The college football season just ended, and I've already got my eye on next year.
One of the great things about the college game is that the landscape can change so dramatically from year to year. Sure, there are the normal powers that have made a home in the polls, but with players graduating or leaving early on some teams and other teams maturing into form, there is always a certain amount of turnover.
Here are three teams that finished outside of the Top 10 this year and won't be next year.
Check out the full BCS Rankings here.
Wisconsin is losing work-horse back Montee Ball, but it has the talented and experienced James White coming back, and he gained 806 yards at 6.4 yards per carry this past year. Wisconsin will be able to run the ball next year.
The Badgers are only losing nine players due to expired eligibility, and while this team had a ton of ups and downs this past year, they had moments where they flashed their potential. They also finished the season strong.
Wisconsin looked great while dismantling Nebraska 70-31 in the Big Ten championship game, and it was impressive while losing 20-14 to a strong Stanford team in the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin will bounce back in a big way next year.
The Broncos are losing a ton of seniors, but that is nothing new for this program. The Broncos have solid depth, and unlike last year, they will not be losing their quarterback.
Joe Southwick will be back for his senior season, and he will be ready to help this offense crank it back up to an elite level. The quarterback was inconsistent this year, but he finished strong. Including the Broncos' win over Washington in the Maaco Bowl, Southwick threw nine touchdowns and no interceptions over his last four games.
Combine an improved Southwick with a solid defense and Boise State's less-than-difficult schedule, and this team is ready to jump back into the Top 10.
LSU had a down year by its own standards as it finished 14th in the AP poll, but the team wasn't that far off from being one of the nation's elite teams. The Tigers lost three games this year, and the losses came by a combined 13 points. All of those losses were to very good teams.
The Tigers will be losing 11 seniors and likely a few juniors, but this program is loaded with elite athletes, and they have a strong core returning.
Quarterback Zach Mettenberger will have to be better next year, but he showed definite signs of improvement as the season went on, and there were flashes where he proved he could carry this offense.
The Tigers will be great on defense next year, and their offense will be improved. They will be ready to be a big part of the national championship picture next year.