31. Michigan State
After a seventh-place finish in the Big Ten, the Spartans got a house call from the Doctor of Defense. New defensive coordinator Hank Bullough, a veteran NFL assistant, is known for rebuilding defenses, and he is constructing this one around linebacker Reggie Garnett, the Big Ten freshman of the year in '93.
32. Colorado State
The Rams won their final three games in '93, a sign that they were adjusting to rookie coach Sonny Lubick. Other signs? An offense that averaged 438.5 yards over the last four games and a defense that allowed only 41 points over the final three.
"Rock, chalk, ouch!" should have been the battle cry of the '93 Jayhawks: 27 players missed at least one game because of injuries. The breaks weren't all bad though. Tailback June Henley, now a sophomore, emerged with a Big Eight-leading 1,127 yards rushing.
34. West Virginia
With much of the Mountaineers' firepower gone, punter Todd Sauerbrun should see more action. Sauerbrun, who spent the Fourth of July at the home of his friend Los Angeles Ram punter Sean Landetta, had a 44.6-yard average last fall. That would have placed him third nationally had he not finished three punts shy of the number necessary to be ranked, and it was 1.7 yards better than Landetta's '93 average.
35. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets hope to take their defense back to the future with the hiring of defensive coordinator George O'Leary, who held that post until '92, when he bolted to the San Diego Chargers. In O'Leary's last two seasons in Atlanta, the defense held opponents to an average of 286 yards per game: in the two ensuing seasons, that number ballooned to 398.8.
The Cavaliers have won at least seven games for seven straight seasons, but in '92 and '93 they started 5-0 and won only two more games. Last winter the Florida State game—scheduled for October—was moved to Week 1. Virginia should now finish better...but it will start worse.
37. Mississippi State
After a disappointing '93 season, coach Jackie Sherrill needs help to fight off growing pressure in Starkville. He'll get it from running back Michael Davis, the SEC's second-leading returning rusher.
In 1993, Danny Ford's first season as head coach in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks won two more games than they had in '92. The Hogs will be even better this year if the Oscars—tailback Malone and fullback Gray—can improve an offense that averaged only 15 points per game last fall.
Oh, boy! The defense has eight starters back. Oh, no! The defense has eight starters back. Last year the Cardinal gave up an average of 35 points per game. Senior quarterback Steve Stenstrom, who threw for 330 yards per game in '93, will make up for a lot of mistakes, though.
40. N.C. State
Junior quarterback Terry Harvey, an All-America pitcher, replaced starter Geoff Bender in midseason and reeled off four consecutive come-from-behind victories. Now if the Wolfpack could only keep other teams from scoring.... Harvey can help there, too—he threw a no-hitter in 1993.