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Pick 6: Star players on struggling teams

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 19, 2014 at 2:02 am •  Published: August 19, 2014
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The next time you turn on the television and see a couple of sub-.500 teams slogging along, desperately hoping to just get bowl eligible, don't turn it off.

There is bound to be at least a few players out there worth watching.

Here are six star players who will be trying to lead their struggling programs to the postseason.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana. Simply put, Coleman was one of the most explosive players in the nation last season. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns in the Hoosiers' high octane offense. He also led the nation in runs of 40 yards or more, and would have easily surpassed 1,000 yards if an ankle injury didn't sideline him for three games. If Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is the undisputed best back in the Big Ten, Coleman makes a good case for being No. 2. And if Indiana, which went 5-7 last season, can reach the postseason for the first time since 2007, Coleman's star will shine even beyond the Big Ten's newly expanded footprint.

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas. The Razorbacks are rebuilding behind coach Bret Bielema, who wants to mimic the ground-and-pound style he won with at Wisconsin. Well, he has the backs to do it, even if the rest of the Hogs still need a lot of work. Collins ran for 1,026 yards as a freshman in 2013, and the only thing likely to keep him from surpassing that total in 2014 is Arkansas' depth in the backfield. Jonathan Williams, a junior, is a bruiser, and Korliss Marshall, a sophomore, is a burner. Collins (5-foot-11, 218 pounds) is the whole package, and maybe the program's most talented back since Darren McFadden.

Anthony Harris, S, Virginia. The senior had eight interceptions and made 80 tackles last season as the Cavaliers limped to a 2-10 season. He was one of the best defensive backs in the country, but didn't rake in as many postseason honors as he probably deserved. Excellent safeties were in abundance in 2013, many on top teams. The Cavaliers might not be all that much better in 2014, but if Harris is as good as he was last season he won't lack for recognition.

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