The division is loaded with good quarterbacks, including Steve McNair of Alcorn State, who threw for nearly 3,000 yards last year as a freshman. If McNair shines, the Braves will win their first Southwestern title in eight years. The Yankee Conference features Villanova's 5'7" quarterback, Tommy Colombo. Colombo is a nephew of former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, and this fall he should become the school's alltime leading passer. The Wildcats will beat Delaware for the title.
Weber State will reach for the Big Sky crown behind Jamie Martin, who threw for 4,125 yards and 35 touchdowns last season. But the Wildcats will have to learn to play some defense. Nevada wiped out a 49-14 deficit last November to beat Weber 55-49, the greatest comeback in college football history.
Defending Division I-AA champ Youngstown will miss four-year starting quarterback Ray Isaac, but the Penguin defense is stronger than ever. The schedule makers put this year's national championship game in Huntington, W.Va., the home of Marshall University. The Thundering Herd lost to Youngstown in the '91 title game, and a short return trip is quite possible. Wide-out Troy Brown scored five TDs on plays of 86 yards or longer last fall.
Thanks largely to its defense (below), Holy Cross will battle Lafayette and surprising Fordham for the Patriot title, but the Crusaders' 20-game winning streak will end. Gateway Conference power Northern Iowa gets an assist from the crowd noise in its 16,400-seat domed stadium. With 20 starters back, McNeese State should finish first in the Southland. The Ivy League will belong to Princeton. Tiger receiver and returner Michael Lerch, 5'7" and 160 pounds, gained an astounding 463 total yards against Brown in '91.