Last week I wrote about the five teams that can make a bowl after posting a losing season in 2009.
Now it's time to go in the opposite direction and give you three teams that played in the postseason that will be in major danger of missing it this season.
Minnesota (7-6): How did this team make a bowl last season? The Golden Gophers were ranked last in the Big Ten in total offense (109th in the nation) and last in scoring (21 ppg). Nine starters are back from that squad, including quarterback Adam Weber and the entire offensive line, so a year older could mean some improvement. On defense, just two starters are back -- both safties. Keep an eye on the defensive line, where DTs Brandon Kirksey and Jewhan Edwards could help a squad that allowed 151.7 yards per game on the ground. Now Minnesota's biggest challenge -- games against USC, at Wisconsin, at Purdue, Penn State, Ohio State, at Michigan and Iowa. Those could all be losses meaning no bowl game for Minnesota.
Bowling Green (7-6): For a team that lost starting quarterback Tyler Sheehan and one of the best wide receivers in the nation in Freddie Barnes, it will be tough for the Falcons to get back to a bowl game in 2010. Just four starters are back on offense. Sophomore Aaron Pankratz (13 attempts in 2009) or redshirt freshman Matt Schilz will be the starting quarterback. The only problem is on defense as just four starters are back. The top two tackles are gone, so the Falcons will have an all new starting linebacker crew. If the Falcons can win some games early (at Troy, at Tulsa, Marshall and at Michigan), things could change, but right now I don't see them returning to the postseason.
Ole Miss (9-4): When you lose do-all running back Dexter McCluster, starting quarterback Jevan Snead and four starting offensive lineman, things might be a lot tougher this go around. Houston Nutt is going to have a very young team this season, with a ton of sophomores in the starting lineup. The defense will be strong again with the return of six starters, including DT Jerrell Powe and junior college transfer Wayne Dorsey at defensive end. This team still might be able to get six wins, especially with a schedule of Jacksonville State, at Tulane, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Lafayette, but I the Egg Bowl at the end of the year could mean the difference of postseason or staying home for the holidays.