2009 College Football Preseason Rankings: May Edition (Revised 5/12)
With 19 of 22 starters returning from last year's champion team (including all 11 defensive starters), the Gators should undoubtedly start off at No. 1.
USC has nearly the whole offense back (except Sanchez, but they have plenty of people to replace him) and will simply reload talent on defense.
Colt McCoy, his favorite target Jordan Shipley, and most of the offensive line return, as well as most of the defense. The Longhorns consistently have one of the best d-lines and should have another good one despite the loss of three starters there.
Bradford and both RBs return, along with nine defensive starters from 2008. One big problem is they lose nearly their entire offensive line.
5. Ole Miss
Jevan Snead, arguably one of the best QBs in the NCAA, returns along with RBs McCluster, Bolden, and Eason to form a solid offense. The defense, which was top 20 last year, returns eight starters.
Nine starters from 2008's third best defense return, so the Tide should be very good there again.
They lose much of their offensive line, Glen Coffee and John Parker Wilson, but Julio Jones will make sure the offense doesn't drop too much. Plenty of good recruits too.
7. Oklahoma State
QB Johnson, RB Hunter, WR Bryant and much of the offensive line return to form what should be the nation's top offense. The defense has six starters back and should improve.
8. Ohio State
Terrelle Pryor will be much improved as a passer, and will still be able to run the ball (especially since OSU has most of their line back). The defense, despite losing a pair of three-time All Americans, returns seven starters and should be very good again.
9. Virginia Tech
Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans return, and the Hokies should have a solid rushing offense. The defense has seven starters back from a very good squad.
10. Penn State
Daryll Clark returns, as well as Evan Royster. The loss of most of the OL and WRs will hurt, but the offense should be good again.
The defense will have solid LBs and a decent line, and should be able to fill in the secondary well. PSU has a lot of questions, though, so watch out.
Most of the offensive line returns, as well as QB Ricky Stanzi (who's developing very well in the off-season and had decent good 2008).
RB Jewel Hampton should replace Greene fairly well- Hampton had nearly 500 yards with 7 TDs and 5.1 YPC in 2008. Together, they should form a strong offense. The defense returns eight starters, including every linebacker, from a very good season.
Nine starters return from one of the nation's best defenses of 2008 and should be one of the best again. The offense loses a lot, but RB Matt Asiata returns along with much of the offensive line.
Pac-10 rushing leader Jahvid Best returns, along with QB Kevin Riley and most of the line. The defense has eight starters back from a solid year.
Most of the defense returns from a solid season, and the offense has QB Joe Cox, who should be decent, and plenty of RBs to pick from to replace Stafford and Moreno.
15. Boise State
Boise State returns QB Kellen Moore, who had a 157.1 QB rating in 2008. The hole left by RB Ian Johnson should be filled well by RB Jeremy Avery, who ran for 614 yards, four TDs, and had a 5.5 average in 2008. The defense loses over half of their starters, but should still be pretty good in 2009.
Jordan Jefferson needs to prove himself still; he had one decent game and everyone was acting like he was the next Heisman candidate. Charles Scott and Keiland Williams return to form what should be a good rushing offense. The defense has six starters back, but they lose a lot of their defensive line.
17. Florida State
All of the OL returns, as well as QB Christian Ponder, to form a solid offense. The defense was one of the best last year and they have eight starters back, so they should be good once again.
18. Georgia Tech
With all of the backs that made their triple option offense work, GT looks to have a pretty good offense again. But they lose almost all of their offensive line. The defense has six starters back from a good year and should be good again.
Kansas’ offense looks to be one of the nation’s better ones, with QB Todd Reesing, RB Jake Sharp, and WRs Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier return from the nation’s 21st best. The defense, although not so great in 2009, returns seven starters and should be much better next year.
QB Jeremiah Masoli and RB LeGarrate Blount return, but the Ducks lose a lot of starters along the offensive line. The defense has about half of the starters back from a decent squad and should improve. The Ducks also have a lot of questions.
Arizona is a team not many people look at, but since they have RB Nicholas Grigsby back (well over 1,000 yards in 2008) along with much of the offensive line and seven defensive starters (from the nation’s 24th best defense), they should be here. Watch out for them—they are a 2009 Pac 10 sleeper.
BYU has QB Max Hall returning as well as huge RB Harvey Unga, so the offense should be pretty good. The defense returns a lot of starters up front. If BYU answers their questions correctly, they could be a 2009-10 BCS Buster.
TCU loses many starters as a team, but QB Andy Dalton will help out. The defense, despite losing most of its starters, has DE Jerry Hughes back, who will be a huge asset and should make TCU’s defense much better.
The Horned Frogs have a lot of questions too, but could take the MWC and possibly a BCS bid if they answer them correctly.
The Wildcats come into 2009 with QB Mike Kafka and most of the offensive line back, so they should be okay on offense in 2009.
The defense was actually pretty good in 2008, and returns eight starters. Northwestern is one of many Big Ten teams with a lot of potential and could surprise some people in 2009.
25. West Virginia
Even though the offense loses QB Pat White, they have RB Noel Devine (1,289 yards, 4 TDs, 6.3 YPC in 2008) and much of the offensive line, so should be okay on offense next year.
The defense was 36th nationally in yards allowed last year (11th in points allowed), and they return eight starters, so they should also be very good there next year.
OTHERS CONSIDERED (in order by conference): Boston College, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Baylor, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Southern Mississippi, Oregon State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame.
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