would be a good year for the Jayhawks. With a lack of head coaching experience and only two years as a coordinator on the collegiate level, Beaty is still largely an unknown.

 

119. Paul Haynes, Kent State

Record at Kent State: 6-17 (2 years)

Career Record: 6-17 (2 years)

 

Haynes is a Kent State alumnus and came to the program after working as an assistant at Ohio State and Arkansas. However, the Ohio native has struggled in his two years as Kent State’s head coach. The Golden Flashes are just 6-17 during that span and finished 2-9 last year. With the addition of Don Treadwell as the team’s offensive play-caller, Haynes hopes to jumpstart an offense that averaged only 16.4 points per game last season. The seat is starting to warm just a bit for Haynes as he enters Year 3.

 

120. Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

Record at Eastern Michigan: 2-10 (1 year)

Career Record: 142-56 (18 years)

 

Eastern Michigan might be the toughest place to coach in the FBS ranks. Needless to say, Creighton has a tough assignment ahead, as EMU has not recorded a winning season since 1995. The Eagles went 2-10 in Creighton’s debut but has a more manageable schedule to show improvement in 2015. Prior to taking over in Ypsilanti, Creighton went 42-22 at Drake, 63-15 at Wabash and 32-9 at Ottawa.

 

121. Doug Martin, New Mexico State

Record at New Mexico State: 4-20 (2 years)

Career Record: 33-73 (9 years)

 

Similar to Idaho’s Paul Petrino, Martin walked into a difficult job and needs more time to be evaluated. Martin is just 4-20 through two years with the Aggies, and he went 29-53 in seven seasons as Kent State’s coach from 2004-10.

 

122. Paul Petrino, Idaho

Record at Idaho: 2-21 (2 years)

Career Record: 2-21 (2 years)

 

Idaho is a tough job, and Petrino took over in Moscow with some uncertainty about the program’s conference home. The Vandals landed in the Sun Belt and struggled in their return to the conference (1-10 in 2014). Petrino inherited a rebuilding project, and through two seasons, there’s still plenty of work to do.

 

123. Ron Turner, FIU

Record at FIU: 5-19 (2 years)

Career Record: 47-80 (11 years)

 

FIU showed small signs of life in Turner’s second season. After a 1-11 record in 2013, the Panthers finished 4-8 in 2014 and defeated rival FAU 38-10. Turner was a curious hire for this program, and there’s still plenty for this coaching staff to prove in 2015. However, there’s a good core of young talent in place and one of the conference’s best defenses for Turner to build around.

 

124. Charlie Partridge, FAU

Record at FAU: 3-9 (1 year)

Career Record: 3-9 (1 year)

 

Partridge is known for his recruiting ability, so it’s no surprise FAU reeled in the No. 2 signing class in Conference USA from 2015. However, the Owls went 3-9 in Partridge’s first season and won only two games in conference play. With 11 returning starters and standout quarterback Jaquez Johnson back in the mix, Partridge has a good opportunity to take this program a step forward in 2015.

 

125. Norm Chow, Hawaii

Record at Hawaii: 8-29 (3 years)

Career Record: 8-29 (3 years)

 

After winning just eight games in three years, there’s a ton of pressure on Chow to push Hawaii up in the Mountain West standings in 2015. The Rainbow Warriors have failed to win more than four games in a season under Chow’s watch, but are coming off their best showing in Mountain West play (3-5). With 12 returning starters and USC transfer Max Wittek at quarterback, Chow has plenty of reasons to expect improvement. However, if Hawaii finishes its fourth consecutive year with at least nine losses, Chow will have a tough time making a case to return in 2016.

 

126. Tony Sanchez, UNLV

Record at UNLV: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Hiring a head coach from the high school ranks is a risky move, but Sanchez is worth the gamble for UNLV. The Rebels have only two seasons of more than five wins since 2001 and have four years of double-digit losses over the last five seasons. Sanchez has only one year of collegiate coaching experience (1996 at New Mexico State), but the California native was one of the nation’s top high school coaches, going 85-5 at Las Vegas prep powerhouse Bishop Gorman from 2009-14. Sure, Sanchez is unproven and risky. But there’s also something to like about UNLV thinking outside of the box for this hire. 

 

127. Brad Lambert, Charlotte

Record at Charlotte: 10-12 (2 years)

Career Record: 10-12 (2 years)

 

Lambert has a difficult assignment for the next few years. The former Wake Forest defensive coordinator is trying to follow the path of fellow C-USA members UTSA and Old Dominion in transitioning from the FCS level to the FBS ranks. The 49ers are 10-12 since starting their football program, but have yet to beat a team from the FBS level.

 

128. John Bonamego, Central Michigan

Record at Central Michigan: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Bonamego takes over at Central Michigan after Dan Enos left to be the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. Bonamego is no stranger to Central Michigan, as he played quarterback and wide receiver for the Chippewas. While the familiarity is important, Bonamego has never been a head coach, let alone an offensive or defensive coordinator at the FBS level. Bonamego was the Detroit Lions’ special teams coordinator when he was hired to replace Enos and previously worked with the Jaguars, Saints, Packers and Dolphins in a similar role.

Teaser:
Ranking All 128 College Football Head Coaches for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/mountain-west-football-2015-all-conference-team
Body:

The Mountain West hopes for a repeat of 2014 this year, as Boise State was the top Group of 5 team and played in one of college football’s biggest bowl games. The Broncos are the favorite to reach that mark once again this season, and there’s depth in the Mountain West with Utah State, Colorado State and San Diego State.

 

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 2015.

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

Related: 2015 Mountain West Predictions

 

Mountain West Conference 2015 Team Previews
Mountain Division
 
National
Rank:
832571965195
West Division
 
National
Rank:
1011149168110122

 

Visit the Athlon Sports Online Store to order a copy of the 2015 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 2015 All-Mountain West Team
 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBChuckie Keeton
Utah State 
Ryan Finley
Boise State 
Nick Stevens
Colorado State 
Nate Romine
Air Force 
RBDonnel Pumphrey
SDSU 
Shaun Wick
Wyoming 
James Butler
Nevada 
Dalyn Dawkins
Colorado State 
RBMarteze Waller
Fresno State 
Jhurell Pressley
New Mexico 
Don Jackson
Nevada 
LaJuan Hunt
Utah State 
APJoJo Natson*
Utah State 
Jacobi Owens (RB)
Air Force 
Tyler Ervin (RB)
SJSU 
Brian Hill (RB)
Wyoming 
WRRashard Higgins
Colorado State    
Tyler Winston
SJSU 
Hasaan Henderson
Nevada 
Jerico Richardson
Nevada 
WRThomas Sperbeck
Boise State 
Hunter Sharp
USU  
Marcus Kemp
Hawaii 
S. Williams-Rhodes
Boise State 
TEDevonte Boyd (WR)
UNLV 
Jalen Robinette (WR)
Air Force 
Steven Walker
Colorado State 
Jake Roh
Boise State 
CMarcus Henry
Boise State 
Austin Stephens
Utah State 
Ben Clarke
Hawaii 
Bo Bonnheim
Fresno State 
OGFred Zerblis
Colorado State 
Darrell Greene
SDSU 
Travis Averill
Boise State 
Jake Bennett (C)
Colorado State 
OGAndrew Ruechel
Air Force 
Jake Roullier
Wyoming 
Mario Yakoo
Boise State  
Matt Rochell (OT)
Air Force 
OTAlex Fifita
Fresno State 
Sam Carlson
Colorado State 
Reno Henderson
New Mexico 
Wes Schweitzer
SJSU  
OTRees Odhiambo
Boise State 
Jake Simonich
Utah State 
Justin Northern
Fresno State 
Austin Corbett
Nevada 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DLKamalei Correa
Boise State 
Alex Barrett
SDSU 
Rykeem Yates
Nevada 
Todd Hunt
Fresno State  
DLJordan Nielsen
Utah State 
Alex Hansen
Air Force 
Lenny Jones
Nevada 
Jon Sanchez
SDSU  
DLIan Seau
Nevada 

Travis Seefeldt

Utah State 

Joe Kawulok
Colorado State 
Nik D'Avanzo
New Mexico 
DLEddie Yarbrough
Wyoming 
Kennedy Tulimasealii
Hawaii 
Armand Nance
Boise State 
Connor Healy
Air Force 
LBKyler Fackrell
Utah State 
Dakota Cox
New Mexico 
Tau Lotulelei 
UNLV 
Jake Fely
SDSU                 
LBNick Vigil
Utah State 
Cory James
Colorado State 
Kyrie Wilson
Fresno State 
Ben Weaver
Boise State 
LBTanner Vallejo
Boise State 
Calvin Munson
SDSU 
Christian Tago
SJSU 
Jordan Dobrich
Nevada 
CBDonte Deayon
Boise State 
Cleveland Wallace III
SJSU 
Jalen Davis
Utah State 
Ne'Quan Phillips
Hawaii   
CBDamontae Kazee
SDSU 
J.J. Whittaker
SDSU  
Jimmy Pruitt
SJSU 
Charles Washington
Fresno State  
SWeston Steelhammer
Air Force 
Trent Matthews
Colorado State 
Devin Centers
Utah State  
Malik Smith
SDSU 
SDarian Thompson
Boise State 
Peni Vea
UNLV 
Kevin Pierre-Louis
Colorado State 
Trayvon Henderson
Hawaii 
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KDonny Hageman
SDSU 
Brent Zuzo
Nevada 
Austin Lopez
SJSU  
Jake Thompson
Utah State  
PAlex Boy
Nevada 
Hayden Hunt
Colorado State 
Garrett Swanson
Fresno State  
Sean Wale
Boise State  
KRDeionte Gaines
Colorado State 
Ridge Jones
New Mexico 
S. Williams-Rhodes
Boise State  
Rashaad Penny
SDSU 
PRJoJo Natson*
Utah State 
Lloyd Mills
SDSU 

Tyler Ervin
SJSU 

S. Williams-Rhodes
Boise State 
Related: 2015 Mountain West Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2015 All-Mountain West Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth

Air Force

Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Boise State

Offense: 3
Defense: 4
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 2

Colorado State

Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Fresno State

Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Hawaii

Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 2 
​Sp. Teams: 0

Nevada

Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 3 
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

New Mexico

Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1 
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 1 
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 

SDSU

Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1 
Offense: 1
Defense: 3 
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1 

SJSU

Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 2 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 

UNLV

Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 

Utah State

Offense: 2
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1 

Wyoming

Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 0 
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp