1. Southern California
The SEC has had one for the thumb and a six pack. But the streak can't go on forever, and the Trojans have the talent and coaching to end it.
The Tigers are loaded again. And they won't have to overcome the mishaps of former quarterback Jordan Jefferson.
The Tide has two All-American candidates in its offensive line and another stable of promising running backs. But it's a Trent Richardson short of a third national championship in four seasons.
The Sooners have enough offense to win the Big 12 but not enough defense to win it all.
The players come and go but the yards and points keep piling up under coach Chip Kelly. The defense should be improved over last season when it gave up 30 or more points in five games.
The Wolverines' defense is actually tackling people again. Tackling Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is everybody else's problem.
7. South Carolina
Coach Steve Spurrier hasn't seemed this comfortable since he was embarrassing the rest of the SEC on a regular basis at Florida.
The combination of talent and schedule is conducive to a national championship run. But those runs invariably come up short for the Bulldogs.
9. Ohio State
The Buckeyes can't compete for the Big Ten championship. They can build momentum for championships to come under Urban Meyer.
10. West Virginia
Wonder how many defensive coordinators this offense will get fired?
If offensive coordinator Paul Petrino can pick up where his wayward head-coaching brother left off, this ranking isn't high enough.
If the Seminoles can't win the ACC with 16 starters returning from a nine-win team, their fans will start wondering why Jimbo Fisher was ever named coach-in-waiting to Bobby Bowden.
The Badgers will rely on a power-running attack and a transfer quarterback. Sound familiar?
The Longhorns could have a formidable running game, but their quarterbacks won't remind anyone of Vince Young — or Chris Simms for that matter.
The Tigers return 15 starters, including quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. But eight of those returnees started for a defense that gave up an average of 37.8 points over the last eight games.
The Cornhuskers could win at least nine games for a fifth consecutive season. That won't necessarily endear coach Bo Pelini to a fan base that can remember when Nebraska averaged better than 11 victories per season from 1993 through 2001.
17. Michigan State
The Spartans have posted back-to-back double-digit victory totals, which by Big Ten standards is almost as impressive as beating an SEC team in a bowl game (33-30 over Georgia last January).
A potent passing game should carry the Vols back into the top 25 for the first time since 2007.
19. Virginia Tech
Quarterback Logan Thomas will help the Hokies win 10 or more games for a ninth consecutive season.
20. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets ran their way to eight victories last season even though quarterback Tevin Washington failed to throw a touchdown pass in the last seven games.
Someone has to win the Big East.
22. Boise State
The 2013 Big East champion takes its Mountain West Conference farewell tour.
23. Oklahoma State
While the passing game must be rebuilt, running backs Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith combined for 1,862 yards rushing last season. And a defense that ranked 107th nationally last season should crack the top 100.
24. N.C. State
Defenses will try to avoid All-American cornerback David Amerson, who set an ACC record with 13 interceptions last season. And the Wolfpack will try to avoid being too pass dependent.
The Horned Frogs won't have any trouble blending in with the pass-happy Big 12 in their first season. Quarterback Casey Pachall and three of his top four receivers will return.