Best Case Scenario: Five or six wins is the best the Lobos can do. They have a new offense from former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and his no-huddle spread offense. The New Mexico team last year was not really indicative of their 4-8 record of last year, because the team was slammed with injuries that started with Donovan Porterie missing nearly the whole season with a knee injury.
If Locksley is able to use QB Porterie close to what Juice Williams did at Illinois then New Mexico could sneak up and pull an upset or two to attempt to get to a bowl game. The switch to a more conventional 4-3 defense from the wacky 3-3-5 should make the defense better even though they only return three starters.
The top three wide receivers return from last year and a solid offensive line to help find a new rusher to continue the history of New Mexico running backs that have had 1,000 yards for the past seven years. The Lobos need a lot to go right to get to five or six games this year. The rushing attack for New Mexico should be good because the history of MIke Locksley's rush offense has been very good at Illinois
Worst Case Scenario: This could be ugly with UNM not being able to find a solid running back and the offense takes time to learn the no-huddle spread offense. This could lead the Lobos to a three or four win season, because the schedule is not too helpful with two non-conference games on the road against Texas Tech and Texas A&M, and then conference road games at Wyoming (never an easy place to play), Utah and TCU.
For the first time in a while the Lobos do not have an experienced running back and their streak of seven straight 1,000 yard rusher could end in 2009. That could make an effect on this offense that depends on the rushing game to succeed.
The defense could be sketchy with only three returning starters and making the change to a 3-4 could mean there are not enough athletes to play those positions, because the previous defense was a 3-3-5 and required athletes to play safety.
Either way the Lobos will have a tough year in 2009.
Not a Chance @Texas Tech, @Utah, BYU, @TCU
50/50 @Texas A&M, Tulsa, New Mexico State, @Wyoming, @ San Diego State, Colorado State
Lock it Up None