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College Football Preview

(last updated on 8/18/2010)
Last Updated: 7/25/2011 6:11 PM ET
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The Predictalator has already played the 2010 college football regular and bowl seasons 50,000 times before the games are actually played.

Below, we explain How This Works and breakdown every BCS team and other notables. In each team's preview, the Best Offensive and Defensive players are those expected to have the greatest impact on their team's success. Breakout players are those that have tremendous ability and have shown flashes of greatness and who should now shine with increased playing time and experience. The Offensive and Defensive Rankings are based strictly on the output of these seasons with respect to points per game, not the inputs.

As we have done with great success with college and professional basketball, we have picks available for every NFL and college game as well. Pick packages include Play Value Calculators and Keys for optimal bankroll management, the ability to play the game yourself using any lines you choose, a unique parlay calculator, the ability to track the Predictalator's success, research trends and comprehensive fantasy projections for every single NFL player. This technology has been used to accurately predict the last seven Super Bowls against the spread and win the inaugural Richard Gardner pro football pick'em contest. Check out the Shop now to learn more.

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

How This Works
Just as the Predictalator plays any individual game 50,000 before it's actually played, it can also play entire seasons 50,000 times before their actually played. That is what we have done for the 2010 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.

In this case, 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 most recent 24 collegiate games (~2 seasons that are weighted more heavily on the last 12 games) to a fairly traditional player development curve that considers class and previous playing time. Not only does this curve help to set average inputs, it combines with health history to dictate the variance (boom or bust potential) of a player's inputs.

Playing time is more of an art than a science. We have done our best to estimate playing time for all players who are expected to see significant starting time in 2010. That being said, some gaps have been filled in by our best approximations of average bench and role players on teams. This has a very minor impact on average results, yet has kept us from being able to provide comprehensive player projections for all players in 2010.

After all of that math and analysis, importing a schedule and running the games 50,000 times each is simple.

Bowl Summary
Bowl matchups below reflect our best projection based on the results of our predicted season. Rankings noted next to each team are the teams' Power Rankings. The scores are the results of playing that specific matchup 50,000 times.

Alabama wins its second consecutive championship by topping Ohio State in the BCS Championship 63.9% of the time and by a score of 24.3 - 19.7. Once again, the true national championship between the top two teams in the country occurs in the SEC conference title game where Alabama tops Florida by 53.5% of the time and by just 0.7 points, 23.6 - 22.9. John Brantley looks like a tremendous player in the making and the Gators have plenty of weapons, but it's the uncertainty at quarterback replacing an all-time great going into the season that keeps Florida from winning it all. Alabama has plenty to replace on defense, yet the talent is clearly there on that side of the ball and just about everyone returns on offense.

In other BCS bowls, the Big Ten's second-best team, Wisconsin edges Pac 10 champion Oregon in a Rose Bowl thriller 56.7% of the time and by an average score of 30.3 - 28.2. TCU, which actually has the best chance of any program to go undefeated this season, tops Texas 58.3% and by a score of 22.8 - 20.0 in a dream Fiesta Bowl matchup for the state of Texas and fans of a playoff. ACC winner Virginia Tech runs all over Big East champion West Virginia 67.4% and by a score of 33.4 - 25.8 in the Orange Bowl. And Florida proves its worth in the Sugar Bowl by winning over Oklahoma 63.2% and by a score of 31.2 - 25.8. Perennial BCS bowl contender Boise State is on the outside looking in this year. It's unlikely the Broncos will be able to get through Virginia Tech, Oregon State and some other tricky games unscathed. Iowa, Miami (FL), Cincinnati and Notre Dame (because nine wins can get Notre Dame in) are the next best contenders for BCS berths.

Conference Championship Results

Date Conference Matchup Result
Dec. 4 SEC #1 Alabama 24 - #2 Florida 23
Dec. 4 Big 12 #5 Texas 20 - #26 Nebraska 16
Dec. 4 ACC #6 Virginia Tech 27 - #27 Clemson 20
Dec. 3 MAC #88 Northern Illinois 23 - #95 Ohio 21
Dec. 4 C-USA #46 Houston 40 - #58 Southern Miss 37

Bowl Schedule and Results

Date BCS Bowl Matchup Result
Jan. 10 BCS Championship #1 Alabama 24 - #3 Ohio State 20
Jan. 4 Sugar #2 Florida 31 - #7 Oklahoma 26
Jan. 3 Orange #6 Virginia Tech 33 - #23 West Virginia 26
Jan. 1 Fiesta #4 TCU 23 - #5 Texas 20
Jan. 1 Rose #10 Wisconsin 30 - #14 Oregon 28
Date Bowl Matchup Result
Jan. 9 Fight Hunger #42 Cal 36 - #52 Nevada 34
Jan. 8 Birmingham #45 Tennessee 19 - #51 Rutgers 17
Jan. 7 Cotton #17 Georgia 21 - #26 Nebraska 17
Jan. 6 GMAC #88 Northern Illinois 27 - #94 Louisiana-Monroe 24
Jan. 1 Gator #31 LSU 24 - #34 Notre Dame 23
Jan. 1 Dallas Classic #47 Michigan 34 - #79 SMU 28
Jan. 1 Outback #16 South Carolina 21 - #19 Penn State 19
Jan. 1 Capital One #11 Iowa 23 - #13 Arkansas 21
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A #9 Miami (FL) 27 - #21 Auburn 21
Dec. 31 Sun #27 Clemson 27 - #35 Stanford 24
Dec. 31 Liberty #46 Houston 37 - #57 Mississippi State 34
Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care #25 Pitt 28 - #32 Georgia Tech 24
Dec. 30 Holiday #24 Oregon State 31 - #48 Kansas State 23
Dec. 30 Armed Forces #83 San Diego State 23 - #105 Army 17
Dec. 30 Music City #37 Mississippi 21 - #49 Boston College 18
Dec. 30 Pinstripe #43 UConn 27 - #55 Baylor 23
Dec. 29 EagleBank #53 Wake Forest 28 - #58 Southern Miss 27
Dec. 29 Alamo #20 Arizona 33 - #22 Missouri 30
Dec. 29 Texas #41 Texas A&M 35 - #61 Purdue 28
Dec. 28 Insight #28 Texas Tech 31 - #30 Michigan State 30
Dec. 28 Champs Sports #15 North Carolina 23 - #18 Cincinnati 21
Dec. 27 Independence #29 Brigham Young 36 - #39 Florida State 33
Dec. 26 Little Caesars #68 Indiana 30 - #95 Ohio 24
Dec. 24 Hawaii #70 Hawaii 33 - #72 UCF 29
Dec. 23 Poinsettia #33 Air Force 24 - #50 Navy 21
Dec. 22 Maaco #36 Utah 25 - #38 Arizona State 24
Dec. 21 St. Petersburg #54 South Florida 32 - #76 Tulsa 28
Dec. 18 New Orleans #63 Middle Tennessee State 37 - #100 UTEP 28
Dec. 18 Humanitarian #8 Boise State 40 - #85 Central Michigan 17
Dec. 18 New Mexico #64 Wyoming 31 - #81 Fresno State 30

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

ACC Preview

Virginia Tech Hokies
Power Rank: 6
Offensive Rank:
10
Defensive Rank:
9
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.4 - 1.6
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Orange
Biggest Strength: Rushing Offense
Greatest Weakness: Kicking Game
Best Offensive Player: Ryan Williams/Darren Evans, RB
Best Defensive Player: Rashad Carmichael, CB
Breakout Candidate: Davon Morgan, S

Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Power Rank: 9
Offensive Rank:
50
Defensive Rank:
20
Projected Regular Season Record:
9.3 - 2.7
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
Chick-fil-a
Biggest Strength: Defense
Greatest Weakness: Brutal Schedule
Best Offensive Player: Jacory Harris, QB
Best Defensive Player: Brandon Harris, CB
Breakout Candidate: Ray Ray Armstrong, S

North Carolina Tar Heels
Power Rank: 15
Offensive Rank:
115
Defensive Rank:
3
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.5 - 3.5
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Champs Sports
Biggest Strength: Defense
Greatest Weakness: Quarterback
Best Offensive Player: Greg Little, WR
Best Defensive Player: Quan Sturdivant, LB
Breakout Candidate: Zack Pianalto, TE

Clemson Tigers
Power Rank: 27
Offensive Rank:
90
Defensive Rank:
10
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.1 - 4.9
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Sun
Biggest Strength: Safeties
Greatest Weakness: Rush Defense
Best Offensive Player: Chris Hairston, OT
Best Defensive Player: Da'Quan Bowers, DE
Breakout Candidate: Andre Ellington, RB

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Power Rank: 32
Offensive Rank:
53
Defensive Rank:
45
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.0 - 5.0
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Meineke Car Care
Biggest Strength: Rushing Offense
Greatest Weakness: Rushing Defense
Best Offensive Player: Joshua Nesbitt, QB
Best Defensive Player: Jerrard Tarrant, S
Breakout Candidate: Roddy Jones, RB

Boston College Eagles
Power Rank: 49
Offensive Rank:
101
Defensive Rank:
12
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.8 - 5.2
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
Music City
Biggest Strength: Linebackers
Greatest Weakness: Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Anthony Castonzo, OT
Best Defensive Player: Mark Herzlich, LB
Breakout Candidate: Alex Albright, DE

Florida State Seminoles
Power Rank: 39
Offensive Rank:
16
Defensive Rank:
105
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.6 - 5.4
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
Independence
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Rushing Defense
Best Offensive Player: Rodney Hudson, OG
Best Defensive Player: Nigel Bradham, LB
Breakout Candidate: Greg Reid, CB

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Power Rank: 53
Offensive Rank:
59
Defensive Rank:
74
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.8 - 6.2
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
EagleBank
Biggest Strength: Speed
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Josh Adams, RB
Best Defensive Player: Cyhl Quarles, S
Breakout Candidate: Skylar Jones, QB

Virginia Cavaliers
Power Rank: 77
Offensive Rank:
116
Defensive Rank:
33
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.3 - 6.7
Conference Standing:
9
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offense
Best Offensive Player: Joe Torchia, TE
Best Defensive Player: Ras-I Dowling, CB
Breakout Candidate: Dominique Wallace, RB

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Power Rank: 62
Offensive Rank:
64
Defensive Rank:
89
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.1 - 6.9
Conference Standing:
10
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Russell Wilson
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Russell Wilson, QB
Best Defensive Player: Nate Irving, LB
Breakout Candidate: Jarvis Williams, WR

Maryland Terrapins
Power Rank: 91
Offensive Rank:
105
Defensive Rank:
60
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.1 - 7.9
Conference Standing:
11
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Linebackers
Greatest Weakness: Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Da'Rel Scott, RB
Best Defensive Player: Alex Wujciak, LB
Breakout Candidate: Jamarr Robinson, QB

Duke Blue Devils
Power Rank: 80
Offensive Rank:
117
Defensive Rank:
53
Projected Regular Season Record:
3.8 - 8.2
Conference Standing:
12
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Wide Receivers
Greatest Weakness: Everything Else
Best Offensive Player: Donovan Varner, WR
Best Defensive Player: Matt Daniels, S
Breakout Candidate: Jay Hollingsworth, RB

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

Big East Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers
Power Rank: 23
Offensive Rank:
46
Defensive Rank:
16
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.5 - 3.5
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Orange
Biggest Strength: Experience
Greatest Weakness: Quarterback
Best Offensive Player: Noel Devine, RB
Best Defensive Player: Robert Sands, S
Breakout Candidate: Geno Smith, QB

Cincinnati Bearcats
Power Rank: 18
Offensive Rank:
11
Defensive Rank:
62
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.9 - 3.1
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
Champs Sports
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Passing Defense
Best Offensive Player: Armon Binns, WR
Best Defensive Player: J.K. Schaffer, LB
Breakout Candidate: Dan Giordano, DE

Pittsburgh Panthers
Power Rank: 25
Offensive Rank:
40
Defensive Rank:
41
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.3 - 3.7
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Meineke Car Care
Biggest Strength: NFL Talents (Baldwin, Romeus, Lewis)
Greatest Weakness: Cornerback
Best Offensive Player: Dion Lewis, RB
Best Defensive Player: Greg Romeus, DE
Breakout Candidate: Dan Mason, LB

Connecticut Huskies
Power Rank: 43
Offensive Rank:
58
Defensive Rank:
31
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.2 - 4.8
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Pinstripe
Biggest Strength: Defensive Front 7
Greatest Weakness: Downfield Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Zach Hurd, OG
Best Defensive Player: Scott Lutrus, LB
Breakout Candidate: Greg Lloyd, DE

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Power Rank: 51
Offensive Rank:
81
Defensive Rank:
13
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.1 - 4.9
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Birmingham
Biggest Strength: Defensive Speed
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Mohamed Sanu, WR/Wildcat
Best Defensive Player: Alex Silvestro, DE
Breakout Candidate: Mark Harrison, WR

South Florida Bulls
Power Rank: 54
Offensive Rank:
60
Defensive Rank:
61
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.4 - 5.6
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
St. Petersburg
Biggest Strength: Rushing Offense
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Front 7
Best Offensive Player: Sampson Genus, C
Best Defensive Player: Sabbath Joseph, LB
Breakout Candidate: Moise Plancher, RB

Louisville Cardinals
Power Rank: 67
Offensive Rank:
80
Defensive Rank:
67
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.4 -7.6
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Secondary
Best Offensive Player: Victor Anderson, RB
Best Defensive Player: Johnny Patrick, CB
Breakout Candidate: Josh Chichester, WR

Syracuse Orange
Power Rank: 78
Offensive Rank:
112
Defensive Rank:
43
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.2 - 7.8
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Schedule
Greatest Weakness: Offense
Best Offensive Player: Ryan Bartholomew, C
Best Defensive Player: Derrell Smith, LB
Breakout Candidate: Alec Lemon, WR

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

Big 10 Preview

Ohio State Buckeyes
Power Rank: 3
Offensive Rank:
28
Defensive Rank:
2
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.8 - 1.2
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
BCS Championship
Biggest Strength: Everything Else
Greatest Weakness: Kicking Game
Best Offensive Player: Terrelle Pryor, QB
Best Defensive Player: Ross Homan, LB
Breakout Candidate: Orhian Johnson, S

Wisconsin Badgers
Power Rank: 10
Offensive Rank:
24
Defensive Rank:
18
Projected Regular Season Record:
9.5 - 2.5
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
Rose
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Passing Defense
Best Offensive Player: John Clay, RB
Best Defensive Player: J.J. Watt, DE
Breakout Candidate: Mike Taylor, LB

Iowa Hawkeyes
Power Rank: 11
Offensive Rank:
92
Defensive Rank:
4
Projected Regular Season Record:
9.5 - 2.5
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Capital One
Biggest Strength: Defensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Derrell Johnson-Koulianaos, WR
Best Defensive Player: Adrian Clayborn, DE
Breakout Candidate: Jewel Hampton, RB

Penn State Nittany Lions
Power Rank: 19
Offensive Rank:
61
Defensive Rank:
14
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.3 - 3.7
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Outback
Biggest Strength: Offensive Weapons
Greatest Weakness: Linebackers (at Linebacker U)
Best Offensive Player: Evan Royster, RB
Best Defensive Player: Jack Crawford, DE
Breakout Candidate: D'Anton Lynn, CB

Michigan State Spartans
Power Rank: 30
Offensive Rank:
26
Defensive Rank:
48
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.5 - 4.5
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Insight
Biggest Strength: Linebackers
Greatest Weakness: Turnover Margin
Best Offensive Player: Kirk Cousins, QB
Best Defensive Player: Greg Jones, LB
Breakout Candidate: Larry Caper, RB

Purdue Boilermakers
Power Rank: 61
Offensive Rank:
52
Defensive Rank:
76
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.4 - 5.6
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
Texas
Biggest Strength: Defensive Front 7
Greatest Weakness: Secondary
Best Offensive Player: Keith Smith, WR
Best Defensive Player: Ryan Kerrigan, DE
Breakout Candidate: Al-Terek McBurse, RB

Michigan Wolverines
Power Rank: 47
Offensive Rank:
45
Defensive Rank:
84
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.0 - 6.0
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
Dallas Classic
Biggest Strength: Experience at Quarterback
Greatest Weakness: Turnover Margin
Best Offensive Player: David Molk, C
Best Defensive Player: Troy Woolfolk, CB
Breakout Candidate: Thomas Gordon, LB

Indiana Hoosiers
Power Rank: 68
Offensive Rank:
54
Defensive Rank:
75
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.0 - 6.0
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
Little Caesars
Biggest Strength: Offensive Skill Positions
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Back 7
Best Offensive Player: Darius Willis, RB
Best Defensive Player: Tyler Replogle, LB
Breakout Candidate: Jeff Thomas, LB

Northwestern Wildcats
Power Rank: 65
Offensive Rank:
88
Defensive Rank:
39
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.6 - 7.4
Conference Standing:
9
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Defensive Front 7
Greatest Weakness: Rush Offense
Best Offensive Player: Al Netter, OT
Best Defensive Player: Quentin Davie, LB
Breakout Candidate: Dan Persa, QB

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Power Rank: 74
Offensive Rank:
107
Defensive Rank:
65
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.0 - 7.0
Conference Standing:
10
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Experience On Offense
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience On Defense
Best Offensive Player: Adam Weber, QB
Best Defensive Player: Kyle Theret, S
Breakout Candidate: Mike Rallis, LB

Illinois Fighting Illini
Power Rank: 87
Offensive Rank:
87
Defensive Rank:
93
Projected Regular Season Record:
3.5 - 8.5
Conference Standing:
11
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Linebackers
Greatest Weakness: Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Jeff Allen, OT
Best Defensive Player: Martez Wilson, LB
Breakout Candidate: Terry Hawthorne, CB

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

Big 12 Preview

Texas Longhorns
Power Rank: 5
Offensive Rank:
51
Defensive Rank:
1
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.6 - 1.4
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Fiesta
Biggest Strength: Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Kyle Hix, OT
Best Defensive Player: Sam Acho, DE
Breakout Candidate: Tre Newton, RB

Oklahoma Sooners
Power Rank: 7
Offensive Rank:
7
Defensive Rank:
17
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.2 - 1.8
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
Sugar
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Cornerback
Best Offensive Player: DeMarco Murray, RB
Best Defensive Player: Travis Lewis, LB
Breakout Candidate: DeJuan Miller, WR

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Power Rank: 26
Offensive Rank:
78
Defensive Rank:
8
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.4 - 3.6
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Cotton
Biggest Strength: Special Teams
Greatest Weakness: Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Roy Helu, RB
Best Defensive Player: Jared Crick, DT
Breakout Candidate: Jemarcus Harrick, OT

Missouri Tigers
Power Rank: 22
Offensive Rank:
22
Defensive Rank:
46
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.2 - 3.8
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Alamo
Biggest Strength: Experience (except WR)
Greatest Weakness: Wide Receivers
Best Offensive Player: Blaine Gabbert, QB
Best Defensive Player: Aldon Smith, DE
Breakout Candidate: Michael Egnew, TE

Texas Tech Red Raiders
Power Rank: 28
Offensive Rank:
36
Defensive Rank:
50
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.4 - 4.6
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Insight
Biggest Strength: Pass Offense (Still)
Greatest Weakness: Transition
Best Offensive Player: Baron Batch, RB
Best Defensive Player: Brian Duncan, LB
Breakout Candidate: Bront Bird, LB

Kansas State Wildcats
Power Rank: 48
Offensive Rank:
71
Defensive Rank:
28
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.9 - 5.1
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
Holiday
Biggest Strength: Schedule
Greatest Weakness: Passing Offense
Best Offensive Player: Daniel Thomas, RB
Best Defensive Player: Tysyn Hartman, S
Breakout Candidate: Chris Harper, WR

Texas A&M Aggies
Power Rank: 41
Offensive Rank:
27
Defensive Rank:
86
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.7 - 5.3
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
Texas
Biggest Strength: Jerrod Johnson & Von Miller
Greatest Weakness: Rush Defense
Best Offensive Player: Jerrod Johnson, QB
Best Defensive Player: Von Miller, LB
Breakout Candidate: Luke Joeckel, OT

Baylor Bears
Power Rank: 55
Offensive Rank:
63
Defensive Rank:
69
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.7 - 6.3
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
Pinstripe
Biggest Strength: Offensive Speed
Greatest Weakness: Defense
Best Offensive Player: Robert Griffin, QB
Best Defensive Player: Antonio Johnson, LB
Breakout Candidate: Phil Taylor, DT

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Power Rank: 58
Offensive Rank:
84
Defensive Rank:
24
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.4 - 6.6
Conference Standing:
9
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Kicking Game
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience
Best Offensive Player: Kendall Hunter, RB
Best Defensive Player: Quinn Sharp, P/KOS
Breakout Candidate: Orie Lemon, LB

Kansas Jayhawks
Power Rank: 69
Offensive Rank:
77
Defensive Rank:
56
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.4 -7.6
Conference Standing:
10
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Turner Gill
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience
Best Offensive Player: Tim Biere, TE
Best Defensive Player: Jake Laptad, DE
Breakout Candidate: Toben Opurum, RB

Colorado Buffaloes
Power Rank: 71
Offensive Rank:
103
Defensive Rank:
63
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.0 - 8.0
Conference Standing:
11
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Experience
Greatest Weakness: Talent
Best Offensive Player: Scotty McKnight, WR
Best Defensive Player: Marquez Herrod, DE
Breakout Candidate: Michael Sipili, LB

Iowa State Cyclones
Power Rank: 89
Offensive Rank:
109
Defensive Rank:
100
Projected Regular Season Record:
3.9 - 8.1
Conference Standing:
12
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Passing Game
Best Offensive Player: Kelechi Osemele, OT
Best Defensive Player: David Sims, S
Breakout Candidate: Leonard Johnson, DB

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

SEC Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide
Power Rank: 1
Offensive Rank:
8
Defensive Rank:
5
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.4 - 1.6
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
BCS Championship
Biggest Strength: Rush Offense
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience On Defense
Best Offensive Player: Mark Ingram, RB
Best Defensive Player: Dont'a Hightower, LB
Breakout Candidate: Courtney Upshaw, LB

Florida Gators
Power Rank: 2
Offensive Rank:
5
Defensive Rank:
7
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.2 - 1.8
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
Sugar
Biggest Strength: Secondary
Greatest Weakness: Quarterback Not Named Tim Tebow
Best Offensive Player: Mike Pouncey, C
Best Defensive Player: Janoris Jenkins, CB
Breakout Candidate: John Brantley, QB

Arkansas Razorbacks
Power Rank: 13
Offensive Rank:
4
Defensive Rank:
85
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.8 - 3.2
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Capital One
Biggest Strength: Pass Offense
Greatest Weakness: Pass Defense
Best Offensive Player: Ryan Mallett, QB
Best Defensive Player: Jake Bequette, DE
Breakout Candidate: Dennis Johnson, RB/KR

Georgia Bulldogs
Power Rank: 17
Offensive Rank:
39
Defensive Rank:
49
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.7 - 3.3
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Cotton
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Line
Best Offensive Player: A.J. Green, WR
Best Defensive Player: Justin Houston, LB
Breakout Candidate: Brandon Boykin, CB

Auburn Tigers
Power Rank: 21
Offensive Rank:
32
Defensive Rank:
59
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.6 - 3.4
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Chick-fil-a
Biggest Strength: Schedule
Greatest Weakness: Rush Defense
Best Offensive Player: Lee Ziemba, OT
Best Defensive Player: Josh Bynes, LB
Breakout Candidate: Cameron Newton, QB

South Carolina Gamecocks
Power Rank: 16
Offensive Rank:
69
Defensive Rank:
32
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.4 - 4.6
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
Outback
Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Alshon Jeffery, WR
Best Defensive Player: Stephen Gilmore, CB
Breakout Candidate: Marcus Lattimore, RB

Mississippi Rebels
Power Rank: 37
Offensive Rank:
74
Defensive Rank:
22
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.6 - 5.4
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
Music City
Biggest Strength: Defensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience On Offense
Best Offensive Player: Brandon Bolden, RB
Best Defensive Player: Jerrell Powe, DT
Breakout Candidate: Jeremiah Masoli, QB

LSU Tigers
Power Rank: 31
Offensive Rank:
94
Defensive Rank:
37
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.3 - 5.7
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
Gator
Biggest Strength: Talent
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience
Best Offensive Player: Terrence Toliver, WR
Best Defensive Player: Patrick Peterson, CB
Breakout Candidate: Russell Shepard, WR

Tennessee Volunteers
Power Rank: 45
Offensive Rank:
104
Defensive Rank:
30
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.5 - 6.5
Conference Standing:
11
Projected Bowl:
Birmingham
Biggest Strength: Defensive Talent
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Best Offensive Player: Gerald Jones, WR
Best Defensive Player: Chris Walker, DE
Breakout Candidate: Tauren Poole, RB

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Power Rank: 57
Offensive Rank:
85
Defensive Rank:
80
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.5 - 6.5
Conference Standing:
10
Projected Bowl:
Liberty
Biggest Strength: Defensive Back 7
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Skill Positions
Best Offensive Player: Chad Bumphis, WR
Best Defensive Player: K.J. Wright, LB
Breakout Candidate: Chris Relf, QB

Kentucky Wildcats
Power Rank: 59
Offensive Rank:
82
Defensive Rank:
43
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.2 - 6.8
Conference Standing:
11
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Playmakers
Greatest Weakness: Rush Defense
Best Offensive Player: Derrick Locke, RB
Best Defensive Player: Danny Trevathan, LB
Breakout Candidate: Winston Guy, S

Vanderbilt Commodores
Power Rank: 75
Offensive Rank:
57
Defensive Rank:
111
Projected Regular Season Record:
4.5 - 7.5
Conference Standing:
12
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Special Teams
Greatest Weakness: Offense
Best Offensive Player: Warren Norman, RB
Best Defensive Player: Chris Marve, LB
Breakout Candidate: Jamie Graham, CB

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

Pac 10 Preview

Oregon Ducks
Power Rank: 14
Offensive Rank:
37
Defensive Rank:
29
Projected Regular Season Record:
9.2 - 2.8
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Rose
Biggest Strength: Speed
Greatest Weakness: Off Field Issues
Best Offensive Player: LaMichael James, RB
Best Defensive Player: Kenny Rowe, DE
Breakout Candidate: Eddie Pleasant, S

USC Trojans
Power Rank: 12
Offensive Rank:
18
Defensive Rank:
40
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.9 - 3.1
Conference Standing:
2
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Talent
Greatest Weakness: NCAA Sanctions
Best Offensive Player: Stanley Havili, FB
Best Defensive Player: Jurrell Casey, DT
Breakout Candidate: Jordan Cameron, TE

Arizona Wildcats
Power Rank: 20
Offensive Rank:
29
Defensive Rank:
51
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.6 - 4.4
Conference Standing:
3
Projected Bowl:
Alamo
Biggest Strength: Experience On Offense
Greatest Weakness: Linebackers
Best Offensive Player: Colin Baxter, C
Best Defensive Player: Ricky Elmore, DE
Breakout Candidate: Paul Vassallo, LB

Oregon State Beavers
Power Rank: 24
Offensive Rank:
42
Defensive Rank:
64
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.5 - 4.5
Conference Standing:
4
Projected Bowl:
Holiday
Biggest Strength: Rodgers Brothers
Greatest Weakness: Schedule
Best Offensive Player: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB
Best Defensive Player: Stephen Paea, DT
Breakout Candidate: Tony Wilson, LB

Stanford Cardinal
Power Rank: 35
Offensive Rank:
17
Defensive Rank:
98
Projected Regular Season Record:
7.1 - 4.9
Conference Standing:
5
Projected Bowl:
Sun
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Secondary
Best Offensive Player: Andrew Luck, QB
Best Defensive Player: Thomas Keiser, LB
Breakout Candidate: Jeremy Stewart, RB

Arizona State Sun Devils
Power Rank: 38
Offensive Rank:
97
Defensive Rank:
34
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.5 - 5.5
Conference Standing:
6
Projected Bowl:
Maaco
Biggest Strength: Rush Defense
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience On Offense
Best Offensive Player: Thomas Weber, K
Best Defensive Player: Vontaze Burfict, LB
Breakout Candidate: Cameron Marshall, RB

California Golden Bears
Power Rank: 42
Offensive Rank:
30
Defensive Rank:
88
Projected Regular Season Record:
6.2 - 5.8
Conference Standing:
7
Projected Bowl:
Fight Hunger
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Secondary
Best Offensive Player: Shane Vereen, RB
Best Defensive Player: Cameron Jordan, DE
Breakout Candidate: D.J. Holt, LB

Washington Huskies
Power Rank: 44
Offensive Rank:
38
Defensive Rank:
87
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.9 - 6.1
Conference Standing:
8
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Front 7
Best Offensive Player: Jake Locker, QB
Best Defensive Player: Desmond Trufant, CB
Breakout Candidate: Jermain Kearse, WR

UCLA Bruins
Power Rank: 40
Offensive Rank:
73
Defensive Rank:
47
Projected Regular Season Record:
5.1 - 6.9
Conference Standing:
9
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Kicking Game
Greatest Weakness: Rush Offense
Best Offensive Player: Taylor Embree, WR
Best Defensive Player: Akeem Ayers, LB
Breakout Candidate: Morrell Presley, FB/TE

Washington State Cougars
Power Rank: 115
Offensive Rank:
118
Defensive Rank:
117
Projected Regular Season Record:
2.6 - 9.4
Conference Standing:
10
Projected Bowl:
None
Biggest Strength: Special Teams
Greatest Weakness: Everything Else
Best Offensive Player: Jared Karstetter, WR
Best Defensive Player: Daniel Simmons, CB
Breakout Candidate: Wade Jacobson, OT

See: How This Works, Bowl Summary and Conference Previews: ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Other Notables

Other Notables Preview

TCU Horned Frogs
Power Rank: 4
Offensive Rank:
6
Defensive Rank:
6
Projected Regular Season Record:
11.1 - 0.9
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Fiesta
Biggest Strength: Balanced Offense
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience On Defense
Best Offensive Player: Jake Kirkpatrick, C
Best Defensive Player: Tank Carder, LB
Breakout Candidate: Kelly Griffin, DT

Boise State Broncos
Power Rank: 8
Offensive Rank:
2
Defensive Rank:
15
Projected Regular Season Record:
10.1 - 1.9
Conference Standing:
1
Projected Bowl:
Humanitarian
Biggest Strength: Experience
Greatest Weakness: The BCS
Best Offensive Player: Kellen Moore, QB
Best Defensive Player: Ryan Winterswyk, DE
Breakout Candidate: D.J. Harper, RB

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Power Rank: 34
Offensive Rank:
12
Defensive Rank:
78
Projected Regular Season Record:
8.1 - 3.9
Projected Bowl:
Gator
Biggest Strength: Brian Kelly
Greatest Weakness: Transition
Best Offensive Player: Kyle Rudolph, TE
Best Defensive Player: Manti Te'o, LB
Breakout Candidate: Dayne Crist, QB

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