With spring football about to kick in, how do each of the teams look? What are the first impressions? These are the first thoughts that can and will change over the next several months before diving deep into the team-by-team previews. Please, give us your thoughts and questions – be pleasant – hitting us at @ColFootballNews.
- The best and the brightest teams going into spring football.
- Crank up the realistic playoff expectations if everything breaks right.
- They'll all be in the mix for a conference title, with a little luck.
- Probably a bit low - all could challenge for big things.
- Some new high-risers - there's promise and potential.
- Likely bowl teams - or at least that's the expectation.
- Low-end Power 5 teams, but there's surprise potential.
- Possible bowl teams and some star Group of 5ers.
- Some bottom Power 5s and top Group of 5ers as the rankings roll on.
- Teams that have several major question marks, or are missing top talent.
- They need to replace too many key parts, but there's hope.
- They're not quite at the bottom, but they need a whole bunch of work.
- As spring ball is rolling, which teams come into the year looking up?
The Bottom Ten
29. Mississippi State
Biggest Positive: Dak Prescott is still around to make a possible Heisman push if he can repeat last year’s success. The overall talent level is far better than it was a few years ago, and there are just enough decent players ready to step up, but …
Biggest Negative: The defense is gutted. Most of the top players are gone, including LB Benardrick McKinney, and there are way too many holes to fill to expect a repeat of 2014.
Biggest Positive: Even with the loss of OT Andrus Peat, the line should be among the best in the Pac-12. Getting back QB Kevin Hogan for one more year was a huge break.
Biggest Negative: The defense is gutted. The line has to undergo an overhaul and five of the top six tacklers from last season have to be replaced. The O loses three of the top four runners along with WR Ty Montgomery.
31. Boise State
Biggest Positive: The O line returns all five starters and the defense gets back seven of the top eight tacklers. Most of the top receivers are back, as well, while the secondary returns three starters.
Biggest Negative: There’s no replacing RB Jay Ajayi. Losing QB Grant Hedrick is a problem, too, but it’s going to take a village to come up with a running game to replace the main man.
32. Kansas State
Biggest Positive: Even with the loss of C B.J. Finney, the O line should be a killer with four starters back to pave the way for what should be a great ground game. The secondary should be a strength as the season goes on with three excellent starters.
Biggest Negative: Jake Waters was a better quarterback than you think. Losing him, along with WR Tyler Lockett, will take the offense a few steps back. While the D line should be okay, DE Ryan Mueller will be missed.
Biggest Positive: Devonte Fields. The Cardinals lose some key players on defense, but getting the former TCU pass rushing star might be a game-changer. There’s enough talent across the board to expect a big year from a D that gets the top four tacklers back.
Biggest Negative: WR DeVante Parker and five of the top six receivers are gone. There’s no replacing the interception production of Gerod Holliman on defense, and the offense has to replace three starters up front.
Biggest Positive: The O line that had such a rough time getting through last year and had a rocky time staying healthy should be far, far better with all five starters returning. Even with Malcolm Brown gone, the running backs should shine behind the veteran line.
Biggest Negative: The defense did the job last year – for the most part – and now it has to replace several excellent parts with DT Malcom Brown, LB Jordan Hicks and DBs Quandre Diggs and Mykkele Thompson gone. It might take a year of reworking.
35. NC State
Biggest Positive: There’s a chance Jacoby Brissett becomes the type of next-level quarterback who can carry the team to something special. Making things easier is a fantastic group of running backs and a receiving corps that should be terrific - the top seven pass catchers are back. All five starters return in the secondary.
Biggest Negative: The special teams and kicking game need a big overhaul, while the O line has to come up with two new starting tackles to keep Brissett upright.
Biggest Positive: Shockingly, RB Devontae Booker is back for another year to help carry the offense, and he should come up with a massive season working behind a line that gets four starters back. QB Travis Wilson is good enough to win with.
Biggest Negative: The receiving corps is rocky with three of the top four targets gone. There aren’t many big personnel losses, but some of the departures are huge with WR Kaelin Clay a tough one to replace and pass rusher Nate Orchard certain to be missed.
Biggest Positive: The linebacking corps should be a killer. Scooby Wright is a great place to start, but he has some nice running mates around him. The O has more than enough talented parts returning, but …
Biggest Negative: The line is a huge concern for an attack that relies so much on timing and precision. Defensively, three starters are gone from a secondary that needs lots of retooling, and the defensive front is gutted.
38. West Virginia
Biggest Positive: Assuming Skyler Howard turns into the main man at quarterback, the backfield is outstanding with all the top backs returning. Five of the top seven tacklers return with the linebacking corps potentially devastating working around Nick Kwiatkoski. All four starters are back in the secondary.
Biggest Negative: Yeah, yeah, yeah, life eventually went on without Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin after a huge 2012, but losing receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford is a problem. The pass rush will be a concern losing Shaq Riddick and the top three sackers.
2015 Pre-Preseason Rankings: No. 29-38
Scout CFB Top Stories
NFL to have greater access to underclassmenNFL scouts will have greater access to underclassmen well before they apply for eligibility for the NFL draft.
Scout NFL NetworkYesterday at 5:07 PM
Scout ACC Player of the Week: Dalvin CookFSU Running Back Dalvin Cook is Scout's ACC Player of the Week
Scout CFBYesterday at 12:45 PM
Scout Big Ten Player of the Week: T.J. WattWisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt is Scout's Big Ten Player of the Week
Scout CFBYesterday at 11:48 AM
Scout Big 12 Player of the Week: Seth RussellBaylor Quarterback Seth Russell is Scout's Big 12 Player of the Week
Scout CFBYesterday at 11:14 AM