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1996 Returning
Team Record Starters

1 Penn State 11-2 13
Seventy, pleasant, no sign of gray: a favorable weather
forecast? Nope, Joe Paterno

2 Tennessee 10-2 15
Give LB/DE Leonard Little lots of credit for sparking the SEC's
top defense (236.6 yards allowed per game in '96)

3 Washington 9-3 16
Last 11 Huskies quarterbacks have gone on to play pro ball;
Brock Huard will be the 12th

4 Florida 12-1 12
Steve Spurrier, the winningest SEC coach in history, is 53-6 in
conference games and 41-2 in the Swamp

5 Colorado 10-2 15
With games at Michigan, Texas and a season finale at home
against Nebraska, Buffaloes hard-pressed to match '96 record

6 Florida State 11-1 14
Four-year starter and Butkus Award candidate Daryl Bush will
anchor defense that was No. 1 against the rush in '96

7 North Carolina 10-2 17
Cornerback Dre' Bly was named first-team AP All-America on
defense, the first freshman to earn that honor

8 Nebraska 11-2 11
Big game: Sept. 20 at Washington, the only foe Tom Osborne (0-2)
hasn't beaten in a regular-season game in the past decade

9 Notre Dame 8-3 15
Why Ron Powlus really returned: an offensive line that includes
four starters who average 6'6 1/2", 297 pounds

10 Louisiana State 10-2 18
SEC's best ground team (211.1 yards per game in '96) has all its
rushers back and could make a run for conference title

11 Ohio State 11-1 9
Junior safety Damon Moore was first nonlinebacker since World
War II to lead Buckeyes in tackles

12 Alabama 10-3 10
For opposing QBs, tackle Michael Myers (13 sacks last season) is
scarier than his Halloween namesake

13 Texas 8-5 14
Austin powers James Brown (QB), Ricky Williams (TB) and Phil
Dawson (K) will lead the Longhorns' scoring explosion

14 Miami 9-3 12
Hurricanes lost three games in Orange Bowl in '96, one more than
their total from 1985 through '95

15 Arizona 5-6 18
Keith Smith not only most efficient passer among returning
Pac-10 quarterbacks but also Arizona's No. 2 rusher (546 yards)
in '96

16 Michigan State 6-6 17
Tailback Sedrick Irvin tries to improve on his 1,067 yards
rushing last fall, a record for a Spartan freshman

17 Syracuse 9-3 12
The Orangemen have never won the Big East title outright. Could
this be the year?

18 Michigan 8-4 15
Why does junior cornerback-flanker Charles Woodson wear number
2? Because he's the best two-way player in the game

19 Stanford 7-5 13
Smart choice, Chelsea Clinton: Princeton has no home games in
'97; Cardinal has six, including one against Notre Dame

20 Auburn 8-4 18
Tigers have 10 starters back on a defense that tied for Division
I-A lead with 36 forced turnovers

21 Clemson 7-5 16
Junior linebacker Anthony Simmons has reached double figures in
tackles in 21 of his 24 games

22 Virginia Tech 10-2 11
In light of numerous run-ins with the law by Tech athletes,
Blacksburg jail now called Hokie Pokey

23 UCLA 5-6 16
No Bruin was chosen in April's NFL draft, the first such shutout
since 1942

24 Northwestern 9-3 11
Gary Barnett lost 13 starters but reeled in Evanston's best
recruiting class

25 Colorado State 7-5 17
Go up, Moses: Senior quarterback Moses Moreno is WAC's top
returning passer in efficiency (141.4 rating in '96)

26 Brigham Young 14-1 15
Cotton Bowl champs risk nation's longest Division I-A winning
streak (12) in season opener vs. Washington

27 Kansas State 9-3 12
Eric Hickson, the team's leading rusher in '95, returns from a
broken leg that forced him to sit out last season

28 USC 6-6 16
Trojan quarterbacks have one career completion, a fact their
first foe, Florida State, is well aware of

29 Wisconsin 8-5 11
Great Dayne: Tailback Ron Dayne rushed for an NCAA
freshman-record 1,863 yards in '96

30 Texas A&M 6-6 16
Aggies greet new offensive and defensive coordinators; three
easy nonconference games precede showdown at Colorado

31 Iowa 9-3 15
Tim Dwight stands just 5'9" but is Hawkeyes' top wideout and
perhaps the country's best return man

32 Virginia 7-5 9
Cavaliers lost starting backfield to graduation and could find
it difficult to score 300 points for a ninth straight year

33 Georgia Tech 5-6 14
Biletnikoff Award candidate Harvey Middleton led all ACC
wideouts last season, with 64 receptions

34 West Virginia 8-4 15
The Battle of West Virginia will be joined on Aug. 30, when
Mountaineers host I-A newcomer and I-AA champ Marshall

35 Arizona State 11-1 14
Leapin' Lizards: Junior wideout Kenny Mitchell also holds
Arizona's high school high jump record of seven feet

36 Georgia 5-6 16
Versatile offensive threat Hines Ward may be first to reach
1,000 yards each in passing, receiving, rushing and kick returns

37 South Carolina 6-5 16
Parris Island recruits won't have this tough a November: at
Tennessee, then Florida and Clemson at home

38 Washington State 5-6 14
Cougars open against UCLA and USC, whom they have never swept in
the same season

39 East Carolina 8-3 9
Pirates will ride Scott Harley, the nation's leading returning
rusher, with 158.6 yards per game, to Conference USA title

40 Navy 9-3 14
Chris McCoy is the first Midshipman signal-caller to rush for
more than 1,000 yards (1,228, 16 TDs rushing) in a season

41 Mississippi State 5-6 15
Three straight AA meetings in November--At Auburn, At Alabama,
At Arkansas--will prove sobering

42 Boston College 5-7 17
Is this Rose an annual? Tim Rose is Eagles' fifth defensive
coordinator in as many years

43 Oregon 6-5 11
Rain-weary Ducks are constructing Pac-10's first indoor practice

44 San Diego State 8-3 14
Aztecs have a special concern: They must replace kicker, punter,
long snapper and returner

45 Rice 7-4 15
Nation's third-best rushing backfield (305.4 yards per game)
returns intact for Owls, who had most wins since '61

46 Army 10-2 9
Fullback Joe Hewitt leads the Cadets into West Point's final
season as an independent. Army joins Conference USA in '98

47 Nevada 9-3 15
The Wolf Pack, with 527.3 yards per game in '96, has had the
nation's top-rated offense three of the past four years

48 Southern Mississippi 8-3 16
The Golden Eagles must endure SEC death march with trips to
Gainesville, Fla.; Birmingham; and Knoxville, Tenn.

49 Oklahoma 3-8 13
A 3-8 record? The Joads would have fled. Coach John Blake must
restore Sooners' luster soon

50 Texas Tech 7-5 14
Zero: departed All-America rusher Byron Hanspard's GPA last fall
and Red Raiders' chances of winning opener at Tennessee

51 Louisville 5-6 13
Homegrown quarterback Chris Redman must deliver since the Cards'
featured tailback, Rico Williams, is a former walk-on

52 Utah 8-4 15
One third of incoming recruits are defensive linemen, and with
good reason: Utes yielded 214.4 rushing yards per game in '96

53 Arkansas 4-7 18
Hogs' career marks for catches, receiving yardage and touchdowns
are within wideout Anthony Eubanks's grasp

54 Marshall 15-0 10
The defending I-AA champs ascend to I-A with the best receiver
in any division, Randy Moss (page 130)

55 Maryland 5-6 13
Ron Vanderlinden, a Gary Barnett protege, takes command in
College Park

56 Missouri 5-6 16
Tailback Brock Olivo needs 260 yards to surpass Darrell Wallace
(2,607) as Mizzou's alltime leading rusher

57 Kansas 4-7 15
Turnover: Jayhawks must replace best passer, rusher, receiver,
defender and offensive lineman as well as head coach

58 North Carolina State 3-8 17
Senior tailback Tremayne Stephens has a career average of 5.1
yards per carry

59 Air Force 6-5 9
Quarterback Blane Morgan replaces his brother, Beau, in wishbone
attack. Favorite play: the not-my-brother's keeper

60 Wyoming 10-2 12
Tough first day on the job: I-A's youngest head coach, Dana
Dimel, 34, launches career at Ohio State

61 Baylor 4-7 11
Surrendered un-Bear-able 285.9 rushing yards per game in '96,
the most in the nation

62 Cincinnati 6-5 14
Every week is Rush Week: Bearcats welcome back their offensive
line and the team's four leading ballcarriers

63 Oklahoma State 5-6 17
Tight end Alonzo Mayes (6'6", 265 pounds) is the best this state
has seen since Keith Jackson

64 Minnesota 4-7 15
Senior Cory Sauter is this season's Jim Druckenmiller, the best
quarterback you've never heard of

65 Houston 7-5 19
In Conference USA preseason coaches' poll, Cougars received one
first-place vote...from their coach, Kim Helton

66 California 6-6 15
New coach Tom Holmoe inherits the 105th-ranked defense and an
offense hurt by graduation of quarterback Pat Barnes

67 Vanderbilt 2-9 16
New coach Woody Widenhofer, a defensive guru, inherits the
nation's worst offense

68 Illinois 2-9 15
In spring game, offense could earn points by getting three
straight first downs; defense won 50-0

69 Tulsa 4-7 15
Golden Hurricane allowed an average of more than 41 points per
game in its last five losses in '96

70 Purdue 3-8 16
Senior Brian Alford (63 catches) welcomes new coach Joe Tiller,
whose Wyoming team was No. 1 in pass offense in '96

71 Mississippi 5-6 14
Rebels are off probation for the first time since Tommy
Tuberville took over in '95

72 Central Florida 5-6 16
Is 6'5" Daunte Culpepper, who can sling the pigskin 80 yards,
the best quarterback in the Sunshine State?

73 Toledo 7-4 14
When the Rockets host 1-10 Northern Illinois in the Glass Bowl,
will it be half empty or half full?

74 Miami (Ohio) 6-5 12
RedHawks have ranked first ('95) and second ('96) in nation in
pass-efficiency defense the past two years

75 SW Louisiana 5-6 14
Coach's son, Brandon Stokley (156 catches, 2,281 yards in '96),
is on pace to become I-A's most prolific receiver

76 Memphis 4-7 11
Despite talented tailbacks Teofilo Riley and Darrius Blevins,
Tigers are headed for third straight losing season

77 New Mexico 6-5 14
Lobos aiming for back-to-back winning seasons for the first time
since 1970 and '71

78 Kentucky 4-7 13
Moribund Wildcats could be given new life by a Mumme (Hal), the
first-year coach who plans to revive SEC's worst air attack

79 Iowa State 2-9 14
All-America tailback Troy Davis is gone, leaving big shoes for
his brother, sophomore Darren Davis (30 carries, 204 yards in
'96), to fill

80 Eastern Michigan 3-8 16
Walt Church became MAC co-freshman of the year after replacing
injured junior starter Charlie Batch

81 Indiana 3-8 11
Knight and dazed: New coach Cam Cameron, a two-sport star in
Bloomington, was coached by the General and Lee Corso

82 Oregon State 2-9 13
The last time the Beavers enjoyed a winning season, new coach
Mike Riley was the quarterback at Corvallis High

83 Central Michigan 5-6 15
Hits by twin inside linebackers Jason and Jeremy Gold have
opponents seeing quadruple

84 Wake Forest 3-8 19
Last year's win over Northwestern was the Deacons' first victory
over a ranked team since '79; another such upset is unlikely in

85 Fresno State 4-7 13
Linebacker A.J. Gass led the WAC last season in tackles, with 150

86 Louisiana Tech 6-5 17
Biggest man on any campus? The Bulldogs' 6'10", 390-pound "quick
tackle" Chris Crudup

87 Bowling Green 4-7 18
Falcons lost an NCAA-record-low one fumble in '96, but rushing
game was abysmal (2.8 yards per carry)

88 SMU 5-6 11
NCAA has granted oft-injured quarterback Ramon Flanigan a sixth
year of eligibility

89 Pittsburgh 4-7 17
Panthers, beaten 72-0 last fall by Ohio State, hired Buckeyes'
quarterbacks coach, Walt Harris, as coach

90 Utah State 6-5 15
Wideout Nakia Jenkins (82 catches last season) will help the
Aggies challenge Nevada for the Big West crown

91 Texas Christian 4-7 12
Incumbent signal-caller Jeff Dover will battle transfers Derek
Canine (SMU) and Kevin Colon (Texas A&M) for starting job

92 Tulane 2-9 12
With yet another Bowden (Tommy) now running the show, only
Waffle House is a bigger franchise name in the South

93 UNLV 1-11 18
Leading Las Vegas: Jon Denton, who set 10 NCAA freshman passing
records, including yardage (3,591) and TDs (25)

94 Idaho 6-5 13
Sophomore free safety Bryson Gardner, the Vandals' leading
returning tackler (67), will be busy again

95 Duke 0-11 19
Bedeviled by a
school-record 13 straight losses and the graduation of leading
tackler Billy Granville

96 Ohio 6-6 15
Quarterback Kareem Wilson was MAC offensive player of the year,
but Bobcats were league's worst passing team

97 Hawaii 2-10 15
Why leave the island? Rainbow Warriors are losers of 16 straight
WAC road games

98 Ball State 8-4 8
MAC champs, the only school from Indiana to play in a bowl game
last year, deflated by loss of nine offensive starters

99 Rutgers 2-9 14
Nick Mike-Mayer, whose dad, Nick, was an NFL veteran, missed six
of nine field goals but led the team in scoring (26 points)

100 Alabama-Birmingham 5-6 15
The Blazers play seven of their 11 games on the road and open
the season with visits to Kansas, Memphis and Arizona

101 NE Louisiana 5-6 15
Independent, indefatigable Indians have as many SEC road dates
(four) as home games

102 Kent 2-9 17
New defensive coordinator John Bowers inherits eight starters
from a squad that yielded 62 TDs--5.64 per game--in '96

103 Akron 4-7 16
Zips must cut down on turnovers (Mid-American-high 31 in '96);
brutal schedule includes visits to Nebraska and LSU

104 Temple 1-10 15
Owls, 8-58 since 1991, can expect seventh straight season with
no more than two wins

105 North Texas 5-6 14
Mean Green will repeatedly call the name of junior running back
Hut Allred (907 yards last season)

106 Western Michigan 2-9 15
Two-time All-MAC offensive tackle Joe Lewandowski is the best of
the line's four returning starters

107 Texas-El Paso 2-9 12
Miners, 0-8 in WAC in '96, need lamps on their helmets to see if
there's light at the end of the tunnel

108 New Mexico State 1-10 12
Tony Samuel, late of Nebraska, was the only African-American
hired to fill any of the 24 off-season I-A coaching vacancies

109 Boise State 2-10 14
The Broncos will have trouble duplicating their two-win season
of a year ago

110 Arkansas State 4-7 13
Indians hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Joe Hollis as
coach but will still have trouble improving their record

111 San Jose State 3-9 11
Junior quarterback Brian Vye attended three other colleges
before he found his way to San Jose

112 Northern Illinois 1-10 16
After a 12-year absence, Huskies return to the MAC with a squad
that is 70% freshmen and sophomores

Conference Rankings


1. Florida State
2. North Carolina
3. Clemson
4. Virginia
5. Georgia Tech
6. Maryland
7. N.C. State
8. Wake Forest
9. Duke

Big East

1. Miami
2. Syracuse
3. Virginia Tech
4. West Virginia
5. Boston College
6. Pittsburgh
7. Rutgers
8. Temple

Big Ten

1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan State
4. Michigan
5. Northwestern
6. Wisconsin
7. Iowa
8. Minnesota
9. Illinois
10. Purdue
11. Indiana

Big 12

1. Colorado
2. Nebraska
3. Kansas State
4. Missouri
5. Kansas
6. Iowa State


1. Texas
2. Texas A&M
3. Oklahoma
4. Texas Tech
5. Baylor
6. Oklahoma State

Big West

1. Nevada
2. Utah State
3. Idaho
4. North Texas
5. New Mexico State
6. Boise State

Conference USA

1. East Carolina
2. Southern Mississippi
3. Louisville
4. Cincinnati
5. Houston
6. Memphis
7. Tulane


1. Marshall
2. Miami (Ohio)
3. Bowling Green
4. Ohio
5. Kent
6. Akron

1. Toledo
2. Eastern Michigan
3. Central Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Western Michigan
6. Northern Illinois


1. Washington
2. Arizona
3. Stanford
5. USC
6. Arizona State
7. Washington State
8. Oregon
9. California
10. Oregon State


1. Tennessee
2. Florida
3. Georgia
4. South Carolina
5. Vanderbilt
6. Kentucky

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Auburn
4. Mississippi State
5. Arkansas
6. Mississippi


1. BYU
2. Rice
3. Utah
4. Tulsa
5. New Mexico
6. SMU
7. Texas Christian

1. Colorado State
2. San Diego State
3. Air Force
4. Wyoming
5. Fresno State
7. Hawaii
8. San Jose State


1. Notre Dame
2. Navy
3. Army
4. Central Florida
5. Southwestern Louisiana
6. Louisiana Tech
7. Alabama-Birmingham
8. Northeast Louisiana
9. Arkansas State

COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMAN [Football player in snow]

B/W PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA [Team in huddle]

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Football released from hand]


COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Man wearing shirt reading "Big 12 Conference"]


COLOR PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA [Football player in game]

B/W PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS [Football player on bench]

B/W PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA [Football players in game]

COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [Football player carrying ball]

COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT ROGERS[Football player's shoulder]