The AP Polls are out and players are back on campus grinding their way through August practices. We are weeks away from having college football on TV every Saturday until 2015.
The NCAA has moved into a new era with the a playoff system. Today, we look at who will be the first 'Final Four' of college football.
Florida State Seminoles
When the Heisman trophy winner returns, there has to be a sense of optimism around campus. Jameis Winston will be back in Tallahassee for his sophomore campaign. The scary thing about Winston is that I believe he has a lot of room to improve. Two areas where he can straighten out is game; completion percentage (66.9%) and turnovers (10 INTs).
Winston will surly miss his big play target, Kelvin Benjamin, but Rashad Greene should become the all round go-to-guy in the offense. Overall, looking at FSU's schedule, they should be salivating over the cake walk they have in front of them. Their hardest game on the road looks to be Louisville who no longer have Teddy Bridgewater. This defense lost a lot of play makers, but I don't see Jimbo Fisher letting the Seminoles slip.
Ohio State Buckeyes
It feels like Braxton Miller is going into his 10th year at OSU. As much as I dislike the Buckeyes, I really believed that if Miller stayed healthy last season his name would have been in the Heisman running. Either way, he is returning for yet another year where Urban Meyer was able to bring in a top five recruiting class (3rd according to Yahoo).
Looking at OSU's schedule, I am willing to give them eight wins without playing their starters. They play at Navy, at Maryland and at Minnesota and face Kent State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Illinois, and Indiana at home. This team will have to take care of business to be in the top four, but lets be honest, if they are undefeated they will be dancing in the bracket.
I like this team. Kevin Hogan and Ty Montgomery return for their senior seasons with very high expectations. This defense will be good as long as coach David Shaw is present and the offense has a chance to be a little more dynamic without workhorse Tyler Gaffney. They will have to break in a new running back and rely on Hogan's arm and legs to stretch the field.
Without the two glaring losses last season (Utah and USC) the Cardinal could have been playing for a national title. I look for this team to come out fast and be atop the rankings quickly. This is a veteran team that has something to prove.
Alabama Crimson Tide
As much as I hate to write this, the Tide was a play away from becoming larger than college football. They will be able to out talent the competition with the guidance of Nick Saban. Even without AJ McCarron and Kevin Norwood the Tide will be able to move the ball on the ground at will. T.J. Yeldon will be running free leaving whoever has the starting quarterback job room to operate and look like the next, well AJ McCarron.
This program has really set the model of greatest in the last era of college football and there really is no signs of them going anywhere soon. This Tide keeps on rolling.