2019 College Football Rankings: No. 101 Colorado State coach Mike Bobo tries to bolster young rosterMay 16, 2019 6:16pm

May 16--After coach Mike Bobo led Colorado State to three consecutive bowl appearances, the Rams took a step back in 2018 and posted a 3-9 record. Now CSU is working to get back on track despite the departure of 11 starters.

Orlando Sentinel college insider Matt Murschel ranked all 130 FBS teams in the country entering the 2019 season. The Sentinel staff will take a closer look at a new team daily, counting backward from No. 130 to our projected No. 1 team.

Today at No. 101: Colorado State

Coach: Mike Bobo (24-7, entering fifth season, 24-7 overall)

2018 record: 3-9 overall, 2-6 in Mountain West; fifth in Mountain Division

Look back: Colorado State got off to a rough start last season when coach Mike Bobo was forced to spend part of preseason camp in the hospital dealing with numbness in his arms and legs. The program never quite got back on track after his return, with Bobo spending his first game back coaching from the press box at a time when his players needed as much guidance as they could get. Inexperience was a major issue, with the young Rams struggling to power through strong Mountain West competition.

Bobo didn't make any staff changes and instead worked this offseason to mentor players with the hope of getting back on track.

Offensive starters returning: 5

Offensive starters lost: 6

Defensive starters returning: 6

Defensive starters lost: 5

Key losses: OL Tyler Bjorklund, WR Olabisi Johnson, OL Ben Knox, RB Izzy Matthews, OL Colby Meeks, WR Preston Williams, CB V.J. Banks, S Jordan Fogal, DL Caleb Smith, LB Tre Thomas, LB Josh Watson

Top returnees: QB Collin Hill, TE Cameron Butler, OL Jeff Taylor, OL Barry Wesley, CB Rashad Ajay, LB Trey Sutton, S Jamal Hicks, DL Ellison Hubbard, DL Emmanuel Jones, DL Devin Phillips

Strengths: Colorado State starting quarterback Collin Hill returns and will get a chance to make the most of a Rams receivers unit that has featured talented playmakers for years.

The defense returns six starters and should be healthy entering the 2019 season after losing multiple players to injury last year.

Weaknesses: The offense lost top playmakers in receivers Olabisi Johnson and Preston Williams. Most of the offensive line departed as well, and the rushing attack has never been especially strong. As a result, there will be a lot of pressure on another wave of inexperienced players trying to deliver in crunch time for the Rams.

Colorado State has to find a way to solve any problems on offense because its defense isn't strong enough to shut down most opponents on the schedule.

The defense ranked among the worst teams in the country in most categories, getting gashed for big plays on the ground and through the air.

Outlook: Bobo has led team-bonding activities and is pushing many of his most promising players to step up as leaders. They could make a major jump in development during the offseason, but a challenging schedule will make it tough for Colorado State to hit six wins.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 30 vs. Colorado in Denver

Sept. 7 Western Illinois

Sept. 14 at Arkansas

Sept. 21 Toledo

Sept. 28 at Utah State

Oct. 5 San Diego State

Oct. 11 at New Mexico

Oct. 26 at Fresno State

Nov. 2 UNLV

Nov. 16 Air Force

Nov. 22 at Wyoming

Nov. 29 Boise State

Previously on the countdown:

No. 102 Eastern Michigan

No. 103 Tulsa

No. 104 Louisiana

No. 105 UNLV

No. 106 Western Kentucky

No. 107 ULM

No. 108 Ball State

No. 109 Old Dominion

No. 110 Rutgers

No. 111 East Carolina

No. 112 Kansas

No. 113 New Mexico

No. 114 Navy

No. 115 Texas State

No. 116 Kent State

No. 117 Bowling Green

No. 118 Charlotte

No. 119 Coastal Carolina

No. 120 San Jose State

No. 121 Georgia State

No. 122 Texas-San Antonio

No. 123 Central Michigan

No. 124 UMass

No. 125 Rice

No. 126 New Mexico State

No. 127: Akron

No. 128 UConn

No. 129 South Alabama

No. 130 UTEP


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