2009 Non BCS Teams Football Preview
After previewing the six major NCAA Football conferences, Maddux Sports has compiled a list of 13 other teams that look to be contenders within their leagues and could be bowl bound in 2009. The list includes five teams from Conference USA, three from the Mountain West Conference, two from the Western Athletic Conference, one Independent and one each from the Mid-American and Sun Belt.
Of the 13 clubs, two stand out from the other 11—the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent) and the Boise State Broncos (WAC). Both teams will field fine offenses led by seasoned, talented quarterbacks. The Irish need to establish a rushing attack and their offensive line has to step up. The Broncos put up perfect numbers last season, but a tougher schedule this year makes that less probable.
Next in the standings are the BYU Cougars (Mountain West) and TCU Horned Frogs (Mountain West). These two closely matched teams reside in the same league and will battle for the conference title. The Cougars offer a revved offense. The Horned Frogs defense returns diminished, but the offense is pumped.
The next three teams reside in three different conferences—Conference USA, Sun Belt and Western Athletic Conference. The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (C-USA) will compete for the East Division title. They possess a powerful quarterback/wide receiver combo. The Trojans of Troy are definitely the top team in the Sun Belt, but the O-line and secondary are both suspect. Still, they appear to be above and beyond all other teams in their league. The WAC’s Nevada Wolf Pack should field an offense that can churn out points, making them competitive and exciting to watch.
The final group includes the Central Michigan Chippewas (Mid-American Conference), Utah Utes (Mountain West) and three Conference USA teams. The Chippewas will be led by talented QB Dan LeFevour and look to be the top team in their conference. In the Mountain West, the Utes are one of the league’s three top teams. With a new quarterback and placekicker, Utah will have a period of adjustment. A solid defense will help.
From Conference USA, the Houston Cougars, East Carolina Pirates and Tulsa Golden Hurricane settle into the final three slots. East Carolina is loaded with returning starters on both sides of the ball and will compete with Southern Miss for the East title. In the West, Houston looks to be tops, although the defense is weakened. Tulsa, also in the C-USA West, will try to win with a stacked “D” and a weakened “O.”
These are the teams to watch as the NCAA Football kicks off in September. It should be a wild season filled with great games, weekly upsets and outstanding individual performances.
The Maddux Sports Power Rankings for 2009 of the Best of the Rest
Dame Fighting Irish (Independent) #12
TCU Horned Frogs (Mountain West) #16
Boise State Broncos (WAC) #17
BYU Cougars (Mountain West) #21
Southern Miss Golden Eagles (C-USA) #40
Utah Utes (Mountain West) #44
Houston Cougars (C-USA) #47
Troy Trojans (Sun Belt) #48
East Carolina Pirates (C-USA) #51
Nevada Wolf Pack (WAC) #52
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (C-USA) #55
UTEP Miners (C-USA) #62
Central Michigan Chippewas (Mid-American) #66