College Football 77 in 77: #58 Connecticut Huskies


uconn huskies cheerleader

When it comes to the Connecticut Huskies, it’s hard not to think of college basketball ahead of college football. In hoops, they’re the reigning national champions, even though they’re likely to be facing some heavy sanctions soon. The football team is obviously not as successful as the basketball squad, but they’re also not as slimy and corrupt either.

UConn became possibly the worst BCS team in history last season, mostly because the Big East had to send somebody. The Huskies are an often overlooked program because they haven’t been in D1 all that long, but they have been bowling every year since 2006, won the conference in ’07 (just like last year) and are one of the most up-and-coming programs in all of college football.

This year will be a transition though, as they have a new coach in Paul Pasqualoni. Randy Edsall has moved on to take the Maryland Terrapins job.

2010 was:  pretty solid in most areas other than the passing game. UConn was an abominable 11oth in the nation there. Last year was likely the most storied in their short history, even though the Huskies performance in the Fiesta Bowl, a 48-20 loss to Oklahoma, only gave credence to the idea that they didn’t belong in the BcS; but of course there’s that rule that every “power” conference gets at least one team in.  RB Jordan Todman was the league’s offensive player of the year, but he’s gone to the NFL now.

BMOCs: the OL, one of the league’s best. It’s led by Center Moe Petrus, an Outland Trophy candidate. DT Kendall Wright is up for that award as well, in addition to the Nagurski award.

 2011 will be fruitful if: They have a balanced offense, and vastly improve the passing game. That’s a lot to ask when you consider neither the RB or QB situations are settled. Entering freshman stud Lyle McCombs will push USC transfer D.J. Shoemate (that’s the name of a football player, not a performer at an underground rave club despite what it sounds like) for the starting tailback position. And Martin Hyppolite, a RB turned LB turned RB will also figure into the mix.

2011 will be awful if: They can’t find a QB. Four players are in the race, but none have much experience. Michael Box is the front-runner with Scott McCummings as the second string. The defense will look to build around stud defensive ends Trevardo Williams and Jesse Joseph. If the D doesn’t carry the load for an offense looking to establish play-makers at all the skill positions, it could be a rough year.

Bottom Line: In the Big Least conference, anything goes. But I don’t like their chances to win the league. They could go back to a bowl though.

UConn Rankings: #59 Athlon, #49 Lindy’s, #65 Phil Steele

CHECK OUT THE REST OF MY 77 IN 77s

#59 Louisville Cardinals

#60 Oregon State Beavers

#61 Purdue Boilermakers

#62 San Diego State Aztecs

#63 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

#64 Kentucky Wildcats

#65 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

#66 Navy Midshipmen

#67 Toledo Rockets

#68 Duke Blue Devils

#69 UCLA Bruins

#70 Nevada Wolfpack

#71 Ole Miss Rebels

#72 Hawaii Warriors

#73 Colorado Buffaloes

#74 NIU Huskies

#75 Army Black Knights

#76 Indiana Hoosiers

#77 Minnesota Golden Gophers

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

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