I finally bought a copy of Phil Steele's 2010 College Football Preview today, lauded as "the most accurate preseason magazine the last 11 years." Some of the highlights:
In his list of the most-improved teams for 2010, Steele ranks UTEP at #15. He ranks fellow C-USA member Tulsa as the #1 most-improved team.
Steele ranks individual units of teams, and UTEP shows up in the rankings for quarterbacks (#27) and running backs (#24).
Steele predicts UTEP to finish fourth in the C-USA West division, trailing Houston, Tulsa and SMU. He has Houston playing UCF in the C-USA title game. (Steele notes that he picked UTEP to win the West last year, and with victories over Houston and Tulsa that looked good until the Miners faded late.)
After reading all the critical comments on Pablo's prediction of a loss to Memphis, I found this note on the game interesting: "UTEP has been upset in all 3 meetings with Memphis but has outgained Memphis in 2 of the 3 as they are a combined -12 in turnovers."
Steele's final prediction: "They do have just 12 returning starters but were much better than their 3-5 C-USA record last year, and 8 of my 9 sets of power ratings call for them to be bowl eligible."