Non-AQ post-spring power rankings

May, 3, 2010
5/03/10
10:00
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My post-spring power rankings aren’t much different from my pre-spring power rankings. The only team that took a bit of a hit this spring was BYU, which lost running back Harvey Unga and played most of spring with a piecemeal offensive line.

Otherwise, here are the 2010 post-spring power rankings:

1. Boise State: Quarterback Kellen Moore didn’t have a great spring, but no one’s panicking. In fact, his struggles allowed redshirt freshman Joe Southwick to emerge as a stellar backup. The Broncos had several players miss spring football because of injuries, but depth was developed at several positions, including offensive line and wide receiver.

2. TCU: The Horned Frogs filled the holes left by Jerry Hughes, Daryl Washington and Marshall Newhouse and found some depth at running back. Similar to Boise State, the Horned Frogs didn’t have many holes to fill and should be in good position in fall camp.

3. Utah: The Utes found some unexpected surprises at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive line. Although starting quarterback Jordan Wynn struggled with injuries, backups Terrance Cain and Griff Robles exceeded expectations. The Utes also found a go-to receiver in walk-on Griffin McNabb.

4. SMU: The Mustangs will be young for the second consecutive season, but a lot of that youth has experience. Kyle Padron took control of the starting quarterback position, but running back remains a big question.

5. Navy: The Midshipmen found some much-needed depth at several positions this spring, including quarterback, slot back and on defense. Mario Washington is listed as both a wide receiver and defensive back, but he probably won’t play both sides of the ball.

6. Air Force: The Falcons named Tim Jefferson the starting quarterback despite him being limited in spring football. However, Jefferson and Connor Dietz likely will face off in the fall for the right to start in the opener. The Falcons also will have a young offensive line and they had some issues with injuries at linebacker.

7. Houston: The Cougars' defense spent the spring in transition with new defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, who inherited a talented but young group that struggled mightily last season. Stewart’s work paid dividends during the spring game when his defense had 12 sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

8. BYU: The Cougars had a lot of questions to answer this spring and they seemed to come out with more questions. They still haven’t settled on a cornerback and have many questions on defense. The Cougars also are waiting on word about Unga, who voluntarily left school because of an honor code violation.

9. Middle Tennessee: New coordinators on both the offensive and defensive side made for a learning spring, but the Blue Raiders returned most of their players from last season, which made the transition easier. The offense and quarterback Dwight Dasher will be helped by the return of running back Phillip Tanner, who missed last season with a knee injury.

10. Nevada: The Wolf Pack hired Andy Buh to help fix the defense and they definitely showed progress after not allowing the No. 1 offense to score in the spring game. Buh said the defense still has a ways to go, but if the Wolf Pack can catch their defense up with their offense, they will be a tough team to beat this year.

Graham Watson | email

College Football
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.

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