T1 2012 SEASON PREVIEW WASHINGTON HUSKIES KEY PLAYERS- SO-QB Nick Montana (75), SR-RB Chris Polk (98), SR-WR James Johnson (87), JR-LE Andru Pulu (95), JR-RE Talia Crichton (92), SR-CB Adam Long (95) ---Washington currently holds the national title and returns a lot of kids for a repeat. The offense will remain the same with Nick Montana, the unheralded SO-QB returning to his starting spot in the lineup. He has immense depth at the RB position with SR-RB Chris Polk, and JR-RB Demitruis Bronson (95) in the backfield giving Washington the best 1-2 punch since Ingram and Richardson manned the backfield for Bama years back (this isn't including SR-RB Johri Fogerson (87) who can start if need be). Montana will have at his helm a possession type WR in SR James Johnson and 3 guys who can stretch the field after him, most namely SO-WR Kevin Smith (81). The defense has stars all-around including a formidable front 7 in which we feel is their strong suit. JR ends Pulu and Crichton shall wreck havoc in opposing backfields all year long if they stay healthy and they have a shutdown CB in Adam Long who can compete with the elite WR's in the nation as he's a future 1st round selection. It's safe to say that while Washington may have arrived early for their title run, this year maybe indeed their BETTER team. WISCONSIN BADGERS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Curt Phillips (92), SR-RB Montee Ball (95), FR-WR Kenneth Lewis (84), SR-C Peter Konz (99), SR-LE Brendan Kelly (90), SR-LOLB Chris Borland (93), SR-ROLB Mike Taylor (91) ---Wisconsin seemed lost without their all-world RB last year but did finish with a good year. John Clay is gone but possibly they have a more gamebreaking RB in Montee Ball? Ball is almost as powerful as Clay but what he does have over Clay is speed (94). In fact this Wisconsin offense maybe their fastest they have ever had. Freshman WR Kenneth Lewis is a star in the making with his 95 speed on the outside. The question offensively is can Curt Phillips get the ball out to his playmakers? Phillips hasn't been asked to win a game with his arm yet and we are not sure if he can be that type of QB. He will have a solid OLine in front of him, although not as good as last years. Their defense has a damn good front 7 including two top LB's in Borland and Taylor. Coach JMS should imply some pressure this year to protect his weakness, the secondary. The CB's are young and simply not ready to cover guys for anything longer than 3 seconds. We expect Wisconsin to blitz early and often to mask that area. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS KEY PLAYERS- SO-QB Joe Boisture (81), SR-RB Larry Caper (96), SO-WR Jeremy Langford (75), SR-LT John Deyo (92), SR-RE Cameron Jude (91), JR-ROLB Chris Norman (90), SR-CB Mitchell White (88), SR-FS Isaiah Lewis (83) ---MSU has a lot to prove to the doubters out there. There is question of if MSU can get back to the title game, let alone win one. MSU did lose their QB Kirk Cousins and now turn to a inexperienced QB in Joe Boisture. MSU might be run heavy until Boisture can show he can run the show effectively. In the mean time, expect Larry Caper to get tons of carries and run it towards that left side most of the time, where SR-LT John Deyo destroys opposing ends. As a whole, this offensive line maybe one of the top tier units in the nation. The defense has some definite bright spots like RE Cameron Jude who can get to the QB and a speedy FS in Isaiah Lewis, who possesses all-world speed as the end all be all CF of this defense. They of course have to contend with Wisconsin and better yet a pissed off Purdue team which beat this same MSU team, yet somehow got into the title game. If there's a game to watch out for this year, it's MSU/Purdue. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Caleb Terbush (83), JR-WR OJ Ross (81), SO-WR Charles Torwudzo (76), SR-MLB Dwayne Beckford (82), SR-ROLB Nnamdi Ezenwa (77), SR-CB Josh Johnson (82) ---Coach Hotrod was livid over the highway robbery that was MSU jumping over them for a title shot. That's still a very large sting in the back of the neck of the coach and this year Purdue is expected to inflict pain amonst their opponents. But what concerns me here is the talent pool has dropped a bit from last year's team. This 4-5 WR look that Purdue instills likely won't be the same. Does the WR make this offense work? Is it the QB? Or is it the coach? This year, we should learn a lot about Purdue. They do return the heisman winner in QB Caleb Terbush for his final season. Yet, the cast around him seems very underwhelming. WR's OJ Ross and Charles Torwudzo are the starters but they don't WOW you off the bat. Maybe it is the offensive gameplan installed by coach HR that makes the engine go here. Expect the same thing...Purdue wants to have a shootout with their opponents. USF BULLS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB BJ Daniels (92), SR-RB Lindsey Lamar (79), SR-WR Daniel Bryant (76), SR-RT Mark Popek (88), SR-ROLB Sam Barrington (82), SR-CB George Baker (89), SR-CB Kayvon Webster (85), SR-FS Jon Lejiste (83) ---USF's strength will be pass coverage as they boast two solid CB's in George Baker and Webster, not to mention SR-FS Jon Lejiste. USF continues to pump out CB's to the NFL like anyone's business. This year will be a huge test for his team, most notably his defense. For one, the defense lacks depth at the DT position and will start a kid with 70 strength. Two, the LB's are largely untested and it's an unknown how they will hold up against better competition. Offensively, they do return their star QB BJ Daniels and helping him out will be two speedy scat backs, most notably Lindsey Lamar. This offense maybe a bit different as USF lost some key offensive linemen and their starting 5, outside of SR-RT Mark Popek is VERY underwhelming. In fact, we doubt we will see Daniels staying in the pocket much as his offensive line will likely be a turnstyle for defenders to key in on the backfield. It is up to coach Blaza to install gameplans to key to the strength of his QB. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Steve Shimko (77), SR-RB DeAntwan Williams (87), SO-WR Brandon Coleman (80), SR-DT Scott Vallone (84), SR-CB Logan Ryan (86), JR-CB Darrell Givens (84), SR-SS Khaseem Greene (85) ---Rutgers was hit hard, with the NCAA folks handing a loss to Rutgers, preventing them for being a 5-star prestige. To make matters worse, they lose their star players on offense in QB Tom savage, and WR's Mohamed Sanu and Mark Harrison. The turnover on this team is huge and this will be Coach Moreecemos biggest task yet. Taking over the reigns is Steve Shimko, a lefty who has completed on 46% of his passes over his collegiate career. He'll be throwing to an inexperienced WR corps which features 3 new starters at the two WR spots and TE spot, though we expect BRandon Coleman to be a big time WR. The guy on this offense has to be RB DeAntwan Williams, who had 894 yards rushing and 9TD's last season. PRetty much, don't expect this offense to be close to the previous two seasons. Defensively Rutgers is slowly trying to implement their freshman into this team with the ends and LB's getting major time dedicated to their freshman. Rutgers expects to be very aggressive on defense with two solid CB's in Givens and Ryan back as their top CB's not to mention Greene, a hard hitting safety who has a tendency for the big play. UCLA BRUINS KEY PLAYERS- JR-QB Richard Brehaut (80), SR-RB Johnathan Franklin (90), SR-WR Jerry Johnson (88), SR-MLB Kiko Alonso (86), SR-CB Sheldon Price (90), SR-CB Aaron Hester (88), FR-FS Kevin Hall (81) ---UCLA is about one of the youngest teams in the nation. They are starting tons of sophomores and freshman, most notably on their defense. FS Kevin Hall maybe their most prominent freshman starting. He has blazing speed and is expected to be a playmaker ASAP. He does have two talented CB's that will ease the pressure off of him to make big plays. Price and Hester are good cover corners and as expected out of a UCLA defense, they will make turnover making plays. Offensively, you have a new QB in there in Richard Brehaut, who's an accurate passer and should keep the sticks moving but one will question HOW good this passing offense will be as they lose two impact WR's. I mean Jerry Johnson is no slouch but we don't expect big numbers from the UCLA passing game. The one key guy out of all of this is Johnathan Franklin. He's sturdy, reliable and just a damn good RB for the Bruins. STANFORD CARDINAL KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Andrew Luck (99), SO-RB Anthony Wilkerson (85), SR-WR Drew Terrell (84), SR-LT Jonathan Martin (95), JR-RE Trent Murphy (93), JR-RE Josh Mauro (94), SR-DT Terrence Stephens (90) ---In reviewing these teams, it seems like the Cardinal may have the most talent across the board and that IMO puts huge pressure on Coach BLY to deliver a title to Stanford. He has the most talented QB in the nation in Andrew Luck. Luck has the best accuracy in the nation as well as he can make any pass on the field. Interesting enough, Luck doesn't have the huge talent at WR to put up huge numbers but he's the type of QB that can make any WR shine. Instead here Stanford boasts a nice 1-2 punch at RB, led by Anthony Wilkerson, who we believe will get the majority of the carries. The offensive line is stout and yeah there are some holes but as a whole, it's a damn good unit. On the other side of the ball, you have two top tier defensive ends in Murphy and Mauro who were stout players stuffing the run but with a combined 6 sacks, Coach Bly hopes to see that number go up. Add in a huge DT in Stephens and you have a top tier football team and one that I believe can win a title. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Tino Sunseri (89), SR-RB Dion Lewis (99), SR-WR Mike Shananan (94), SR-WR Cameron Saddler (89), SR-LE Shayne Hale (86), SR-SS Jarred Holley (86) ---Pitt has been called many a name, like paper tigers, recruiting beasts but coming up short on the gridiron. Bottom line is folk down at Pitt are not happy of the job that Coach Ryno has done. There are some calling for his head right now especially with last year being what many felt was "the year." Now, Pitt is searching for a bounce back season and it has to come down to the offense being elite. The defense has major holes in the secondary and not many great players around on that defense to help mask that area. Guys like Hale and Holley are the best of the bunch but there's no big time guys on that side of the ball. Instead, it's on the offense and it's led by SR-RB Dion Lewis. Lewis rushed for back to back 2000+ yard seasons, with last year hitting 28TD's on the year. Lewis is a star and is expected to be the hoss, despite his smallish 196lb frame. Sunseri also has to prove he's ready to make a leap of faith into confidence. His first year starting, Sunseri threw 21 INT's to just 20TD's and it's unsure if Coach Ryno will let his SR-QB have full reign to the playbook right now. Yeah, Sunseri does have two top WR's in Shananan and Saddler but if Sunseri can't make the proper reads, it will be a ton of Lewis, Lewis and more Lewis and hope he can run this Pitt team to the top of the Big East. CAL BEARS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Beau Sweeney (83), SR-RB Covaughn Deboskie (92), JR-WR Spencer Hagan (88), SR-LT Matt Summers Gavin (97), SR-RT Tyler Rigsbee (90), SR-DT Kendrick Payne (92), SR-CB Josh Hill (87), SO-SS Keenan Allen (87) ---Cal is in a tough spot right now. They are in the toughest conference of users in the Pac-10. They are in a conference with the defending title holders, the T1 leader in titles and have a top tier Stanford team who maybe the best team out of the 4 users this season. To say Cal has a long road ahead of them is an understatement. Cal is starting to take the shape of what Coach Fosh likes, and that's speed, speed and more speed. Cal has nice speed along the LB's and even the ends. Guys like Hill and Allen in the defensive backfield will be relied on to be playmakers while Cal's best defensive player is Kendrick Payne, a SR who will finally get his chance to start with his powerful 6'2", 312lb frame. Cal will be returning their starting QB in Beau Sweeney, who quietly was among the leaders in passing. He threw for 3902 yards and averaged 300 yards a game with 67% on his passes. It looks like Sweeney is a player here and with a very talented RB corps led by Deboskie, this Cal offense has the makings of being a very dangerous one. Don't sleep on the Cal Bears! ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLNI KEY PLAYERS- JR-QB Jacob Charest (84), SR-RB Carlton Thomas (89), SR-WR Jack Ramsey (81), JR-MLB Nate Bussey (86), SO-CB Terry Hawthorne (83), JR-FS Walter Aikens (84) ---One of the T1 members said that Coach Ramirez is still stuck thinking he's playing NCAA 10. Well while we are not sure we can see if this is true, the fact remains that Coach Ramirez and his Illni have not won a user game yet this version. Illinois fans are getting fed up and are slowly wanting change. They think that Coach Ramirez isn't truly dedicated to the job at hand. Also, there were rumors that Michigan was looking at Coach Ramirez to possibly come to their program although Coach Ramirez quickly shot that down. His recruiting class last year was near the top, so there must be something to say that maybe he is dedicated to the cause. Illinois is still a ways away and being in a tough Big 10 conference doesn't help him. Jack Ramsey will be the favorite target for QB Jacob Charest as Ramirez loves his speedy WR's. But among that defense, he's starting two relatively unknowns at the end spots, guys that Ramirez teams are known for...that's getting to the QB. His two ends have no sacks combined in their collegiate careers so it will be interesting to see what they will do. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS KEY PLAYERS- SR-QB Will Stein (83), SR-RB Daruis Ashley (89), JR-WR Marcus Smith (83), JR-MLB Mike Privott (78), SR-ROLB Horace Miller (82), SR-SS Shenard Holton (81) ---There have been talks lately that Coach has been receiving calls from Cincy and WVU about possibly joining their program as their head coach but Coach Juggs has shot down those rumors. "I am the THE VILLE's coach and that's that," said Coach Juggs. Many are not sure though that Juggs can turn around a Louisville program. Hell, some seem to think that he's not much of a rebuilder but more of a coach that needs the players in place. Well, being near the bottom of the Big East, expectations aren't high yet, but that doesn't mean the Ville can't be a winner this year. Guys like SR-RB Darius Ashley need to step up, alongside his backup RB Wright who's a speed demon and you may start to see some things from Louisville this year. While there are major questions alongside the ends of their two lines (offensive and defensive), maybe Coach Juggs can work these guys up to become forces as he devises a plan to bring Louisville back to prominence.