Football on the Fringe Season Previews were ranked, then delivered in random order.
For several years, Memphis has been stuck in a place of mediocre football, but had never been so bad that they could quite justify finding a new coach. In 2009, the dam burst, as the Tigers wobbled through a 2-10 season (beating only UTEP from 1-A, who you may recall handed Houston their first loss), and Tommy West was relieved of his duties.
After the season, Memphis tabbed alumnus Larry Porter to head up the program, and Porter will get a mixed selection of returning players. 7 players on each side have starting experience, but some of that is limited- QB Tyler Bass has started a few games but missed most of two consecutive seasons due to injury, and has competition from four others for the starting job. As for other positions, we will watch to see how helpful experience is when it comes from being on a team that isn’t very good.
Larry Porter comes back to Memphis from LSU, where he held the running backs coaching post. He’s previously held the same job with Oklahoma State and Arkansas State before that.
Conference USA does not issue a preseason ranking, and Memphis does not factor in the national scene.
While Memphis’ schedule qualifies as fun (to an outside observer anyway), it is far from easy. Louisville may be the weakest of their non-league schedule, and even in Conference USA their weaker opponents all come on the road. I just don’t see a lot of wins on the schedule, 3 will be a step in the right direction for the Tigers.
MemphisTigers.org – NCAAbbs message board – one of my favorite sources of non-stop unintentional humor, generally related to the notion that Memphis is going to the Big East effective tomorrow, as there is a near-weekly occurence of somebody with ‘sources’ that are certain the announcements is mere moments away. It’s become a meme in the CUSA universe.
Memphis Commercial Appeal – local coverage of the Tigers