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Top 25 LOWER DIVISION RANKINGS

Aug. 16, 1999
Aug. 16, 1999

Table of Contents
Aug. 16, 1999

Pro Football
College Football Preview 1999

Top 25 LOWER DIVISION RANKINGS

Compiled by B.J. Schecter

Division I-AA '98 '98 Returning
Record Rank* Starters

This is an article from the Aug. 16, 1999 issue

1 Georgia Southern 14-1 2 13
Speedy sophomore running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,606
yards and scored 34 touchdowns

2 UMass 12-3 1 16
All-America Marcel Shipp (2,542 yards, 18 TDs in '98) has
rushed for 100+ yards in 12 straight games

3 McNeese State 9-3 8 16
Cowboys were third in the nation in total defense (227.1
yards per game) and fourth in scoring D (12.4)

4 Illinois State 8-4 16 20
Junior quarterback Kevin Glenn leads a puissant attack that
averaged 439.5 yards and 36.1 points

5 Jackson State 7-4 -- 19
Nine starters return on an offense that led the SWAC in
scoring and virtually every other major category

6 Hampton 9-3 11 15
All-America linebacker Deon Hunt had 113 tackles, two
interceptions and two fumble recoveries

7 Northwestern State 11-3 3 11
Eight starters are back on an offense that averaged 32.3
points, but the defense lost eight starters

8 Southern 8-3 16 7
Jaguars will lean on their defense, especially senior
linebacker Channing Warner, who made 85 tackles

9 Troy State 8-4 13 16
Al Lucas, a 6'3", 280-pound defensive tackle, doubles as the
Trojans' fullback in goal line situations

10 Montana 8-4 -- 19
Grizzlies have rugged linebackers in Adam Boomer (103
tackles in '98) and Marcus Wilson (68 tackles)

11 Tennessee State 9-3 12 17
Leon Murray (3,002 yards passing, 22 TDs last fall) leads an
offense that averaged 467.2 yards

12 Richmond 9-3 10 15
Spiders had the best defense in the Atlantic 10, holding
opponents to 13.7 points per game

13 Appalachian State 10-3 6 13
First and foremost: Mountaineers outscored opponents 114-13
in the opening quarter last season

14 Delaware 7-4 23 15
Matt Nagy is coming off a career year in passing (2,916
yards), but leading receiver Eddie Conti graduated

15 Florida A&M 11-2 5 12
With Jacquay Nunnally (109 receptions in '98) back, the
Rattlers could lead I-AA in total offense again

16 Arkansas Pine Bluff 8-3 -- 14
Running back Ron Johnson, a transfer from Arkansas, should
strengthen an already solid backfield

17 Northern Iowa 7-4 -- 14
All-America receiver Mike Furrey gave opponents fits,
catching a team-high 82 passes for 1,291 yards

18 Connecticut 10-3 9 11
Huskies won't have any problems scoring but must improve a
defense that gave up 468.2 yards per game

19 Bethune-Cookman 8-3 18 16
Coach Alvin Wyatt's offense, running a takeoff on the
wishbone named the Wyattbone, was No. 12 in rushing

20 Hofstra 8-3 20 16
Flying Dutchmen, led by QB Giovanni Carmazzi and running
back Vaughn Sanders, averaged 38.7 points

21 Youngstown State 6-5 -- 14
Hard-hitting free safety Dwyte Smiley led the Penguins with
123 tackles and had two interceptions

22 South Florida 8-3 22 21
Raging Bulls defense, led by junior linebacker Jason Butler,
was 11th in the nation in total D (281.9 yards)

23 Montana State 7-4 25 12
Safety Shon Flores led the Bobcats with 114 tackles and had
two interceptions and two fumble recoveries

24 Lehigh 12-1 7 13
Mountain Hawks, coming off their best season, will rely on
Phil Stambaugh (3,121 yards passing, 22 TDs)

25 Colgate 8-4 21 16
Quarterback Ryan Vena, 14-2 as a starter, anchors a unit
that averaged 477.5 yards in total offense

*In the Sports Network Division I-AA Top 25

Division II '98 '98 Returning
Record Rank* Starters

1 Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 12-2 2 15
Free safety Montrae Ford had a team-high seven interceptions
in '98

2 Northern Colorado 11-2 5 12
Corte McGuffey, who completed 63.2% of his passes last fall,
is the best QB in Division II

3 Northwest Missouri State 14-0 1 15
The defending champs have holes on offense, but six of the
front seven are back on defense

4 Texas A&M Kingsville 11-3 3 12
Terrance Bennett averaged 7.1 yards running behind
All-America guard Cliff Clemons and Co.

5 Central Oklahoma 12-1 4 14
The Bronchos have a bull in RB Reggie Donner, who rushed for
1,546 yards and 19 TDs in '98

6 Slippery Rock (Pa.) 12-2 7 14
Quarterback Randy McKavish has amassed 5,066 yards of total
offense in two years

7 West Georgia 10-2 14 13
The Braves are led by sack kings Vinson Cooper (8 in '98),
Pat Brown (7) and Courtney Roebuck (7)

8 UC Davis 10-2 9 12
With three All-Americas the Aggies will roll to their 30th
consecutive winning season

9 Nebraska Omaha 9-3 10 13
The Mavericks' backfield will be well protected with a line
that averages 6'4", 313 pounds

10 Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) 9-2 21 16
Division II leader in rushing is shifting to a pass-oriented
attack under new coach Randy Awrey

11 Albany State (Ga.) 9-2 24 18
Golden Rams running back Robert Cummings amassed 1,345 total
yards last season

12 Shepherd (W.Va.) 10-2 8 15
Damian Beane is 2,235 yards short of Brian Shay's
all-divisions career rushing record (6,958)

13 Indiana (Pa.) 10-2 12 10
Backs Terrance Wilson and Tink Stennett combined for 1,797
yards and 16 touchdowns in '98

14 North Alabama 8-2 6 13
The Lions roared for 363 yards per game last season but must
replace the starting backfield

15 Pittsburg State (Kans.) 7-3 23 11
Gorillas' new quarterback, Lateef Walker, scored four
touchdowns as a running back last year

16 New Haven 5-5 -- 12
The Chargers lost their five games last season by a total of
17 points

17 Millersville (Pa.) 8-2 17 14
Marauders magician: Drew Folmar threw for 3,039 yards and 30
touchdowns last fall

18 Tuskegee (Ala.) 10-2 18 12
5'7" Michael Scott (1,254 yards) and 5'6" Severon Zachary
make up a little but feisty backfield

19 Chadron State (Neb.) 9-2 11 14
The starting running backs (5.4 yards per carry) return, but
the Eagles must replace their QB

20 Southern Arkansas 8-2 16 15
Expect the Muleriders to rotate Adam Pendergrass and Tim
Barrington at quarterback

21 Winona State (Minn.) 9-2 -- 13
5'7", 170-pound running back-kick returner Carson Walch is a
threat to score on every carry

22 Delta State (Miss.) 8-3 15 10
Statesmen RBs Casey Macke (1,111 yards, eight TDs) and
Tregnel Thomas make a formidable duo

23 North Dakota 8-3 19 11
Running back Chad Faul (9.6 yards per carry last fall) is
ready to shoulder the load

24 Bentley (Mass.) 8-2 -- 11
WR Mark DeBrito, tailback Matt Rapoza and QB Ted Larkin
scored 27 of the Falcons' 36 TDs in '98

25 Southern Connecticut 8-2 -- 17
Senior Rashaan Dumas (4,085 career yards, 55 TDs) is one of
the nation's premier tailbacks

Division III '98 '98 Returning
Record Rank* Starters

1 Mount Union (Ohio) 14-0 1 12
The three-time defending champ is led by Gary Smeck (2,717
yards passing, 23 TDs in '98)

2 Trinity (Texas) 12-1 2 20
Marvelous Michael Burton, 28-1 as a starter, threw for 3,031
yards and 32 TDs a year ago

3 Lycoming (Pa.) 10-1 6 15
The Warriors' secondary is in good hands with John Scanlan,
who had five interceptions last fall

4 College of New Jersey 8-3 20 13
State supremacy is on the line on Oct. 2 against Rowan, which
beat the Lions in the '98 playoffs

5 St. John's (Minn.) 11-1 9 11
Linebacker Brandon Novak (130 tackles) anchors a unit that
led the division in total defense

6 Albion (Mich.) 8-2 10 10
The Britons are the winningest football program in Michigan
this decade: 84-13-2

7 John Carroll (Ohio) 8-2 13 14
Blue Streaks LBs Brian Zielaskiewicz and John Pellegrini are
among the division's best

8 Western Maryland 10-1 8 15
The Green Terror never trailed in the '98 regular season and
tied for first in turnover ratio (+23)

9 Catholic (Washington, D.C.) 10-1 16 13
Despite missing part of his throwing hand's ring finger,
Derek McGee passed for 1,732 yards

10 Rowan (N.J.) 9-3 4 13
Profs will get the ball to wideout Taman Bryant, who
averaged 16.7 yards per catch last fall

11 Pacific Lutheran (Wash.) 8-2 21 16
Chad Johnson (1,621 yards passing, 12 TDs in '98) is the
grandson of coach Frosty Westering

12 Allegheny (Pa.) 8-2 -- 13
The Gators' defense (14.3 points per game) is led by LB
Corey Belaney (120 tackles, 7 1/2 sacks)

13 Millikin (Ill.) 8-2 17 13
Jerome Jackson is the main receiver after catching 56 passes
for 695 yards and four TDs in '98

14 Wisconsin-River Falls 7-3 24 17
Michael Grant, Taylor Hall, Ryan Lins and Nick Scribner
rushed for more than 500 yards each

15 Emory & Henry (Va.) 10-0 7 12
The Wasps sting at home, where they have the nation's
longest winning streak at 37

16 Hardin-Simmons (Texas) 9-1 15 10
QB Brad Boyd favored to lead an offense that averaged 519.3
yards and 44.9 points in '98

17 Ohio Northern 7-3 25 15
The Polar Bears' offense is paced by tight end-H-back Steve
Vagedes (1,220 yards, 20 TDs)

18 Widener (Pa.) 8-3 23 10
6'1", 300-pound tackle Stanley LaFontant helped the Pioneers
lead Division III in rushing D (31.4 ypg)

19 Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) 8-2 12 8
LBs Brian Dever (78 tackles) and Scott Barwidi (66 tackles,
five sacks) are swarming Jackets

20 Central College (Iowa) 10-1 11 8
Linebacker Jeff Sanger and Co. are seeking the Dutch's 39th
consecutive winning season

21 Buffalo State 9-3 18 14
Bengals' tailbacks Dion Foendoe and Shawn Starks combined
for 1,676 yards and 20 TDs in '98

22 Wartburg (Iowa) 9-1 22 11
Last season Matt Wheeler threw for 2,150 yards and 23 TDs,
eight to wideout Ryan Rausch

23 Wittenberg (Ohio) 11-1 3 12
The Tigers lost seven starters from a D that led the nation
in fewest points allowed (5.3 per game)

24 Grinnell (Iowa) 10-0 -- 13
Troy Dougherty had the best passing efficiency rating
(199.60) of any QB at any level in '98

25 Williams (Mass.) 8-0 -- 13
Sean Keenan's 1,780 passing yards and 122 completions are
records for the Ephs

*In Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette's Top 25 for
Divisions II and III

COLOR PHOTO: KARIM SHAMSI-BASHA Georgia Southern couldn't stop UMass in last year's title game but should rule in '99.