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College football preview

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 28, 2008

SIX GAMES TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Illinois vs. Missouri (Aug. 30): Two of last year's surprises meet in St. Louis to open the season. The Tigers can make a statement if they can keep the Juice (Williams) from getting loose.

Ohio State at Southern California (Sept. 13): One of the nation's top five teams will lose all of its wiggle room in the national title chase with this titanic matchup in Los Angeles.

Georgia-Arizona State (Sept. 20): The Bulldogs don't go west often - this is their first visit to a Pac-10 school since 1960. Rudy Carpenter and the Sun Devils will provide a tough test in the desert.

Texas vs. Oklahoma (Oct. 11): A Sooners loss isn't likely this season. But if it comes anywhere, chances are it will be at the Texas State Fair in Dallas against the Longhorns.

Louisiana State at Florida (Oct. 11): Would Urban Meyer repeatedly go for it on fourth down with the Gators' season on the line like riverboat gambler Les Miles did last year? It could happen in the Swamp this season.

Auburn at West Virginia (Oct. 23): Hide the women, children and couches - the Mountaineers should be 6-0 entering this Thursday night showdown in Morgantown.

SIX HEISMAN CANDIDATES

QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

2007: 3,121 yards, 36 TDs, 8 INTs

Nation's passing efficiency leader - and NCAA record holder for touchdown passes as a freshman (36) - could be in for an even more impressive encore as a sophomore.

WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

2007: 134 catches, 1,962 yards, 22 TDs

After a dominant freshman year, Crabtree could be in line for a 2,000-yard season. Part of it's the system. Much of it's his talent.

QB Chase Daniel, Missouri

2007: 4,306 pass yards, 253 rush yards, 37 TDs, 11 INTs

The Big 12 is loaded with quality quarterbacks - Todd Reesing, Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell and Colt McCoy among them. Daniel happens to be the best.

RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia

2007: 1,334 yards (5.4 avg.), 14 TDs

He dazzled as a redshirt freshman, and he's arguably the top reason the Bulldogs are considered title contenders. But will he get enough carries?

QB Tim Tebow, Florida

2007: 3,286 pass yards, 895 rush yards, 55 TDs, 6 INTs

The first sophomore to take home the Heisman hardware could become only the second player to win it twice.

RB Chris “Beanie” Wells, Ohio State

2007: 1,609 yards (5.9 avg.), 14 TDs

Obligatory Buckeyes player to include on the list in case Ohio State again makes the national title game.

QB Pat White, West Virginia

2007: 1,724 pass yards, 1,335 rush yards, 28 TDs, 4 INTs

If not the best player in the land, White might be the most valuable to his team - the Mountaineers would crumble without him under center.

ENCORE ATTEMPTS

Returning AP All-Americans:

FIRST TEAM

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma

Jeremy Maclin, WR/KR, Missouri

Thomas Weber, K, Arizona State

George Selvie, DE, South Florida

James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati

SECOND TEAM

Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri

Anthony Parker, G, Tennessee

Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas

Austin Starr, K, Indiana

Terrill Byrd, DT, Cincinnati

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

William Moore, S, Missouri

Patrick Chung, S, Oregon

THIRD TEAM

Ryan Stanchek, OT, West Virginia

Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin

Nick Reed, DE, Oregon

Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana

Vance Walker, DT, Georgia Tech

Scott McKillop, LB, Pittsburgh

Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

Taylor Mays, S, USC

FAB 14

The 14 winningest (by percentage) active Division I-A coaches (must have three or more years of experience):

Coach, schoolSeasonsRecordWin pct

1. Pete Carroll, USC 7 76-14 84.4

2. Jim Tressel, Ohio State 7 73-16 82.0

3. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas 4 41-9 82.0

4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma 9 97-22 81.5

5. Urban Meyer, Florida 7 70-16 81.4

6. Mark Richt, Georgia 7 72-19 79.1

7. Phil Fulmer, Tennessee 16 147-45 76.6

8. Bobby Bowden, Florida State 42 342-113-4 74.9

9. Joe Paterno, Penn State 42 372-125-3 74.7

10. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina 18 163-56-2 74.2

11. Gary Patterson, Texas Christian 7 62-25 71.3

12. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State 19 158-68-1 69.8

13. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan 7 60-26 69.8

14. Les Miles, LSU 7 62-27 69.7

COACHING CAROUSEL

Of the 120 major college jobs, 18 of them changed hands last year. A look at the old and new coaches, as well as where the hires came from:

SchoolOld coach (seasons)New coach (former job)

ArkansasHouston Nutt (10) resignedBobby Petrino (Falcons HC)

BaylorGuy Morriss (5) firedArt Briles (Houston HC)

Colorado St.Sonny Lubick (15) firedSteve Fairchild (Bills OC)

DukeTed Roof (5) firedDavid Cutcliffe (Tennessee OC)

Georgia TechChan Gailey (6) firedPaul Johnson (Navy HC)

HawaiiJune Jones (9)to SMUGreg McMacklin (Hawaii DC)

HoustonArt Briles (5) to BaylorKevin Sumlin (Oklahoma co-OC)

MichiganLloyd Carr (13) retiredRich Rodriguez (West Virginia HC)

MississippiEd Orgeron (3) firedHouston Nutt (Arkansas HC)

NavyPaul Johnson (6) to Ga. TechKen Niumatalolo (Navy asst. HC)

NebraskaBill Callahan (4) firedBo Pelini (LSU DC)

N. IllinoisJoe Novak (12) retiredJerry Kill (So. Illinois HC)

SMUPhil Bennett (6) firedJune Jones (Hawaii HC)

Southern MissJeff Bower (17) resignedLarry Fedora (Okla. State OC)

Texas A&MDennis Franchione (5) resignedMike Sherman (Texans OC)

UCLAKarl Dorrell (5) firedRick Neuheisel (Ravens OC)

Washington StateBill Doba (5) resignedPaul Wulff (E. Washington HC)

West VirginiaRich Rodriguez (7) to MichiganBill Stewart (WVU assistant)

BLUEST CHIPS

Where last season's top 35 prep players signed as determined by a consensus of rankings from top analysts Bobby Burton, Allen Wallace and Tom Lemming:

PlayerPositionHt/WtSchool

1. Terrelle PryorQB6-6/227Ohio State

2. Julio JonesWR6-4/215Alabama

3. DaQuan BowersDE6-4/265Clemson

4. Will HillS6-3/203Florida

5. Darrell ScottRB6-0/204Colorado

6. Patrick JohnsonCB6-1/193LSU

7. A.J. GreenWR6-4/184Georgia

8. Marcus ForstonDT6-2/286Miami

9. Arthur BrownLB6-1/210Miami

10. Jermie CalhounRB6-0/210Oklahoma

11. R.J. WashingtonDE6-3/245Oklahoma

12. Jonathan BaldwinWR6-6/220Pittsburgh

13. Mike FloydWR6-4/195Notre Dame

14. Richard SamuelRB6-0/197Georgia

15. Blake AylesTE6-4/240USC

16. Omar HunterDT6-1/300Florida

17. Brandon HarrisCB5-10/174Miami

18. Matt KalilOL6-7/281USC

19. Mike AdamsOL6-7/308Ohio State

20. Baker SteinkuhlerOL6-6/290Nebraska

21. Jamie HarperRB6-0/220Clemson

22. Tyron SmithOL6-5/260USC

23. Mike GlennonQB6-6/194N.C. State

24. DeAndre BrownWR6-6/208Southern Miss

25. Burton ScottATH5-11/194Alabama

26. Dayne CristQB6-5/228Notre Dame

27. Chancey AghayereDE6-4/244LSU

28. Lamaar ThomasATH5-11/181Ohio State

29. Blaine GabbertQB6-4/226Missouri

30. Michael BrewsterOT6-6/290Ohio State

31. Jerrell HarrisLB6-2/220Alabama

32. DeVier PoseyWR6-2/190Ohio State

33. Aaron WilliamsDB6-1/175Texas

34. Kyle RudolphTE6-6/229Notre Dame

35. Tyler LoveOT6-7/280Alabama

Barker Davis and Patrick Stevens