ISU Schedule Preview (by CFN)
Taken from the CFN Preseason Rankings, here's the ISU schedule, which kicks off in only 21 days!!! KSU seems to be ranked a little high, as does OSU.
To get to some of the win totals some on this site are hoping for or even predicting, the home games are going to be key (ie. Nebraska and A&M).
## South Dakota State August 28, 2008
- Division 1-AA School, no preview
94. Kent State September 6, 2008
- 2008 Kent State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: More comfort with the backups in the backfield. The team didn't go into the tank when QB Julian Edelman got hurt, but it didn't exactly flourish. While the senior will be the starter again this fall, Giorgio Morgan proved that he's more than capable of being the main man if needed, and Anthony Magazu turned into a player all of sudden. Jarvis is a freak of nature who doesn't get banged up, but if he does, Andre Flowers, who had a fantastic off-season, will be ready.
What to watch for on defense: The secondary. One of the bright spots on the team last season with speedster Jack Williams, a top lock-down corner, and safety Fritz Jacques, now there's some work to be done to help top corner Rico Murray. Junior Kirk Belgrave is a decent option at one corner, and he'll get picked on with everyone staying away from Murray. The safety tandem of Dan Hartman and Will Johnson will be the focus of the D early on.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Offensive Line
48. Iowa September 13, 2008
- 2008 Iowa Preview| Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: The running back situation. The passing game will go from awful to explosive with the return of Andy Brodell, Trey Stross and Tony Moeaki, but the running game needs to provide some help with Albert Young and Damian Sims gone, and Jevon Pugh leaving. Paki O'Meara was the star of the spring, but he's not going to carry an offense, so it'll be up to JUCO transfer Nate Guillory and former Hawkeye, who later went the JUCO route, Shonn Greene to provide more help.
What to watch for on defense: The linebackers. Mike Humpal, A.J. Edds, and Mike Klinkenborg finished 1-2-3 in tackling last season, and only Edds is back. Jacody Coleman, Jeff Tarpinian, Jeremiha Hunter, and Dezman Moses are all sophomores, they're all athletic, and they're all in desperate need of playing time. If this group doesn't produce, the run defense that allowed just 122 yards per game will be a problem.
Relative Strengths: Receivers, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Offensive Line
95. UNLV September 20, 2008
- 2008 UNLV Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: The running game. With RB Frank Summers a pounder of a back that no one wants to deal with, and an improved, veteran offensive line that's the best head coach Mike Sanford has had by far, the offense will rely more on running it to take the pressure off the quarterbacks. At least that's going to be the plan early on.
What to watch for one defense: Selling out. That was the plan last year and it didn't happen. Defensive coordinator Dennis Therrell is going to bring the house in an attempt to be more disruptive, and while he might not have the linebackers to do it early on, he has a good line to work with and a decent enough secondary to hold its own with the pressure on.
Relative Strengths: Wide Receiver, Running Back
Relative Weaknesses: Special Teams, Secondary
16. Kansas October 4, 2008
- 2008 Kansas Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to look for on offense: The running game needing Jocques Crawford to be as good as expected. The Jayhawks have found a star running back from out of nowhere in each of the last two years, with Jon Cornish shining in 2007, and Brandon McAnderson rolling last year, and while Jake Sharp and Angus Quigley are decent veterans who can help the cause, they're hardly special talents who can carry the ground attack. Crawford fits the current KU RB mold and needs to be a 1,000-yard-caliber back from the moment he steps off the bus.
What to expect look for defense: The linebacking corps to be among the best in the Big 12, if not the best. This is sort of by default. The Big 12 might be better overall, but the linebackers are nothing special across the board. Even so, even if this was a strong year for linebackers, KU's would stand out with Joe Mortensen, Mike Rivera and James Holt three seniors who have seen it all. These three should dominate even more considering the front line should be good.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Special Teams
70. Baylor October 11, 2008
- 2008 Baylor Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to look for on offense: A quarterback battle that might not ever really be settled. It's a four-man race for the starting gig with the final decision to determine the team's philosophy. If it wants to win right now, Miami transfer Kirby Freeman or junior Blake Szymanski, who was the main man last year, will get the nod. Neither one will scare anybody and they're not going to be around if and when the program gets to the point of being good. True freshman Robert Griffin is young and needs a ton of seasoning, but he's also the Big 12's fastest quarterback and he could be the face of the program for the next four years.
What to look for on defense: The defense to be better in a 4-3. The 4-2-5 alignment of last year did nothing to play up to the scheme. The extra defensive back didn't help the pass defense, and the athleticism in the back seven didn't make the run defense any better. While the third linebacker is really going to be a safety who'll change his position name, the coaching staff is trying to make the defense more physical and force more big plays.
Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Defensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Special Teams, Running Back
42. Nebraska October 18, 2008
- 2008 Nebraska Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: More power running. Marlon Lucky is one of the nation's best all-around backs, and there's good speed and promise behind them. The line gets four good starters returning to go along with a little bit of depth, so while the passing game won't be abandoned, the offense will revolve around the ground attack. It'll have to with a mediocre receiving corps unlikely to scare anyone.
What to expect on defense: A tackle. The defense didn't exactly give up as it was giving up 46 points per game over the final seven, but it wasn't exactly effective. The talent in the back seven is down compared to last year, but the coaching staff will make it more aggressive, lighter, and faster, while the line should be far more productive with all four starters returning and great depth.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Offensive Line
Relative Weaknesses: Linebacker, Secondary
49. Texas A&M October 25, 2008
- 2008 Texas A&M Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to look for on offense: Mike Goodson. Oh yeah, come hell or high water there's going to be a passing game, and it might involve a rotation of quarterbacks with Jerrod Johnson working with Stephen McGee, but the bread will still be buttered by the running game with 285-pound (and that's without eating lunch) Jorvorskie Lane moving to fullback to pave the way for Goodson. The underutilized star recruit of a few years ago, with blinding speed and next-level skills, will be the focal point of Sherman's attack. If he can stay healthy, the numbers should be fantastic.
What to look for on defense: No more Mr. Nice Guy. The days of the sit back and react defenses are over. Joe Kines is going for a leaner, meaner front seven, and the transformation has been made from a bigger, stronger, clunkier linebacking corps to a speedy, undersized group that's going to fly all over the place. The line will have problems unless a pass rusher decides to show up, but the scheme should make for more activity in the backfield.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Defensive Line, Linebacker
32. Oklahoma State November 1, 2008
- 2008 Oklahoma State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to look for on offense: Robinson's passing totals. Robinson threw for fewer than 200 yards in five games last year. The Georgia game doesn't really count since Reid was the starter, but OSU lost to Troy, Texas A&M and Oklahoma when Robinson struggled, and he had to run for 109 yards to overcome an 11-of-25 passing day in a close shave against Kansas State. On the flip-side, the Cowboys went 6-2 when Robinson threw for over 200 yards.
What to look for on defense: Better play from the defensive front. There wasn't a steady enough pass rush throughout last year, and it showed as the secondary got picked to shreds with star Big 12 passers getting ten days to throw. There was a better push throughout the off-season, even without former starting ends Marque Fountain and Nathan Peterson, and the tackles, helped by JUCO transfer Swanson Miller, should be stiffer against the run.
Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Quarterback
Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Linebacker
54. Colorado November 8, 2008
- 2008 Colorado Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to watch for on offense: Speed up the pace. The coaching staff wants to quicken things up on offense with a no-huddle, hurry-up style that'll get the offense in a faster, better rhythm. Colorado was a great momentum team last year as it did a good job of producing when things were going its way. By looking to dictate the pace, the goal is to control games better and keep defenses on their heels.
What to watch for on defense: The middle. The Buffs are strong inside, and questionable outside. Tackles George Hypolite and Brandon Nicolas, and safeties D.J. ***** and Ryan Walters, are rock-solid veterans who should be able to make up for plenty of mistakes from the ends and corners. The defense is being built on very athletic players who can move around and wreak more havoc, but there's a whole bunch of youth that needs to grow up right away. The tackles and safeties will help ease the transition.
Relative Strengths: Running Back, Linebacker
Relative Weaknesses: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line
7. Missouri November 15, 2008
- 2008 Missouri Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
Why Missouri should be No. 1: If everyone plays as well as expected, Mizzou will once again have one of the five most productive offenses in the nation. It all starts with Heisman finalist Chase Daniel, an ultra-efficient passer who knows the offense backwards and forwards. Now in his third year as the starter and with 37 games under his belt, he'll make his dizzying array of weapons shine. The receiving corps is loaded with all-around playmaker Jeremy Maclin and tight end Chase Coffman, who's healthy after playing last year hurt, while Danario Alexander and Tommy Saunders are strong targets to work with. The D could be special if everyone gets healthy.
Why Missouri isn't No. 1: The linebacking corps, overall, needs depth to quickly develop after losing two top backup prospects to go along with an array of injuries. The corners are decent, but they're hardly elite, which will be a major problem in a Big 12 overloaded with great quarterbacks. The real question mark will the the expectations. Missouri was supposed to be a player last season, but it still sort of snuck up on everyone. Now the spotlight will be on, and anything less than a second straight Big 12 title appearance will be a major disappointment.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Receivers
Relative Weaknesses: Secondary, Linebacker
35. Kansas State November 22, 2008
- 2008 Kansas State Preview | Offense | Defense | Depth Chart
What to look for on offense: The JUCO transfers, part one. Last year, the offense needed the JUCO players to help boost the line. This season, the new guys will provide more weapons for QB Josh Freeman to work with. Receivers Aubrey Quarles, Brandon Banks, Adrian Hilburn and Attrail Snipes are very fast, very good producers who could instantly take over starting spots. Keithen Valentine was a walk-on this spring who grabbed a second-string running back spot going into the fall. The line gets help from Wade Weibert, a starting left guard, and Edward Prince will work at tackle.
What to look for on defense: The JUCO transfers, part two. The switch back to a 4-3 is the biggest key, at least more of a rotation between the 3-4 and the 4-3, as it should allow Campbell be the Campbell who dominated the Big 12 in 2006, but the big help to improve the dying D will come from the new guys. The new star isn't from the JUCO ranks, but from Virginia. Olu Hall was a big-time recruit for the Cavaliers who should now grow into a major NFL prospect. Hansen Sekona and Ulia Pomele will be major factors at linebacker, Daniel Calvin is a run-clogging tackle, and Dustin Bell is a ball-hawking defensive back.
Relative Strengths: Offensive Line, Special Teams
Relative Weaknesses: Running Back, Receiver