Coach: Joe Taylor

Last year's record: 6-5 overall, 2-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Strengths: Quarterback Sandy Nichols was the best in the MEAC last year, and even without the school's all-time leading receiver (Tracy Singleton), he can produce big-time yardage. The running backs are plentiful. Taylor says he will start two backs who can run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds or less. An offseason weight program has increased the team's overall size and quickness, which will help the Bison avoid the fourth-quarter collapses of last year.

Weaknesses: The offensive line has no depth, and Taylor may move some of those fast backs to the defensive secondary, where Howard lost two players from last year. The Bison also appear to need good linebackers.

Projection: There should be great improvement under Taylor, who gained respect from the players last year when he was defensive coordinator. Howard needs a revamped defense and Taylor, now that he calls all the moves, will have a chance to show he knows how to build a team. Howard still will have a tough time beating South Carolina State and Florida A&M, but there shouldn't be any more 50-0 and 62-3 losses.