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I have the Brigham Young Cougars coming in at No. 22. The Cougars had a very successful season in 2008, going 10-3, and they are ready to have another one in 2009.
The Cougars return a good amount of talent at the skill positions on offense. Their defense should also be very strong, as they return eight starters, all of whom are seniors.
Let's take a closer look at the Cougars.
At quarterback, BYU returns Max Hall, who is a stud who threw for 3,957 yards and 35 touchdowns last season. Hall will need to lead this high-octane offense again for the Cougars to be successful.
At running back, the Cougars return Harvey Unga. Unga is a solid back who went over 1,000 yards last year. Like Hall, Harvey will have to step up this year and make plays to keep the offense going.
BYU lost its two best wide receivers, including star Austin Collie. I think the player to fill this void is McKay Jacobson, as he had a standout freshman season and showed signs that he might be the next No. 1 guy for the Cougars. If Jacobson can step up it up, it will really help out the depleted receiver group.
The offensive line is the huge question mark for the Cougars. But if BYU can get it together and give Hall and Co. time to make plays, it will be successful.
Defense should be a strong suit for the Cougars, as they are loaded with experience. Their run defense is talented and will be able to shut down opposing teams, but their pass defense is questionable. Most of the secondary returns, so the Cougars are hoping to put it together.
BYU should really good, but it does have some areas of concern. If these areas get addressed, then look for them to make a serious run.
Players to Watch: McKay Jacobson, Max Hall
Projected Record: 10-2