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    College Preview - In-Depth Analysis

    Last updated on 8/19/2014
    Last Updated: 12/7/2014 12:13 PM ET

    College Football Preview Pages:

    Over/Under Win Total Picks (72 Teams)
    In-Depth Team Analysis
    Power Rankings
    2015 NFL Draft Prospects

    The Predictalator has already played the 2014 college football regular and postseasons 50,000 times before the games are actually played.

    Below, we explain How This Works and break down every Division I college football FBS team (all 128 of them). Additional analysis is provided regarding strengths and weaknesses for each BCS conference team. "Breakout Players" are those with tremendous ability who have shown flashes of greatness and who should now shine with increased playing time and experience.

    How This Works
    Just as the Predictalator plays any individual game 50,000 times before it's actually played, it can also play entire seasons 50,000 times before they are actually played. That is what we have done for the 2014 college football (FBS) season. The actual regular season and bowl schedules have been played 50,000 times, allowing us to compute likely records, expected bowl matchups and power rankings.

    Using the Predictalator is not as much of a concern to us as making sure that we have the best possible inputs for players' statistics, progression over time and age, roles, health and playing time as well as teams' coaching styles and weather.

    In general, we apply strength-of-schedule-adjusted, relevant statistics from the player's collegiate games to a fairly traditional player development curve that is driven by class and previous playing time. Not only does this curve help to set average player inputs, it combines player health history to dictate the variance ("boom or bust" potential) of a player's inputs.

    Playing time is more art than a science, especially in college football. We have done our best to estimate playing time for all players who are expected to see significant starting time in 2014. That being said, some playing time gaps have been filled in by our best approximations of average bench and role players on teams.

    After all of the math and analysis is conducted, we import each team's schedule and play EVERY game 50,000 times.

    Season Summary

    The bowl matchups below reflect our best projection based on the results from our predicted season. It is important to note, however, that there are not always objective means for bowl selection, especially with the the newly formed College Football Playoff and its corresponding selection committee. We do our best to project what will happen based on expected win-loss records and conference championship game results.

    In the most likely College Football Playoff, ACC and defending National Champion, Florida State, tops Big Ten champion Ohio State, by a score of 39-27 in the Rose Bowl (one of two bowls hosting the College Football Playoff Semifinals). In the Sugar Bowl, Oregon, the second-best team in the country based on the Predictalator's analysis, wins a shootout over Alabama, the most likely SEC champion, by an average score of 38-34. Meeting for the first ever College Football Playoff Championship in Arlington, Texas, Florida State wins its second-straight title, this time over Oregon and by a score of 41-34.

    There is some subjectivity to this analysis (as there tends to be in any college football conversation). Interestingly, Wisconsin wins the second most regular games among FBS teams (after Florida State), yet loses the most likely Big Ten Championship game and ranks just eighth in our initial Power Rankings. Baylor, the most likely Big 12 winner in this analysis, could be on the outside of the playoff looking in as the only "Big 5" title winner not in the four-team playoff. Not only do we expect a down year for the Big 12 (relative to where it was throughout the last decade), the lack of conference title game could be a problem. A one-loss Big 12 champion will have a tough time getting into the playoff over a one-loss Big Ten champion that also wins its conference championship. This is all theory, though, and not quite as easy to project as the win, losses and conference title game results.

    In conference championship games, Florida State dominates UNC, 42-17 to cruise to another ACC victory. Alabama wins a close game over South Carolina to claim the SEC crown. Oregon tops UCLA, 45-33 for the Pac-12 title. Ohio State gets by Wisconsin 33-30 in the Big Ten finale. And in non-"Big 5" conference championships, Marshall edges UTSA, 28-24, for the C-USA championship, Toledo bests Bowling Green, 27-24, to take the MAC and Utah State gets by San Diego State, 29-23 to win the Mountain West.

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    AAC Preview

    Houston Cougars
    Power Rank: 40
    Offensive Rank: 30
    Defensive Rank: 56
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.9 - 3.1
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Birmingham

    UCF Knights
    Power Rank: 38
    Offensive Rank: 48
    Defensive Rank: 19
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.7 - 3.3
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Miami Beach

    Cincinnati Bearcats
    Power Rank: 45
    Offensive Rank: 40
    Defensive Rank: 40
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.4 - 3.6
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Armed Forces

    East Carolina Pirates
    Power Rank: 61
    Offensive Rank: 43
    Defensive Rank: 80
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.9 - 4.1
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Beef O'Brady's

    Connecticut Huskies
    Power Rank: 97
    Offensive Rank: 117
    Defensive Rank: 63
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.7 - 6.3
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Military

    Temple Owls
    Power Rank: 103
    Offensive Rank: 84
    Defensive Rank: 116
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.1 - 6.9
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: None

    South Florida Bulls
    Power Rank: 102
    Offensive Rank: 124
    Defensive Rank: 71
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.0 - 7.0
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: None

    Memphis Tigers
    Power Rank: 81
    Offensive Rank: 114
    Defensive Rank: 67
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.5 - 7.5
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None

    Tulane Wave
    Power Rank: 93
    Offensive Rank: 119
    Defensive Rank: 70
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.2 - 7.8
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None

    Tulsa Hurricane
    Power Rank: 107
    Offensive Rank: 122
    Defensive Rank: 84
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.9 - 8.1
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None

    Southern Methodist Mustangs
    Power Rank: 82
    Offensive Rank: 71
    Defensive Rank: 104
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.9 - 8.1
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    ACC Preview

    Florida State Seminoles
    Power Rank: 1
    Offensive Rank: 3
    Defensive Rank: 2
    Projected Regular Season Record: 11.0 - 1.0
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Rose, Championship
    Biggest Strength: Returning Experience (from dominant team)
    Greatest Weakness: Uncertainty in Defensive Front 7
    Breakout Candidate: Jalen Ramsey, CB

    Clemson Tigers
    Power Rank: 19
    Offensive Rank: 23
    Defensive Rank: 16
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.0 - 3.0
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Russell Athletic
    Biggest Strength: Pass Rush
    Greatest Weakness: Skill Position Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: Deshaun Watson, QB

    North Carolina Tar Heels
    Power Rank: 34
    Offensive Rank: 24
    Defensive Rank: 44
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.4 - 3.6
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Orange
    Biggest Strength: Pass Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of True Running Game
    Breakout Candidate: Marquise Williams, QB

    Virginia Tech Hokies
    Power Rank: 31
    Offensive Rank: 62
    Defensive Rank: 3
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.3 - 3.7
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Belk
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Offensive Playmakers
    Breakout Candidate: Dadi Nicolas, DE

    Louisville Cardinals
    Power Rank: 44
    Offensive Rank: 60
    Defensive Rank: 21
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.5 - 4.5
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Sun
    Biggest Strength: Special Teams
    Greatest Weakness: Uncertainty at QB and Defensive Front 7
    Breakout Candidate: Will Gardner, QB

    Duke Devils
    Power Rank: 56
    Offensive Rank: 41
    Defensive Rank: 61
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.4 - 4.6
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Detroit
    Biggest Strength: Skill Positions
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Pass Rush
    Breakout Candidate: Deondre Singleton, S/Devil

    Pittsburgh Panthers
    Power Rank: 57
    Offensive Rank: 56
    Defensive Rank: 38
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.2 - 4.8
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: Pinstripe
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
    Greatest Weakness: Pass Defense
    Breakout Candidate: Chad Voytik, QB

    Miami (FL) Hurricanes
    Power Rank: 47
    Offensive Rank: 50
    Defensive Rank: 57
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.1 - 4.9
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: Beef 'O' Brady's
    Biggest Strength: Run Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Uncertainty at QB
    Breakout Candidate: Stacy Coley, WR/Ret

    Syracuse Orange
    Power Rank: 48
    Offensive Rank: 57
    Defensive Rank: 36
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.2 - 5.8
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: Military
    Biggest Strength: Running Game (Offense and Defense)
    Greatest Weakness: Pass Offense
    Breakout Candidate: Brisly Estime, WR/H-Back

    North Carolina State Wolfpack
    Power Rank: 69
    Offensive Rank: 63
    Defensive Rank: 64
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.1 - 5.9
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: Independence
    Biggest Strength: Legitimate Quarterback
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Explosive Playmakers
    Breakout Candidate: Jacoby Brissett, QB

    Georgia Tech Jackets
    Power Rank: 59
    Offensive Rank: 54
    Defensive Rank: 42
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.1 - 5.9
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: Music City
    Biggest Strength: Run Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Defense (all of it)
    Breakout Candidate: Broderick Snoddy, RB

    Virginia Cavaliers
    Power Rank: 60
    Offensive Rank: 69
    Defensive Rank: 37
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.9 - 8.1
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Experience (17 Returning Starters Plus PK and P)
    Greatest Weakness: Innefficent Pass Offense
    Breakout Candidate: Andrew Brown, DT

    Boston College Eagles
    Power Rank: 80
    Offensive Rank: 92
    Defensive Rank: 81
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.9 - 8.1
    Conference Standing: 13
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Experienced Secondary
    Greatest Weakness: Inexperienced Everything Else
    Breakout Candidate: Mehdi Abdesmad, DT

    Wake Forest Deacons
    Power Rank: 106
    Offensive Rank: 125
    Defensive Rank: 68
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.5 - 8.5
    Conference Standing: 14
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Turnover(s) - Coaching, Player and On the Field
    Breakout Candidate: Tyree Harris, WR/Ret

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Big 12 Preview

    Baylor Bears
    Power Rank: 5
    Offensive Rank: 1
    Defensive Rank: 54
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.9 - 2.1
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Cotton
    Biggest Strength: Explosive Speed and Athleticism
    Greatest Weakness: Defensive Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: Shawn Oakman, DE

    Oklahoma Sooners
    Power Rank: 11
    Offensive Rank: 17
    Defensive Rank: 11
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.6 - 2.4
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Fiesta
    Biggest Strength: Balance (Above Average at Everything)
    Greatest Weakness: Skill Position Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: Sterling Shepard, WR

    Texas Tech Raiders
    Power Rank: 25
    Offensive Rank: 4
    Defensive Rank: 82
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.5 - 4.5
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Russell Athletic
    Biggest Strength: Pass Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Pass Defense
    Breakout Candidate: Rika Levi, DT

    Kansas State Wildcats
    Power Rank: 32
    Offensive Rank: 45
    Defensive Rank: 27
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.5 - 4.5
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Alamo
    Biggest Strength: Balance (Above Average at Everything)
    Greatest Weakness: Just Above Average (Not Elite in Anything - Except Coaching)
    Breakout Candidate: Glenn Gronkowski, FB/TE

    Texas Longhorns
    Power Rank: 35
    Offensive Rank: 32
    Defensive Rank: 30
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.2 - 4.8
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Liberty
    Biggest Strength: Defensive Talent and Experience
    Greatest Weakness: Special Teams
    Breakout Candidate: Shiro Davis, DE

    TCU Frogs
    Power Rank: 36
    Offensive Rank: 75
    Defensive Rank: 10
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.1 - 4.9
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Buffalo Wild Wings
    Biggest Strength: Defense (all of it)
    Greatest Weakness: Uncertainty at QB (and Departure of Devonte Fields)
    Breakout Candidate: Ja'Juan Story, WR

    Oklahoma State Cowboys
    Power Rank: 33
    Offensive Rank: 22
    Defensive Rank: 60
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.6 - 5.4
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: Texas
    Biggest Strength: Explosive Playmakers
    Greatest Weakness: Inexperience (just eight returning starters)
    Breakout Candidate: Deric Robertson, S

    West Virginia Mountaineers
    Power Rank: 63
    Offensive Rank: 49
    Defensive Rank: 74
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.2 - 7.8
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Run Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Pass Defense (and a Brutal Schedule)
    Breakout Candidate: Mario Alford, WR/Ret

    Iowa State Cyclones
    Power Rank: 71
    Offensive Rank: 65
    Defensive Rank: 90
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.6 - 8.4
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Experienced Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Innefficent (in almost every respect)
    Breakout Candidate: D'Vario Montgomery, WR

    Kansas Jayhawks
    Power Rank: 76
    Offensive Rank: 107
    Defensive Rank: 52
    Projected Regular Season Record: 2.8 - 9.2
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Quarterback
    Breakout Candidate: Kevin Short, CB

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Big 10 Preview

    Wisconsin Badgers **
    Power Rank: 8
    Offensive Rank: 19
    Defensive Rank: 9
    Projected Regular Season Record: 10.1 - 1.9
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Cotton
    Biggest Strength: Easy Schedule (After opener against LSU)
    Greatest Weakness: Defensive Front 7 Turnover and Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: Chikew Obasih, DE

    Ohio State Buckeyes **
    Power Rank: 4
    Offensive Rank: 6
    Defensive Rank: 25
    Projected Regular Season Record: 10.0 - 2.0
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Rose
    Biggest Strength: Explosive Run Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Inexperienced Secondary
    Breakout Candidate: Ezekiel Elliott, RB

    Michigan State Spartans
    Power Rank: 12
    Offensive Rank: 55
    Defensive Rank: 1
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.6 - 2.4
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Capitol One
    Biggest Strength: Overall Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Inefficient Offense
    Breakout Candidate: Ed Davis, LB

    Northwestern Wildcats
    Power Rank: 26
    Offensive Rank: 28
    Defensive Rank: 33
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.0 - 4.0
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Outback
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Special Teams
    Breakout Candidate: Matthew Harris, CB/Ret

    Michigan Wolverines
    Power Rank: 21
    Offensive Rank: 51
    Defensive Rank: 7
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.0 - 4.0
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Holiday
    Biggest Strength: Passing Game (Offense and Defense)
    Greatest Weakness: Tough Road Schedule
    Breakout Candidate: Jabrill Peppers, CB/S

    Iowa Hawkeyes
    Power Rank: 37
    Offensive Rank: 70
    Defensive Rank: 8
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.7 - 4.3
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Pinstripe
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Explosive Playmakers
    Breakout Candidate: Andrew Donnal, OT

    Maryland Terrapins
    Power Rank: 29
    Offensive Rank: 52
    Defensive Rank: 17
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.1 - 4.9
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: Heart of Dallas
    Biggest Strength: Experienced Talent (17 Returning Starters Plus PK and P)
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Big Ten Size (No Lineman 300+ LBs)
    Breakout Candidate: William Likely CB/Ret

    Nebraska Cornhuskers
    Power Rank: 43
    Offensive Rank: 61
    Defensive Rank: 31
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.1 - 4.9
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: San Francisco
    Biggest Strength: Explosive Playmakers
    Greatest Weakness: Turnover(s) - Roster and On the Field
    Breakout Candidate: Randy Gregory, DE

    Penn State Lions
    Power Rank: 46
    Offensive Rank: 47
    Defensive Rank: 45
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.6 - 5.4
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Christian Hackenberg
    Greatest Weakness: Running Game (Offense and Defense)
    Breakout Candidate: Trevor Williams, CB

    Indiana Hoosiers
    Power Rank: 42
    Offensive Rank: 11
    Defensive Rank: 106
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.5 - 6.5
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: Detroit
    Biggest Strength: Experienced and Balanced Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Overall Defense
    Breakout Candidate: Dominique Booth, WR

    Illinois Illini
    Power Rank: 64
    Offensive Rank: 25
    Defensive Rank: 96
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.6 - 7.1
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Legitimate Quarterback
    Greatest Weakness: Defense (all of it)
    Breakout Candidate: Wes Lunt, QB

    Minnesota Gophers
    Power Rank: 65
    Offensive Rank: 88
    Defensive Rank: 28
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.8 - 7.7
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Returning Experience (from bowl team)
    Greatest Weakness: Brutal Road Schedule
    Breakout Candidate: Ben Lauer, OT

    Rutgers Knights
    Power Rank: 68
    Offensive Rank: 76
    Defensive Rank: 85
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.4 - 8.4
    Conference Standing: 13
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Run Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Big Ten Talent
    Breakout Candidate: Ruhann Peele, WR/Ret

    Purdue Boilermakers
    Power Rank: 94
    Offensive Rank: 116
    Defensive Rank: 75
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.2 - 8.8
    Conference Standing: 14
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Special Teams
    Greatest Weakness: Everything Else
    Breakout Candidate: Raheem Mostert, RB/Ret

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    C-USA Preview

    Marshall Herd
    Power Rank: 39
    Offensive Rank: 37
    Defensive Rank: 41
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.9 - 3.1
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Peach

    UTSA Roadrunners
    Power Rank: 53
    Offensive Rank: 64
    Defensive Rank: 55
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.3 - 3.7
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Heart of Dallas

    Rice Owls
    Power Rank: 95
    Offensive Rank: 98
    Defensive Rank: 77
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.0 - 6.0
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: New Mexico

    North Texas Green
    Power Rank: 90
    Offensive Rank: 106
    Defensive Rank: 69
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.0 - 6.0
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Bahamas

    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
    Power Rank: 84
    Offensive Rank: 79
    Defensive Rank: 83
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.8 - 6.2
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Boca Raton

    Middle Tennessee Raiders
    Power Rank: 92
    Offensive Rank: 105
    Defensive Rank: 78
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.6 - 6.4
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Independence

    Florida Atlantic Owls
    Power Rank: 85
    Offensive Rank: 108
    Defensive Rank: 48
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.2 - 6.8
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: None

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
    Power Rank: 113
    Offensive Rank: 118
    Defensive Rank: 101
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.6 - 8.4
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None

    Southern Miss Eagles
    Power Rank: 110
    Offensive Rank: 121
    Defensive Rank: 87
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.0 - 9.0
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None

    Old Dominion Monarchs
    Power Rank: 83
    Offensive Rank: 87
    Defensive Rank: 95
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.0 - 9.0
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None

    UTEP Miners
    Power Rank: 124
    Offensive Rank: 120
    Defensive Rank: 118
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.0 - 9.0
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None

    UAB Blazers
    Power Rank: 121
    Offensive Rank: 103
    Defensive Rank: 125
    Projected Regular Season Record: 2.6 - 9.4
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None

    Florida International Panthers
    Power Rank: 126
    Offensive Rank: 128
    Defensive Rank: 109
    Projected Regular Season Record: 1.6 - 10.4
    Conference Standing: 13
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Independents Preview

    Brigham Young Cougars
    Power Rank: 17
    Offensive Rank: 7
    Defensive Rank: 39
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.2 - 2.8
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Miami Beach

    Navy Midshipmen
    Power Rank: 54
    Offensive Rank: 44
    Defensive Rank: 43
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.7 - 4.3
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Poinsettia

    Notre Dame Irish
    Power Rank: 23
    Offensive Rank: 35
    Defensive Rank: 18
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.4 - 4.6
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Gator

    Army Knights
    Power Rank: 119
    Offensive Rank: 110
    Defensive Rank: 114
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.2 - 7.8
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    MAC Preview

    Toledo Rockets
    Power Rank: 67
    Offensive Rank: 68
    Defensive Rank: 72
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.8 - 3.2
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Potato

    Bowling Green Falcons
    Power Rank: 74
    Offensive Rank: 67
    Defensive Rank: 79
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.4 - 3.6
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Boca Raton

    Northern Illinois Huskies
    Power Rank: 77
    Offensive Rank: 39
    Defensive Rank: 113
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.3 - 3.7
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Bahamas

    Ball State Cardinals
    Power Rank: 91
    Offensive Rank: 78
    Defensive Rank: 102
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.1 - 3.9
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: GoDaddy

    Central Michigan Chippewas
    Power Rank: 88
    Offensive Rank: 104
    Defensive Rank: 66
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.6 - 4.4
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Camellia

    Buffalo Bulls
    Power Rank: 108
    Offensive Rank: 90
    Defensive Rank: 105
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.2 - 4.8
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Armed Forces

    Akron Zips
    Power Rank: 98
    Offensive Rank: 111
    Defensive Rank: 86
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.1 - 5.9
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: None

    Ohio Bobcats
    Power Rank: 105
    Offensive Rank: 102
    Defensive Rank: 93
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.8 - 6.2
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None

    Kent State Flashes
    Power Rank: 101
    Offensive Rank: 93
    Defensive Rank: 91
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.1 - 6.9
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None

    Western Michigan Broncos
    Power Rank: 116
    Offensive Rank: 115
    Defensive Rank: 107
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.5 - 7.5
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None

    Eastern Michigan Eagles
    Power Rank: 122
    Offensive Rank: 99
    Defensive Rank: 123
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.5 - 8.5
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None

    Miami (OH) Redhawks
    Power Rank: 123
    Offensive Rank: 127
    Defensive Rank: 117
    Projected Regular Season Record: 2.9 - 9.1
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None

    Massachusetts Minutemen
    Power Rank: 125
    Offensive Rank: 126
    Defensive Rank: 111
    Projected Regular Season Record: 1.9 - 10.1
    Conference Standing: 13
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Mountain West Preview

    Utah State Aggies
    Power Rank: 66
    Offensive Rank: 74
    Defensive Rank: 49
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.9 - 3.1
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Las Vegas

    Boise State Broncos
    Power Rank: 51
    Offensive Rank: 36
    Defensive Rank: 73
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.7 - 3.3
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Potato

    Colorado State Rams
    Power Rank: 75
    Offensive Rank: 53
    Defensive Rank: 98
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.7 - 4.3
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Hawaii

    San Diego State Aztecs
    Power Rank: 79
    Offensive Rank: 73
    Defensive Rank: 97
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.2 - 4.8
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Poinsettia

    Nevada Pack
    Power Rank: 70
    Offensive Rank: 31
    Defensive Rank: 99
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.0 - 5.0
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: New Mexico

    Fresno State Bulldogs
    Power Rank: 73
    Offensive Rank: 42
    Defensive Rank: 100
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.7 - 5.3
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: New Orleans

    San Jose State Spartans
    Power Rank: 86
    Offensive Rank: 66
    Defensive Rank: 108
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.4 - 6.6
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: None

    Wyoming Cowboys
    Power Rank: 104
    Offensive Rank: 85
    Defensive Rank: 119
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.0 - 7.0
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None

    Air Force Falcons
    Power Rank: 109
    Offensive Rank: 101
    Defensive Rank: 110
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.7 - 7.3
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None

    UNLV Rebels
    Power Rank: 100
    Offensive Rank: 89
    Defensive Rank: 103
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.5 - 7.5
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None

    New Mexico Lobos
    Power Rank: 118
    Offensive Rank: 91
    Defensive Rank: 122
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.0 - 9.0
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None

    Hawaii Warriors
    Power Rank: 120
    Offensive Rank: 100
    Defensive Rank: 127
    Projected Regular Season Record: 2.8 - 10.2
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Pac-12 Preview

    Oregon Ducks
    Power Rank: 2
    Offensive Rank: 2
    Defensive Rank: 22
    Projected Regular Season Record: 10.1 - 1.9
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Sugar, Championship
    Biggest Strength: Speed and Depth
    Greatest Weakness: Tough Schedule (though not too bad for Pac-12)
    Breakout Candidate: Dwayne Stanford, WR

    UCLA Bruins
    Power Rank: 7
    Offensive Rank: 5
    Defensive Rank: 26
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.2 - 2.8
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Fiesta
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Talent and Experience
    Greatest Weakness: Depth Issues - Mostly in Defensive Front 7 and at RB
    Breakout Candidate: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT/DE

    Stanford Cardinal
    Power Rank: 16
    Offensive Rank: 29
    Defensive Rank: 12
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.2 - 3.8
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Alamo
    Biggest Strength: Physical, Balanced Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Ineffecient Run Offense (coupled with interior line inexperience)
    Breakout Candidate: Andrus Peat, OT

    USC Trojans
    Power Rank: 20
    Offensive Rank: 38
    Defensive Rank: 13
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.1 - 3.9
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Holiday
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Run Defense
    Breakout Candidate: Josh Shaw, CB

    Washington Huskies
    Power Rank: 24
    Offensive Rank: 15
    Defensive Rank: 51
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.0 - 5.0
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: San Francisco
    Biggest Strength: Experienced Offensive and Defensive Lines
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Discipline (Penalties, Inexperienced QB, Off-Field Concerns)
    Breakout Candidate: Dwayne Washington, RB

    Oregon State Beavers
    Power Rank: 30
    Offensive Rank: 13
    Defensive Rank: 53
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.0 - 5.0
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Las Vegas
    Biggest Strength: Sean Mannion and Passing Attack
    Greatest Weakness: Running Game (Offense and Defense)
    Breakout Candidate: Victor Bolden, WR

    Arizona State Devils
    Power Rank: 22
    Offensive Rank: 16
    Defensive Rank: 23
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.3 - 4.7
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: Sun
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Balance
    Greatest Weakness: Defensive Turnover and Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: D.J. Calhoun, LB

    Arizona Wildcats
    Power Rank: 41
    Offensive Rank: 34
    Defensive Rank: 32
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.4 - 5.6
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: Buffalo Wild Wings
    Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Offensive Passing Attack
    Breakout Candidate: Zach Green, RB

    Washington State Cougars
    Power Rank: 49
    Offensive Rank: 33
    Defensive Rank: 62
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.7 - 6.3
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: Hawaii
    Biggest Strength: Connor Halliday and Experienced Passing Game
    Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
    Breakout Candidate: Xavier Cooper, DT/DE

    Utah Utes
    Power Rank: 50
    Offensive Rank: 46
    Defensive Rank: 59
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.6 - 7.4
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Run Defense (as usual)
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Enough True Pac-12 Talent
    Breakout Candidate: Jeremiah Poutasi, OT

    Colorado Buffaloes
    Power Rank: 55
    Offensive Rank: 58
    Defensive Rank: 47
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.1 - 7.9
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Favorable Schedule (for Pac-12)
    Greatest Weakness: Weak Skill Position Talent
    Breakout Candidate: Addison Gillam, LB

    California Bears
    Power Rank: 89
    Offensive Rank: 26
    Defensive Rank: 120
    Projected Regular Season Record: 2.3 - 9.7
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Youth with Experience
    Greatest Weakness: Defense (all of it)
    Breakout Candidate: Jared Goff, QB

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    Sun Belt Preview

    Louisiana-Lafayette Cajuns
    Power Rank: 62
    Offensive Rank: 59
    Defensive Rank: 58
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.5 - 3.5
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: GoDaddy

    South Alabama Jaguars
    Power Rank: 87
    Offensive Rank: 82
    Defensive Rank: 92
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.2 - 4.8
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: New Orleans

    Georgia Southern Eagles
    Power Rank: 99
    Offensive Rank: 94
    Defensive Rank: 89
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.1 - 4.9
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: N/A

    Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
    Power Rank: 96
    Offensive Rank: 97
    Defensive Rank: 88
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.7 - 5.3
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Camellia

    Texas State Bobcats
    Power Rank: 114
    Offensive Rank: 113
    Defensive Rank: 112
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.4 - 5.6
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: None

    Arkansas State Wolves
    Power Rank: 111
    Offensive Rank: 95
    Defensive Rank: 115
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.8 - 6.2
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: None

    Idaho Vandals
    Power Rank: 115
    Offensive Rank: 86
    Defensive Rank: 121
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.5 - 6.5
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: None

    Troy Trojans
    Power Rank: 117
    Offensive Rank: 80
    Defensive Rank: 124
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.1 - 6.9
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: None

    Appalachian State Mountaineers
    Power Rank: 112
    Offensive Rank: 112
    Defensive Rank: 94
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.0 - 7.0
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: None

    New Mexico State Aggies
    Power Rank: 127
    Offensive Rank: 109
    Defensive Rank: 128
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.9 - 8.1
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: None

    Georgia State Panthers
    Power Rank: 128
    Offensive Rank: 123
    Defensive Rank: 126
    Projected Regular Season Record: 1.4 - 10.6
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: None

    See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: AAC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, C-USA, Independents, MAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt

    SEC Preview

    Alabama Tide
    Power Rank: 3
    Offensive Rank: 12
    Defensive Rank: 4
    Projected Regular Season Record: 10.0 - 2.0
    Conference Standing: 1
    Projected Bowl: Sugar
    Biggest Strength: Incredible Talent, Depth and Coaching
    Greatest Weakness: Uncertainty at QB and Defensive Front 7
    Breakout Candidate: Jacob Coker, QB

    South Carolina Gamecocks
    Power Rank: 6
    Offensive Rank: 9
    Defensive Rank: 15
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.5 - 2.5
    Conference Standing: 2
    Projected Bowl: Peach
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Experience, Depth and Efficiency
    Greatest Weakness: Run Defense
    Breakout Candidate: Dylan Thompson, QB

    Georgia Bulldogs
    Power Rank: 9
    Offensive Rank: 10
    Defensive Rank: 24
    Projected Regular Season Record: 9.5 - 2.5
    Conference Standing: 3
    Projected Bowl: Orange
    Biggest Strength: Defensive Front 7
    Greatest Weakness: Defensive Secondary
    Breakout Candidate: Damian Swann, CB

    Auburn Tigers
    Power Rank: 13
    Offensive Rank: 8
    Defensive Rank: 46
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.2 - 3.8
    Conference Standing: 4
    Projected Bowl: Capitol One
    Biggest Strength: Offensive Efficiency and Tempo
    Greatest Weakness: Inevitable Regression of Luck
    Breakout Candidate: Shon Coleman, OT

    LSU Tigers
    Power Rank: 10
    Offensive Rank: 21
    Defensive Rank: 20
    Projected Regular Season Record: 8.0 - 4.0
    Conference Standing: 5
    Projected Bowl: Outback
    Biggest Strength: Defensive Secondary
    Greatest Weakness: Skill Position Inexperience
    Breakout Candidate: Leonard Fournette, RB

    Mississippi State Bulldogs
    Power Rank: 18
    Offensive Rank: 27
    Defensive Rank: 6
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.7 - 4.3
    Conference Standing: 6
    Projected Bowl: Gator
    Biggest Strength: Run Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Special Teams
    Breakout Candidate: Josh Robinson, RB

    Ole Miss Rebels
    Power Rank: 14
    Offensive Rank: 20
    Defensive Rank: 14
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.7 - 4.3
    Conference Standing: 7
    Projected Bowl: Music City
    Biggest Strength: Experienced Talent
    Greatest Weakness: Brutal Division/Schedule
    Breakout Candidate: Laquon Treadwell, WR

    Texas A&M Aggies
    Power Rank: 15
    Offensive Rank: 14
    Defensive Rank: 35
    Projected Regular Season Record: 7.3 - 4.7
    Conference Standing: 8
    Projected Bowl: Belk
    Biggest Strength: Offensive and Defensive Lines
    Greatest Weakness: Replacing Johnny Manziel
    Breakout Candidate: Ricky Seals-Jones, WR/TE

    Missouri Tigers
    Power Rank: 27
    Offensive Rank: 18
    Defensive Rank: 76
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.4 - 5.6
    Conference Standing: 9
    Projected Bowl: Liberty
    Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
    Greatest Weakness: Only Eight Returning Starters
    Breakout Candidate: Markus Golden, DE

    Florida Gators
    Power Rank: 28
    Offensive Rank: 72
    Defensive Rank: 5
    Projected Regular Season Record: 6.6 - 5.4
    Conference Standing: 10
    Projected Bowl: Birmingham
    Biggest Strength: Run Defense
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Offensive Explosiveness
    Breakout Candidate: Dante Fowler, LB

    Tennessee Volunteers
    Power Rank: 52
    Offensive Rank: 77
    Defensive Rank: 29
    Projected Regular Season Record: 5.7 - 6.3
    Conference Standing: 11
    Projected Bowl: Texas
    Biggest Strength: Skill Positions
    Greatest Weakness: Offensive and Defensive Lines (0 returning starters on either)
    Breakout Candidate: Marquez North, WR

    Vanderbilt Commodores
    Power Rank: 78
    Offensive Rank: 96
    Defensive Rank: 50
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.9 - 7.1
    Conference Standing: 12
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Defensive Front 7
    Greatest Weakness: Turnover(s) - Coaching, Player and On the Field
    Breakout Candidate: Andrew Jelks, OT

    Arkansas Razorbacks
    Power Rank: 58
    Offensive Rank: 81
    Defensive Rank: 34
    Projected Regular Season Record: 4.5 - 7.5
    Conference Standing: 13
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Run Offense
    Greatest Weakness: #Karma (actually, it's pretty much everything besides the Run Offense)
    Breakout Candidate: Trey Flowers, DE

    Kentucky Wildcats
    Power Rank: 72
    Offensive Rank: 83
    Defensive Rank: 65
    Projected Regular Season Record: 3.6 - 8.4
    Conference Standing: 14
    Projected Bowl: None
    Biggest Strength: Special Teams
    Greatest Weakness: Lack of Enough True SEC Talent
    Breakout Candidate: Ryan Flannigan, LB

    College Football Preview Pages:

    Over/Under Win Total Picks (72 Teams)
    In-Depth Team Analysis
    Power Rankings
    2015 NFL Draft Prospects

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