2017 College football rankings: No. 130 UAB – Orlando Sentinel

The Texas State Bobcats are No. 129 in the Orlando Sentinel 2017 preseason college football rankings. The Bobcats are in the midst of a rebuilding period, with coaches working to overhaul the roster and steadily become more competitive in the Sun Belt.

No. 129: Texas State

Coach: Everett Withers (2-10, entering second season; 27-23 overall)

2016 record: 2-10 overall, 0-8 Sun Belt; last in Sun Belt

Look back: Everett Withers took over a tough job rebuilding the Texas State program last season following the retirement of Dennis Franchione after going 20-28. The players on the roster could sense Franchione was on his way out and Withers, who had past success leading James Madison, had to shake up his roster. Withers was blunt in his assessment of the program, often saying the team wasn’t good enough to play at the FBS level last season. The flaws were obvious, with the overwhelmed Bobcats going 2-10 overall and winless in Sun Belt play.

“I love these guys,” Withers told the San Antonio Express-News this spring, highlighting the difference between last year’s Bobcats and this year’s team. “Are we more talented? No. But I like being around them. They’re good people, and they have a better care for each other than a year ago. I want my son to be around them. I want families to be around them. I didn’t like those guys last year. I didn’t bring my kids over here because I didn’t want them to be infested with what was going on.

“No disrespect to last year’s group; they didn’t know us; they didn’t know the expectations. We came in here swinging at them last year. We came here absolutely swinging at everybody in the athletic department because our standards were high.”

Offensive starters returning: 8