Coach: Gary Tranquill
Last year's record: 6-5
Strengths: Running back Napoleon McCallum was the nation's fifth-leading all-purpose rusher last year as a sophomore. Two of his best offensive linemen--Bill Weidenhammer and Jeff Johnson--return. The receivers are better than usual. Each layer of the defense has at least one superb player: defensive back Eric Wallace, lineman Eric Rutherford and linebacker Andy Ponseigo, who has 321 tackles in his last 22 regular-season games and could be Navy's first all-America since 1975.
Weaknesses: Nobody knows whether quarterback Ricky Williamson, a junior, can run the controlled passing game Tranquill has emphasized in camp. The Midshipmen aren't deep in any position, which will hurt them this year--as it does every year--for at least two weeks after games with teams such as Notre Dame and Washington.
Projection: The defense should keep Navy close in most games, but the offense has to diversify for the Midshipmen to move back into the bowl scene. McCallum will be much more effective if Williamson can complete 50 percent of his passes. It would be nearly impossible for Tranquill's team to suffer as many injuries as it did last year.