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Below you will find the Bankroll Sports columnists' NCAA football preseason top 25 rankings for the 2009 college football season.
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1. Florida Gators (2008 Record: 13-1) - As if Tim Tebow and the Gators needed any more incentive for another title run in 2009, former head coach, and current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier provided that with his snubbing of Tebow for conference player of the year. If Tebow does not win conference player of the year, there will be a lot of surprised football fans. The Gators open up the season with two home non conference games with Charleston Southern (September 5) and Troy (September 12), before opening the SEC regular season. September 19th in Gainesville, Lane Kiffin and his Tennessee Vols will invade for an early season SEC showdown. Florida then plays back to back road games at Kentucky (September 26) and LSU (October 10th). October 17th Arkansas comes to down, and Florida travels to Mississippi State on October 24th. Halloween Day will provide plenty of fireworks for both the Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs, as the two teams look to be in the top 10 all season. November 7th, Vanderbilt comes to Gainesville. November 14th is when Tebow gets his time against Spurrier and the Gamecocks. Florida will travel to South Carolina for that game, which is their final SEC bout. The final two games of the year for the Gators will take place on November 21st with Florida International, and their rivalry game on November 28th with Florida State.
2. Oklahoma Sooners (2008 Record: 12-2) - All aiding his team to 96 touchdowns, 562.1 yards, 356.5 passing yards in 2008, quarterback Sam Bradford has returned for 2009. The Sooners, along with Florida, look to be the teams to beat coming into the season. Of course Oklahoma’s schedule will not be easy. The Sooners get an early test right out of the gate when the Brigham Young Cougars come to Norman on September 5th. Brigham Young will most certainly be in the Top 25 of most, if not all polls to start the season, and are coming off a solid 2008 season. Like most power house programs, the Sooners play their first three games at home. Following BYU, Idaho State and Tulsa make trips to town, where nothing other than a 3-0 start is accepted. Saturday October 3rd, the Sooners will play their first road game, and it will not be an easy one. The Miami Hurricanes get the chance to host, in what should be an exciting affair. While the Hurricanes have not had the success they had in the past, they are always a dangerous squad out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. On October 10th Oklahoma will play their first Big 12 affair, as they host the Baylor Bears. October 17th and 24th should be fun Saturday’s, as Oklahoma will make back to back road trips, to Texas and Kansas. The red river rivalry against Texas will most likely be a top 5 match-up. Halloween Day (October 31st) the Sooners will take on the Kansas State Wildcats at home. In November, Oklahoma will start with a trip to Nebraska (November 7th) followed by a home game with Texas A+M (November 14th), a road game at Texas Tech (November 21st), and will end the season November 28th at home against rival Oklahoma State.
3. Texas Longhorns (2008 Record: 12-1) - The Longhorns feel they have some unfinished business to take care of after last years snubbing of a BCS title bid. The Longhorns scored 69 touchdowns last season led by the arm of Colt McCoy. Texas also won games with their defense, as they only allowed 25 on the season. McCoy returns for his senior season, hoping to garner a Heisman at the end of the season. The Longhorns start the season on September 5th when they host Louisiana-Monroe. Week two will be a surprise road game, as the Longhorns will travel to Wyoming. The Big 12 conference season will get underway on September 19th when the Longhorns host their state rival, the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. On September 26th the Longhorns will step out of conference play, and host UTEP in a lone star state affair. After a week off, Texas will host Colorado on October 10th. The next three weeks will be quite the test for Texas as they host the Red River Rivalry on October 17th against the Sooners of Oklahoma, and then take the road for two straight, Missouri and Oklahoma State. The final four games of the season include home games against Central Florida and Kansas, sandwiched in between - a trip to Baylor. The final game of the season for Texas will come on November 26th, at Texas A+M.
4. USC Trojans (2008 Record: 12-1) - The Trojans are once again a national title contender in 2009. Pete Carroll’s squad always seems to be up with the big boys, and it would be shocking to see other wise this season. The Trojans offense scored 63 touchdowns last season, while the defense only allowed 11; 83.3 rushing yards. USC’s top contenders at the top of the Pac Ten will be the Ducks of Oregon, and the Beavers of Oregon State. The Trojans will start their 2009 campaign on September 5th with a home game with San Jose State. Weeks two and three will test the Trojans, as they visit the Buckeyes of Ohio State on September 12th, and also travel to Washington. September 26th, USC will come back home and host Washington State, and then head back out on the road, to California (October 3rd) and Notre Dame (October 17th). October 24th, the Trojans look to get revenge from the 2008 loss when they host the Oregon State Beavers. Halloween will feature USC against Oregon, on the road. To end the season, USC will play at Arizona State (November 7th) and finish the year with three home games; Stanford, UCLA, and Arizona (November 14th, 28th, and December 5th).
5. Alabama Crimson Tide (2008 Record: 12-2) - The Crimson Tide came out of the shoot in 2008 scorching, starting unranked, and making their way to the top of the rankings. Nick Saban’s squad is predicted once again to compete at the top, if not win the SEC title. Alabama’s stiffest test will of course be the top ranked Florida Gators. Alabama will get tested early in 2009 when they travel to Virginia Tech in week one (September 5th). The next three games for Alabama will at be at home, two against non conference foes. September 12th - Florida International, September 19th - North Texas, September 26th - Arkansas. October will start with two road games, and end with two home games. October 3rd and 10th the Crimson Tide will play at Kentucky and Mississippi. October 17th the Crimson Tide will host South Carolina, October 24th - Tennessee. The start of November will be another test, but at home, when the Tigers of LSU come to town. The final three games of the season will feature a road game on November 14th at Mississippi State, a non conference home game with Chattanooga (November 21st), and a Friday night (November 27th) game at Auburn.
6. Penn State Nittany Lions (2008 Record: 11-2) - Penn State is coming off a season in which they tied with Ohio State at the top of the Big Ten standings. With the tiebreaker going to the Buckeyes, the Nittany Lions were left on the outside looking in. This season, another one led by Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions again look to compete at the top of the Big Ten. Last year Penn State scored 60 touchdowns, only allowing 17 for the entire season. With that formula back in 2009, the Lions look to be strong once again. Penn State opens the season with three straight non conference opponents coming into Happy Valley. September 5th, 12th and 19th, Penn State will host Akron, Syracuse and Temple. On the 26th of September the Big Ten will begin for Penn State with a visit from the Iowa Hawkeyes. Penn State’s first road game will be October 3rd when they travel to Champaign to visit Illinois. Home games with Eastern Illinois and Minnesota on October 10th and 17th, lead up to back to back road games at Michigan (October 24th) and Northwestern (October 31st). The final three games of the season will be quite a test for Paterno’s crew. November 7th the Lions will host the Ohio State Buckeyes in what looks to be a Big Ten title game, then the Indiana Hoosiers visit November 14th. The final game of the season, Penn State will travel to East Lansing Michigan to take on Michigan State.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes (2008 Record: 10-3) - The Buckeyes are the pick to win the Big Ten according to the Media at Media Day in Chicago. Head Coach Jim Tressel and staff know one slip up could cost them the title in 2009. With the pack below # 1 improving, Ohio State understands the urgency to play good football. Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois and Iowa all look to be teams that could dethrone the Buckeyes in 2009. The opening game of the season for Ohio State will take place Saturday September 5th. Navy will come to town, in what hopes to be an easy victory for the home team. Week two will not be as easy, as the Trojans of USC come into Columbus for what appears to be an early season tilt between two top ten squads. Week three - September 19th the Buckeyes will leave Columbus and head to Toledo. The first Big Ten game of the season for Ohio State will take place on September 26th when Illinois comes to town. October sees three home games and two road games. October 3 - at Indiana, October 10th - with Wisconsin, October 17th - at Purdue, October 24th - with Minnesota, October 31st - with New Mexico State. The Buckeyes end the season at Penn State on November 7th, with Iowa on November 14th, and at Michigan on November 21st.
8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2008 Record: 11-2) - The Red Raiders look to build after an 11-2 2008 campaign. Texas Tech was one of the highest scoring teams in all of NCAA football last season scoring 75 touchdowns in 13 games. Defensively, the Red Raiders will look to improve. Last season, Texas Tech allowed nearly 400 total yards per game. The Red Raiders will have to be at the top of their game to compete with powers Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The first two games of the season, the Red Raiders hope to use as a build-up to their week three clash at Texas. September 5th - with North Dakota, September 12th - with Rice, then the road game at Texas on September 19th. September 26th - at Houston. October 3rd- w/ New Mexico, October 10th - with Kansas State, October 17th - at Nebraska, October 24th - with Texas A+M, October 31st - with Kansas, November 14th - at Oklahoma State, November 21st - with Oklahoma, November 28th - at Baylor.
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2008 Record: 9-4) - Coach Gundy and the Cowboys were pleased, but not satisfied with their # 3 rankings in the Big 12 standings. The Cowboys coming off one of their best seasons in 2008; at 9-4, will look to compete with the powers within the Big 12 Conference. The Cowboys will have to improve defensively, if they have any interest in winning the conference. Oklahoma State allowed 43 touchdowns, and just shy of 400 total yards in 2008. The Cowboys will garner a huge test early in the year, when Georgia comes to Stillwater for a week one tilt. The next three weeks are also at home - Houston (September 12th), Rice (September 19th), Grambling State (September 26th). October 10th will be the start of the Big 12 play for Oklahoma State. The first road game at Texas A+M - October 10th. October 17th the Cowboys will host Missouri, October 24th, at Baylor. Halloween will feature a huge battle with Texas. November starts and ends with road games, with two home games in between. November 7th - at Iowa State, November 14th with Texas Tech, November 21st with Colorado, and finish the season November 28th at Oklahoma.
10. Georgia Bulldogs (2008 Record: 10-3) - After the disappointing stretch in the 2008 season, the Bulldog faithful already started talking about 2009, and their national title chances. Without running back Knowshon Moreno, things will be difficult for Georgia, but do not count them out just yet. Coach Richt’s team faces once again one of the toughest schedules in the country, starting right off the bat with a trip to Big Twelve power Oklahoma State on September 5th. If that is not a good enough indication, the first home game will take place September 12th against Coach Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks in Athens. September 19th the Bulldogs will travel to Arkansas to tilt with the Razorbacks. September 26th Georgia will host the Sun Devils of Arizona State for a non conference battle. October will be a tough stretch for Georgia, as they start the stretch with an October 3rd home game with LSU. The Bulldogs then play three straight road games, starting October 10th at Tennessee, October 17th at Vanderbilt, and October 31st at Florida. On November 7th, Georgia goes out of conference to host Tennessee Tech, and then get back into SEC play with home games against Auburn (November 14th) and Kentucky (November 21st). The Bulldogs will end their season with the annual Georgia/Georgia Tech tussle on November 28th.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2008 Record: 9-4) - To round out the back to back Georgia teams, the Yellow Jackets out of the Atlantic Coast Conference come in at # 11. The Yellow Jackets went 9-4 last season, tying with Virginia Tech at the top of the Coastal portion of the conference. With their running back strength of Best, Georgia Tech looks to slide in at the top, or at least preseason favorite Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets only get one non conference game (September 5th, against Jacksonville State), before the conference slate begins. On September 12th, Clemson will come to town, with thoughts of making a deep run, after their disappointing 2008 season. In a rare Thursday game, September 17th, the Yellow Jackets will hook up with the Miami Hurricanes, on the road, which is always a difficult stop. September 26th the Tar Heels of North Carolina will visit Atlanta. Georgia Tech will be on the road for four of five weeks in October. The Yellow Jackets play two road games, followed by a home game, and then two more road games. October 3rd - at Mississippi State, October 10th - at Florida State, October 17th - with Virginia Tech, October 24th - at Virginia, October 31st - at Vanderbilt. The month of November will lead off with a home game with Wake Forest (November 7th), followed by a road game at Duke on November 14th, and then will finish the year against rival Georgia on November 28th.
12. Utah Utes (2008 Record: 13-0) - After a perfect 2008 campaign, the Utes hope to build on that, plus more, hoping for a surprise BCS bid from a mid major squad. The Utes offense scored 53 touchdowns in 2008, while allowing 24. Utah will start the year a couple days before the rest of the country, when they host state rival Utah State on September 3rd. September 12th the Utes will play at San Jose State. September 19th looks to be a tough test for the Utes, as they will travel to Pac Ten representative Oregon. September 26th the Utes will host Louisville, which seemingly will be another tough home test. The conference season will start October 10th, as Colorado State will host Utah, and then on October 17th, Utah will play at UNLV. The Utes will then play three straight home games with Air Force coming in on October 24th, Wyoming October 31st, and New Mexico on November 7th. Two out of the last three weeks the Utes will play on the road, starting November 14th at New Mexico. Senior Day will be on November 21st, against San Diego State, and the last regular season game is scheduled for November 28th at Brigham Young.
13. Boise State Broncos (2008 Record: 12-1) - Another mid-major that did not feel they got the appropriate respect in 2008 is the Boise State Broncos. After running the regular season slate, the Broncos fell in their final game. Boise State scored 58 touchdowns, while only allowing 15 all season. Only one ranked team(preseason) appears on the Broncos schedule and that is in week one. The Broncos will play a tough road game on September 3rd, when they host Oregon. September 12th Boise State will host Miami (OH), followed by two road games (Fresno State - September 18th, and Bowling Green - September 26th). A visit from California-Davis on October 3rd will get the month started. Two road games, on odd days will follow, starting Wednesday October 14th at Tulsa, and Sunday October 25 at Hawaii. San Jose State will make a Halloween visit to Boise, and then the Broncos will take the road on November 6th at Louisiana Tech. Three of the final four games will be played at home, starting November 14th with Idaho, followed by the final road game - November 20th at Utah State. Friday November 27th the Broncos will host Nevada, and Saturday December 5th, New Mexico State will come to town.
14. TCU Horned Frogs (2008 Record: 11-2) - The Horned Frogs continue to three some of mid major programs sneaking into the Top 15. Texas Christian University finished the 2008 season with an impressive 11-2 record. TCU will once again look to complete at the top of the Mountain West Conference, this year hoping to dethrone defending champion Utah. The Horned Frogs were solid in 2008 scoring 53 touchdowns, while boasting an impressive defense that only allowed 16 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs will start the 2009 season on the road at an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent - Virginia (September 12). Following the game with Virginia, TCU will play in their first home game (September 19th) against Texas State. On September 26th TCU will travel to another ACC school - this time at Clemson. October 3rd the Horned Frogs will host Southern Methodist, and October 10th will play at Air Force. On Saturday October 17th the Horned Frogs host Colorado State, and then face one of their stiffest tests on October 24th at Brigham Young University. October 31st TCU will host UNLV. In November the Horned Frogs will play four games, with two on the road and two at home. November 7th - at San Diego State; November 14th - with Utah; November 21st - at Wyoming, November 28th - with New Mexico.
15. Cincinnati Bearcats (2008 Record: 11-3) - After a surprising Big East title in 2008, the Bearcats look to improve upon that, and play in another BCS bowl game. The Bearcats ended the season last year with a 11-3 mark. The Bearcats will have to hold off a tough Pittsburgh squad, a very talented West Virginia team, along with Rutgers and others to win back to back conference titles. The Bearcats will start the season, on the road, in a conference affair. September 7th, the Bearcats will play at Rutgers, in what should be a good early season test. After short rest, Cincinnati will host Southeast Missouri State on September 12th. On September 19th, if the week one test was not enough, the Bearcats will surely be tested when they travel west to take on Pac Ten representative Oregon State. September 26th Cincinnati will host Fresno State, followed by trips to Miami Ohio (October 3rd), and South Florida (October 15th). On October 24th the Bearcats will play at home against Louisville, followed by a Halloween affair at Syracuse. Three of the final four games of the season will be played at home, during the month of November. November 7th they will host Connecticut, November 13th - with West Virginia, November 21st with Illinois, and their last game of the season will come on December 5th at Pittsburgh.
16. Oregon Ducks (2008 Record: 10-3) - The Ducks finished the 2008 season in second place in the tough Pac Ten, tied with state rival Oregon State, just one game behind the USC Trojans. Oregon scored 67 touchdowns in 2008, while allowing a fairly high 39. The Ducks look to improve upon that season in 2009, but will face one of the toughest schedules in the country. The Ducks started the season on September 3rd at Boise State, before heading home to face Purdue, an always tough Big Ten school on September 12th. September 19th the Ducks will host upstart Utah. Those three games form one of the toughest starts around. On September 26th the California Bears will come to Oregon to start the Pac Ten season. October 3rd - with Washington State, October 10th - at UCLA, October 24th - at Washington. Halloween night Oregon and USC will square off in what could be a Pac Ten title game. The final four games of the season for Oregon will see a road game, followed by home game, with another road game, followed by another home game. November 7th - at Stanford, November 14th - with Arizona State, November 21st - at Arizona, December 3rd - with Oregon State.
17. Michigan State Spartans (2008 Record: 9-4) - The Spartans hope to build off the 2008 season of 9-4 and look to dethrone Ohio State within the Big Ten. Michigan State looks to be at the top of the pack below Ohio State and Penn State. Mike Dantonio hopes to see a better score differential in 2009, as in 2008 they scored just 35 touchdowns, and allowed 31, while giving up more yards then they gained. The Spartans look to get off to a good start with two non conference home games to start the campaign. September 5th and 12th Michigan State will host Montana State and Central Michigan. The first true road game for Michigan State will come on September 19th when they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish. September 26th the Spartans will play in Madison against the Badgers of Wisconsin. On October 3rd the Spartans will host their state rival - the Wolverines of Michigan. October 10th the Spartans will play at Illinois, in a game that features two teams expected near the top of the pack. On October 17th Northwestern will visit East Lansing. October 24th the Hawkeyes of Iowa plays at Michigan State. Halloween day the Spartans play at Minnesota. November will start with a non conference game against Western Michigan, at home, on November 7th. November 14th Michigan State is at Purdue, followed by the final game of the regular season, on November 21st with Penn State
18. Oregon State Beavers (2008 Record: 9-4) - After the slow start of 2008, the Beavers came back strong, including an upset win over the # 1 team in the country - USC. In 2009, the Beavers look for a better start, and should see it, as they host unknown Portland State on September 5th. September 12th will see Oregon State make a trip to Vegas to take on the UNLV Rebels. September 19th the Beavers and Bearcats of Cincinnati will tangle in Corvallis. The Pac Ten season will get underway on September 26th when Oregon State will host Arizona. October 3rd will complete a back to back state of Arizona battles when the Beavers travel to Arizona State for another Pac Ten game. October 10th Stanford comes to town. October 24th the USC Trojans will look to get revenge from 2008 when they host Arizona State at the Rose Bowl. October 31st Oregon State will host UCLA. The month of November will see three games; with two on the road, followed by an early December game to close out the season. November 7th - at California, November 14th - with Washington, November 21st - at Washington State, December 3rd- at Oregon.
19. Northwestern Wildcats (2008 Record: 9-4) - The Wildcats would love to make another surprise move to the top of the Big Ten, and 2009 may be a season in which they could do so. The early part of their schedule is very light, before it toughens up in the later part of the season. The Wildcats first two games are at home - September 5th - with Towson, September 12th - with Eastern Michigan. A road game at Syracuse could be winnable for a team that wants to remain in the Top 20, they head there on September 19th. The Big Ten schedule starts on September 26th when the Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town. On October 3rd the Wildcats play at Purdue, followed by a rare Sunday game on October 11th with Miami (OH). October 17th the Wildcats will play their first ranked opponent when they play at Michigan State. October 24th Northwestern hosts Indiana. Halloween Day will be quite a game, as the Wildcats host the Penn State Nittany Lions. The final three games of November will see two road games on November 7th at Iowa and November 14th at Illinois. The last game of the year will come on November 21st when Wisconsin comes to Evanston.
20. Pittsburgh Panthers (2008 Record: 9-4) - The Pittsburgh Panthers under head coach Dave Wannstedt will look for a 2009 season without a patented disappointing loss. It seems every year the Panthers are poised for a big season, and then come up with a devastating loss. This years team will look to improve upon their 9-4 2008 season, in which they scored 39 touchdowns, allowing 33. The schedule is favorable for Pittsburgh, with only two preseason ranked teams on the schedule. September 5th - with Youngstown State, September 12th - at Buffalo. September 19th - with Navy, September 26th - at North Carolina State. October 2nd - at Louisville, October 10th - with Connecticut, October 16th -at Rutgers, October 24th - with South Florida. November 7th - with Syracuse, November 14th - with Notre Dame, November 27th - at West Virginia, December 5th - with Cincinnati.
21. California Golden Bears (2008 Record: 9-4) - The Golden Bears come in behind a slew of other top Pac Ten squads. The Bears finished fourth in 2008 with a 9-4 overall record, and according to pundits, should finish near the same in 2009. The Golden Bears scored 47 touchdowns in 2008, while allowing 26. The Bears schedule cannot be termed as “easy”, but it has the potential to form into an awfully good resume at seasons end. California will start the season with two home games, starting on September 5th - with Maryland, followed by September 12th - with Eastern Washington. Those two home games will be followed by two road games, against a Big Ten school, and then a tough Pac Ten opener. September 19th the Bears will travel to Minneapolis to face the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, followed by a road game September 26th at Oregon. October will start with an October 3rd home meeting with USC, followed by a trip to UCLA on October 17th. The final two games in October are - October 24th - with Washington and October 31st - at Arizona State. The month of November will start with two home games, and end with two road games. November 7h - with Oregon State, November 14th - with Arizona, November 21st at Stanford, December 5th - at Washington.
22. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2008 Record: 9-4) - The Cornhuskers were a pleasant surprise out of the ultra tough Big 12 in 2008. Nebraska finished with a 9-4 record, just behind Missouri in the Big 12 North. Nebraska comes into 2009 with the media pundits picking them to win the North portion of the conference. The Cornhuskers will need to shore up the defense that allowed 41 touchdowns in 2008. The season starts on September 5th with Florida Atlantic, followed by a September 12th home game with Arkansas State. The Cornhuskers first major test will be on September 19th when they travel to Virginia Tech, for a non conference affair. September will finish on September 26th with Louisiana-Lafayette. October will be a tough month for Nebraska, as they open the month with the Tigers of Missouri on October 8th, followed by a road game on October 17th at Texas Tech. October 24th the Cornhuskers will host Iowa State, followed by a road game on October 31st at Baylor. November will start with a rough home game on November 7th with the Sooners of Oklahoma. November 14th - at Kansas, November 21st - with Kansas State, November 27th - at Colorado.
23. Mississippi Rebels (2008 Record: 9-4) - Coming off a 2008 season in which the Rebels scored double the touchdowns of their opponents (48-23), Mississippi will continue to move towards gradual improvement in 2009. The Rebels reside in the Western Division of the SEC conference with the likes of Alabama, LSU and Arkansas. For being a Top 25 squad, the Rebels have a very odd schedule. Mississippi starts with three of their first four games on the road. September 6th the Rebels will play a Sunday game at Memphis. September 19th, Mississippi will host Southeastern Louisiana, after a short rest, the Rebels will travel to South Carolina on a Thursday night(September 24th) for a SEC tilt with the Gamecocks. October starts with three straight home games for the Rebels. October 10th - with Alabama, October 17th - with UAB, October 24th - with Arkansas. The month will end on October 31st with a game at Auburn. November will start the same way as October; three straight home games. November 7th - with Northern Arizona, November 14th - with Tennessee, November 21st - with LSU. The season will end on November 28th against state rival Mississippi State, on the road.
24. Florida State Seminoles (2008 Record: 9-4) - As it’s been awhile since the Seminoles have been the dominant presence they were for years under Bobby Bowden, the 2009 squad team cannot be overlooked. Coach Bowden appears to have just two years left as a head coach, and he fully intends to make the best of it, starting in 2009. Florida State finished 2008 with a 9-4 record, tied with Boston College at the top of the ACC - Atlantic. The season will start with a bang on Monday September 7th as they host long time state rival Miami. After a short week, the Seminoles host Jacksonville State on September 12th. Florida State will travel across the country next for a road game at Brigham Young University of September 19th. This should be a great early test for Bowden’s young squad. September 26th the Seminoles will host the Bulls of South Florida to complete the first month of the season. October starts a string of seven straight Atlantic Coast Conference games, starting on October 3rd at Boston College. October 10th the Seminoles and Georgia Tech will squad off in Tallahassee. October 22nd, Florida State travels to Chapel Hill, NC to take on the Tar Heels of North Carolina. Halloween Day the Seminoles and Wolf pack of North Carolina State will tussle. The month of November will see three out of four road games, starting on November 7th at Clemson, followed by November 14th at Wake Forest. The final home game of the season will take place November 21st when Maryland comes to town for an ACC finale. If the Seminoles have not had enough at that point, November 28th they will travel to Gainesville for a season finale against the Florida Gators.
25. Illinois Fighting Illini (2008 Record: 5-7) - Look for a big return season from Ron Zook’s Fighting Illini in 2008. After a disappointing 2008 season that saw quarterback Juice Williams and the Illini finish 5-7, the Illini look to compete with Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State at the top of the conference. Illinois picked up nearly 460 total yards a game last year, but still came up with a losing record. The season will start with a rough and tough rivalry game with the Missouri Tigers on September 5th. September 12th the Illini will stay at home and take on state opponent Illinois State. On September 26th the Illini will start a very brutal stretch, with a game at Ohio State. October starts with two straight home games against teams predicted at the top of the conference. October 3rd - with Penn State, October 10th - with Michigan State. The schedule slows down a bit, but the Illini head on the road next. October 17th the Illini play at Indiana, followed by a road game on October 24th - at Purdue. Halloween Day will see the Michigan Wolverines come to Illinois. The final four games for the Illini will see two home games, two road games, and two conference games. November 7th - at Minnesota, November 14th - with Northwestern, November 27th - at Cincinnati, December 5th - with Fresno State.
Best of the Rest:
Iowa Hawkeyes (2008 Record: 9-4), West Virginia Mountaineers (2008 Record: 9-4), East Carolina Panthers (2008 Record: 9-5), Rice Owls (2008 Record: 10-3), Tulsa Hurricanes (2008 Record: 11-3), Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-5), Missouri Tigers (2008 Record: 10-4), Ball State Cardinals (2008 Record: 12-2), Virginia Tech Hokies (2008 Record: 10-4)