We continue our countdown to the nation’s top five teams on Friday, Today we rank teams 16-20. If you see teams that should not be ranked at all or should be ranked in another position, let me know and tell me why. Here we go:
**–It will be a good season if: QB Jacory Harris stays healthy. Harris threw for 3,352 yards as a sophomore but at the end of the season was battling with a bad thumb. He’s had surgery and then just watched during spring practice. If Harris can cut back on the interceptions (17 in 2009) the Hurricanes could have a special season.
**–It will be a disappointing season if: The ‘Canes don’t play big in the big games. They were 9-4 last season but in the big games they had a tendency to turn it over and make other big mistakes (Eight combined turnovers in losses to Clemson and North Carolina). After a 3-1 start against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma, Miami should have finished better.
19. Oregon State
**–It will be a good season if: The Rodgers brothers stay healthy. RB Jacquizz Rodgers had almost 2,000 yards of total offense (1,440 rush, 522 receiving) last season. WR James Rodgers has blazing speed and had 2,328 all-purpose yards in 2009.
**–It will be a disappointing season if: The Beavers don’t win the Civil War and go to a really good bowl. The past two years they were a win against Oregon away from going to the Rose Bowl. With 16 starters returning and with Oregon coming to Corvallis on Dec. 4, this is the year.
**–It will be a good season if: A veteran offensive line is good on day one and a defense which forced only 12 turnovers last season gets an attitude adjustment from new coordinator Todd Grantham. If the Bulldogs can run the ball and play defense, they have a chance every week.
**–It will be a disappointing season if: Redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray struggles and the Bulldogs lose back-to-back games at South Carolina (on Sept. 11) and at home to Arkansas (on Sept. 18).
**–It will be a good season if: Running back Dion Lewis can continue to be a workhorse. Lewis carried the ball 325 times in 13 games as a freshman last season. Only Stanford’s Toby Gerhart carried it more (345). Lewis will still be the focal point of the offense, especially with a new quarterback in sophomore Tino Sunseri.
**–It will be a disappointing season if: The Panthers don’t win the Big East championship. They came so close a year ago, losing to West Virginia (19-16) and Cincinnati (45-44) in the last two games of the regular season. Cincinnati has a new coach and Pittsburgh gets West Virginia at home on Nov. 26.
**–It will be a good season if: Quarterback Ryan Mallett improves on last season’s numbers. The 6-7 quarterback threw for over 3,600 yards and 30 touchdowns in his first season in Bobby Petrino’s offense. He has a deep stable of receivers and at least four really good running backs.
**–It will be a disappointing season if: The Hogs don’t at least split games on Sept. 18 at Georgia and Sept. 25 against Alabama in Fayetteville. Expectations are high in Arkansas. Starting 0-2 in the SEC would be a setback.
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