April 2, 2008

OK, so maybe it's cold where you are, but spring still is in the air. How do we know? Spring football has begun at most Division I schools.

No, it's not real football. Still, this time of the year is important for everybody, whether you're hunting a national title or trying to rebound from a three-win season.

Here's a "spring practice" look at all 120 Division I teams.

BCS CONFERENCES: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC
NON-BCS CONFERENCES: C-USA | MAC | MWC | Sun Belt | WAC | Independent

ACC
Boston College (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: With Matt Ryan gone, who's the new quarterback? BC also has to find a new starting tailback.
Clemson (Preview) Starts: March 8. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Tigers don't lose that many starters, so there aren't that many holes to fill. The biggest probably is at defensive end, where Phillip Merling went pro early. Is freshman DaQuan Bowers, who already has enrolled, the answer?
Duke (Preview) Starts: March 19. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New coach David Cutcliffe's first order of business is to erase the stench of losing that permeates the program. Thing is, that's going to take more time than the month allotted for spring ball.
Florida State (Preview) Starts: March 17. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Seminoles will be short-handed in their first three games because of academic suspensions, so that may affect how coaches dole out playing time in spring practice. FSU needs to develop some depth at tailback and at wide receiver, and a new free safety must be found.
Georgia Tech (Preview) Starts: March 24. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New coach Paul Johnson will try to find guys who fit Tech's new offense. Job One, of course, is finding a quarterback.
Maryland (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: New offensive coordinator James Franklin needs to find a way to increase production, especially in the passing game. The Terps also might reshuffle their linebacker corps with the departure of Erin Henderson to the NFL a year early.
Miami (Preview) Starts: Feb. 26. Ends: March 29. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: UM has a number of early entrants, and coaches need a few of those guys to become acclimated quickly. In addition, QB Robert Marve needs to show he has a grasp of the offense and can handle the starting job.
North Carolina (Preview) Starts: March 3. Ends: April 7. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: Coaches must find a way to make the running game more potent. The Heels return a bulk of their starters, but some folks need to step up at defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker to replace key losses at those positions. The players have to get used to a new defensive coordinator, too.
N.C. State (Preview) Starts: March 18. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Wolfpack played well late in the season, but coaches have to find a way to pump up an anemic rushing attack. A go-to receiver is needed, as is a replacement for safety DaJuan Morgan, who left early for the NFL.
Virginia (Preview) Starts: March 21. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: With incumbent starting quarterback Jameel Sewell academically ineligible, Peter Lalich needs to show he can handle the job. The Cavs also need to find some wide receivers.
Virginia Tech (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: This will be an interesting spring. First, will their be a two-quarterback system again? Second, the defensive line needs to be rebuilt. Third, two new starting linebackers must be found. Fourth, the top four receivers are gone. Fifth, the secondary is undergoing a retooling.
Wake Forest (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The spring priority will be rebuilding the defensive line, which will have three new starters; there also is a new defensive coordinator. Wake also needs a go-to receiver to emerge. Finding depth along the offensive line also is important.
Big 12
Baylor (Preview) Starts: March 1. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: New coach Art Briles will introduce his big-play offense to a Bears team that doesn't have many playmakers.
Colorado (Preview) Starts: March 17. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Although the Buffaloes made significant progress in their second season under coach Dan Hawkins, he's not satisfied. In fact, he has proclaimed the starting quarterback job is wide open, and his son Cody Hawkins is the returning starter.
Iowa State (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 20. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Cyclones are the only Big 12 team without a returning quarterback with starting experience. The spring may provide clues whether Austen Arnaud or Phillip Bates will emerge as the 2008 starter.
Kansas (Preview) Starts: March 12. Ends: April 12. Spring game:s April 12.
The buzz: Finding adequate replacements at cornerback, defensive tackle, offensive tackle and tailback are on the spring agenda. But at least the Jayhawks are riding a big wave of momentum.
Kansas State (Preview) Starts: March 29. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Will an influx of junior college transfers provide the spackle to fill holes in the lineup? The competition at linebacker should be fierce, and the Wildcats have to find a receiver to replace Jordy Nelson's production.
Missouri (Preview) Starts: March 11. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Tigers will spend much of the spring looking for a starting tailback and trying to decide whether to promote quarterback Chase Daniel or wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as a Heisman contender.
Nebraska (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New coach Bo Pelini will look to erase the bad memories of the 2007 season. Rebuilding an awful defense is the first step.
Oklahoma (Preview) Starts: March 5. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Sooners need to find new playmakers at linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver to replace guys who left for the NFL a year early.
Oklahoma State (Preview) Starts: March 3. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: A revamped offensive coaching staff will be looking for a carryover from last season. But the Cowboys need to find a new starting tailback and develop some depth at wide receiver. Defensively, a makeover is required.
Texas (Preview) Starts: Feb. 22. Ends: March 29. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: Spring practice will be interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the Longhorns need to find a feature tailback. Second, two new defensive tackles need to be found. Third, new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will be installing his system, which should be more aggressive than predecessor Larry MacDuff's.
Texas A&M (Preview) Starts: March 23. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New coach Mike Sherman will install a more balanced offense. And a new defensive coordinator will look to rebuild a defense that has gone soft.
Texas Tech (Preview) Starts: March 26 Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Red Raiders coaches will look to further tweak the defense, which actually had its moments in the second half of the 2007 season. Offensively, coaches need to find a tailback with which they feel comfortable.
Big East
Cincinnati (Preview) Starts: April 1. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: Coaches should find out this week if QB Ben Mauk has received a sixth year of eligibility. If he does, offensive emphasis will be on improving the running game. If he doesn't, they need to find a new quarterback and find ways to improve the running game.
Connecticut (Preview) Starts: March 18. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Quarterback Tyler Lorenzen needs to become a more effective passer this season. Coaches need to find a go-to receiver now that the leading returning receiver has transferred.
Louisville (Preview) Starts: March 19. Ends: April 18. Spring game: April 18.
The buzz: Coach Steve Kragthorpe and his staff need to make sure the players put a hugely disappointing 2007 season behind them. Then, they need to find a quarterback and a go-to receiver. New defensive coordinator Ron English will be installing his system.
Pittsburgh (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Expectations are high for the Panthers. An emphasis in spring ball should be on upgrading the passing attack.
Rutgers (Preview) Starts: March 11. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Job One for Greg Schiano and his staff is finding a replacement for stud TB Ray Rice; they also have to find three new starting offensive linemen.
Syracuse (Preview) Starts: March 19. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: This is an important spring for coach Greg Robinson, whose job likely will be on the line in the fall. He and his coaches have to find a way to make the offense more productive.
USF (Preview) Starts: March 18. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Finding two new starting cornerbacks and a legit feature back are the main priorities for the Bulls, who faded a bit in the second half of the 2007 season.
West Virginia (Preview) Starts: March 14. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: This is Bill Stewart's program now, and he and a revamped staff need to make sure the transition is a smooth one this spring. Finding a go-to receiver will be important.
Big Ten
Illinois (Preview) Starts: TBD. Ends: TBD. Spring game: TBD.
The buzz: The Illini made a huge leap forward in 2007 and aim to ensure they don't fall back in '08. Finding a capable replacement for NFL-bound TB Rashard Mendenhall is among the top priorities this spring
Indiana (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: With James Hardy gone, quarterback Kellen Lewis needs to find a new favorite receiver. Shoring up the defense is also on the to-do list.
Iowa (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Hawkeyes need to rediscover their winning ways. Tweaking the offense is of the utmost importance.
Michigan (Preview) Starts: March 15. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Wolverines should be one of the most intriguing spring stories in the nation. Can new coach Rich Rodriguez tweak his offense to best fit the personnel he has available?
Michigan State (Preview) Starts: March 17. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Rebuilding the defensive front figures to be Job One this spring. Replenishing the receiving corps may be Job Two.
Minnesota (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Gophers surely can't wait to get started on their second season under coach Tim Brewster because the first didn't go so well. But a lot of returning starters will be going through their first spring practice.
Northwestern (Preview) Starts: April 1. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: The Wildcats can use the spring to determine who will fill three open positions on the offensive line.
Ohio State (Preview) Starts: March 24 or 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Erasing the memory of the national title game will be important. The Buckeyes also need to find some true playmakers at wide receiver.
Penn State (Preview) Starts: March 24. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The quarterback competition between Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin may be the most interesting element of the spring.
Purdue (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Joe Tiller will spend much of his final spring as Boilermakers coach finding new starting receivers for QB Curtis Painter.
Wisconsin (Preview) Starts: March 8. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The key for the Badgers is finding a new starting quarterback to replace Tyler Donovan.
Pac-10
Arizona (Preview) Starts: March 8. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: This is a key spring for Mike Stoops, who squarely is on the hot seat. The Wildcats need to find a feature back to help out QB Willie Tuitama.
Arizona State (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The bad news is the Sun Devils need to rebuild their offensive line. The good news is the Sun Devils have to rebuild their offensive line, which too often resembled a revolving door when it came to pass-blocking.
California (Preview) Starts: March 31. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Cal fell apart in the second half of the '07 season, and coach Jeff Tedford could have a dicey time making sure there is no quarterback controversy. Finding a new starting tailback and developing some wide receivers also are of the utmost importance.
Oregon (Preview) Starts: April 2. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: The Ducks found out about life without Dennis Dixon in the last month of the '07 season, and it wasn't good. They also will begin to find out about life without Jonathan Stewart.
Oregon State (Preview) Starts: March 31. Ends: May 3. Spring game: May 3.
The buzz: The Beavers need to find a quarterback who can consistently throw the ball downfield without it being intercepted. They also need to find a new tailback to replace workhorse Yvenson Bernard. Oh, and the linebacking corps needs to be rebuilt, too.
Stanford (Preview) Starts: Feb. 26. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Ron Lynn has been out of football for the past three seasons; thus, not only do his players have to get acclimated to him, he has to get acclimated to football again. Offensively, the Cardinal need to find some wide receivers.
UCLA (Preview) Starts: April 3. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: New coach Rick Neuheisel and new offensive coordinator Norm Chow need to settle on a quarterback. Most of the Bruins' problems last season were because of mediocre quarterback play.
USC (Preview) Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The battle for the starting quarterback job will be one of the most intensely watched position battles in the nation. Will it be Mark Sanchez or Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain? USC also needs to develop a legit go-to receiver. Retooling the line will be the most important detail on defense.
Washington (Preview) Starts: April 3. Ends: April 22 Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: Former NFL defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was brought in to shore up the Huskies' defense, which was rancid last season. Offensively, coaches need to make sure Jake Locker improves as a passer.
Washington State (Preview) Starts: March 17. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New coach Paul Wulff arrives from Division I-AA Eastern Washington, and he and his staff need to find a new quarterback to replace the productive Alex Brink.
SEC
Alabama (Preview) Starts: March 13. Ends: April 15. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Last season was disappointing, to say the least, for Nick Saban. How much better can the Tide be in his second season? That will be interesting to watch.
Arkansas (Preview) Starts: April 3. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: New coach Bobby Petrino has to find a couple of things to make his offense go. Let's see, his checklist has him looking for a quarterback, a tailback and some wide receivers. Other than that, the offense looks good.
Auburn (Preview) Starts: Feb. 24. Ends: March 29. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: The Tigers got a fast start on implementing their version of the spread offense because new coordinator Tony Franklin was hired before the bowl game. Franklin will be looking for the right quarterback and some wide receivers to fit the offense.
Florida (Preview) Starts: March 19. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Getting TB Emmanuel Moody, a transfer from USC, acclimated to the offense is important. Also important is finding some guys who can rush the passer and some defensive backs who can defend the pass.
Georgia (Preview) Starts: March 3. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: Expectations are high, and the Bulldogs don't have many holes. Still, expect an emphasis during spring on improving the passing attack and developing a go-to receiver.
Kentucky (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: UK is coming off back-to-back bowl appearances, but to receive a third consecutive postseason berth, the coaches need to find a new quarterback and some new receivers.
LSU (Preview) Starts: Feb. 29. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: Despite the loss of some key players off the national title team, the Tigers still have a ton of talent. The first priority is making sure new QB Ryan Perrilloux is comfortable in the offense. Then, the Tigers need to find two new starting cornerbacks, a defensive tackle to replace Glenn Dorsey and a linebacker to replace Ali Highsmith.
Ole Miss (Preview) Starts: March 17. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Ed Orgeron is out as coach and Houston Nutt is in. Nutt needs to make sure QB Jevan Snead, a transfer from Texas, is comfortable in his offense.
Mississippi State (Preview) Starts: Feb. 25. Ends: March 29. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: The Bulldogs will look to build on their Liberty Bowl victory. Tweaking the offense to best fit QB Wesley Carroll will be important.
South Carolina (Preview) Starts: March 19. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Steve Spurrier needs to find a quarterback he can live with this season. He and his staff also need to make sure there is no carryover from the Gamecocks' late-season collapse in 2007.
Tennessee (PREVIEW) Starts: March 11. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The offense needs a new quarterback (Jonathan Crompton gets first dibs), and that new quarterback will be playing for a new offensive staff. The Vols also need to find some playmakers in the defensive front seven.
Vanderbilt (Preview) Starts: March 11. Ends: TBD. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: The Commodores struggled offensively last season because of inconsistent quarterback play. That must be addressed this spring. Also important is finding a new go-to receiver after Earl Bennett left early for the NFL.
C-USA
East Carolina Starts: Feb. 27. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Pirates coaches have to find a new offensive go-to guy after do-everything TB Chris Johnson ran out of eligibility. Defensively, look for coaches to focus on improving the secondary.
Houston Starts: March 8. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New coach Kevin Sumlin, who had been co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, will look to keep the Cougars' potent offense humming. Two problems: He needs to find a new tailback and a new go-to receiver.
Marshall Starts: April 1. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Rick Minter will install his schemes as the Herd looks to bounce back from what was a horrible season defensively. Offensively, the Herd need a new starting quarterback and find a legit No. 2 receiver.
Memphis Starts: March 18. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Tim Walton, who was the defensive coordinator at Miami before being fired, has to come up with a way to stop the run. The Tigers also need to find a new starting quarterback.
Rice Starts: March 10. Ends: April 2. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: Overhauling one of the nation's worst defenses should be the first priority for the Owls. Coaches also have to find a way to get some production out of what was a poor rushing attack.
SMU Starts: March 3. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: There's a new sheriff in town, and you can be sure June Jones will have his hands full teaching his run-and-shoot offense to a new group. QB Justin Willis has thrown 51 TD passes in two seasons as the starter, and how he grasps the offense will go a long way toward determining whether the Mustangs can sniff .500 this season.
Southern Miss Starts: March 18. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New coach Larry Fedora will look to improve a mediocre passing attack, and the first step is deciding on a new starting quarterback. One good thing: The Golden Eagles have a number of good running backs. Rebuilding the defensive line also is important.
Tulane Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: TB Matt Forte, who was second in the nation in rushing, is gone, so finding his replacement is key. The Green Wave also need to focus on improving their pass defense.
Tulsa Starts: March 11. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Replacing QB Paul Smith, a three-year starter, will be the main emphasis during spring ball. The Golden Hurricane also need to replace all three starting linebackers.
UAB Starts: March 19. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: This will be a busy spring for the Blazers, who have a ton of work to do on both sides of the ball. The run defense ranked last in Division I-A and the Blazers need to find some defensive linemen who can play. Offensively, coaches have to re-tool the running game after its pitiful performance in 2007.
UCF Starts: March 19. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Job One is finding a replacement for TB Kevin Smith, who turned pro early. Job Two is finding a new quarterback; that person's job will be easier if some adequate replacements for Smith can be found.
UTEP Starts: March 9. Ends: April 18. Spring game: April 18.
The buzz: There are two new coordinators, and new defensive leader Osia Lewis who had been at New Mexico can be expected to install a variety of blitz packages to help the Miners cut down on the 504.8 yards per game they allowed last season. The No. 1 concern on offense for new coordinator Aaron Price is finding a starting tailback.
MAC
Akron Starts: March 4. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: The Zips have to find a go-to receiver on offense, and the biggest priority on defense is finding four new starters in the secondary (Akron uses a 3-3-5 set).
Ball State Starts: March 20. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Rebuilding the front seven on defense and finding two new safeties should be the highest priorities. The Cardinals also need to develop a feature back to take some of the pressure off their top-flight passing attack.
Bowling Green Starts: March 18. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Falcons would be better off if they can decide on a feature back. Coaches also need to find three new starters on the offensive line. The Falcons figure to spend a lot of time in the spring shoring up their weak run defense.
Buffalo Starts: March 21. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Coach Turner Gill needs his rushing attack to improve. The linebacking corps also has to be retooled as the Bulls look to get better against the run.
Central Michigan Starts: March 18. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The offense doesn't need much work. The defense is another matter. There will be two new starting linebackers, and coaches need to find some defensive backs who can actually defend against the pass.
Eastern Michigan Starts: TBD. Ends: TBD. Spring game: TBD.
The buzz: Finding a new starting tailback and making improvements in the passing game should be the offensive priorities. Rebuilding the line and trying to find someone who can fill the shoes of NFL-bound Jason Jones will be the defensive focus.
Kent State Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Golden Flashes need to settle on a starting quarterback. They also need to improve their passing attack to lessen the load on 5-foot-5 TB Eugene Jarvis. Finding some cornerbacks is the key on defense.
Miami University Starts: March 29. Ends: April 25. Spring game: April 25.
The buzz: The RedHawks have the bulk of their starters back, but coach Shane Montgomery has to find a new starting tailback and also has to find a way to make Miami a better running team. Miami also looks to tweak its run defense, which struggled last season.
Northern Illinois Starts: March 24. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: New coach Jerry Kill has to help the Huskies re-develop a winning mind-set. A top priority will be finding some playmakers on defense.
Ohio U. Starts: April 1. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: Replacing leading rusher Kalvin McRae who had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons is vital for the Bobcats. The right side of the offensive line also has to be rebuilt. Finding two new starting defensive tackles also is important for the Bobcats, who had trouble stopping the run last season.
Temple Starts: March 18. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New offensive coordinator Matt Rhule has to find a way to improve the rushing attack. Every starter returns on defense, so the key there is getting more physical against the run.
Toledo Starts: March 14. Ends: April 14. Spring game: April 14.
The buzz: Finding a new starting tailback is the main goal on offense, along with developing some receiving depth. As for defense, the Rockets need to find some guys who can tackle; they had one of the worst defenses in Division I-A in 2007.
Western Michigan Starts: March 13. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Broncos have to get better running the ball, and that starts up front, where three starting offensive linemen must be replaced. Defensively, expect a renewed emphasis on stopping the run.
MWC
Air Force Starts: March 4. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Falcons have a lot of holes to fill in spring practice. Each of the top four rushers is gone, including QB Shaun Carney. In addition, there will be six new starters in the back eight on defense (the Falcons use a 3-4 set).
BYU Starts: March 17. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Expectations are sky high for the Cougars, and rebuilding the back eight on defense (the Cougars, who use a 3-4 set, will have six new starters) will be the highest priority during spring ball.
Colorado State Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: New coach Steve Fairchild has to re-instill a winning attitude with the Rams. He also has to find a new quarterback.
New Mexico Starts: April 10. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: The academic status of star TB Rodney Ferguson bears watching; he was ineligible for the New Mexico Bowl and needs a good spring semester to be eligible for the fall. The Lobos also need to find some wide receivers.
San Diego State Starts: March 25. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: Look for some tweaks on defense as Aztecs coaches look to find some way to stop opposing defenses. SDSU also needs a new starting quarterback.
TCU Starts: March 18. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Coaches need to find a way for the Horned Frogs to become more dangerous offensively. A return to health by TB Aaron Brown would help in that department.
UNLV Starts: March 10. Ends: April 18. Spring game: April 18.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Dennis Therrell, who was promoted from linebacker coach, needs to find a way to stop the run. Offensively, though, most of the key guys return.
Utah Starts: March 11. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Utes need to find some receivers for quarterback Brian Johnson. They also will be looking to rebuild the front seven on defense.
Wyoming Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: This is an important spring for coach Joe Glenn, who is on the hot seat. Improving the passing attack has to be the first priority on offense.
Sun Belt
Arkansas State Starts: Feb. 27. Ends: April 5. Spring game: April 5.
The buzz: This is an important spring for the Indians. There will be four new starters on the offensive line, and coaches also will be looking at an all-new starting secondary. In addition, a go-to receiver needs to emerge.
Florida Atlantic Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Owls won the Sun Belt last season and should be the prohibitive favorite to repeat. Top priority in the spring will be finding two new starting safeties. Expect the coaches to put a renewed emphasis on the rushing attack, which was poor last season.
Florida International Starts: TBD. Ends: TBD. Spring game: TBD.
The buzz: Coaches need to find a way to make the Golden Panthers better against the run. While the offense actually made some big strides down the stretch last season, the defense struggled all season.
Louisiana-Lafayette Starts: Feb. 22. Ends: March 15. Spring game: March 15.
The buzz: A revamped offensive coaching staff will look for ways to improve the Ragin' Cajuns' passing attack. In addition, both lines have to be rebuilt.
Louisiana-Monroe Starts: Feb. 28. Ends: March 18. Spring game: March 15.
The buzz: The coaches must find a replacement for 1,000-yard rusher Calvin Dawson. The Warhawks also need a new quarterback.
Middle Tennessee Starts: March 17. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: The Blue Raiders look to be in good shape for '08. But coaches need to find two new starting defensive ends and a feature back during spring practice.
North Texas Starts: March 10. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach returns to his old job after spending time at UCLA, and he takes over a unit that needs an overhaul after finishing last in Division I-A in scoring defense. If the defense improves, the Mean Green have a shot at a winning record in the conference.
Troy Starts: March 20. Ends: April 8. Spring game: March 29.
The buzz: The Trojans will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator, Neal Brown, and Brown has to find a new quarterback to replace the do-everything Omar Haugabook. Brown, by the way, turns 28 next month, and he'll be the youngest coordinator in Division I-A.
Western Kentucky Starts: March 19. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Hilltoppers, going into their second season as a provisional I-A member, need to rebuild their offensive line and find two new starting safeties.
WAC
Boise State Starts: March 10. Ends: April 11. Spring game: April 11.
The buzz: What's the biggest concern finding a new quarterback or finding four new starters for the offensive line?
Fresno State Starts: March 28. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: The Bulldogs have just a few holes to fill as they prepare for what could be a memorable season. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who was the St. Louis Rams' quarterback coach last season, needs to add some oomph to the Bulldogs passing attack, though.
Hawaii Starts: March 31. Ends: April 26. Spring game: April 26.
The buzz: No June Jones. No Colt Brennan. The top four wide receivers are gone. Other than that
Idaho Starts: March 25. Ends: April 18. Spring game: April 18.
The buzz: The Vandals have some work on do on their pass offense and their pass defense. It would help if a go-to receiver would emerge in spring practice.
Louisiana Tech Starts: March 15. Ends: April 12. Spring game: April 12.
The buzz: Coach Derek Dooley has to find a new starting quarterback. He also has to rebuild his defensive line and find two new starting offensive tackles.
Nevada Starts: Feb. 29. Ends: March 22. Spring game: March 22.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Nigel Burton, who had been cornerbacks coach at Oregon State, has his work cut out for him. Thing is, if the defense comes around, Nevada could be dangerous this season.
New Mexico State Starts: TBD. Ends: TBD. Spring game: TBD.
The buzz: New defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn will have to get his players acclimated to his attack-style scheme.
San Jose State Starts: March 7. Ends: April 13. Spring game: April 13.
The buzz: The first priority for the Spartans is finding a new starting quarterback. They also need to find a feature back.
Utah State Starts: March 19. Ends: April 11. Spring game: April 11.
The buzz: The Aggies have to find a way to improve their production on offense. They ranked 116th in the nation in total offense in 2007.
Independent
Army Starts: March 25. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: Coaches have a lot of work to do on offense. The Black Knights couldn't run or throw last season. They also have to shore up their rush defense.
Navy Starts: March 24. Ends: April 18. Spring game: April 18.
The buzz: Coach Paul Johnson may be gone, but the Middies don't plan to change much of anything offensively.
Notre Dame (Preview) Starts: March 26. Ends: April 19. Spring game: April 19.
The buzz: With the hiring of Jon Tenuta, expect the defense to learn a variety of new blitzes. Offensively, a huge key is the development of the line, which struggled mightily last season.




 

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