After beating ACU 27-17 in the first game of the season, hopes were high for the Bronchos. Unfortunately though, Week 1 was as good as it got. While a subpar 4-6 record was enough to get a share of the LSC North title, if you look a little closer at the actual numbers you'll see that UCO may have been lucky even reaching 4 wins.
Not only was Week 1's win against ACU a fluke when looking back over their 2007 season, their other 3 wins may have been as well. Those 3 wins all came against fellow LSC North opponents, and by a combined 7 points. They beat A&M-Commerce 21-20, ECU 24-21 and Southwestern Oklahoma 10-7. Meanwhile, their 7 losses were by an average of 14 points. It's safe to say UCO completely maxed out their 2007 season.
Combine a 4-7 season with the off-field issues they faced due to the recruiting violations, and the 2008 season can't start soon enough for the Bronchos.
Out with the old
LB Will Clewis (All-American)
DL Corey Lewis (1st Team LSC North)
QB Ryan O'Hara
TE Brock Gruenberg (1st Team LSC North)
CB Brandon Smith (1st Team LSC North)
RB Ben Birmingham (1st Team LSC North)
WR Rick Montgomery
WR Marcellus Parker
OL Jonathan Llama (2nd Team LSC North)
DL Jermelle Cudjo (1st Team LSC North)
LB Terry Hardeman
S Marcus Martinez (2nd Team LSC North)
S TJ Shaw (2nd Team LSC North)
FB Kwesi Kweller (2ns Team LSC North)
In with the new
WR Daniel Morrell - Transfer from Tulsa
QB Alex Gibson - Transfer from New Mexico State
P Cole Reynolds - Transfer from Oklahoma State
LB KC Asiodu - Transfer from UNLV
OL Jeremy Palmoore - Transfer from Oklahoma State
All Conference Candidates
RB Ben Birmingham
OL Jonathan Llama
DL Jermelle Cudjo
S Marcus Martinez
S TJ Shaw
FB Kwesi Kweller
8/30 Pittsburgh State - The season opener is a biggie for UCO. It's going to be incredibly difficult to beat Pitt State, but a nice showing would go a long way towards starting the season off on the right foot.
9/27 Texas A&M-Commerce - The beginning of UCO's schedule is brutal, and in all honesty will probably either be 1-3 or 0-4 heading into their first North Division game against Commerce, who is favored to win the North. Pulling off a win against the Lions would be huge, but extremely unlikely.
Best Case Scenario
Sadly, with this schedule, UCO would be lucky to pull off a record matching last season's 4-7. Their crossover/out of conference schedule includes: Pitt State, West Texas, Tarleton, A&M-Kingsville, and Midwestern State. Ouch.
Worst Case Scenario
2-9 or 3-8 are realistic possibilities. The schedule just doesn't have many let ups in it, and the Bronchos may be drowning by the mid-season point with the top-heavy schedule.