HEAD COACH: Joe Tiller
Drew Brees-QB, Ian Allen-OG, Brandon Gorin-OT, Matt Light-OT, Chukky Okobi-C, Vinny Sutherland-WR, Donald Winston-WR
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Chris Clopton-CB, Brian Dinkins-DE, Warren Moore-DE

Is redshirt freshman Brandon Hance capable of filling in for long time starter Drew Brees at quarterback? Guess that would be the first and main question on everybody's mind. Hance, a California high school QB, managed to solidify his starting position by taking alot of reps this past spring and went 9 of 23 for 142 yards in the spring Black & Gold game while playing for both squads. Brees favorite target over the years, Vinny Sutherland, has departed, but there will be plenty of experienced receivers in the Joe Tiller one-back set, which also includes All-American Tim Stratton at tight end. Not to mention both leading running backs return in Lowe and Brown. But this 2001 edition of the Boilermakers will be about defense as ten out of eleven starters return. What a turn around from the defensive disappointment of two years ago. Team leading tackler Stuart Schweigert is starting to evolve into the player fans had hoped he would be. And there may be no two better defensive ends than Akin Ayodele and Shaun Phillips in all of the Big Ten. If one looks at the entire starting roster, it becomes apparent that the list of All-Star Candidates is long. Repeating as a Conference Champion will be difficult with the new faces on offense. A new QB is also going to have to deal with an offensive line that lost some huge guns from 2000. All-American Gene Mruzckowski is the lone returning starter and he is a good one, but the rest are taking over for the first time. A team like this is hard to get a read on. There are some questions to be answered on the offense and you know Coach Tiller will win some games. The defense is going to have its say in just how many. Didn't somebody once say that defense wins championships?

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Brandon Hance-Fr Carl Buergler-Jr
RB Montrell Lowe-Jr Sedrick Brown-Jr
WR Andre Henderson-So A.T. Simpson-Sr
WR Seth Morales-Jr Gary Heaggans-Fr
WR John Standeford-So Taylor Stubblefield-Fr
TE Tim Stratton-Sr Chris Randolph-Sr
OT Pete Kiyggeed-Jr Tyler Moore-Fr
OG Kelly Kitchel-Jr Sean Rufolo-Sr
C Gene Mruczkowski-Jr Nick Pilipauskis-So
OG Rob Turner-Jr Max Miller-Jr
OT Kelly Butler-Fr Dave Owen-Fr
K Travis Dorsch-Sr Quinton Owens-Fr
DE Akin Ayodele-Sr Vedran Dzolovic-So
DT Craig Terrill-So Luke Burroughs-So
DT Matt Mitrione-Sr Mike Lawrence-Fr
DE Shaun Phillips-So Kevin Nesfield-So
SLB Gilbert Gardner-So Niko Koutouvides-So
MLB Joe Odom-Jr Alex Tone-Jr
WLB Landon Johnson-So Jason Loerzel-Sr
CB Ashante Woodyard-Sr Jacques Reeves-So
CB Antwaun Rogers-Fr Deaunte Ferrell-So
SS Ralph Turner-Jr Ben Smith-Sr
FS Stuart Schweigert-So Brady Doe-Sr
P Scott Kurz-Sr Aaron Levin-Fr
  HEAD COACH: Dennis Franchione
Shawn Draper-TE, Griff Redmill-OG, Paul Hogan-C, Will Cuthbert-OT, Dustin McClintock-FB
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Kenny Smith-DT, Milo Lewis-CB, Marcus Spencer-SS, Tony Dixon-FS, Albert Means-DT

How can the Crimson Tide be ranked so high after what happened to start the 2000 season? Simple, they have talent and depth out the wazoo and they got themselves a proven coach in Dennis Francione. This site pointed out back in August of 2000 that the Tide was still one year away from reaching its peak and not much has changed. Coach Francione is probably wondering why this Tide team could only manage three wins last year. The QB combo of Tyler Watts and Andrew Zow is still here, even though better things were projected of them a year ago, and it will be important for Coach Francione to pick one or the other. This isn't a Steve Spurrier offense. All-American Freddie Milons is back along with receiving leader Antonio Carter and so are the top two rushing leaders. On defense, the loss of both safeties Spencer and Dixon is about all that will be missed as both were leaders. Even though the defense was mediocre at best in 2000, there will be a ton of juniors and seniors still on the group to help aid a comeback. The Tide doesn't have to cross over to play Florida or Georgia of the SEC East, and gets Tennessee at home. With 13 talented starters returning overall, look for Alabama to be favored heavily to compete for the SEC West and make a huge turnaround from the debacle of 2000. That is, if the Tide can put aside their off the field issues.

Returning Staters in Bold
QB Andrew Zow-Sr Tyler Watts-Jr
FB Donnie Lowe-So Nick Signaigo-Fr
TB Ahmaad Galloway-Jr Brandon Miree-So
SE Antonio Carter-Jr Jason McAddley-Sr
FL Freddie Milons-Sr Sam Collins-Jr
TE Terry Jones Jr.-Sr David Cavan-So
OT Dante Ellington-Jr Lannis Baxley-Jr
OG Dennis Alexander-So Danny Martz-Fr
C Alonzo Ephraim-Jr Evan Mathis-Fr
OG Marico Portis-Jr Justin Smiley-Fr
OT Wesley Britt-So Atlas Herrion-Jr
K Neal Thomas-Sr Danny Haynes-So
DE Aries Monroe-Sr Antwan Odom-So
DT Jarret Johnson-Jr Derek Sanders-Jr
NT David Daniel-Sr Anthony Bryant-So
DE Kindal Moorehead-Jr Nautyn McKay-Loescher-So
MLB Saleem Rasheed-Jr Darius Gilbert-Sr
SLB Victor Ellis-Sr Cornelius Wortham-So
ROV Brooks Daniels-So Jason Rawls-Fr
CB Hirchel Bolden-Jr Carlos Andrews-So
CB Gerald Dixon-Jr Thurman Ward-Fr
SS Shontua Ray-Sr Waine Bacon-Jr
FS Charles Jones-So Reggie Myles-Sr
P Lane Bearden-Jr Matthew Sanders-Fr
  HEAD COACH: Barry Alvarez
: Michael Bennett-TB, Chris Chambers-FL, Bill Ferrario-OG, Brian Lamont-OT, Casey Rabach-OG, John Sigmund-TE, Vitaly Pisetsky-K
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Jason Doering-FS, John Favret-DE, Jamar Fletcher-CB, Roger Knight-OLB, Ross Kolodziej-DT, Eric Mahlik-NG, Kevin Stemke-P

The Badgers have had some great success over the last few years exemplified by the fact that only six other teams in Division I-A have won at least 30 games in the last three years. To top it off, Wisconsin is the only school to have won two BCS Bowl Games. But 2001 will definitely require fans attending Camp Randall Stadium to buy program guides to become familiar with the new faces. Coaches must replace seven linemen that started a staggering 275 games; two of the biggest playmakers on the squad; both kicking specialists; and two three-year starters in the secondary. Yet, Coach Alvarez claims he is very excited about the potential of his very young club. Even with the loses, there are still some big names back in 2001 starting with All-American defensive tackle Wendell Bryant, who was a Lombardi Award semi-finalist last year. Another All-American on the roster will be linebacker Nick Greisen, who led the Big Ten in tackles last season. Most important may be the fact two experienced quarterbacks return, the main one being Brooks Bollinger, who is 17-3 as a starter. The Big Ten is going to be a very interesting race next fall. To place Wisconsin at such a low ranking to start the season just doesn't seem right. Everyone will just have to wait and see what the new names bring to the table, and they won't have to wait long as Virginia makes a preseason classic call to Madison followed by a huge trip to Eugene where the Ducks hold a 20 game win streak. Make no mistake, as usual the Badgers will have a big say in who wins the conference crown.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Brooks Bollinger-Jr Jim Sorgi-So
FB Chad Kuhns-Sr Erik Bickerstaff-Jr
RB Broderick Williams-So Jerone Pettus-Fr
SE Nick Davis-Sr Byron Brown-So
FL Lee Evans-Jr David Braun-Jr
TE Mark Anelli-Sr Mark Bell-Fr
OT Ben Johnson-Jr Morgan Davis-Fr
OG Dan Buenning-Fr Jonathan Clinkscale-Fr
C Al Johnson-Jr Andy Ulrich-Fr
OG Jeremy Dox-Sr Kalvin Barrett-Fr
OT Jason Jowers-Jr Mike Lorenz-Fr
K Mark Neuser-So Adam Espinoza-Fr
DE Jake Sprague-Sr Chuck Smith-Sr
NG Ben Herbert-Sr Traison Lewis-Fr
DT Wendell Bryant-Sr Jesse Mayfield-So
RLB Darius Jones-So Delante McGrew-Sr
OLB Jerron Smith-Fr Ryan Keepman-Fr
LB Nick Greisen-Sr P.J. Cannon-Jr
LB Jeff Mack-So Bryson Thompson-Sr
CB Mike Echols-Sr Michael Broussard-So
CB B.J. Tucker-Jr Chuckie Cowans-Fr
SS Joey Boese-Sr Ryan Simmons-Jr
FS Carlease Clark-Sr Ryan Aiello-So
P Kirk Munden-So ..
  HEAD COACH: Steve Logan
: Marcellus Harris-SE, Sherwin Lacewell-C, Samien Jones-OT, Rashon Burns-TE, Keith Stokes-HB, Jamie Wilson-RB,
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Devone Claybrooks-DT, Mbayo Ahmadu-NG

Anytime you give ten-year ECU Head Coach Steve Logan defensive personnel and a superb quarterback like David Garrard, success is bound to follow. On the defensive side, nine starters return, as do many of the back-ups. If you venture to see the Pirates defensive stats from a year ago, you will notice the entire top of the list is loaded with returning veterans. The only question will be who plays the middle of the defensive line as both insiders depart. Helping to fill that void will be a pair of All-Conference ends in John Williamson and Antwane Yelverton. But the heart of the D is the linebacker unit. Leading the charge will be linebacker Pernell Griffin, who has been a fixture on the Pirate defense since his freshman year and has started in 30 of 33 games during his career. The backfield will see the return of the Adams twins, Anthony and Antwan, and every other player from 2000, including some serious veteran cornerbacks. Switching sides to the offense, it's no secret who holds the golden sword to success. That would be quarterback David Garrard. The Offensive MVP of the Bowl last season already holds the school's career record for total offense and ranks second in yards passing, touchdowns, and completions. Making matters a little more difficult however will be the fact the top three receivers from last year have all graduated. A priority will be to have some new faces ready. If you had to put your finger on the biggest coaching concerns for 2001, it would have to be at receiver and getting some quality time out of a young but experienced offensive line. The bottom line is that the Pirates are becoming a fixture to bowl games and have been an unappetizing site to the big named opponents. There is some serious depth and talent at every position on defense and Garrard is that good enough to make you pay. Make no mistake, the Pirates are going to get their share of victories, be one of the frontrunners for the Conference USA crown, and earn another bowl bid.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB David Garrard-Sr Desmond Robinson-Fr
FB Leonard Henry-Sr Christshawn Gilliam-Jr
HB Terrance Cooper-So Marcus White-So
FL Arnie Powell-Sr Aaron Harris-Sr
SE Derrick Collier-Sr Torey Morris-Jr
TE Ben Thomas-Jr Seth Yates-So
OT Brandon Pope-So Phoenix Evans-Jr
OG Aaron Walker-Sr Charlie Dempsey-So
C Doug White-So Hagen Mason-Fr
OG Chris Nelson-Sr Brian Fox-So
OT Brian Rimpf-So Corey Schmidt-So
K Kevin Miller-Jr ..
DE John Williamson-Jr Reggie Hamphill-Jr
DT Ty Hunt-Sr Damane Duckett-So
NG Chris Howell-Sr Derek Helms-So
DT Bernard Williams-Sr Ja'Waren Blair-Jr
BDE Antwane Yelverton-Jr Kent Nealy-So
LB Greg LeFever-Sr Vonta Leach-So
LB Pernell Griffin-Sr Kevin Ward-Sr
CB Kelly Hardy-So Brandon Rainer-So
CB Charlie Robinson-Sr Grover Benton-So
SS Jerome Steward-Jr Anthony Adams-Jr
FS Antwan Adams-Jr Travis Heath-So
P Jared Preston-Jr Lee Hunt-Jr
  HEAD COACH: Sonny Lubick
: Justin Borvansky-OL, Will Layne-WR, Matt Newton-QB, Frank Rice-WR, Tim Stuber-OL, Cory Woolstenhulme-HB, C.W. Hurst-K
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Jamie Bennett-DL, Rick Crowell-LB, Terrence Gibson-CB, John Howell-DB, Mike Mackenzie-DL

The Rams Conference title in 2000 is the team's 5th in seven seasons. The school has won or shared 14 titles, five of those under Coach Sonny Lubick. In other words, don't look for much to change next fall. The limits of how good Colorado State can be begin at the quarterback spot, where the departure of senior Matt Newton leaves a big hole. Newton, in two years, led the Rams to two consecutive titles and two bowl berths. Coach Lubick said he will wait till fall to name the starter. That will be decided in a battle between two sophomores, D.J. Busch and Michigan State transfer Bradlee Van Pelt. Removing a ton of pressure off of the QB's will be All-Conference rusher Cecil Sapp, who really came on strong as the 2000 progressed. Sapp capped the season with a 160-yard tough effort in the Liberty Bowl. At wide out will be All-American punt returner Pete Rebstock as well as last year's leading receiver Dallas Davis. The defensive unit will be harder to repair than the offense, and will need some new leaders. Looks like that job may need filled by defensive end Paul Hogan as the entire defensive line must be reconstructed. The two key losses that stand out will be LB Rick Crowell (the MWC defensive player of the year) and safety John Howell. Last season the Rams held opponents under 290 total yards six times. It's safe to say that Lubick coached teams will find a way to be there once again. Colorado State has made a name for itself. The Rams are already scheduled for seven national television appearances. The weird part of the equation is that only one of them is on a Saturday, with 4 on Thursdays and 2 on Fridays. On paper, this team looks like typical status quo material. Opponents must be bumming at the thought.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB D.J. Busch-So Bradlee Van Pelt-So
RB Cecil Sapp-Jr Rahsaan Sanders-Jr
WR Dallas Davis-Sr Joey Cuppari-Jr
WR Pete Rebstock-Sr Eric Hill-So
HB Brad Svoboda-Sr Matt Baldischwiler-So
TE Jose Ochoa-Sr James Sondrup-So
OT David Shohet-Sr Aaron Green-Jr
OG Morgan Pears-Jr Broderick Lancaster-Sr
C Mark Dreyer-So Erik Pears-Fr
OG Broc Finalyson-Sr Broderick Lancaster-Sr
OT Terrell Gardner-So Kelly Wall-So
K Kent Naughton-Sr ..
DE Peter Hogan-Jr Wallace Thomas-Jr
DT Josh Steward-Jr Patrick Goodpaster-Fr
DT Lucas Smith-Sr Kelesio Howard-So
DE Chad McGuckin-Sr Geoff Graue-Sr
SLB Adam Wade-So Rocky Martin-Sr
MLB David Vickers-Jr Drew Wood-So
WLB Eric Pauly-So Doug Heald-Jr
CB Justin Gallimore-Sr Thal Woods-Sr
CB Rhett Nelson-Jr Dexter Wynn-So
SS Aaron Sprague-Sr Ameer Lowe-Sr
FS Jason Gallimore-Sr Guy Porter-Jr
P Joey Huber-Jr ..
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