HEAD COACH: R.C. Slocum
Chris Taylor-WR, Robert Ferguson-WR, Chris Valletta-OG, Tango McCauley-OT, RoDerrick Broughton-TE, Ja'Mar Toombs-FB, Terence Kitchens-K
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Ronald Flemons-DE, Ron Edwards-NT, Jason Glenn-OLB, Cornelius Anthony-ILB, Roylin Bradley-OLB, Michael Jameson-FS

The Aggies lost a few bullets from last year and are going to need to reload the empty chambers. Two of those chambers were shot out early as big running back Ja'Mar Toombs and clutch wide receiver Robert Ferguson split town and declared for the NFL. The passing game for A&M really started to get going last year, as quarterback Mark Farris came in and set a school record by throwing for 2551 yards. Now the top two receivers are gone and so it will be crucial to find full-timers to run routes. Farris can rest comfortably knowing the man in front of him, senior Seth McKinney, is the best center in all of college football. The defense will also be in a reloading phase. The linebackers and front wall were hit hard by departures. Brian Gamble is back as the teams leading tackler from 2000 to help aid in the leadership department. The cover men are another story as three of the regulars are back. They will be relied upon heavily to pull out some defensive victories. In summation, Coach Slocum has his hands full locating some wide receivers, a big running back that can spell Toombs, finding a replacement for one of the most accurate kickers, and getting the defense ready up front. The Big 12 schedule won't be kind in 2001. If the Aggies are to get a top 3 finish in the South Division, they need Mark Farris to continue to put up big numbers. This is a young group with only five seniors listed in the early starting lineup. A good solid finish this year could spell a great outlook for 2002. The future does look bright, but the present looks a little rough on paper. Then again, that's why they play the games.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Mark Farris-Jr Vance Smith-Jr
FB Joe Weber-Jr Stacy Jones-Jr
TB Richard Whitaker-So Keith Joseph-Fr
WR Bethel Johnson-Sr Ellison Collins-So
WR Dwain Goynes-Jr Mickey Jones-Sr
TE Michael de la Torre-Jr Lonnie Madison-Sr
OT Michael Mahan-Jr Kasey Cheshier-Fr
OG Billy Yates-Jr John Kirk-So
C Seth McKinney-Sr Geoff Hangartner-Fr
OG Taylor Whitley-Jr Britt Lively-So
OT Andre Brooks-So Alan Reuber-So
K Chris Sims-Fr Cody Scates-So
DE Evan Perroni-Sr Rocky Bernard-Sr
NT Ty Warren-Jr Marcus Jasmin-Fr
RE Linnis Smith-So Rocky Bernard-Sr
OLB Jarrod Penright-So Everett Smith-So
ILB Jared Morris-So Harold Robertson-Sr
ILB Brian Gamble-Jr Amon Simon-Sr
OLB Christian Rodriguez-Sr Jesse Hunnicutt-Jr
CB Sean Weston-So Adam Black-So
CB Sammy Davis-Jr Jonte Buhl-So
SS Terrence Kiel-Jr Wes Bautovich-Sr
FS Jay Brooks-Sr Dawon Gentry-So
P Cody Scates-So ..
  HEAD COACH: John Robinson
: Nate Turner-WR, John Greer-RT, James Wofford-FB, Jeremi Rudolph-TB, Kevin Brown-TB, Jason Vaughan-QB
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Anthony Suggs-NG, Tyler Brickell-SLB, Randy Black-SS, Amar Brisco-CB, Shariff Hamilton-SS, Ray Cheetany-P

From zero wins to eight in two years. That's remarkable! Last season the Rebels finished undefeated at Sam Boyd Stadium, and climaxed the season with a solid bowl win over an SEC foe in Arkansas. Now things are really going to get interesting as former College and NFL coaching great John Robinson has agreed to terms on a new five-year contract extension. Plus, many prognosticators have already labeled this 2001 UNLV team as a preseason Top 25 team. Why is that? Well, the quarterback position is more than set with Jason Thomas, a transfer from USC, who Coach Robinson claims may be the best athlete he ever coached. Now that's saying something. Thomas went down with a foot injury in the sixth game of last season, but is said to be 100% healthy after coming back to win MVP honors in the Las Vegas Bowl with a dazzling performance. There is quality depth on the offensive line and in the receiving corps and the defensive front could be one of the nation's best. All-American defensive end Anton Palepoi harasses QB's all day. There are two quality post-season award candidates in the defensive backfield in Thomas and Brandon. If the Rebels are going to succeed as expected though, replacements must be found for three departed running backs that rushed for a combined 2000 yards last season, and also the MWC's top ball catcher, Nate Turner, is gone. All eyes will be on Las Vegas when the season gets underway. Fans aren't going to have to wait long to see if the expectations are real as the first four games versus Arkansas, Northwestern, Colorado State, and Arizona are true tests. The Rebels must win at least two of those for any post-season hype, and that is highly probable.

Returning Staters in Bold
QB Jason Thomas-Jr Kurt Nantkes-Fr
FB Steven Costa-Jr George Gordon-Jr
TB Jabari Johnson-Sr Joe Haro-Jr
WR Troy Mason-Jr Michael Johnson-So
WR Bobby Nero-Sr Charles James-Sr
TE DeJhown Mandley-Jr Trevan Sorensen-Jr
OT Bradon Bair-Sr Eddie Freas-Jr
OG Shane Wagers-Sr Greg Hulett-Sr
C Peter Tramontanas-Sr Dominic Furlo-So
OG Tony Terrell-Jr Marcus Johnson-Fr
OT Matt Williams-Jr Jimy Zoll-Fr
K Dillon Pieffer-So ..
DE Anton Palepoi-Sr Steve Newton-Sr
DT Ahmad Miller-Sr Phil Reed-Jr
NG Dietrich Canterberry-So Garrett Brassington-Jr
DE Ahmad Briggs-Jr Adrian Watson-Sr
SLB Scott Parkhurst-Sr LaMar Owens-Sr
MLB Ryan Claridge-So Adam Sweard-Fr
WLB Shanga Wilson-Sr Tosh Burrus-Jr
CB Jamal Wynn-Jr Joe Hunter-Fr
CB Kevin Thomas-Sr Ruschard Dodd-Masters-Fr
SS Ross Dalton-Jr Derek Olsen-So
FS Sam Brandon-Sr Toby Smeltzer-Jr
P Ryan McDonald-So ..
  HEAD COACH: Ron Turner
Jameel Cook-FB, Marques Sullivan-OT, Ray Redziniak-OG, Josh Whitman-TE
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Jason Eberhart-DT, Fred Wakefield-DE, Robert Franklin-LB, Mike Young-LB, Bobie Singleton-CB

Kurt Kittner had an outrageous spring according to some sources, enough so to put him back into some Heisman conversations. Seems almost like yesterday the junior QB and the rest of his Illini team was set to put the world on fire in 2000. But then, somewhere along the course of the season, the equation got muddled and a disappointing 5-6 record left many scratching their head. To begin with, starting receiver Brandon Lloyd went down with a broken leg bone prior to the opening kickoff, but now he is back to claim his spot. As are a grand wealth of talented ball catchers. The dual running back "Thunder and Lightning" combo of Harvey and Harris, that combined for over 1400 yards last year returns also. Losses were felt up front on the offensive line by a couple of big departures, but center Luke Butkus leads a deep and talented group that has played well together up to this point. Graduation takes its toll on the defensive side of the ball, though what does that mean for a unit that was the Big Ten's worst against the run (232.5 yards per game) and ninth-best overall (412.5 yards per game)? Watch out for rising star Jerry Schumacher at linebacker, however opponents will look to double team him as the two other LB spots are vacant. The defensive backs have two 3-year starters back in Jackson and Abdullah who have combined for ten int's in their career. The final analysis for Illinois will once again place high expectations on a seemingly explosive offense where depth and talent at the skill positions is remarkable...the most explosive in the conference. Don't forget this is still Big Ten Country, and if coaches can't find an answer to stop opponents from running and moving the football, 2001 could be a duplication of 2000. But odds are in favor of a Champaign celebration this post season.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Kurt Kittner-Sr Dustin Ward-So
FB Carey Davis-So Carlos Lattimore-Jr
TB Rocky Harvey-Sr Antoineo Harris-Jr
SE Dwayne Smith-So Walter Young-Jr
FL Brandon Lloyd-So Greg Lewis-Jr
TE Brian Hodges-Sr Kenny Boyle-So
OT Sean Bubin-So David Diehl-Jr
OG Jay Kulaga-Sr Brian Koch-Fr
C Luke Butkus-Sr Duke Preston-Fr
OG Patrick Babcock-Fr Aaron Hodges-So
OT Tony Pashos-Jr Clark Collins-Fr
K J.J. Tubbs-So Peter Christofilakos-So
DE Terrell Washington-Sr Derrick Strong-So
DT Brett Kautter-Jr Charles Gilstrap-So
DT Brandon Moore-Sr Jeff Ruffin-So
DE Mike O'Brien-So Robby Long-Sr
LB Mario Ivy-Jr Lamont Holden-Fr
LB Jerry Schumacher-Jr Mike Gawelek-Fr
LB Ty Myers-So Joe Bevis-So
CB Eugene Wilson-Jr Nana Agyeman-So
CB Christian Morton-So Jamaal Clark-So
SS Bobby Jackson-Sr Kevin Anderson-Fr
FS Muhammad Abdullah-Sr Marc Jackson-Jr
P Steve Fitts-Sr Matt Minnes-Fr
  HEAD COACH: Houston Nutt
: Boo Williams-WR, Michael Snowden-FL, Gary Hobbs-OT, Rod Stinson-FB, Tim Craig-TE
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Randy Garner-DE, J.J. Jones-LB, Quinton Caver-LB, Jeremiah Harper-BAN, Jim Ed Reed-LB

Will there be enough balls to go around? Arkansas is quickly coming to be known as Running Back U. with the wealth of ball carriers dotting the 2001 roster. Perhaps the best and most talked about is sophmore Cedric Cobbs, who is returning from a shoulder surgery that ended his season early in 2000. Replacing him was Fred Talley who also went down with an injury after turning heads. Due to the circumstances, Arkansas will return three tailbacks that each earned a 100-yard rushing game last season. No other SEC school can make that claim. Cedric Cobbs, Brandon Holmes, and Fred Talley all topped the century mark in rushing last season. At QB will be a battle between Zak Clark and Robby Hampton, although Hampton also sat out the spring due to shoulder surgery. Needless to say the injury bug took its toll last year big time. The good news is, eight players who missed the majority of the 2000 season with injuries returned to the practice field. It might seem a daunting task to replace two standout wide receivers, but there are numbers with talent at the spot. The key on defense will be replacing all three departing linebackers, one being NFL draftee Quinton Caver. After a very disappointing performance in last winters Las Vegas Bowl loss, the Razorbacks are projecting a better road ahead. Coaches feel they have enough talent to have a say in who wins the SEC West next fall. An understatement would be that the team needs to stay healthy. Possibly look for some star-studded recruits making noise when fall starts. Coach Nutt needs to find the groove quickly as the first half of the schedule is brutal.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB Zak Clark-So Robby Hampton-Jr
FB Brandon Holmes-So Sacha Lancaster-Sr
RB Cedric Cobbs-So Fred Talley-Jr
SE Sparky Hamilton-Jr Sam Breeden-Jr
FL George Wilson-So Richard Smith-So
TE Nathan Ball-Jr Marcellus Poydras-Jr
OT Shannon Money-Sr Bo Lacy-So
OG La'Zerius White-Sr Scott Davenport-So
C Josh Melton-Jr Dan Doughty-So
OG Kenny Sandlin-Sr Jim Peters-So
OT Mark Bokermann-So Jerry Reith-So
K Brennan O'Donohoe-So Thomas LaToof-Jr
DE Carlos Hall-Sr Justin Scott-So
DT Jermaine Brooks-Jr Pervis Osborne-Jr
NG Curt Davis-Sr Derrick Anderson-So
DE Raymond House-Jr Jason Peters-Fr
SLB Caleb Miller-So Gavin Walls-Jr
MLB Shane Collins-So Jermaine Petty-Sr
WLB Tony Bua-So Jimmy Beasley-So
CB Orlando Green-Sr Lawrence Richardson-So
CB Eddie Jackson-So Harold Harris-Sr
SS Corey G. Harris-Sr D'Andre Berry-Sr
FS Ken Hamlin-So Shelton Parker-So
P Richie Butler-Jr ..
  HEAD COACH: Paul Pasqualoni
: Pat Woodcock-WR, Dee Brown-TB, Vaughn Smith-OG
DEFENSIVE KEY LOSSES: Duke Pettijohn-DE, Eric Downing-DT, Rickie Simpkins-NT, Morlon Greenwood-OLB, Will Allen-CB, Cliff Snell-DE

All eyes will be on Syracuse this season as rumblings are beginning to take shape concerning the future of head coach Paul Pasqualoni. To make life more difficult, the Orangemen have bulked up the schedule for 2001, which includes Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Auburn, and East Carolina on the non-conference slate. Not exactly a Frank Beamer practice of scheduling for success. Looks like there will be a two-headed quarterback system in place similar to last season with Anderson and Nunes rotating duties. Nunes has been climbing the school's statistical charts as of lately, but a lack-luster won-loss season has forced some changes. The one-two tailback punch has lost departing senior Dee Brown and now the duties rest solely on James Mungro, who finished with 827 total yards last year. The strength of the team may be on the offensive line, as all but one regular returns. On the defensive side the strength will come at defensive back, even with the loss of Thorpe Award semi-finalist Will Allen. But if you talk about 2001 Syracuse football, you have to focus most of the attention on All-American Dwight Freeney at defensive end. Last season, Freeney was one of the nation's sack leaders despite missing four games due to illness and big things are now expected from the senior. It will be tough for Syracuse to better last season's 6-5 record given the schedule, but that certainly can't be written off as a lack of talent. Cuse needs to find some consistency for once week in and week out, get some big games from the quarterback and running back spot, and replace 3/4 of the defensive line if there are to be any hopes of making the post-season.

Returning Starters in Bold
QB R.J. Anderson-So Troy Nunes-Jr
FB Kyle Johnson-Sr Chris Davis-Jr
TB James Mungro-Sr Diamond Ferri-So
WR Malik Campbell-Sr Johnnie Morant-So
WR Maurice Jackson-Sr David Tyree-Jr
TE Graham Manley-Sr Jeremie Frazier-Sr
OT P.J. Alexander-Sr Adam Terry-Fr
OG Sean O'Connor-Sr Matt Tarullo-Fr
C Nick Romeo-So Chris Buda-So
OG Joe Burton-Sr Erik Kaloyanides-Jr
OT Giovanni DeLoatch-Sr Kevin Sampson-So
K Mike Shafer-Jr Collin Barber-Fr
DE Mark Holtzman-Sr Josh Thomas-So
DT Christian Ferrara-So Brian Hooper-Fr
NT Louis Gachelin-So Charles Simpson-So
DE Dwight Freeney-Sr Sheldon King-Sr
OLB Maurice Minter-Sr Jose Harris-Jr
MLB Clifton Smith-Jr Rodney Wells-Sr
OLB J.R. Johnson-Sr Rich Scanlon-So
CB Will Hunter-Sr Latroy Oliver-Jr
CB Willie Ford-Sr B.J. Darnell-So
SS Keeon Walker-Jr Charles Burton-Sr
FS Quentin Harris-Sr Maurice McClain-Jr
P Malik Campbell-Sr Jamel Riddle-So
1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25,
26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50