Alabama leads SI’s 2016 preseason college football Top 25 rankings
8 HOUSTON COUGARS
2015 RECORD: 13–1
Houston led the AAC in scoring last season (40.4 ppg), a trend that can only continue if coach Tom Herman can put together a patchwork offensive line. Don’t mistake four experienced starters for quality ones, as the biggest question looming over the Cougars will be whether they can keep wispy quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (185 pounds) upright and healthy.
The Cougars will be vulnerable in the pass-happy AAC after losing four veteran secondary staples who combined for 145 career starts, including first-round corner William Jackson III. Five experienced front-seven starters—led by 314-pound senior B.J. Singleton—will help replicate a marauding crew that vaporized Florida State stalwart tailback Dalvin Cook (33 yards on 18 carries) in Houston’s 38-24 Peach Bowl romp.