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BCS Buster?

FAU is listed amongst only 6 teams that could break into a BCS game…UCF is listed among "other teams to watch for"

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http://theredzonereport.com/2008/05/06/2008-bcs-busters/

Which non-BCS teams could crash the BCS party in 2008?
By Eddie Griffin ? May 6, 2008 ? Post a comment

Ian Johnson and Boise St. are ready for another run at the BCSThree of the last four seasons, the BCS party has been crashed by an ambitious team from one of the ĎGroup of Five,í or in other words, the non-BCS conferences.

There are a few teams who could crash the bash this season, but each of them have tests that they have to pass on the way to being able to be in one of the big-money bowls come January.

This is all a part of the start of college football previews on The Red Zone Report, and the conference previews will get underway later on this week, when I preview the Sun Belt Conference.

Boise St.

2007 record: 10-3, 7-1 WAC (2nd), lost to East Carolina 41-38 in Hawaii Bowl

Why they could crash the BCS bash: Ian Johnson, who had an injury-plagued 2007 season, should be healthy and back to his 2006 form, and key names return on defense, including leading tackler Kyle Gingg (94 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and Dallas Dobbs (71 tackles, 3 INT). Their two tough non-conference games are both winnable, and they get both Fresno St. and Hawaii at home.

Why they could fall short: They havenít had trouble replacing QBs in the past, but if there are any struggles replacing Taylor Tharp, that could be their undoing. That trip to Oregonís Autzen Stadium could be as well.


Get Boise St. tickets at StubHub!

BYU

2007 record: 11-2, 8-0 Mountain West (1st), beat UCLA 17-16 in Las Vegas Bowl

Key Games: at Washington (Sept. 6), vs. UCLA (Sept. 13), at TCU (Oct. 16), at Utah (Nov. 22)

Why they could crash the BCS bash: The Cougarsí offense will rack up plenty of points, with junior QB Max Hall (3,848 yards, 26 TD in 2007) leading the way, along with sophomore running back Harvey Unga (1,227 yards, 13 TD, 44 catches, 655 yards, 4 TD). Along with Unga, Hallís top four receivers return.

The schedule is relatively favorable, as their toughest non-conference games are at Washington and at home against UCLA, both of which the Cougars should be favored in.

Why they could fall short: Washington and UCLA arenít USC or Arizona St., but they could cause some problems, as the Huskies knocked off Boise St. last season and nearly did it to Hawaii as well. UCLA isnít at their best right now, but where thereís Rick Neuheisel, thereís wins.

Also, their toughest conference games are on the road, which could cause their BCS-busting bubble to get, well, busted.


Get BYU tickets at StubHub!

Central Michigan

2007 record: 8-6, 6-1 MAC (1st West), beat Miami (OH) 35-10 in MAC title game, lost to Purdue 51-48 in Motor City Bowl

Key Games: at Georgia (Sept. 6), at Purdue (Sept. 20), at Indiana (Nov. 1)

Why they could crash the BCS bash: The Chippewas will have one of the nationís most potent offenses, led by junior QB Dan LeFevour (3,652 yards, 27 TDs passing, 1,122 yards, 19 TD rushing in 2007).

Itís not all about LeFevour though, as Ontario Sneed and Justin Hoskins combined for more than 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing in 2007, and receivers Antonio Brown and Bryan Anderson combined for 192 catches, 2,135 yards, and 16 touchdowns receiving.

Why they could fall short: For them to have any chance at all to make a run, a defense that gave up 36.9 points and 460 yards per game in 2007 must improve.

Get CMU tickets at Ticket City!

Florida Atlantic


2007 record: 8-5, 6-1 Sun Belt (t-1st), beat Memphis 44-27 in New Orleans Bowl

Key Games: at Texas (Aug. 30), at Michigan St. (Sept. 13), at Minnesota (Sept. 20), vs. Troy (Oct. 7), at Arkansas St. (Nov. 22)

Why they could crash the BCS bash: QB Rusty Smith (3,688 yards, 32 TD, 9 INT in 2007) returns, and so do nine other starters on offense, and 17 in all. Getting national recognition as a Sun Belt team isnít easy, but if the Owls can start the season with a bang, then that might be their ticket to.

Why they could fall short: Going unbeaten in the Sun Belt is definitely doable, but having those three tough road games out of conference might be a little too much to overcome.


Get FAU tickets at TicketCity!

Fresno St.

2007 record: 9-4, 6-2 WAC (3rd), beat Georgia Tech 40-28 in Humanitarian Bowl

Key Games: at Rutgers (Sept. 1), vs. Wisconsin (Sept. 13), at UCLA (Sept. 27), at Boise St. (Nov. 28)

Why they could crash the BCS bash: Minus Clifton Smith, the Bulldogs return all of their important pieces on offense. They have a three-deep backfield and return QB Tom Brandstater (2,654 yards, 15 TD, 5 INT) and four of his top five receivers. On defense, many key pieces return, including Jon Monga (11 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2007), and CB/KR A.J. Jefferson (35.8 yards per kick return, 2 TD).

The WAC looks to be Fresno St.ís to lose, as Hawaii is going through a transitional period and Boise St. has to replace their QB yet again.

Why they could fall short: The Bulldogs could conceivably come back from an early season loss to contend for a BCS berth, but two would end their chances early.


Get Fresno St. tickets at StubHub!

Utah

2007 record: 9-4, 5-3 Mountain West (t-3rd), beat Navy 35-32 in Poinsettia Bowl

Key Games: at Michigan (Aug. 30), vs. Oregon St. (Oct. 2), vs. TCU (Nov. 6), vs. BYU (Nov. 22)

Why they could crash the BCS bash: QB Brian Johnson returns. If the Utes can go into the Big House and beat Michigan in the season opener, and beat Oregon St. at home, theyíll be in a pretty good position to make a run, as they also get have TCU and BYU at home.

Why they could fall short: It wonít be easy to come out of that quartet of games without a loss, and they canít let BYU make a late comeback like they have in each of their last two games against the Utes.


Get Utah Utes tickets at StubHub!

Other Teams to Watch For


UCF - Most of the Knightís defensive starters from last yearís 10-win, C-USA champion squad are back, but they have to break in a new starting QB. Oh, they also have to replace the nationís leading rusher in Kevin Smith and his 2,567 yards and 29 rushing touchdowns. Key Games: vs. South Florida (9/06), at Boston College (9/20), at Miami (10/11), at Tulsa (10/26), vs. Southern Miss (11/08)

TCU
- The pieces are there on offense, in sophomore QB Andy Dalton, who got better and better as the Ď07 season progressed, and running backs Joseph Turner and Aaron Brown. Leading tackler Jason Phillips returns on defense, along with Stephen Hodge, who led all I-A defensive backs in sacks with eight. TCU has tripped themselves up before, but with the spotlight on BYU, the Horned Frogs could quietly make a run. Key Games: at New Mexico (8/30), vs. Stanford (9/13), at Oklahoma (9/27), vs. BYU (10/16), at Utah (11/06).

Tulsa - QB Paul Smith is gone, so that leaves a big hole. But, Gus Malzahnís offense should put up big numbers again, with Smithís three 1,000 yard receivers returning, including one of the nationís biggest big play threats in senior Brennan Marion (39 catches, 1,244 yards, 31.5 yards per catch, 11 TD), along with 1,000 yard rusher Tarrion Adams. Key games: vs. New Mexico (9/20), at Arkansas (11/01), at Houston (11/15).

Florida Atlantic University Owls
2007 Sun Belt Football Champions 2007 New Orleans Bowl Champions 2008 Motor City Bowl Champions 2011 Sun Belt Basketball Champions No Bowls without Owls
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Re: BCS Buster?

That's probably the best projection that's ever been made for our team! That's pretty good company.
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Re: BCS Buster?

Nice write up!
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Re: BCS Buster?

SeminOWL2006 said

FAU is listed amongst only 6 teams that could break into a BCS game…UCF is listed among "other teams to watch for"

UCF fan meltdown in 3… 2…
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Re: BCS Buster?

The said

SeminOWL2006 said

FAU is listed amongst only 6 teams that could break into a BCS game…UCF is listed among "other teams to watch for"

UCF fan meltdown in 3… 2…

Kevin Smith gone = NO CHANCE.

I just don't see them having the others on roster to "make up" for what he did for them offensively - which was pretty much EVERYTHING last year!
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Re: BCS Buster?

Florida_Owl said

The said

SeminOWL2006 said

FAU is listed amongst only 6 teams that could break into a BCS game…UCF is listed among "other teams to watch for"

UCF fan meltdown in 3… 2…

Kevin Smith gone = NO CHANCE.

I just don't see them having the others on roster to "make up" for what he did for them offensively - which was pretty much EVERYTHING last year!

I agree……there is no way without Kevin smith!
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Re: BCS Buster?

Let's please not have another UCF 300 page argument. We've been down that road before lol

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: BCS Buster?

Jab979 said

Let's please not have another UCF 300 page argument. We've been down that road before lol

Agreed. They say they have plenty of depth at the key positions, including a KS replacement.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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