TIGER RAG'S TOP 25: Teams 20-16

Today, we bring to you part three of a six-part series counting down the top 30 teams in the Tiger Rag Preseason Top 25 and beyond. Today, we bring you the teams ranked 20-16. Check back to TigerRag.com throughout the month of August for our official countdown.

20. Texas Tech

Mascot: Red Raiders

Coach: Mike Leach (48-28, 6 years)

2005 Record: 9-3 (6-2 Big XII)

2005 Bowl: SBC Cotton Bowl – Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10

Returning Starters: 15 – 8 offense/5 defense/kicker-punter

TR Take: Texas Tech returns eight starters on offense from a squad that duked it out with Alabama in last year's Cotton Bowl. Could the Red Raiders be a sleeper in the Big XII?

 

19. Utah

Mascot: Utes

Coach: Kyle Whittingham (7-5, 1 year)

2005 Record: 7-5 (4-4 MWC)

2005 Bowl: Emerald Bowl – Utah 38, Georgia Tech 10

Returning Starters: 15 – 6 offense/8 defense/kicker

TR Take: The Utes made a statement under first year coach Kyle Whittingham thrashing Georia Tech 38-10 in the Emerald Bowl. It should be a Utah-TCU race for the league crown in the MWC.

 

18. Clemson

Mascot: Tigers

Coach: Tommy Bowden (52-33, 7 years)

2005 Record: 8-4 (4-4 ACC)

2005 Bowl: Champs Sports Bowl – Colorado 19, Clemson 10

Returning Starters: 18 – 9 offense/7 defense/kicker-punter

TR Take: Is this the year for Clemson? After years of underachieving, Tommy Bowden finally has a cupboard full of talent going against a struggling Atlantic Coast Conference.

 

17. Arizona State

Mascot: Sun Devils

Coach: Dirk Koetter (32-28, 5 years)

2005 Record: 7-5 (4-4 Pac-10)

2005 Bowl: Insight Bowl – Arizona State 45, Rutgers 40

Returning Starters: 15 – 8 offense/5 defense/kicker-punter

TR Take: The Sun Devils stumbled to a 7-5 finish after quarterback Sam Keller went down with a thumb injury. Keller is back as are the Devils looking for the first conference title since 1996.

 

16. TCU

Mascot: Horned Frogs

Coach: Gary Patterson (43-18, 5 years)

2005 Record: 11-1 (8-0 MWC)

2005 Bowl: Houston Bowl – TCU 27, Iowa State 24

Returning Starters: 16 – 8 offense/6 defense/kicker-punter

TR Take: TCU lost only game last year, which kept the Horned Frogs out of the BCS. TCU is loaded again and will duke it out with Utah for tops in the Mountain West.


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