Posts Tagged ‘Navy Midshipmen’

2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Picks: Navy vs. Arizona State 12/29

December 28th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Picks: Navy vs. Arizona State 12/29
Exclusive 170% Sign-Up Bonus Offer For Bankroll Sports Visitors Only
Click Here to get a Massive 170% Bonus from UCA Bet
(Exclusive Offer – Must Use This Link & Promocode “bankroll“)
Bowl Betting

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl 20122012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl picks are going to be entertaining to make this year, as we have two teams that are going to be going at it against each other in what could be an unpredictable game in the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Navy Midshipmen. Join us for our Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl keys to the game and our Navy vs. Arizona State predictions.

2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Navy Midshipmen
2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 4:00 p.m. (ET)
2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl On TV: ESPN2, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Sun Devils have to shore up their rush defense
The great news for the Sun Devils this year is that they had one of the Top 15 pass defenses in the country this year, allowing just 178.8 yards per game in the big time Pac-12 with some of the best quarterbacks and most dynamic offenses in the nation. The bad news is that that isn’t going to come in handy in this one against the Midshipmen. The worse news is that ASU was terrible against the run, allowing 172.0 yards per game and ranking 75th in that category. Against the three teams that run sort of quirky offenses this year that the team has played, the UCLA Bruins, Arizona Wildcats, and Oregon Ducks, the Sun Devils allowed an average of just over 300 yards per game. If the Midshipmen end up with over 300 rushing yards in this game, Arizona State is going to be in a heck of a lot of trouble, especially if those yards are coming in gashes as we have seen this front seven allow at times this year.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Odds at BetGuardian Sportsbook
Arizona State Sun Devils -14
Navy Midshipmen +14
Over/Under 53
Click Here to Bet Your Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The ASU offense cannot make careless mistakes
Untimely penalties have been problematic this year for the Sun Devils, and we think that those problems really need to go away against a typically disciplined Navy team that has the ability to really do some damage on both sides of the ball. ASU also committed 23 turnovers this year, and QB Taylor Kelly was accountable for 12 of those turnovers, including nine picks. Of course, what we do know about the Sun Devils is that they did a decent job this year with Kelly under center of not turning the ball over, as QB Michael Eubank also threw three picks in games in which he had to come in out of the bullpen for Kelly. There are also three running backs that have a hand in this offense as well in RB Marion Grice, RB Cameron Marshall, and RB DJ Foster, and these three are going to have to be sure-handed with the football as well if the Sun Devils are going to have a chance to cover such a huge number in a bowl game.


Key #3: Gee Gee Greene has to make some big time plays for the Navy offense
The triple option isn’t an offense that is known for its big time plays, and this really is no exception. RB Noah Copeland, QB Keenan Reynolds, and QB Trey Miller all averaged 4.6 yards per carry or less, and that isn’t going to get the job done when push comes to shove for the Navy offense. Reynolds averaged 9.1 yards per pass attempt and had eight scores against just one pick, which did help out quite a bit. The key though, is RB Gee Gee Greene, who is the most dynamic player on the offense. He led the team in rushing with 108 carries, 765 yards, and three scores, and his 7.1 yards per carry was easily tops on the team for rushers that had more than 20 carries. Greene was also the team’s leading receiver with 303 yards and two TDs on 17 receptions. This is the man that can really break this offense open at times, and he is going to need to do it on a few plays every now and again to keep Arizona State from clogging up the middle of the line and bashing the triple option at the point of attack.

Premium Service Releases From The Bankroll Sports Handicappers
Saturday’s 10* Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Picks From Our Experts
**Sign-Up Now – Only $19.95**
(Includes Instant Access to Saturday’s Entire Member Card)
Purchase Via Credit Card Purchase By Paypal
Sports Picks by Credit CardSports Picks by Paypal

Army vs. Navy Predictions, Odds, & Keys to the Game 12/8/12

December 7th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Army vs. Navy Predictions, Odds, & Keys to the Game 12/8/12
Bet The Army/Navy Game Lines at JustBet & Get An Exclusive 100% Signup Bonus
Exclusive 100% Signup Bonus (Up to $1,000) From JustBet!
New JustBet Customers: Use This Link & Promocode: “bankrollsports”
(Must Use Above Links – $1,000 Max – 100% Added Bonus For Deposits Over $1K)

Army vs. NavyOur Army vs. Navy keys to game are all set to go here at Bankroll Sports, as the Navy Midshipmen look for their 11th straight victory over the Army Black Knights. Will they get it? Check out our Army vs. Navy picks & analysis, and get our college football predictions for the game!

Army/Navy Game: Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen
Army/Navy Game Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Army/Navy Game Date/Time: Saturday, December 8th, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Army/Navy On TV: CBS

Key #1: The Black Knights cannot get outrushed badly
You would figure that there wouldn’t be all that much of an issue getting outrushed when you’re a triple option offense, but alas, that happened this year against the Temple Owls, it almost happened against the Kent State Golden Flashes, and it almost happened against the Stony Brook Seawovles. Needless to say, the club just has to find some defense from somewhere. Temple’s RB Montel Harris rushed for 351 yards and seven TDs against the Cadets, and there was very little that could be done to stop it. Heck, not only that, but the Owls ended the day with 534 yards on 57 rushes. The Black Knights have the No. 1 ranked rushing offense in America at 369.8 yards per game, but this defense is allowing 238.3 yards per game on the ground to go with 37.0 points per game. That just doesn’t cut it to say the least, and there is going to have to be someone step up against another triple option offense here to keep Army on track and with a shot to win this one. It’s not so much the yards as it is the points, but it is going to be a clear indication in this game if one team beats the other by 100+ yards on the ground who is going to win and cover.

Army vs. Navy Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Navy Midshipmen -7
Army Black Knights +7
Over/Under 56
Click Here to Bet on Your Army/Navy Game Picks!

Key #2: Trent Steelman has to leave a legacy
This one is all about Steelman. He’s the team’s quarterback and has been for the last four years. He’s going to go down as one of the most important quarterbacks in the history of the program, knowing that he already holds the record for the most touchdowns scored in a career (44) with the Black Knights. However, what’s looming over his head are three straight losses — losses No. 8, 9, and 10 in a row to the Middies. Winning this game would cement his legacy for sure, and it would send him out on the top of his game before he goes off to serve our great country. Steelman has 1,152 yards and 16 TDs this year on the ground, but he never really did develop into a quarterback that could successfully put the ball in the air even 10 times per game. He does have 619 yards throwing this year, and he’s got a solid receiver in WR Chevaughn Lawrence to work with, but in the end, regardless of how he is going to do it, Steelman has to be “The Man” if Army is going to sink Navy.

Key #3: Keenan Reynolds has to stretch out the Army defense
It’s easy to say that whichever team in the triple option runs the ball with more efficiency is going to ultimately win, but in the end, it’s not necessarily all about the run. Granted, throwing the ball isn’t necessarily going to make things better either, but the Middies have to keep the ball on the edges of the Army defense. The Black Knights have had all sorts of problems in the middle of their defense this year, and that has inevitably been a focal point over the course of the last few weeks of prep for this one. Whether it’s SB Gee Gee Greene, Reynolds, or WR Shawn Lynch doing the deed, someone is going to have to consistently use some sort of speed on the edges of this Army defense as well, and that’s been a problem all year long for the Midshipmen. Reynolds can throw the ball better than the average Navy quarterback, as he has 754 yards and eight TDs against just one pick since taking over for QB Trey Miller. Since SB John Howell was knocked out for the season with a leg injury though, this offense just hasn’t looked overly dynamic, but it should be able to get back on track against a porous Army defense if, and really only if, the outside game is working in some form.

**Purchase Saturday’s Premium Service Releases**
(Includes Army vs. Navy Pick)
**Purchase Now – Only $19.95**
PaypalCredit Card
Picks - PaypalPicks - Credit Card

Top 25 NCAA Football Games in 2012: #24 Army vs. Navy 12/8/12

August 4th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Top 25 NCAA Football Games in 2012: #24 Army vs. Navy 12/8/12
Exclusive 100% Sign-Up Bonus Offer For Bankroll Sports Visitors Only
Click Here to get a Massive 100% Bonus from WagerWeb
Visa Card Deposits Are Now Accepted at WagerWeb (98% Approval Rate)
(Exclusive Offer – Must Use This Link & Promocode “bankrollsports“)

2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#24 Army Black Knights @ Navy Midshipmen

Army vs. Navy (-3.5)

Army-Navy Football GameYou’re not going to find a better matchup with more historical significance than the annual Army/Navy Game, and this is going to be the 113th battle between these two military powers on the gridiron. Navy leads the current series 56-49-7, and the domination of the Middies has been present over the course of the last 10 years, all of which have been won by the Naval Academy. This is going to be another frustrating year for both of the service academies on the football field in all likelihood, but this could also be the game that determines the winner of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the team that has the best annual record against the other service academies. Especially knowing that this is a standalone game on the schedule, its pageantry, pomp, and circumstance is definitely worthy of it being called one of our Top 25 matchups for the 2012 college football season regardless of whether this will be the cleanest played game in the world or not.

Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Picks & Info
Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Date: Saturday, December 8th
Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Spread: Navy Midshipmen -3.5

The poor Black Knights have only been to one bowl game since 1996, the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl, and this year really doesn’t seem like it has all that much promise either. QB Trent Steelman is back, and he might be the best quarterback running the triple option in the country at this point. When he was out of the lineup last year for Army, the team just had zero chance of passing the ball at any point. The ground game has a lot of its power back from last year, led by RB Raymond Maples, who regularly touches the ball at least 10 times in every game in spite of the fact that he is a slotback and not really a traditional rusher. The problem that the Black Knights have is that they are incredibly thin at the offensive line spots. Everyone has to know exactly what their role is on the offensive line and keep to their assignments, and if those assignments are blown, the play being ran is in a heck of a lot of trouble. With just three returners on this side of the ball, it could be tough to get some traction. That being said, this is the final game of the year and not the first game of the year, and the potential is definitely there for this makeshift OL to become more of a strength of the team by the time December rolls around.

Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: Navy 27 – Army 21
2010: Navy 31 – Army 17
2009: Navy 17 – Army 3
2008: Navy 34 – Army 0
2007: Navy 38 – Army 3
2006: Navy 26 – Army 14
2005: Navy 42 – Army 23
2004: Navy 42 – Army 13
2003: Navy 34 – Army 6
2002: Navy 58 – Army 12
2001: Army 26 – Navy 17
2000: Navy 30 – Army 28
1999: Navy 19 – Army 9
1998: Army 34 – Navy 30
1997: Navy 39 – Army 7
1996: Army 28 – Navy 24
1995: Army 14 – Navy 13

The Naval Academy took a massive dive last season down to just 5-7, but this year, the hope is at least somewhere there that it can get back to a bowl game this season. QB Trey Miller is going to likely be leading the charge, and slotbacks Gee Gee Greene and John Howell will be returning as well. The problem is that QB Kriss Proctor is out, and FB Alexander Teich, who has been a staple at the head of the wishbone for the Middies for years, has departed as well. That’s going to leave two massive holes in the main parts of the Navy offense. The Midshipmen have a worse offensive line position than the Black Knights do. There are only three experienced offensive linemen that are returning to this team. With a little more passing, and a significantly easier schedule after the first two weeks of the year though, there is no doubt that this could be the game that makes or breaks a bowl campaign for the Midshipmen.

Army/Navy Game Free Picks^^: Could this be the year that the Black Knights break the dreaded losing streak to Navy? The opportunity is most certainly going to be there for them to do so. This time of year, it’s all about value, and while you have the opportunity to take the points, we suggest that you do so. By the time that his game rolls around, both of these teams might have very comparable records, and in the end, the Black Knights might end up being favored, especially if there is a bowl game on the line for them.

^^Please Note: The Army/Navy Game picks listed above on our sports betting blog are made by our staff writers. These football picks are based upon the betting lines listed on 8/4/12 and do not reflect the actual expert handicapping picks at Bankroll Sports. Click Here to receive our premium expert handicappers NCAA Football Picks for the 2012 campaign.

You can purchase our premium Army/Navy Game picks from our experts on Saturday, 12/8

2010 College Football Preview: Top Ten Mid-Major Schools

July 21st, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »
Exclusive Bonus Offer From Top Sponsor For Bankroll Sports Visitors Only
Click Here For a 100% Signup Bonus From SportBet
(Exclusive Bonus Offer – Must Use This Link or Above Links)

They are the teams who upset your favorites. They are the underdogs you root for or hate every year. They can win you big money, or they can bust you out with their upset victories. Their dream? Making a BCS bowl game. These are the top ten non-BCS schools, or mid-majors, if you prefer.

#1 Boise State Broncos: We all know the Broncos. Since 2006, the blue turf bandits have made off with victories over Oregon State, Oregon, Utah, and TCU. Let’s not forget the Statue of Liberty play to defeat Oklahoma in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. Since that undefeated year, the Broncos have four total losses. Last year’s team saw QB Kellen Moore throw for 39 touchdowns to just three picks. Wide receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis combined to catch 142 balls for 1,896 yards and 24 touchdowns, while running backs Jeremy Avery and Doug Martin averaged 5.5 yards and 6.0 yards per carry, respectively. The two combined for 21 scores. Last season’s top-ranked scoring offense retains all of these leaders, so matching last year’s 450.8 yards and 42.2 points per game is doable. The defense retains star cornerback Brandyn Thompson, who intercepted five balls in 2009. Most of the defense from last year was made up of freshmen and sophomores, so this unit is only going to improve. This season, the Broncos open with Virginia Tech, a school that has struggled in early-season games as of late. With a win, the Broncos would be set to not just make a BCS bowl, but be the first non-BCS school to reach the National Championship game.

Key non-conference games: Virginia Tech (N), Oregon State
Key conference games: @ Nevada, @ Idaho

#2 TCU Horned Frogs: Since 2005, the Horned Frogs have taken out Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Stanford, Utah, BYU, Boise State, Virginia, and Clemson. Last year’s impressive squad, led by quarterback Andy Dalton, averaged 456.7 yards and 38.3 points per game. Dalton threw for 2,756 yards, 23 scores, and eight interceptions. This year, he will be throwing to a trio of seniors in Jeremy Kerley, Jimmy Young, and Bart Johnson, who combined for 110 receptions and seven scores in 2009. Running back Matthew Tucker averaged 6.4 yards per carry last year, scoring eight times. He will be the primary running back with the loss of Joseph Turner. A defense that gave up just 239.7 yards and 12.8 points per game retains the majority of its starters, though both Jerry Hughes and Darryl Washington are now in the NFL. Like Boise State, the Frogs have several freshmen and sophomores returning with great experience. They will have their chance to make another statement with a week one game against Oregon State.

Key non-conference game: Oregon State (N)
Key conference games: BYU, @ Utah

#3 Navy Midshipmen: Navy sails into 2010 coming off a ten win season, including victories over both of the other service academies. The Middies lost three games by seven points or less. With the return of quarterback Ricky Dobbs and another year of the famed spread-option offense, Navy is looking for another great season. Dobbs threw just 105 passes in 2009, completing 56 of them for 1,031 yards, six touchdowns and three picks. Of course, on the ground, he ran 315 times for 1,203 yards and a whopping 27 tuddies. Joining him in the unique offensive attack are fullback Vince Murray and a host of young, but talented slot-backs ready to replace Marcus Curry. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 182 touches, scoring six times. However, Curry was dismissed from the team in May after violating team rules and failing a drug test in January. Eager to step up are backs Gee Gee Greene, Alex Teich, and Aaron Santiago. Greene averaged 6.2 yards per rush last year, while returning 33 kickoffs for 607 yards. Teich contributed 376 yards on 70 carries. On defense, Navy will be led once again by DE Jabaree Tuani and safety Wyatt Middleton. They will have to re-tool at linebacker however, as the three starters are gone. Tyler Simmons will be heavily relied upon to lead the new group. Navy has a favorable schedule, so another ten win season is looking likely.

Key games: @ Air Force, Notre Dame(N), @ East Carolina

#4 Houston Cougars: There is a significant drop-off after Boise State and TCU, but Houston took out Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State last season. The Cougars feature a high-powered offense and the nation’s statistically leading quarterback in Case Keenum. Keenum completed 492 of 700 balls last year for 5,671 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 15 picks. The team returns three 1,000 yard receivers in James Cleveland, Tyron Carrier, and Patrick Edwards. The three combined for 27 touchdowns, all averaging at least 11.3 yards per catch. Clearly, there is not much use of the running game, but if needed, the Cougars have two running backs in Charles Sims and Bryce Beall, who are capable. Sims averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored nine times, while Beall gained 670 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Don’t look for the 108th ranked defense to improve much, however. Last year’s unit gave up 451.3 yards and 30.1 points per game. Senior cornerback Jamal Robinson intercepted five balls a year ago and will lead a defense that is extremely young. Houston will be in the spotlight in its final game of the year at Texas Tech.

Key non-conference games: @ UCLA, Mississippi State, @ Texas Tech
Key conference games: @ SMU, UCF, Tulsa

#5 Temple Owls: You’re asking yourself: “How did Temple get on any top ten lists, other than maybe the worst schools ever?” Well, my friend, Temple has turned it around, at least for a little while. Yes, it lost to Villanova in week one of the 2009 campaign, but then again, Villanova won the FCS championship. The Owls put together a nine game win streak, finishing the regular season at 9-3 before losing by nine to UCLA in their first bowl appearance since 1979. Vaughn Charlton returns as the quarterback for 2010, but last year was not impressive; he completed 107 of 213 passes for 1,390 yards, ten scores, and 11 picks. This will obviously have to improve. The wide receiving corps is deep, with only two players getting more than 20 catches. Five receivers caught at least two touchdowns, but none caught more than three. The ground game is the real excitement for the Owls, with star running back Bernard Pierce. Last season, Pierce carried 236 times for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns. Matt Brown also ran for 529 yards and five scores on 89 carries. On defense, the Owls should again be strong against the run, with an experienced and large line and senior linebackers Elijah Joseph and Amara Kamara leading the way. However, opposing quarterbacks racked up 226.4 yards per game, blasting through the Owls’ secondary. The schedule is no cakewalk, with the first four games against Villanova, Central Michigan, Connecticut, and Penn State. However, Temple could easily get another 9-3 season and MAC title game appearance.

Key non-conference games: Connecticut, @ Penn State
Key conference games: Central Michigan, @ Northern Illinois, Ohio

#6 Nevada Wolfpack: The Wolfpack quietly had a 7-1 conference record and the best rushing offense in the nation a year ago. After getting stomped by Notre Dame, Colorado State, and Missouri, the team went on an eight game win streak, before losing its final regular season game and a bowl bid against SMU. Returning this year is quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who completed 166 of 282 throws for 2,052 yards, 20 touchdowns, and six picks. He was the top dual threat in the nation, adding 7.3 yards per rush on 161 carries, scoring 16 times. Rejoining last year’s number one ranked ground game is Vai Taua, who averaged 7.8 yards and scored ten times on 172 carries. The team loses its third 1,000 yard rusher in Luke Lippincott, but there is plenty of depth in Mike Ball and Mark Lampford. At wide receiver, the team returns Brandon Wimberly, Tray Session, and Chris Wellington. The three combined for just nine touchdowns in the nation’s 107th ranked passing offense. The Wolfpack will need to improve their passing offense to keep up their winning ways. Last year’s unit gave up a second to last ranked 297.8 yards per game through the air. In the team’s five losses, the opposition scored at least 31 points. The line and linebacking core losses are minimal, and the only way to go is up for the secondary. The conference road schedule is terribly brutal, however.

Key non-conference games: California
Key conference games: @ BYU, @ Idaho, Boise State

#7 Utah Utes: The Utes are looking tough once again for 2010. They have some holes to fill on defense, but with BYU losing Max Hall and other staples, Utah is primed to be right there with TCU. The offense will be led by sophomore QB Jordan Wynn, who threw for 1,329 yards, eight scores, and four picks in a half season’s work after replacing junior Terrance Cain. The team loses a 1,000 yard wide receiver in David Reed, but retains Jereme Brooks, who led all receivers with seven scores. Sophomore Luke Williams will be the second throwing option for Wynn, having caught just nine passes last year. The rushing attack will be led by Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata. Asiata tore his ACL early last season and was granted an extra year of eligibility. Wide emerged as a more than capable replacement, racing for 1,070 yards and 12 touchdowns on 202 carries. On defense, only five starters return. Last year’s unit allowed just 176.2 passing yards and 20.2 points per game. The biggest hit comes at linebacker, with all three starters now gone. However, junior J.J. Williams is expected to lead a young group. The schedule isn’t easy, but Utah does get most of the big games at home, including Pittsburgh, TCU, and BYU.

Key non-conference games: Pittsburgh, @ Notre Dame
Key conference games: @ Air Force, TCU, BYU

#8 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders: MTSU isn’t exactly one of the most talked about mid majors, but last year it showed it really does have a capable football program. The Raiders finished behind Troy for the Sun Belt title, but won ten games, including a bowl victory over Southern Miss. Now, it might just be MTSU’s year to win the Sun Belt. The offense will be led by a great dual threat in Dwight Dasher. He led his team with 1,154 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, while throwing for 2,789 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. At wide receiver, the team loses Chris McClover and Patrick Honeycutt, who combined for 961 yards and nine scores. Remaining are Garrett Andrews and Shane Blissard. The two only combined for 19 catches last year, though. This year’s defensive unit also has some strength. DE Jamari Lattimore returns, having racked up 5.5 sacks. Safety Jeremy Kellem has been named the Sun Belt preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The Blue Raiders will have their first statement game opportunity in week one, when the Minnesota Golden Gophers come to Tennessee.

Key non-conference games: Minnesota, @ Georgia Tech
Key conference games: @ Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy

#9 Northern Illinois Huskies: The Huskies are again on the rise, with back-to-back bowl appearances and an impressive win at Purdue last season. Now, they return several key starters and look to appear in the MAC Championship game with Temple. The offense will once again feature a strong running game, with senior Chad Spann. Last season, Spann gained 1,038 yards and scored 19 times on 179 carries. Fellow running back Me’Co Brown has left the program, so JUCO transfer Jasmin Hopkins will see action early. Chandler Harnish will again be the quarterback and will try to improve on a mediocre performance, throwing for 1,670 yards, 11 touchdowns, and six interceptions last season. The 109th ranked passing offense will be searching for a top wide receiver, as only two caught more than one touchdown. Landon Cox appears to be the man, leading last year’s squad with 535 yards and four scores on 45 receptions. Defensively, the Huskies should be set. Nine starters are returning, but will need to improve on last year’s measly four total interceptions. Last year’s unit also allowed opponents to convert 41.2% of the time on third down, but did sack the quarterback 29 times. Where it really counts, the Huskies only surrendered 21.2 points per game. This season, the Huskies will face a brutal schedule, with four of the first five on the road. However, with the departure of Dan LaFevour at Central Michigan, the MAC West is NIU’s to lose.

Key non-conference games: @ Iowa State, @ Minnesota
Key conference game: Temple

#10: Central Florida Knights: The Knights are going to be a power in Conference USA’s East Division. The story here is the defense, which allowed just 84.7 rushing yards per game last season. Seven starters are returning, including DE Bruce Miller, who was responsible for 16 sacks in 2009. At cornerback, sophomore Josh Robinson will make another impact, intercepting six passes in his freshman debut. A unit that a year ago allowed just 22.5 points per game has nowhere to go but up. The offense is a different story, with junior Rob Calabrese stepping in at quarterback. He threw for three scores and no interceptions in limited action in 2009. Leading running back Brynn Harvey should be back from knee surgery in time for the season opener. On the plus side, the offense returns four starting linemen and its top receiver in Kamar Aiken, who scored nine times and averaged 16.9 yards per catch last year. The Knights have an excellent chance to make the C-USA title game, led by their lights-out defense.

Key non-conference games: North Carolina State, @ Kansas State
Key conference game: @ Houston