Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 6/25/12

We are! Mar-shall! We are! Mar-shall! Hard not to think of that infectious chant and that iconic movie when discussing the college football program of the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Herd have probably the best named coach in the entire nation. Joker Phillips of Kentucky is pretty awesome, but Doc Holliday?

A spaghetti western, gunfight at the OK Corral kind of name like that is pretty sweet! Unfortunately, for their fans, their season prospects are not as enthralling as their coach’s name.

2011 was: a step forward I guess. They finished 6-6 instead of 5-7, and this time won a bowl game, the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl, which totally sounds rather redneck. It might not be the bowl game for hillbillies, but it sure sounds like it.

2012 will go smoothly if: The offense wakes up and learns how to regulate QB Rakeem Cato, cuz there’s no one else beyond him. A talented group of receivers and backs should do the trick, if Cato can game manage. It’s amazing they won 7 games when you consider 102nd in total offense, 99th in scoring, 96th in rushing.

2012 will be rough if: This team hung it’s hat on defense last year and that was mostly Vinny Curry who’s gone to the NFL Draft. The defense has no seniors, but there is athleticism and depth, if not star power. Devin Arrington is that senior who shifts from safety to linebacker.

BMOCs: RB Tron Martinez (also listed in the category below), WRs Aaron Dobson, Antavious Wilson

All-name team: When Doc Holliday is your coach, you know you’ll have a bunch of people fitting this category. Everyone seems to know what “Tron” is, even though no one seems to have seen it. TE Gator Hoskins, CB Monterius Lovett, DE Ra’Shawde Myers, RB Travon Van

Bottom Line: There are a ton of question marks on both sides of the ball, but contending for a bowl is a possibility. They’ll probably finish in the 5-7 to 7-5 range and maybe with a winning conference record again. Or pretty much the same deal as last season. Their QB had some issues last season, off the field and on. So that’ll be a problem. Also losing C-USA Defensive Player of the Year Vinny Curry will hurt, as the defense only has opening acts, and no headliners in personnel.

Rankings: Athlon- 83  Lindy’s- 64

All the 77s

#66 Arizona

#67 Southern Miss

#68 Tulsa

#69 Oregon State

#70 Houston

#71 Syracuse

#72 Colorado

#73 Kansas

#74 Maryland

#75 Duke

#76 Minnesota

#77 Indiana

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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