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Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 Preview and Prediction

Alabama begins 2016 where it ended in January – at the top of college football’s rankings. The Crimson Tide have claimed three out of the last five national championships and are Athlon’s projected No. 1 team and pick to win it all in 2016. As usual, Nick Saban’s team has work to do on both sides of the ball, but a roster loaded with ...  READ MORE

Florida State Seminoles 2016 Preview and Prediction

After finishing 10-3 in a rebuilding season, Florida State is loaded for another run at a national championship in 2016. The biggest question mark for coach Jimbo Fisher is at the quarterback position, but the Seminoles aren’t hurting for talent. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois and true freshman Malik Henry will push Sean Maguire for the starting jo...  READ MORE

Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 Preview and Prediction

Despite losing a wealth of talent to the NFL, Ohio State is poised for another run at the Big Ten Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Urban Meyer’s team returns only six starters, but elite recruiting has the Buckeyes’ roster stocked for a quick rebuild. J.T. Barrett is the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback and the lack of a con...  READ MORE

Clemson Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Dabo Swinney has raised expectations at Clemson, and last year's 14 wins in 2015 were the most in program history for a single season. However, the Tigers enter 2016 with unfinished business. Clemson fell just short in the national title game against Alabama, and the Tigers are hoping for another run to the championship in 2016. The pieces are ...  READ MORE

Michigan Wolverines 2016 Preview and Prediction

Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back among the nation’s best, and the Wolverines should be in the conversation for a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2016. Road trips to Ohio State and Michigan State will determine just how high Michigan climbs in rankings, but the pieces are in place for a run at the Big Ten title. While a new quarterback must emerge...  READ MORE

Oklahoma Sooners 2016 Preview and Prediction

Another run at the College Football Playoff and a Big 12 title is certainly within reach for Oklahoma. The Sooners return 12 starters from last year’s 11-2 team, including Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield and talented running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. Replacing Sterling Shepard and rebuilding the line are the biggest concern on offense ...  READ MORE

Tennessee Volunteers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Tennessee is the clear favorite in the SEC East and a legitimate playoff contender. The Volunteers return 18 starters from last year’s nine-win team, including quarterback Joshua Dobbs and standout running backs Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd. While the ground game is among the best in the SEC, Tennessee needs more out of its passing attack in 2016. New c...  READ MORE

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Fighting Irish return only eight starters, but coach Brian Kelly’s team shouldn’t be dismissed as a playoff contender. Two talented quarterbacks – DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire – will battle for the starting job, and Tarean Folston returns at running back after missing nearly all of last season due to injury. Finding a No. 1 recei...  READ MORE

LSU Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

LSU’s 2015 season ended in bizarre fashion, as there was plenty of doubt on coach Les Miles’ future entering the regular season finale against Texas A&M. However, after beating the Aggies, Miles was retained for 2016 and returns a roster capable of contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff. For LSU to win the SEC and claim a playo...  READ MORE

Ole Miss Rebels 2016 Preview and Prediction

Even with the departure of three NFL first-round picks, Ole Miss isn’t going to slip too far in the SEC West. The Rebels return the SEC’s top quarterback in Chad Kelly, and there’s a host of talented receivers waiting to emerge as a replacement for standout Laquon Treadwell. The biggest concern on offense is the line, but true freshman Greg...  READ MORE

Washington Huskies 2016 Preview and Prediction

Washington is a program on the rise under third-year coach Chris Petersen, and the Huskies have the necessary pieces in place to challenge Stanford for the Pac-12 North title. Leading the way for the offense is a pair of sophomores – quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. Additionally, the Huskies return three starters on the offensiv...  READ MORE

Stanford Cardinal 2016 Preview and Prediction

Stanford has claimed at least a share of the Pac-12 North title in four out of coach David Shaw’s five seasons. But the Cardinal face a significant rebuilding effort in order to earn their fifth in six years. Running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the nation’s best players, and he will anchor an offense that features a new quarterback (likely...  READ MORE

Michigan State Spartans 2016 Preview and Prediction

Michigan State loses several key pieces from last year’s Big Ten title team, but coach Mark Dantonio’s program has plenty of staying power. The rebuilding effort starts on offense in replacing quarterback Connor Cook, receiver Aaron Burbridge and standout offensive linemen Jack Allen and Jack Conklin. The defense returns five starters, but this u...  READ MORE

UCLA Bruins 2016 Preview and Prediction

With 12 returning starters and a rising star in sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen, the Bruins are the team to beat in the Pac-12 South. There’s some turnover among Rosen’s supporting cast, but UCLA has options at running back and receiver, and the offensive line may not suffer too much despite losing three starters. The defense struggled to stop t...  READ MORE

Houston Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

After a 13-1 record and a Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Florida State last season, Houston is aiming even higher in coach Tom Herman’s second year. The Cougars are projected to be college football’s top Group of 5 program once again in 2016, and a schedule that features games against Louisville and Oklahoma provide opportunities for marquee wins. Dyn...  READ MORE

Georgia Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

It’s a new era for Georgia’s football program, as Mark Richt’s 15-year stint in Athens ended after the regular season, and former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart was hired to lead his alma mater to SEC titles. Smart inherits plenty of talent, but the Bulldogs also feature question marks on both sides of the ball. On offense, there’s unc...  READ MORE

TCU Horned Frogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

TCU entered last season as one of the favorites to win the Big 12 and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff but injuries and roster turnover on defense prevented coach Gary Patterson’s team from claiming the conference title. Even with the departure of quarterback Trevone Boykin and a revamped offensive line, the Horned Frogs aren’t expecte...  READ MORE

Louisville Cardinals 2016 Preview and Prediction

The ACC already features two of the nation’s best teams in Florida State and Clemson, but the Atlantic Division will get a little deeper with Louisville’s emergence in 2016. The Cardinals finished 2015 by winning six out of their last seven games and return 16 starters, including dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson. The sophomore is surrounded by a...  READ MORE

Iowa Hawkeyes 2016 Preview and Prediction

The 2015 season was certainly a memorable one for Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished 12-2, claimed the Big Ten’s West Division title and came within a goal-line stand of reaching the College Football Playoff. Considering Iowa had not won more than eight games since 2010 and coach Kirk Ferentz was starting to feel a little heat, last year’s record w...  READ MORE

Florida Gators 2016 Preview and Prediction

Florida was one of college football’s biggest surprises last season. The Gators finished 10-4 and claimed the SEC East title under first-year coach Jim McElwain. While McElwain’s first season was a success, there’s plenty of work ahead for this team in 2016. The offense struggled after the suspension of quarterback Will Grier in the second ...  READ MORE

North Carolina Tar Heels 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Tar Heels are coming off a breakthrough year in Larry Fedora’s fourth season in Chapel Hill. North Carolina won 11 games, claimed the Coastal Division title and finished No. 15 in the final Associated Press poll. Both sides of the ball suffered some key losses, but the Tar Heels are reloaded and open 2016 as the favorite to win the Coastal Division...  READ MORE

USC Trojans 2016 Preview and Prediction

USC is one of college football's most intriguing teams to watch in 2016. New coach Clay Helton takes over on a full-time basis, and his first year at the helm features one of the nation’s toughest schedules. The Trojans open against defending national champion Alabama, play at Stanford, Utah, Washington and UCLA and match up against Notre Dame...  READ MORE

Oregon Ducks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Oregon’s streak of seven consecutive double-digit win seasons ended in 2015. However, the Ducks weren’t too far off their usual tally, as coach Mark Helfrich’s team finished 9-4 and suffered three of the four losses by a touchdown or less. As the focus shifts to 2016, Oregon has work to do in order to catch Stanford and Washington in the Pa...  READ MORE

Oklahoma State Cowboys 2016 Preview and Prediction

Oklahoma State rebounded from a 7-6 record in 2014 to a 10-3 mark last year. The Cowboys have won at least 10 games in two out of the last three seasons under coach Mike Gundy and enter 2016 with a chance to match last year’s victory total. The offense is led by quarterback Mason Rudolph and a deep group of options at receiver headlined by big-play thr...  READ MORE

Baylor Bears 2016 Preview and Prediction

Baylor's 2016 outlook has shifted dramatically since late May. Coach Art Briles was dismissed after the results of an independent investigation into the program's response to sexual assault allegations was released on May 26. Briles was an instrumental part of Baylor's rise to a Big 12 power and one of the nation's top coaches. In addition to...  READ MORE

Arkansas Razorbacks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Arkansas must replace a couple of key players from last year's team, but there's stability in Fayetteville with Bret Bielema at the helm. On offense, the Razorbacks must replace quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins, tight end Hunter Henry and offensive linemen Denver Kirkland and Sebastian Tretola. There is a lot of change in Fay...  READ MORE

Miami Hurricanes 2016 Preview and Prediction

Having a new sheriff in town with Mark Richt might be the key ingredient to getting Miami back to a perennial power. Richt comes into a great quarterback situation with star quarterback Brad Kaaya returning, but will that be enough to knock off the ACC’s best - Clemson and Florida State - for a conference title?  Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter...  READ MORE

Texas A&M Aggies 2016 Preview and Prediction

There's plenty of pressure on Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin to win big this year. The combination of new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and graduate transfer quarterback Trevor Knight must deliver if the Aggies are going to make a run in the SEC. With uncertainty surrounding the offense, Texas A&M could lean even more on its defense, which fea...  READ MORE

Virginia Tech Hokies 2016 Preview and Prediction

New coach Justin Fuente has some big shoes to fill in replacing Frank Beamer on the Virginia Tech sideline. Defense has always been a staple for the Hokies, but the offense must make strides for Virginia Tech to be a serious ACC contender. The good news for the Hokies? Fuente has a good track record of success on that side of the ball, and junior colleg...  READ MORE

Washington State Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

Washington State improved its win total by six games last season after a 3-9 mark in 2014. The Cougars also claimed the program’s second bowl trip under coach Mike Leach. As usual for a Mike Leach-coached team, Washington State will be dynamic on offense. Quarterback Luke Falk headlines the high-powered passing attack, while receiver Gab...  READ MORE

Nebraska Cornhuskers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Mike Riley’s debut at Nebraska resulted in a losing record (6-7), but the Cornhuskers were better than their win total indicated. A minus-12 turnover margin was largely to blame for six losses by eight points or less. If Nebraska eliminates some of the turnovers, improving its win total by a couple of games and contending for the Big Ten West isn&rsquo...  READ MORE

Utah Utes 2016 Preview and Prediction

After another productive season in Salt Lake City under coach Kyle Whittingham, the Utes look to take that next step for the program. The offensive line will be a strength, but that’s about it on offense with numerous question marks at the other positions. Utah hopes junior college transfer Troy Williams is the answer at quarterback, while running back...  READ MORE

Wisconsin Badgers 2016 Preview and Prediction

There are some big shoes to fill in Madison this fall. Second-year coach Paul Chryst has to replace defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, quarterback Joel Stave and wide receiver Alex Erickson and also faces one of the nation's toughest schedules. Chryst started off his UW head coaching career with an impressive 10-win season, but can he repeat th...  READ MORE

Boise State Broncos 2016 Preview and Prediction

For only the second time in the past decade, the Broncos won less than 10 games last year. The disappointing season started off strong with Boise State opening 7-2 before November, but coach Bryan Harsin's team dropped two critical November conference games and fell short of the division title. Will they be rejuvenated in 2016? Star quarterback Bret...  READ MORE

Auburn Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Auburn didn’t live up to the hype last season and 2016 doesn’t look that great either with many question marks on the table. Who will start at quarterback? Did coach Gus Malzahn upgrade the defense with the hire of new coordinator Kevin Steele? The Tigers will learn soon enough, but expect the defense to carry more of the weight than the off...  READ MORE

San Diego State Aztecs 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Aztecs took a huge step forward last season and look to keep that momentum going into 2016. Not only did San Diego State win the Mountain West in 2015, the 11 victories also tied for the best mark in program history. Coach Rocky Long will once again lean on dynamic running back Donnell Pumphrey and lockdown cornerback Damontae Kazee to win...  READ MORE

South Florida Bulls 2016 Preview and Prediction

After being one of the hottest teams in November last season, coach Willie Taggart lost to his alma mater (WKU) in the Miami Beach Bowl. But that should just be a blimp in the momentum that is in Tampa right now. Expectations are the highest they’ve been in recent memory for the Bulls, and with running back Marlon Mack and quarterback Quinton Flowers r...  READ MORE

Pitt Panthers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Pittsburgh fans should feel like they have finally found their man in second-year coach Pat Narduzzi. He has given the fan base something to be excited about as expectations are relatively high entering the fall season. Star running back James Conner is on track to return in 2016, giving the Panthers a potent one-two punch in the backfield with the emergence...  READ MORE

Penn State Nittany Lions 2016 Preview and Prediction

Penn State hasn't quite reached expectations in James Franklin's two seasons, but this team still has a lot of talent and the overall depth has improved. However, playing in one of the hardest divisions that college football has to offer is no small task. The Nittany Lions are looking for a spark on offense, with Franklin turning to former Fordham he...  READ MORE

West Virginia Mountaineers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Is 2016 a make-or-break year for coach Dana Holgorsen? It certainly seems that way. Provided quarterback Skyler Howard picks up where he left off in the bowl game, the Mountaineers should have one of the Big 12's top offenses. However, there's concern on defense with a revamped back seven. A new-look secondary will be tested in the offensive-min...  READ MORE

Mississippi State Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

In the toughest division in football (SEC West), the Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them in 2016. There are key pieces returning to Starkville, but the face of the program now straps up for the Cowboys. Will Dak Prescott be greatly missed? Coach Dan Mullen might have to do his best coaching job yet to go bowling this winter. Follow Athlon Sport...  READ MORE

Texas Tech Red Raiders 2016 Preview and Prediction

Having Patrick Mahomes - one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 - will be a big help, but will those around him make the offense flourish? Texas Tech must replace standout receiver Jakeem Grant and running back DeAndre Washington, and the offensive line has to be rebuilt. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is an offensive mastermind, but the defense also has to ...  READ MORE

Texas Longhorns 2016 Preview and Prediction

In a must-win year for coach Charlie Strong, the pressure is on in Austin. The Longhorns definitely gained some positive momentum after bringing in some blue-chippers on signing day this past spring, but will that be enough? New coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was brought aboard to bring significant improvement to the offense, and there's quarterback uncerta...  READ MORE

California Golden Bears 2016 Preview and Prediction

Losing the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft will hurt, but coach Sonny Dykes landed a replacement for Jared Goff in May with the addition of transfer Davis Webb. In addition to getting Webb settled at quarterback, the Golden Bears have to find a few weapons at receiver. The defense has improved every year since 2014 and there’s no reason why that shoul...  READ MORE

Northwestern Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Northwestern is coming off an impressive 10-3 record from 2015, but coach Pat Fitzgerald's team has a lot of work to do in order to reach double-digit wins once again. The Wildcats can lean on running back Justin Jackson to carry the offense, while quarterback Clayton Thorson should be better in his second year as the starter. The defense was a standout ...  READ MORE

Arizona State Sun Devils 2016 Preview and Prediction

After a disappointing season in 2015, the Sun Devils look to get back atop the Pac-12 South. Coach Todd Graham has always had the offense on point, but in 2016 the defense might have to carry the weight. Losing quarterback Mike Bercovici hurts a lot, but coordinator Chip Lindsey feels confident they’ll have a competent player under center come fall. Un...  READ MORE

BYU Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Bronco Mendenhall era ended with a loss to hated rival Utah in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. However, there's plenty of positive momentum at BYU, as new coach Kalani Sitake is plenty capable of keeping this program performing at a high level. The defense should take strides this fall led by safety Kai Nacua (six interceptions)...  READ MORE

Kansas State Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Kansas State was hit hard by injuries last season, but the Wildcats could be poised for a quick rebound in 2016. A Bill Snyder-coached team is always a dangerous opponent in the Big 12, and this year's version could surprise if the right pieces fall into place on offense. The defense returns standout talents in linebacker Elijah Lee and linemen...  READ MORE

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2016 Preview and Prediction

To say Georgia Tech's 2015 season would be one to forget, would be an understatement. After winning the ACC Coastal and playing in the Orange Bowl the previous year, the Yellow Jackets slumped to 3-9 overall and won just one game in conference play. Despite last season's disappointment, Georgia Tech should rebound in 2016. Quarterback Justin Thomas r...  READ MORE

Arizona Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

As usual, offense will once again be carrying the weight for Arizona. The Wildcats return seven starters on offense and are led by two players who need to get back to their 2014 form - quarterback Anu Solomon and running back Nick Wilson. Defensively, nobody knows what to expect with a new staff in Tucson. Both sides are going to have to live up and exceed e...  READ MORE

Air Force Falcons 2016 Preview and Prediction

Expectations are high in Colorado Springs after Air Force claimed the Mountain West's Mountain Division title in 2015. The Falcons’ return eight out of 11 starters on defense, while the offense brings back playmakers Jalen Robinette and Jacobi Owens are back for another season. The two combined for 1,733 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall. Coac...  READ MORE

Duke Blue Devils 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Blue Devils didn’t finish the season strong last fall and face another tough schedule in 2016. In November, Duke plays four teams that made a bowl last season, and coach David Cutcliffe's team may need an upset or two to reach the postseason. Expect the secondary to lead the defense with three returners and some question marks up front. Ho...  READ MORE

Cincinnati Bearcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Cincinnati was projected to be among the American Athletic Conference's top teams last fall but slipped to 7-6 overall. While last year was a disappointment, the Bearcats could be poised for a turnaround in 2016. The offense remains explosive with quarterback Gunner Kiel at the helm, and Cincinnati had its share of bad luck with turnovers last season. If...  READ MORE

Indiana Hoosiers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Indiana displayed the improvement fans were looking for by earning a bowl game last season. This year will be no different for the Hoosiers, as coach Kevin Wilson hopes to guide the program to another postseason trip. Losing quarterback Nate Sudfeld will hurt, but Indiana returns talented running back Devine Redding and a solid offensive line. The defense sh...  READ MORE

Kentucky Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

After another hot start under Stoops, Kentucky finished 5-7 and missed out on a bowl appearance. The Wildcats hope to take the next step for the program in 2016 as quarterback Drew Barker must lead the charge. The offense won’t miss a beat this year with returning the most starters in the SEC on that side of the ball. The defense on the other hand...  READ MORE

Vanderbilt Commodores 2016 Preview and Prediction

Progress was noticeable for the Commodores under coach Derek Mason last season. And with 12 starters back, Vanderbilt could build on last year's record and have a shot at a bowl game in 2016. Star running back Ralph Webb will carry the load offensively and expect him to push for all-conference honors. Linebacker Zach Cunningham is one of the nation&...  READ MORE

Appalachian State Mountaineers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Everybody in Boone last year was smiling from ear-to-ear after a tremendous 11-win season. The Mountaineers have as much momentum as anybody in the Sun Belt and should win their first FBS conference title this fall. Key returners are gunslinger Taylor Lamb and all-purpose back Marcus Cox as the offense will be clicking on all cylinders. Additionally, having ...  READ MORE

NC State Wolfpack 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Wolfpack have earned back-to-back bowl trips under coach Dave Doeren, but the program is still looking to take the next step. Earning a third consecutive postseason appearance won't be easy without quarterback Jacoby Brissett, and the schedule is tougher in 2016. The strength of Doeren's offense is in the backfield, as Matt Dayes headlines a deep...  READ MORE

Minnesota Golden Gophers 2016 Preview and Prediction

It’s always tough when a coach steps down in the middle of the year, but Minnesota recovered nicely with wins over Illinois and Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl. Now with the interim tag off, coach Tracy Claeys will see what he is made of with a full season ahead of him in Minneapolis. Running backs Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith should be one ...  READ MORE

Colorado Buffaloes 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Colorado’s Offense in 2016  The big news early in the offseason in Boulder was that former Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb had committed to join Colorado as a graduate transfer. However, Webb decided in May to transfer to California instead, leaving uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Buffaloes. Three-year starter Sefo ...  READ MORE

Missouri Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Missouri’s Offense for 2016:  With almost no support — the run game was mostly dreadful, and the receivers were mostly sophomores — quarterback Drew Lock’s freshman season was a struggle. He completed just 49 percent of his passes and went 2–6 as a starter. He enters his sophomore season with new coaching (off...  READ MORE

Temple Owls 2016 Preview and Prediction

After one of the best years in school history, the Owls are set for another successful season under coach Matt Rhule. Stars P.J. Walker and Jahad Thomas should carry the load offensively again in Philadelphia, but the defense has a few big names to replace. In the best Group of 5 conference in the country, Temple will have a tough road ahead of them. Oc...  READ MORE

South Carolina Gamecocks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing South Carolina’s Offense in 2016 South Carolina finished 11th in the SEC last year and lost its best offensive player when wide receiver Pharoh Cooper gave up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL. Replacing Cooper and finding more perimeter playmakers are vital for the Gamecocks, but the first priority for first-year head coach ...  READ MORE

Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Wake Forest’s Offense for 2016 Any chance that coach Dave Clawson had to turn Wake Forest around in his first two seasons slipped through the cracks in his offensive line. Over that time, the line has managed to top only one other FBS program in sacks allowed (SMU) and rushing yards (Washington State).  The good news is that the f...  READ MORE

Boston College Eagles 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Boston College’s Offense for 2016 The math on this isn’t difficult. When you have the top defense in the country in yards allowed per game and still finish 3–9, your offense is a problem area. There is some reasonable expectation for improvement under new coordinator Scot Loeffler, who most recently held down those duties at V...  READ MORE

Maryland Terrapins 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Maryland’s Offense for 2016 New coach D.J. Durkin wants to build around defense and special teams, but he is going to have to improve the Maryland offense to be competitive in the Big Ten’s bully-filled East Division. The good news is that a bigger, bulkier offensive line helped push the Terrapins to 200.7 yards rushing per game ...  READ MORE

Navy Midshipmen 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Navy’s Offense for 2016   Navy begins life after Keenan Reynolds, the record-setting quarterback and four-year starter. Reynolds graduated as the most prolific option quarterback in college football history, having set the FBS record for touchdowns scored. Senior Tago Smith patiently bided his time as the backup the past two seaso...  READ MORE

Southern Miss Golden Eagles 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Southern Miss’ Offense for 2016     By pretty much any measure, 2015 was the most prolific offensive season in Southern Miss history. The Golden Eagles set school records for yards and points per game, as well as yards per play. Junior Nick Mullens attempted more passes for more yards, more touchdowns and a higher e...  READ MORE

Western Michigan Broncos 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Western Michigan’s Offense for 2016 Western Michigan lost one-half of its dynamic receiving duo to the NFL. And Corey Davis easily could have followed Daniel Braverman to the draft. Instead, the nation’s active leader in receiving yards returns for his senior season, giving the Broncos a big-play weapon to feature in an offense that...  READ MORE

MTSU Blue Raiders 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing MTSU’s Offense for 2016 The record-breaking freshman passing tandem of Brent Stockstill and Richie James returns for Act Two. Stockstill, son of head coach Rick Stockstill, passed for 4,005 yards, just 52 yards shy of Jameis Winston’s NCAA freshman record (4,057). James had 108 receptions for 1,346 yards, breaking school records in ...  READ MORE

Iowa State Cyclones 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Iowa State’s Offense in 2016    Matt Campbell made it very clear on the day that he was introduced as Iowa State’s head football coach: This is a program that will have success running the football. He has a great starting point in Mike Warren, a sophomore who ran for more yardage than any other freshman running back...  READ MORE

Virginia Cavaliers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Virginia’s Offense for 2016 New coach Bronco Mendenhall prefers a rugged, dual-threat quarterback who “looks like Thor,” he says. Matt Johns doesn’t exactly fit that profile. Tall and rangy at 6'5" and 210 pounds, Johns is pocket passer who relies on guile and surprise in his rare forays on foot. Mendenhall&rsqu...  READ MORE

Marshall Thundering Herd 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Marshall’s Offense for 2015    Quarterback Chase Litton threw for 2,605 yards and 23 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2015, benefiting from an experienced group of skill guys around him — a luxury that he won’t necessarily have in 2016. Litton lost his top two 2015 targets, Davonte Allen and Deandre Reaves, but out...  READ MORE

Illinois Fighting Illini 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Illinois’ Offense for 2016 The guy pulling the trigger for the Illini offense knows his way around the Big Ten. Wes Lunt, who started his career at Oklahoma State before transferring, enters his third year as a starter. At Illinois, Lunt has thrown only nine interceptions. His new head coach wants him to keep it up. “The eas...  READ MORE

Syracuse Orange 2016 Preview and Prediction

Previewing Syracuse’s Offense for 2016 Sophomore Eric Dungey returns as the presumptive starting quarterback, tasked with operating new head coach Dino Babers’ hurry-up spread offense. Dungey showcased accuracy, athleticism and a knack for playmaking last season, but a series of helmet-to-helmet hits kept him out of four games, including the l...  READ MORE

WKU Hilltoppers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Western Kentucky enjoyed a banner year in 2016, riding a high-powered offense to its best season in the Hilltoppers short history as an FBS program. Now, WKU’s staying power will be tested. The offense moves on without a three-year starting quarterback, who accounted for nearly 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns the last two seasons. Jeff Brohm remains on...  READ MORE

UConn Huskies 2016 Preview and Prediction

UConn exceeded even modest expectations in Bob Diaco’s second season. Coming off a 2-10 season in 2014, UConn cobbled together a 4-4 record in the American Athletic Conference, including an upset of league champion Houston in November. The expectations have changed for the Huskies, who will look to take a standout defense to a second consecutive bowl g...  READ MORE

Arkansas State Red Wolves 2016 Preview and Prediction

Arkansas State finally learned the benefits of being able to keep a coach for more than one season. After one-year stands with Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin, the Red Wolves were able to go into a season with a second-year coach in Blake Anderson. The result was a dominating Sun Belt season. Arkansas State went 8-0 in the conference, beating Sun B...  READ MORE

Toledo Rockets 2016 Preview and Prediction

One of the MAC’s most consistent program doesn’t show signs of slowing down despite another coaching change. Matt Campbell has left for Iowa State, passing the job to offensive coordinator Jason Candle. The new coach’s offense will be loaded as usual in Toledo, but he’ll have big shoes to fill. The Rockets have won at least nine games...  READ MORE

Northern Illinois Huskies 2016 Preview and Prediction

Northern Illinois is coming off what was — by the Huskies’ standards — a down year. Northern Illinois still went 8-6 and reached the MAC title game. But this is a program that had won at least 11 games in five consecutive seasons. By no means is the program on the decline. The Huskies will still be in the mix and should have a potent offens...  READ MORE

Georgia Southern Eagles 2016 Preview and Prediction

Georgia Southern had long been a power at the FCS level. Now, the Eagles are about to find out if they can stay among the elite teams in the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern went 9-3 in 2014 and followed that with another nine-win season and the program’s first bowl berth in 2015. That was enough for coach Willie Fritz to leave for Tulane. The Eagles replace...  READ MORE

Utah State Aggies 2016 Preview and Prediction

Once an afterthought in the WAC, Sun Belt and Big West, Utah State has become one of the more consistent programs in a Mountain West that’s still trying to find its way. True, the Aggies’ 2015 was uneven due in part to injuries, but Utah State managed to reach a fifth consecutive bowl game, a feat that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Wi...  READ MORE

Memphis Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Justin Fuente pulled off one of the best rebuilds in recent college football history, taking over a program that went 5-31 in a three-year span before he arrived. By his third season, Memphis won 10 games and then nine games in his fourth. With Fuente gone to Virginia Tech, Memphis faces a task perhaps as tough as the one Fuente inherited back in 2012 &mdash...  READ MORE

Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2016 Preview and Prediction

The American Athletic Conference was one of the nation’s major success stories last season as team’s like Memphis, Houston, Temple and Navy all spent time in the top 25 at one time or another. Look a little deeper, and you’ll see Tulsa’s rebound year. The Golden Hurricane won more games in the first season under Philip Montgomery (six...  READ MORE

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

Only three years into its membership in Conference USA, Louisiana Tech has established itself as one of the most consistent programs in the league. Coach Skip Holtz has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back nine-win seasons, the best two-year win total for the program since 1984-85. To continue the momentum, Louisiana Tech must replace transfer quarterback Jeff D...  READ MORE

Nevada Wolf Pack 2016 Preview and Prediction

Entering his fourth season, Brian Polian is starting to get his legs under him at Nevada. The Wolf Pack has gone 7-6 in back-to-back seasons and should have enough experience on offense (nine returning starters) to reach the postseason again. If the defense can overcome just one returning starter in the front seven, Nevada could make a run at the Mountain We...  READ MORE

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2016 Preview and Prediction

A decade ago, Rutgers was on top of the college football world — at least for a week. In 2006, Rutgers started 9-0, punctuated by a Jeremy Ito field goal to beat undefeated Louisville on a Thursday night in November. Ten years later, Rutgers is back to being a cellar dweller, only now it’s in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights turn to former Ohio S...  READ MORE

Central Michigan Chippewas 2016 Preview and Prediction

Central Michigan was quietly one of the great stories of last season. Coach John Bonamego, hired in a pinch after former coach Dan Enos left abruptly to be offensive coordinator at Arkansas, was diagnosed with a cancerous spot on his tonsil during the summer. By November, he announced he was cancer-free. Along the way, Central Michigan went 6-2 in the MAC fo...  READ MORE

Colorado State Rams 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Mike Bobo era got off to a good enough start with a 7-6 season with a third consecutive bowl game. The Rams were close in three losses, losing in overtime to Minnesota and Colorado in September and then losing by 5 to Mountain West foe Nevada in a bowl game. Bobo will have his challenges in Year 2, losing standout receiver Rashard Higgins to the NFL Draf...  READ MORE

Oregon State Beavers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Gary Andersen's debut at Oregon State resulted in just two wins last season, but everyone was aware of the rebuilding project he was taking on. Year 2 should show more signs of progress, but how much remains to be seen with just 10 starters returning and new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Prev...  READ MORE

Ohio Bobcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Ohio didn't win the MAC East in 2015 but the Bobcats did make their sixth bowl appearance in the last seven seasons. Another postseason trip should be in the cards for 2016, as Frank Solich's team could very well represent the East in the MAC Championship Game. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing Ohio’s Offense ...  READ MORE

UTEP Miners 2016 Preview and Prediction

UTEP just missed out on bowl eligibility last season, something the Miners accomplished in head coach Sean Kugler's first season in 2014. A team featuring 15 returning starters will try and get back to the postseason, but to do so will need to stay healthy and finish at least .500 in Conference USA play. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSp...  READ MORE

New Mexico Lobos 2016 Preview and Prediction

Bob Davie's fourth season at New Mexico produced seven wins and the Lobos' first bowl appearance since 2007. The defense returns nine starters, but can't afford to take a step back while the offense will need to improve for New Mexico to make it back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 2006-07. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonS...  READ MORE

East Carolina Pirates 2016 Preview and Prediction

Despite a run of three straight bowl appearances from 2012-14, East Carolina fired Ruffin McNeill at the end of last season. Former Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery takes over and inherits a Pirates teams with considerable experience. The offense (4 returning starters) will be a work in progress, so a return to the postseason could rel...  READ MORE

Purdue Boilermakers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Purdue won just two games last season, posting one of the worst records by a Power Five team. Darrell Hazell is squarely on the hot seat entering this season, and the prospects for considerably better results don't look that promising. Purdue does return 16 starters, but the life in the Big Ten is never easy. Follow Athlon Sports on Twi...  READ MORE

San Jose State Spartans 2016 Preview and Prediction

Despite going 5-7 in the regular season, San Jose State received a bowl invitation last season. The Spartans made the most of that opportunity, beating Georgia State in the Cure Bowl, and now Ron Caragher's team returns 15 starters looking to make it back-to-back postseason trips. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing San Jose&r...  READ MORE

Bowling Green Falcons 2016 Preview and Prediction

Dino Babers led Bowling Green to the MAC championship last season and then left to become the head coach at Syracuse. Mike Jinks, former associate head coach/running backs coach at Texas Tech, has taken over the reigns of the Falcons and will look to keep the program's momentum going. Jinks' debut will likely have its share of growing pains...  READ MORE

Akron Zips 2016 Preview and Prediction

Terry Bowden's Akron team broke through with eight wins last season, including a 23-21 victory over Utah State in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. But with just six starters returning, the Zips' progress could be stymied this fall. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing Akron’s Offense for 2016 The Zips return only ...  READ MORE

Kansas Jayhawks 2016 Preview and Prediction

When David Beaty took the head coaching job at Kansas, he knew the road ahead would not be easy. That belief became reality last season, as the Jayhawks went 0-12, including a loss to FCS member South Dakota State. The Jayhawks return 12 starters and Beaty now has a year of experience under his belt. But make no mistake, Kansas is a long ways away from bowl ...  READ MORE

UCF Knights 2016 Preview and Prediction

A winless season, including a loss to FCS member Furman, signaled the end of the George O' Leary era at UCF. Oregon offensive whiz Scott Frost takes over the reigns of a program that is just three seasons removed from winning the Fiesta Bowl and was a conference champion in 2014. Frost may be just what the Knights need to get back to the top of the Ameri...  READ MORE

SMU Mustangs 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Chad Morris era at SMU did not get off to the quick start many were hoping for. The Mustangs endured an eight-game losing streak and finished their 2015 campaign with just one more victory (2) than they had in '14. There's still plenty of reason for optimism, however, as SMU's offense in particular could take a big step forward this season wi...  READ MORE

Troy Trojans 2016 Preview and Prediction

A few more fortunate bounces and breaks and Troy may have gone bowling in Neal Brown's first season as head coach. Instead, Brown and his coaching staff welcome back 14 starters from a team that went 4-8 last season and is looking to take the next step forward this fall. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing Troy’s Offense...  READ MORE

FAU Owls 2016 Preview and Prediction

FAU has gone 3-9 in each of Charlie Partridge's two seasons as head coach. A new offensive identity and a more experienced roster are hoping to at least double that win total in Year 3, as the Owls aim for bowl eligibility this fall. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing FAU’s Offense for 2016   Along with ...  READ MORE

Old Dominion Monarchs 2016 Preview and Prediction

Old Dominion came up just short of earning the program's first bowl berth last season. Back-to-back losses to end the campaign left the Monarchs at 5-7, just shy of that magic six-win threshold. Sixteen starters are back as ODU looks to break through in just its fourth season as an FBS program. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSp...  READ MORE

FIU Panthers 2016 Preview and Prediction

FIU took annother small step forward last season, finishing with five wins, the most since 2011. Even more is expected this season, as Ron Turner's team is hoping a veteran offense and a manageable schedule will result in the Panthers' first bowl invitation in five seasons. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing FIU’s O...  READ MORE

UNLV Rebels 2016 Preview and Prediction

While UNLV only won three games in former Las Vegas prep powerhouse Bishop Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez' first season, it's possible that these Rebels take a major step forward in Year 2. The head coach and his players both have a year of experience working together and the roster has been bolstered thanks to one of the strongest recruiting cl...  READ MORE

UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns 2016 Preview and Prediction

Last season marked the first time in head coach Mark Hudspeth's five-year tenure that UL Lafayette did not win nine games or play in the New Orleans Bowl. The Ragin' Cajuns will look to rebound from a 4-8 showing by leaning on its experience (14 returning starters) and the unexpected return of their best player. Follow Athlon Sports on T...  READ MORE

Fresno State Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

Fresno State stumbled to a 3-9 finish last season, the worst in head coach Tim DeRuyter's four seasons. The offense ranked near the bottom of the nation in every major category, while the defense wasn't much better. The Bulldogs hope for better things, but significant coaching turnover and a relatively inexperienced roster could lead to eve...  READ MORE

Rice Owls 2016 Preview and Prediction

Rice did not play in a bowl game to end its 2015 campaign, ending a streak of three straight postseason appearances. David Bailiff's team returns plenty of experience as the Owls will look to start a new streak while navigating a challenging non-conference schedule. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing Rice&rsquo...  READ MORE

Georgia State Panthers 2016 Preview and Prediction

A strong finish resulted in bowl eligibility, a first for a Georgia State program in just its third season as an FBS member. The challenge for Trent Miles' team in 2016 is to build on that momentum and capitalize on its experience (16 returning starters) with the goal of emerging as a legitimate contender in the Sun Belt. Follow Athlon Sports on ...  READ MORE

Army West Point Black Knights 2016 Preview and Prediction

A name change produced similar results, as Army West Point managed just two wins in 2015, only one of those coming against FBS competition. Now in his third year, head coach Jeff Monken is hoping the youth movement he enacted last season will pay dividends in 2016. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing Army West Point’s Offens...  READ MORE

Miami-Ohio RedHawks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Miami improved its win total by one in head coach Chuck Martin's second season, but the RedHawks still have a long ways to go. This is still a relatively young team, but plenty of sophomores and juniors saw significant playing time last season. Will 2015's growing pains produce better results and a few more wins in '16? Follow Athlon Sports on...  READ MORE

Buffalo Bulls 2016 Preview and Prediction

Buffalo didn't go to a bowl game last season, but Lance Leipold's first season as an FBS head coach can still be labeled a success as the Bulls went 5-7 and lost several one-score games. The foundation for sustained success has been laid, but 2016 will rely heavily on the success of an inexperienced offense. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @Athlo...  READ MORE

Wyoming Cowboys 2016 Preview and Prediction

Wyoming took a step backwards in Craig Bohl's second year, winning just two games. The Cowboys have plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball. Bohl oversaw the start of North Dakota State's dynasty (five straight FCS national titles), but he appears to be just getting started on turning around Wyoming. Follow Athlon Sports on T...  READ MORE

South Alabama Jaguars 2016 Preview and Prediction

Last season, South Alabama came up just short of a second straight bowl appearance. The Jaguars hope to return to the postseason in 2016 but to get there an inexperienced offense must gel quickly while the defense must adjust to a new coordinator and personnel changes. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter: @AthlonSports Previewing South Alabama’s...  READ MORE

Ball State Cardinals 2016 Preview and Prediction

A disappointing 3-9 showing was followed by the unexpected departure of former head coach Pete Lembo. Mike Neu returns to his alma mater, looking to return Ball State to the top of the MAC. The Cardinals should be productive enough on offense, but the key to a significant turnaround lies on the other side of the ball. Follow Athlon Sports o...  READ MORE

Tulane Green Wave 2016 Preview and Prediction

Willie Fritz takes over at Tulane after leading Georgia Southern the past two seasons. The Green Wave will look to adopt Fritz' run-oriented offensive philosophy, especially given the overall lack of experience on that side of the ball. The defense returns seven starters, but that's from a unit that gave up more than 36 points per game last season.&n...  READ MORE

Kent State Golden Flashes 2016 Preview and Prediction

With just nine wins in three seasons, head coach Paul Haynes is squarely on the hot seat at Kent State. The Golden Flashes welcome back 17 starters from 2015's 3-9 team, including eight on a defense that ranked among the top in the MAC. The key to a significant turnaround, however, is getting more out of an offense that struggled mightily to move th...  READ MORE

Idaho Vandals 2016 Preview and Prediction

Idaho improved from one win in 2014 to four last season, and the Vandals gave up leads in two other games that would have made them bowl eligible. Paul Petrino has 13 starters returning from a team that's looking to take care of some unfinished business and get Idaho back to the postseason for the first time since 2009. Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter...  READ MORE

New Mexico State Aggies 2016 Preview and Prediction

Doug Martin has just seven wins in his three seasons at New Mexico State, but the Aggies should be able to improve on 2015's four victories. Offense has been Martin's calling card and even with just four starters returning on that side of the ball don't be surprised if NMSU has one of the more productive attacks in the Sun Belt. The defense has a...  READ MORE

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 2016 Preview and Prediction

Norm Chow didn't win more than four games in any of his four seasons at Hawaii, so the Rainbow Warriors have turned to one of their own to hopefully lead the program back to contention in the Mountain West. Nick Rolovich broke numerous school records when he was the Rainbow Warriors' quarterback in 2000-01, and one of his biggest tasks in his first s...  READ MORE

Texas State Bobcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Believed to be on a program on the upswing, Texas State finished a disappointing 3-9 last season. Head coach Dennis Franchione was replaced by Everett Withers, who is tasked with getting the Bobcats back on track. With just eight returning starters, Withers will have every opportunity to mold this program to his liking. But is Texas State in line for a ...  READ MORE

UTSA Roadrunners 2016 Preview and Prediction

Frank Wilson comes over from LSU looking to turn around an UTSA program that has seen its win total decline each season since 2012, bottoming out at 3-9 in 2015. The former running backs coach for the Tigers, Wilson will probably stick to the same game plan for a Roadrunners team that ran the ball fairly well last season. The defense, however, is a far cry f...  READ MORE

Eastern Michigan Eagles 2016 Preview and Prediction

After winning just one game last season, there's only one direction for Eastern Michigan to go. The good news for Chris Creighton's team is that the schedule at least offers several opportunities to claim more than one victory. The bad news is to do that one of the nation's worst defenses in 2015 must get better (and quickly) for that to hap...  READ MORE

Charlotte 49ers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Charlotte's maiden voyage in FBS went about as expected, as the 49ers went 2-10 and winless (0-8) in Conference USA play. There is plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball, and progress should be made with 16 starters returning. But can the 49ers make enough in the one category that counts to get to a bowl game in their first year of elig...  READ MORE

ULM Warhawks 2016 Preview and Prediction

After going just 2-11 last season, ULM dismissed Todd Berry and hired McNeese State head coach Matt Viator from the FCS ranks. The Warhawks return plenty of experience on offense, but it was one of the nation's least productive units, while the defense will be undergoing a complete overhaul. It likely will be another tough season in Monroe, La. Follow...  READ MORE

UMass Minutemen 2016 Preview and Prediction

UMass' last season in the MAC did not go according to plan, as the Minutemen's bowl aspirations were replaced by a 3-9 showing. Now UMass embarks on its journey as an FBS Independent, and it does not figure to be a smooth debut with just six returning starters and a schedule that features teams from the ACC and SEC, as well as BYU. Follo...  READ MORE

North Texas Mean Green 2016 Preview and Prediction

Former North Carolina offensive coordinator Seth Littrell is hoping to establish a similar up-tempo, high-powered attack at North Texas. But this is Littrell's first head coaching gig, the Mean Green's offense was one of the worst in the nation last season and the schedule is not kind. North Texas won just one game last season, but don't expect t...  READ MORE