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College Football Spring Games 2013: Dates, Times, Schedule for Every BCS Team

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIIFebruary 27, 2013

College Football Spring Games 2013: Dates, Times, Schedule for Every BCS Team

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    In college football, spring practice is the beginning of the next season for everyone. Whether your team had a terrible season in 2012 or finished as national champions, spring is the beginning of whatever is coming in 2013.

    From new recruits shocking their teams into the national spotlight to brand-new coaches taking control of teams that were struggling, spring is a time of new life for programs across the nation.

    Here are the spring practice schedules, spring game dates and times for all BCS-AQ teams. (Subject to availability.)

    *All times are Eastern Standard.
    *All "Phil Steele" citations are from his blog of spring practice dates.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: ESPN2

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Thursday, March 21.

    Alabama's spring game will be the 15th practice of the spring cycle, and there will be plenty for fans to watch for on that field. The biggest battle to watch will be at running back, though.

    T.J. Yeldon will be the favorite to take the No. 1 slot, but No. 2 is open. Alabama signed three of the top-10 tailbacks in the 2013 recruiting class. There is a laughable amount of talent at that position, and the spring game will separate the elite from the herd.

Arizona Wildcats

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 4 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via 247Sports.com):

    Saturday, March 2 begins a set of four practices before spring break.
    Wednesday, March 20 is the first of five practices leading to the first spring scrimmage.
    Friday, March 29 is the first spring scrimmage.
    Four more practices will be held between April 1 and April 10, leading to the spring game.

    Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey is worth watching every chance you get, but the major positional battle to pay attention to is quarterback. Last year's starter, Matt Scott, is in the draft.

    The new starter will need to get to work immediately in order to catch up with Stanford and UCLA. The spring game will provide the former backups the first opportunity to take the lead, and it will be well worth watching.

Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 1 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via TheSunDevils.com):

    Tuesday, March 19.
    Wednesday, March 20.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Saturday, March 23.
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Saturday, March 30.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Saturday, April 13: spring game.
    Tuesday, April 16.
    Thursday, April 18.

    The Sun Devils definitely had an interesting season in 2012. With starting quarterback Taylor Kelly returning in 2013, the Sun Devils have a legitimate shot at the Pac-12 South.

    The spring game will allow him to show off his skills after 12 spring practices have passed. Kelly tossed 29 touchdowns to nine interceptions last season. If he can cut his interceptions in half, then the Sun Devils will have a great shot at the conference title in 2013.

Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via ArkansasRazorbacks.com): Starts Sunday, March 10.

    Arkansas will be replacing quarterback Tyler Wilson, and the Hogs need someone to step up in a big way. Arkansas was a contender for the SEC West in 2011, but the 2012 season was a total loss.

    If a signal-caller steps up this spring and works through the offseason, Arkansas can join LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama as the conference elite. If not, then the elite will remain at three teams for another year.

    The spring game will give fans a good idea of which they can expect.

Army Black Knights

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, March 8, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via goARMYsports.com):

    Tuesday, February 12.
    Thursday, February 14.
    Tuesday, February 19.
    Thursday, February 21.
    Saturday, February 23.
    Monday, February 25.
    Wednesday, February 27.
    Future practices: TBA

    Army is replacing Trent Steelman under center, and there are plenty of guys who have the opportunity to take over his role. Quarterback battles are a huge part of the spring events, and Army is no exception.

    The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is at stake here, and the Black Knights need to figure out who is their best shot over Air Force and Navy. The spring game is the first major milestone in that process.

Auburn Tigers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: CSS

    Spring Practice Schedule (via FoxSportsSouth.com): Starts Wednesday, March 27.

    After Auburn's horrific 2012 season, Tigers fans should want nothing more than to move on. They won a national title in 2010, but it was not the beginning of an era. At least, it wasn't the beginning of a good era.

    Now that Gus Malzahn's in charge, the only thing to do is figure out where the talent went. Don't look for familiar faces at any particular position. Look for Malzahn to rearrange sets to his liking.

    Assuming he likes to win, Auburn fans should see a lot of promise on the field in late April.

Baylor Bears

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via ESPN.com): Starts Friday, March 1.

    Baylor has to replace two major offensive players: Nick Florence (QB) and Terrance Williams (WR). The Bears had a good run in 2012, including a big win over Pac-12 South champion UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.

    This will be the second year in a row that the Bears have to replace a starting quarterback. The good news (sort of) is that Florence didn't win the Heisman. He still won't be easy to replace, but he won't be as difficult to follow as Robert Griffin III was.

Boston College Eagles

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    Spring Game Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Thursday, February 28.

    Boston College is entering a new era after losing Frank Spaziani in the fallout from a 2-10 season in 2012. Eagles fans have to be looking forward to spring practice.

    There is no specific part of the Eagles' performance that needs improvement. All aspects of the game need to be upgraded. April 13 will be the first opportunity to showcase any and all parts of the game that are better than last season.

BYU Cougars

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    Spring Game Date/Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via KSL.com): Starts Monday, March 4.

    BYU has to replace Ezekiel Ansah, who will likely be chosen in the first round of April's draft. He's the No. 3 defensive end in this cycle.

    The Cougars had the nation's No. 3 scoring defense in the FBS in 2012, and Ansah is a big hit to that level of talent. Luckily for BYU, a defense that good can afford to take a hit, even if it's huge.

    The only thing holding BYU back in 2012 was the offense. Every aspect of the offense needs to spend serious time in the spring nailing down receiving routes and offensive line patterns.

    The spring game will be the perfect chance for the Cougars to inject their fanbase with legitimate hope for the 2013 season. Even a four-point (per game) improvement on offense would have won the Cougars three more games last season.

California Golden Bears

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 7 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via CalBears.com):

    Monday, February 25.
    Wednesday, February 27.
    Friday, March 1.
    Monday, March 4.
    Wednesday, March 6.
    Friday, March 8.
    Saturday, March 9.
    Monday, March 11.
    Wednesday, March 13.
    Friday, March 15.
    Saturday, March 16.
    Monday, March 18.
    Wednesday, March 20.
    Friday, March 22.
    Saturday, March 23.

    California's spring game marks the first time fans will see the (hopefully) new and improved Golden Bears. Cal finished 2012 with only three wins, and the Bears had balance in their attack.

    The issue wasn't balance; it was potency. The Bears averaged around 200 yards per game rushing and receiving, but they couldn't convert those yards to points.

    If Cal can improve on the offensive line, both those sets of stats will rise. The spring game will showcase any improvements that have been made so far, and Cal fans should pay close attention to the line of scrimmage.

Central Florida Knights

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 13.

    UCF is a new addition to the BCS-AQ list as fresh members of the struggling Big East conference. The Knights won't be favored to win the conference right away, and that's to be expected.

    However, there is still hope for the fanbase. The move to the Big East will help with recruiting, and the Knights should finish somewhere in the middle of the conference in their first season.

    The spring game will show the intensity and work ethic of the current roster more than anything else. If there's no fire on the field on April 13, UCF fans may not want to get their hopes too high.

    On the other hand, if there are fierce battles for position all over the spring field, then UCF could be a dark-horse candidate to overthrow teams like Cincinnati and Syracuse.

Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Spring Game Date/Time/TV: No spring game.

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele):

    Starts Tuesday, March 5.
    Ends Saturday, April 13. 

    Cincinnati needs to step it up to stay ahead of the new additions to the conference. Cincinnati will remain a conference contender, but the Bearcats need to ensure their survival on the recruiting trail. If not, this conference realignment could get out of hand quickly.

    Cincinnati will have plenty of opportunities to improve, but the Bearcats can't afford to drag their feet. Tommy Tuberville has burned a bridge at Texas Tech, so he needs to establish a formidable defense by the midpoint of his first season at Cincy.

    With the advantage of no spring game, he can focus his attention on the defensive fundamentals with no distractions. If he can bring good defense to the Big East, he can beat a lot of good teams.

Clemson Tigers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 4 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 6.

    Clemson loses three prospects that could go in the top half of the draft. Fortunately for the Tigers, none of the players is irreplaceable. DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington and Malliciah Goodman are good players, but they are not the difference-makers that Clemson needed against teams like Florida State and South Carolina.

    Clemson's defense needs to move forward faster than Clemson's offense. Tajh Boyd returns for his senior season in 2013, and he needs a defense that can make his sixth-place scoring offense win.

    Clemson's defense will be on display against Boyd and the offense April 13. If the defense can stop Boyd, it can stop most of the nation's best offenses.

Colorado Buffaloes

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 12:30 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via AllBuffs.com):

    Thursday, March 7.
    Friday, March 8.
    Tuesday, March 12.
    Thursday, March 14.
    Friday, March 15.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Friday, March 22.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Friday, April 5.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Saturday, April 13: spring game.
    Tuesday, April 16.

    Colorado can't get away from the 2012 season quickly enough. It was terrible, and changes were made all over the program to avoid another season like it.

    Fans won't be looking at any particular area for improvement, as the Buffaloes ranked worse than 100th in three of the four major categories.

    The immediate future doesn't look bright, but Colorado fans will be anxious to see any legitimate step forward. That's the goal of the spring game: a legitimate step forward.

    They aren't going to go to the Rose Bowl the year after a one-win season, but even a three-or four-win outing would breathe some life back into the brand.

Connecticut Huskies

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at noon.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 11.

    Connecticut had a respectable defense in 2012, and the Huskies gave up only 19.8 points per game through the year.

    Unfortunately, UConn only scored an average of 17.8 points per game as well. The Huskies ranked 121st in rushing yards per game and held the same rank in scoring offense.

    Without a balanced attack, you're dead in the water in football. Connecticut needs to emphasize the rushing attack, and a lethal running back needs to show up and wow the spring-game crowd.

    With something as simple as a go-to tailback, Connecticut could be near the top of the Big East in no time. The win over Louisville near the end of the 2012 season proves that UConn has what it takes, it just lacks that consistent rushing attack that can wear down the opposing linebackers.

Duke Blue Devils

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 4.

    Duke made it to the postseason in 2012, and the biggest challenge facing the Blue Devils is no small one. Quarterback Sean Renfree will not be returning for the 2013 season, since he was a senior in 2012.

    Duke needs to replace him quickly, and the Blue Devils will put their two best candidates on the field in April. Hopefully, one is clearly better than the other. If not, then a quarterback battle could crush Duke's hopes before the team gets off the ground next season.

Florida Gators

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 13.

    Florida's main concern is the quarterback position. Regardless of who graduates or gets sucked into the NFL, Florida's glaring weakness in 2012 was the nation's 118th-ranked passing offense.

    Unless the Gators can come up with a way to average 300-plus rushing yards per game, the quarterback position can't continue to be the black hole that it was last season.

    Jeff Driskel will have plenty of competition this spring, and Florida fans have to be hoping that somebody shows up and takes the leadership role under center.

Florida State Seminoles

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 20.

    Florida State capped the 2012 season off with an Orange Bowl demolition of one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country: Jordan Lynch of the Northern Illinois Huskies.

    The Seminoles were expected to contend for a national championship after just a few short weeks of 2012 had passed. Unfortunately, NC State took advantage of an unsuspecting Seminoles squad and derailed those hopes.

    If the 'Noles take that loss to heart, that can motivate them to plow through the 2013 schedule with either zero or one loss.

    Spring will show what EJ Manuel's successor can do, and if he can perform half as well as Manuel did, then every game on the schedule is winnable. That's assuming that the defense doesn't drop off too much from the loss of Bjoern Werner.

    Manuel and Werner's replacements are the biggest keys to the 2013 season. The new starters will take center stage April 13. If they look like liabilities instead of assets, expect that storyline to take over Florida State's offseason.

    If they look good on the field, expect that to be the fuel that ignites the FSU hype machine.

Georgia Bulldogs

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 1 p.m.

    Television: CSS

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Saturday, March 2.

    Georgia came within four points of winning a national championship last season. All the Bulldogs needed to do was beat Alabama in order to get a shot against Notre Dame.

    Based on the Alabama vs. Notre Dame result, Georgia would have rolled the Irish just as badly as the Tide did.

    Mark Richt has two stud sophomore running backs and a lethal quarterback taking the field next season. If Aaron Murray (QB), Keith Marshall (RB) and Todd Gurley (RB) are the only reasons you tune into the Georgia spring game, you will not be disappointed.

    Georgia will face tough competition consistently throughout the 2013 season, and the Bulldogs will be better-prepared for the SEC title game this time around.

    After two straight losses in the conference championship, Georgia may finally be ready to cross that threshold to a national championship. Spring will give fans the final verdict on how good their Bulldogs are (or aren't).

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 19, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 25.

    Georgia Tech gained a ton of momentum off the Sun Bowl win over the USC Trojans. Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, there was no season left to use that inertia.

    On the bright side, Georgia Tech gets to carry that adrenaline into the spring practices that will set them up for a potential ACC title.

    With Tevin Washington gone, a steady, level-headed quarterback needs to fill his spot. If Tech can keep a calm personality in charge of the offense, the sky is the limit for these guys. Naturally, the Yellow Jackets are not ready for a national championship yet, but the Orange Bowl isn't out of the question.

Houston Cougars

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013, at 8 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via UHCougars.com):

    Monday, March 4.
    Wednesday, March 6.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Wednesday, March 20.
    Friday, March 22.
    Saturday, March 23.
    Monday, March 25.
    Wednesday, March 27.
    Friday, March 29.
    Monday, April 1.
    Wednesday, April 3.
    Friday, April 5.
    Monday, April 8.
    Wednesday, April 10.

    Houston is another one of the five new additions to the Big East. While the Cougars certainly have a tough road ahead, the Texas recruiting base is a decided advantage over most of the other schools in their new conference.

    The first thing the Cougars need to recruit is a defense. Their 11th-ranked passing offense is a solid foundation to build on, and the 150 rushing yards per game they produce is plenty to achieve success.

    What holds them back is that 110th-ranked scoring defense. That has to improve, and there's no time like the present. Watch the defense during the spring game. If the offense is scoring at will, then the defense still has a long way to go.

Idaho Vandals

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 19, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Friday, March 22.

    While Idaho isn't part of a BCS-AQ conference, the Vandals' independent status puts them in the same general category as a Notre Dame or BYU.

    The Vandals won't have an individual rule to push them forward in the event of an undefeated season, but the schedule strength is likely good enough for a BCS bowl if they accomplish that feat.

    Idaho finished among the worst in the FBS last season with a 1-11 record. The Vandals can start improving anywhere, and it would be a noticeable improvement over 2012.

    The Vandals need to drill the quarterbacks until they are ready to at least throw more touchdowns than interceptions. If that's the only improvement they make, then that would still be a vast improvement.

Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013, at 9 p.m.

    Television: BTN/BTN2Go

    Spring Practice Schedule (via FightingIllini.com):

    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Saturday, March 9.
    Monday, March 11.
    Wednesday, March 13.
    Friday, March 15.
    Monday, March 25.
    Wednesday, March 27.
    Friday, March 29.
    Monday, April 1.
    Wednesday, April 3.
    Friday, April 5.
    Monday, April 8.
    Wednesday, April 10.

    Illinois needs to take a major leap forward before the 2013 season kicks off. The Illini finished near 100th in all four major categories last season, and they only managed two wins.

    Illinois needs to claw its way back up the rankings on the recruiting trail in order to compete with the rest of the Big Ten again. Any improvement would be a decent starting selling point.

Indiana Hoosiers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via IUHoosiers.com):

    Saturday, March 2.
    Sunday, March 3.
    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Saturday, March 23.
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.

    Indiana doesn't need to improve a lot in order to have a stellar 2013 season. The major disadvantage for the Hoosiers is that they did so well in 2012. This coming season, they will not have the element of surprise.

    Regardless, the Hoosiers were extremely close to a red-letter season last year, and that's a great building block. It's also a great reason to watch the spring game if at all possible.

Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20 or 27.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 27.

    Iowa has defense, and it needs to continue what it was doing in 2012 in that regard. On the offensive side of the ball, the Hawkeyes were simply a mess last season.

    Iowa's offense will be the center of attention for fans during the spring game. Anybody can step into the star role. Iowa is not going to be picky about who leads the offense to success.

    Iowa can't afford to waste a top-35 defense like it had in 2012 again.

Iowa State Cyclones

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 26.

    Iowa State needs to take advantage of a Big 12 that's lost a ton of starting quarterbacks. Texas Tech, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kansas State are all losing major players at that position.

    The time to strike is now, and Iowa State is sitting in a good spot to contend for a conference title while the perennial powers are rebuilding. All the Cyclones need is a quarterback to take over for Steele Jantz.

    Jantz wasn't as good as the quarterbacks the other teams lost, and his replacement doesn't need to be better than the Big 12's 2012 lineups. He just needs to be better than their replacements in 2013.

Kansas Jayhawks

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via KUAthletics.com): Starts Tuesday, March 5.

    Kansas can't do much worse than it did in 2012. The Jayhawks beat South Dakota State in the season opener, and dropped the next 11 games in a row.

    A couple of games were close, but not enough to make a real difference. Kansas needs a quarterback, a defense and some targets for that quarterback to hit with the football.

    Obviously, that means Kansas needs to hit the recruiting trail, but the Jayhawks need to have some success on the field to sell to recruits.

    Sure, Kansas can sell playing time, but who wants playing time on a team that went 1-11? This spring, Kansas needs to make a major turnaround on the field.

Kansas State Wildcats

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 5.

    With Heisman-hopeful Collin Klein leaving during this offseason, the biggest battle of the spring will be to replace him.

    The Wildcats have done well under Bill Snyder, and it's exciting to see who the next potential Klein will be. The spring game will at least give fans the idea of who the two front-runners are.

    By the end of the game, Klein's successor may be obvious.

Kentucky Wildcats

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): TBD

    Kentucky is entering the 2013 season with a new head coach after losing Joker Phillips to the horrible 2012 season that claimed so many jobs.

    The Wildcats have a long way to go before contending with anybody near the top of the SEC, but a new head coach was the best move possible for them.

    The spring game will give the college football world its first glimpse into the system Mark Stoops plans to run at Kentucky. That has to make Wildcats fans smile.

LSU Tigers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via FOX44.com):

    Thursday, March 14.
    Friday, March 15.
    Saturday, March 16.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Saturday, March 23 (first scrimmage).
    Monday, March 25.
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Saturday, April 13 (second scrimmage).
    Tuesday, April 16.
    Thursday, April 18.

    LSU needs Zach Mettenberger to find himself under center. Though the Alabama game didn't end exactly as the Tigers hoped, Mettenberger's performance in that game is exactly what they need in every game.

    With a little luck and some standard LSU defense, that performance should be good for an SEC title.

Louisville Cardinals

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 20.

    Louisville punctuated 2012 with a giant Sugar Bowl win over the Florida Gators. Teddy Bridgewater had a banner year, and Louisville needs to make sure he stays within himself and plays to his skills.

    The Cardinals only lost two games, and one was in triple overtime to the UConn Huskies. With Louisville so close to greatness in 2012, the missing link was really a rushing attack.

    If Louisville can find someone to carry the ball between the tackles and wear out the enemy's defense, then the Cardinals will be a complete team that could have a shot at a national championship appearance.

    If not, an undefeated Louisville would certainly win the Big East's BCS bid. All the Cardinals need is a tailback.

Maryland Terrapins

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013, at 7 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via BaltimoreSun.com):

    Saturday, March 2.
    Saturday, March 30 at Dunbar High School (open to the public).
    Saturday, April 6 at Middletown High School (open to the public).

    Maryland went 4-8 in 2012, and the 2013 season will hopefully be better. Maryland's scoring defense finished in the top half of the nation, but the offense simply couldn't do anything to turn that into more than four wins.

    Maryland's biggest weakness is at running back. If the Terrapins run through 2013 averaging only 100 yards per game, then it's going to be a long season against teams like West Virginia, Clemson and Florida State.

    Maryland needs a running back, but the Terrapins would settle for a breakout performance by any quarterback on the lists, too. They need offense, and there should be extensive experimentation on the field during the spring game.

Memphis Tigers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via GoTigersGo.com):

    Thursday, February 28.
    Saturday, March 2.
    Sunday, March 3.
    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Tuesday, March 19 starts the final stretch of eight practices before the spring game.
    Tuesday, April 9.

    Memphis is new to the Big East, and it's a big jump for the Tigers. They are in a BCS-AQ conference, and it's one in which they may contend immediately, especially with the Big East's recent realignment.

    Memphis may not finish its first Big East season in the top half of the conference, but it's not out of the question, either. With the new shape of the conference, the bottom half's skill level is lower than it used to be.

    Recruiting will fix that over the next few seasons, but Memphis could win its way up the recruiting totem pole right away with one seven- or eight-win season. For that, the spring cycle will have to give the Tigers a quarterback that's capable of leading the charge.

    Focus on the quarterbacks in the spring game. The starter will key the 2013 season.

Miami Hurricanes

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via HurricaneSports.com):

    Saturday, March 2.
    Sunday, March 3.
    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Saturday, March 23 (first scrimmage).
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Friday, April 5 (second scrimmage).
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.

    Miami could have played in the ACC title game at the end of 2012, but self-imposed a second postseason ban that kept the Hurricanes from playing Florida State for the crown.

    The Hurricanes need a rushing attack and a scoring defense. Either one could cross them into perennial conference contention, but an improvement in both aspects would be the perfect storm.

    After Florida State and Florida jumped back into the national conversation in 2012, having Miami do the same thing the next season would be poetic. All three teams from the Sunshine State contending at the same time would bring back memories of the two decades preceding the new millennium.

    All it takes is a set of great safeties and one go-to running back. Look on the field in April. If they're going to emerge before 2013 kicks off, they'll do it during the spring game.

Michigan Wolverines

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Saturday, March 16.

    Michigan had a bit of a letdown season in 2012 following the 11-win 2011 campaign. However, when the coaches put Devin Gardner in at quarterback and let Denard Robinson be an offensive wild card, things looked good for the Wolverines.

    With 2013 looming and spring practice coming, look for Gardner to vastly improve or be overtaken by another potential passing threat.

    Michigan's spring game should be full of offensive fireworks, and Brady Hoke's schemes should be solidifying nicely by the time April rolls around. Look for some major weapons to rear their heads in the friendly, but fierce, battle.

Michigan State Spartans

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 2:30 p.m.

    Television: BTN/BTN2Go

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    Michigan State lost Kirk Cousins after the 2011 season, and the Spartans showed weakness in 2012. However, after a complete rebuilding season, 2013 should look at least a little better.

    The Spartans' defense finished ninth in the country in points allowed, and the scoring offense finished 110th. Obviously, the nation will be watching the offense during the spring game.

    The defense can afford to drop off considerably as long as the offense finds its identity at the same time. Granted, the Spartans have to replace Le'Veon Bell, but that will be a lot easier if a quarterback can show himself to be a legitimate threat.

    Look for the quarterbacks and the running backs to spice up the spring game for Sparty.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via GoldandGopher.com): Starts Tuesday, March 26.

    Minnesota almost gained bowl eligibility before the Golden Gophers even played their first conference match. After a 4-0 start in 2012, the Gophers went on to finish 6-7 after a disappointing three-point loss to Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

    Minnesota just needs a quarterback, and he doesn't even need to be that good. The Gophers gave up about 25 points per game while scoring roughly 22 during the 2012 run. All the Gophers need is a quarterback that can find the end zone an average of four times per game.

    Those four touchdowns don't even have to be passing scores, the quarterback just needs to run an offense that's balanced enough to keep the defense on its heels.

    That's something that coaches can evaluate during the spring game, and that will be the staff's focal point for progress.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Thursday, March 21.

    Mississippi State benefited from a stacked schedule in 2012, and that back-loaded slate got them off to a 7-0 start. After that, the Bulldogs posted losses to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU in three straight weeks.

    Mississippi State needs a quarterback. Tyler Russell can be that passer, but he's too inconsistent. Sometimes he's throwing lasers, and other times it looks like he's playing for the other team.

    The coaches need to make it clear to Russell that performance is key. He will be a senior next season, and he has to clean up his act.

    If he doesn't, it's more cost-effective to put a green younger player in so he can develop into a leader for 2014 and beyond.

    Spring practice will be one of the last chances for Russell to prove that he should be the go-to guy.

Missouri Tigers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 12.

    After the write-off, injury-plagued 2012 season, Missouri players, fans and coaches are all looking forward to the spring practices.

    March 12 is the first day of the Tigers' second-chance season that's coming in 2013. They were decimated by circumstances out of their control for a large part of 2012, and they finished far below their capabilities.

    Spring ball will give many of the recovering players the stage they need to return to full strength and gain confidence in themselves. Missouri fans that were wiping tears away throughout 2012 will want to find a way to see the game.

    There will be more hope on that one field than there ever was during last season's schedule. They played against five different teams that were ranked in the top 10, and three of those teams were No. 7 at the time they fought.

    The 2013 season should be marginally easier on the Tigers.

Navy Midshipmen

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via NavySports.com):

    Monday, March 18.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Saturday, March 23.
    Monday, March 25.
    Wednesday, March 27.
    Friday, March 29.
    Saturday, March 30 (first scrimmage).
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6 (second scrimmage).
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Wednesday, April 10.
    Thursday, April 11.

    Navy bookended the 2012 season on low notes, but there's no reason to believe that 2013 has to follow the same trajectory.

    The final tally for Navy was 8-5 in 2012, and the Midshipmen lost two games by fewer than two touchdowns each.

    The team-leading quarterback was freshman Keenan Reynolds, and he'll be back as a sophomore in 2013. The Midshipmen may have had their low notes in 2012, but that was with a rookie at the helm.

    Watch the spring game to catch a preview of what he will do to the enemy in the 2013 season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Saturday, March 2.

    Nebraska's Taylor Martinez was a little rough around the edges in 2012, but he was still one of the better quarterbacks in the country. After an offseason of development, expect him to come back looking more like the best of himself.

    He will take center stage during the spring game, and he might even push Nebraska into the preseason top 15. The 'Huskers were close to heading to the Rose Bowl, and 2013 won't be that much different.

    After all, it was Wisconsin that benefited from the sanctions against Ohio State and Penn State. Nebraska earned the trip to the Big Ten title game all on its own.

    Martinez will be the highlight of the spring game, and he should be the highlight of Nebraska's 2013 season, too.

New Mexico State Aggies

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, May 4, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, April 1.

    New Mexico State hails from the Independent ranks, just like Idaho did in the earlier slide. While New Mexico State doesn't exactly fit the BCS-AQ mold, Notre Dame just proved that there are ways for the Independent crowd to get into a major bowl game.

    Unfortunately for the Aggies, 2012 yielded just one win. It was over the FCS opponent Sacramento State.

    New Mexico has an arduous journey from 1-11 to bowl contention, and the Aggies will need to find a defense, a rushing attack and the end zone in order to move from being more than just a school with a football field.

    A running back would be a great spring present for the fans, and it's the first step on that long journey toward success.

UNC Tar Heels

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule:

    Wednesday, March 6. (via Phil Steele)
    Thursday, March 28 at Mallard Creek High School. (via News-Record.com)
    Friday, April 5 at Grimsley High School. (also via News-Record.com)

    UNC will be eligible for the postseason again in 2013, but Giovani Bernard's gaping hole in the offense will need to be filled.

    Bernard is not easily replaced, but a great coach can make up for the loss of one player, especially if it isn't the quarterback.

    UNC is out from under sanctions in 2013, so another season like 2012 could potentially land them in the ACC Championship game.

    Step one is to display a dominating defense in the spring game. It's unlikely that the Tar Heels will figure out how to make up for Bernard quickly, so the defense will have to compensate for his loss until the offense finds its way again.

NC State Wolfpack

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    NC State loses a huge defender, at least in terms of skill, this offseason. David Amerson, one of the nation's best secondary players, is heading to the NFL via the April draft.

    NC State upset Florida State in the middle of the 2012 season, but the whole performance wasn't as great as that one game.

    Despite having the nation's No. 18 passing attack, NC State had the No. 71 scoring offense. That discrepancy was due to the No. 111 rushing attack.

    NC State needs to find a major running back, and the spring game needs to be his debut. That will help assuage the loss of quarterback Mike Glennon, as well.

Northwestern Wildcats

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, February 27.

    Northwestern was bowl-eligible by Week 7 of the 2012 season, and the Wildcats had Venric Marck to thank for that.

    Behind Mark's skills, the Wildcats posted the No. 19 rushing attack in the country and a big bowl win over turnover-happy Mississippi State.

    Northwestern's spring game will be a great stage for Mark to show how much he has improved over the spring. It will also be a chance for Northwestern's offense to show that 2012 was not just a fluke.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 1 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 20.

    Notre Dame loses tight end Tyler Eifert and linebacker Manti Te'o to the draft (or free agency) this April, and the spring game will be Notre Dame's fist fan evaluation of how the team looks without those two major contributors.

    Everett Golson will be asserting his command over the starting quarterback position as well. If Golson can develop at the same rate he did in 2012, then Notre Dame has a viable opportunity to make it back to the national championship game.

    If not, the Irish are certainly capable of making it to the final round of BCS bowls.

Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 1 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via FoxSportsOhio.com):

    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Tuesday, March 19.

    Ohio State and Urban Meyer set the bar high in 2012. A perfect season is going to be tough to top, but eligibility for the postseason will definitely give the Buckeyes a legitimate shot at improving on last season.

    The Buckeyes may or may not be ready to topple the SEC yet, but don't let the cover of the book deceive you. The Buckeyes weren't "supposed' to have a perfect season in 2012, either.

Oklahoma Sooners

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: FSOK (Tentative)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 5.

    Oklahoma has to replace Landry Jones. While there are other players that will be missed, Jones is by far the most difficult to replace.

    Jones was one of the best quarterbacks in the country last season, and no backup will bring the same level of skill to the field.

    The Sooners will still be in OK shape to contend for a conference title, but that's also because other major teams in the Big 12 are losing their quarterbacks as well.

    Replacing Jones won't be easy, but it has to be priority No. 1 from now until the season kicks off.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 11.

    Oklahoma State had one of the best passing offenses in the country in 2012. The Cowboys used a version of a two-quarterback system last year, and it paid off to a point.

    It didn't win them a conference title, but it certainly proved that having two quarterbacks can sometimes be better than one. The biggest battle to watch in 2013's spring rotation will be the one between Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh.

    The Cowboys had a good season in 2012, but the difference between good and great is the difference between two quarterbacks and one. Oklahoma State needs a go-to quarterback, and it will probably be one of those two.

Ole Miss Rebels

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: CSS

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 6.

    Hugh Freeze just landed a giant recruiting class, and he will use those recruits to supplement the talent he already has on the field.

    He made a big leap forward for the Rebels in 2012, and 2013 doesn't look like it will be any different. Between Hugh Freeze and the SEC recruiting base, Ole Miss is sitting pretty in the SEC West.

    It will be just a few short seasons before you hear Ole Miss, LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama all tossed around in the same conversation. The spring game will let Freeze show off his new recruits (at least the ones who enrolled early) to the fans, and it will be one of the best games of its kind this season.

Oregon Ducks

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, April 2.

    Marcus Mariota led Oregon to a one-loss season in his freshman year, and he capped it off with a dominating win over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl.

    Mariota and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel have a lot of similarities, and Mariota's name will be on many preseason Heisman watch lists if things play out as expected.

    The spring game's focus for Oregon will be twofold: showing off Mariota and finding someone to replace star running back Kenjon Barner.

    Replacing Barner will not be easy, but watching Mariota lead the Ducks will be delightful.

Oregon State Beavers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via OregonLive.com):

    Monday, April 1.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Friday, April 5.
    Monday, April 8.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Friday, April 12.
    Monday, April 15.
    Tuesday, April 16.
    Thursday, April 18.
    Friday, April 19.
    Monday, April 22.
    Wednesday, April 24.

    Oregon State is more forthcoming with its spring practice information than some other schools, but that makes complete sense. When you are in the hunt for a national title and you're consistently filling your stadium, you don't need to open practices to win your fans over.

    You keep practices closed so videos of your strategies don't make it to YouTube. If you don't think that YouTube has an effect on college football, just check out the Bob Stoops commercial from last season.

    Hello! That whole situation started with a viral YouTube video. People are watching.

    People will be watching Storm Woods this spring, and he will deliver one of the better running performances of the season.

Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at noon.

    Television: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 18.

    Penn State got one of the most talented recruits in the country this offseason, and his name is Christian Hackenberg. Matt McGloin, the previous starting quarterback, is leaving Penn State this offseason.

    Hackenberg's arrival on campus marks something potentially special. His final season of eligibility (assuming he starts as a true freshman) will be the first season Penn State is eligible for the postseason.

    Hackenberg is poised to be the quarterback that leads Penn State out of the disaster that hit the school in 2011. Check out the spring game to see what the Nittany Lions got for themselves in this recruiting cycle.

Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 5.

    Pittsburgh needs to replace Tino Sunseri this spring, and that will be the biggest storyline of the spring game. The Panthers are in dire need of a lethal running back as well, and that will be the secondary tale of the season.

    The spring game will be a chance for everyone on the first and second strings to make his case for the starting role. It should be more than a little interesting.

Purdue Boilermakers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    Purdue ended the 2012 season with six wins, and the Boilermakers lose one of the biggest groups of offensive contributors in the country.

    Seniors Robert Marve (QB), Caleb TerBush (QB) and Akeem Shavers (RB) are all leaving Purdue this spring, and the competition to replace them all will be insane.

    The Boilermakers' coaching staff might have to watch the spring game more than once just to make sure that they've chosen the right people for the starting jobs.

    It's a good thing they have all summer.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 26.

    Rutgers came close to landing the Big East's BCS bowl berth in 2012, but fell short when it mattered and gave the game to Louisville.

    Rutgers' biggest loss is running back Jawan Jamison, and his replacement will not easily live up to Jamison's name.

    Regardless of the outcome, the running back battle will be the biggest thing happening on the spring field.

SMU Mustangs

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    Spring Game Date/Time/TV: No spring game. 

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele):

    Starts Monday, March 25.
    Ends Saturday, April 20.

    SMU is shooting for a Big East title in 2013, and it's the Mustangs' first season in the new conference. The Mustangs don't have the best defense in the country, but it will be good enough to keep them off the bottom of the conference standings at the end of the season.

    The biggest shortcoming that needs to be fixed this spring is the running back situation. The Mustangs finished 95th in rushing yards per game last season, and that won't help them succeed in any BCS-AQ conference, not even the Big East.

    SMU has to find a go-to running back, even if it means converting a player from another position. Maybe they can rob one from the practice squad.

South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 1 p.m.

    Television: ESPN3

    Spring Practice Schedule (via GamecocksOnline.com):

    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Friday, March 22.
    Saturday, March 23.
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Friday, April 5.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.

    South Carolina loses running back Marcus Lattimore and wide receiver Ace Sanders to the draft this April.

    While that seems a bit much to overcome, Lattimore's injuries have given the Gamecocks ample opportunity to figure out how to play without him.

    On top of that, the spring game will still feature Jadeveon Clowney. He's always exciting to watch, and he always will be. Check out the highlight reels after spring games are over. Chances are that he'll make at least one of them.

South Florida Bulls

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 5 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 20.

    The South Florida Bulls field the nation's No. 106 scoring offense from 2012. The Bulls lack a serious passing threat under center, and they also lack a running back that forces defenses to respect the ground game.

    Both of these major positions will be the major issue for coaches to fix this spring. South Florida has a bit of a recruiting disadvantage since it sits right in the SEC's home turf, but the Bulls are going to have to figure out how to overcome that.

    If not, then they will continue to bottom out of the Big East each season.

Stanford Cardinal

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 6 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via GoStanford.com):

    Monday, February 25.
    Saturday, March 2. (Open to the public.)
    Saturday, March 9. (Open to the public.)
    Monday, April 1.
    Saturday, April 6. (Open to the public.)

    Stanford has to replace key players that helped it have yet another Rose Bowl-winning season. Zach Ertz, the Cardinal's best tight end, is the biggest loss on the field, and he will be the toughest act to follow.

    Stanford won the Rose Bowl last season, and that was the rebuilding year following Andrew Luck's near-national championship season in 2011.

    Watch the quarterback situation, and watch his targets down the field. Without Ertz, the "star" position is up for grabs—literally.

Syracuse Orange

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    Spring Game Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013. 

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    During the 2012 bowl season, Syracuse proved that you can take the team out of the Big East, but you can't take the Big East out of the team. The Orange took down the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Pinstripe Bowl 38-14.

    Syracuse has one major position to fill: quarterback. Ryan Nassib, the starter from 2012, is heading for the April draft. Syracuse needs his position to be filled by a competent player.

    The Orange don't need a superstar, though it would be nice. Syracuse just needs a player that won't hand the ball to the other team. Nassib had a 26-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Even a small improvement over that could drastically change 'Cuse's fate.

Temple Owls

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 1 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Friday, March 22.

    Temple needs a passing attack. While it's more common to see an unbalanced team that has a good quarterback, Temple is the opposite. The Owls have a 200-plus-yard rushing attack and the nation's No. 120 passing assault.

    Temple needs to find a running back, even if they recruit from within the team and switch someone's position. Either way, the spring game had better feature a tailback, or the Owls can expect to trudge through a long 2013 season.

     

Tennessee Volunteers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via UTSports.com):

    Saturday, March 9.
    Tuesday, March 12.
    Thursday, March 14.
    Saturday, March 16.
    Tuesday, March 19.
    Thursday, March 21.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Saturday, April 13.
    Tuesday, April 16.
    Thursday, April 18.

    Tennessee has to replace Tyler Bray at quarterback, but the defense is going to be the center of attention this spring. Even with Bray, the Vols couldn't make a good bowl game under Derek Dooley.

    Now that the coaching situation has been addressed, the new staff has to try to succeed without Bray and wide receiver Justin Hunter.

    Those are two big losses that put the defense at center stage. Without the nation's 15th-best passing offense to bail them out, the defense is going to need to be infinitely better than it has been over the past few seasons.

    Of course, fans can always hope that the next quarterback in line happens to be as good as (or better than) Tyler Bray.

Texas Longhorns

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, March 30, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.

    Television: Longhorn Network

    Spring Practice Schedule (via TexasSports.com):

    Thursday, February 21.
    Saturday, February 23.
    Monday, February 25.
    Wednesday, February 27.
    Friday, March 1. (Open to the public.)
    Saturday, March 2. (Open to the public.)

    The practices open to the public are contingent on stadium safety. If the practice has to be moved indoors for safety reasons, fans will still not be allowed into the indoor facility.

    Priority one for Mack Brown needs to be picking a quarterback. There are legitimate ways to run a two-quarterback system, but the legitimate schemes don't end up with a miraculous comeback victory in the Alamo Bowl.

    At least they don't end like that for a team with the stature of the Texas Longhorns. A true leader must emerge. If not, Brown may have to consider just starting the youngest guy and giving him ample time to develop.

    Regardless, the spring game needs to show Texas fans that the Longhorns are moving up, not down or nowhere.

Texas A&M Aggies

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Saturday, March 2.

    Replacing Luke Joeckel is going to be a tough task. Shifting talented players around is still going to leave a hole in the offensive line.

    The great part about it is that the Aggies have Johnny Manziel. He's a scrambler, and if one side of the line is collapsing, he'll just go the other way.

    That's also the biggest draw to Texas A&M's spring game: Will Manziel continue to display the same skill he did in 2012?

    The spring game will tell fans if 2012 was a fluke from his perspective. The Aggies faithful will have to wait until the 2013 season to see if the success can be duplicated against the SEC gauntlet.

    If so, Texas A&M may win the final BCS National Championship Game.

TCU Horned Frogs

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    Spring Game Date/Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Friday, March 1.

    Trevone Boykin did nothing to lose the starting gig in 2012. One of the biggest mistakes that TCU could make is to reinstate Casey Pachall simply because he's back.

    Second chances are a thing of beauty, and they can go a long way toward helping a kid become a man. However, if Boykin doesn't do anything to lose the starting spot, replacing him with Pachall could hurt him more than it helps Pachall.

    Let the spring and fall practices play out and start the better man. To do anything else is folly.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

68 of 79

    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: FSSW

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Sunday, March 24. 

    Seth Doege is gone, and nothing can bring him back. Tommy Tuberville is gone, and his defense was not completely developed yet. If the Red Raiders can continue his defensive philosophy to its full potential, they can win the Big 12.

    Everyone in the Big 12 has offense, and some teams have viable defenses. The first team to find the correct balance between the two will rise quickly to the top of the conference.

UCLA Bruins

69 of 79

    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 8 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, April 2.

    Brett Hundley is the player to watch this spring. He took UCLA to the Pac-12 title game in his freshman season, and there's every reason to believe that he'll improve in 2013. He didn't have an extremely special season in 2012, so there's no reason to believe that luck had anything to do with it.

    Hundley already has a full year of experience under his belt. It will be interesting to see how good he's gotten over the spring.

USC Trojans

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 4 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via USCTrojans.com):

    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Saturday, March 9.
    Tuesday, March 12.
    Thursday, March 14.
    Saturday, March 16.
    Tuesday, March 26.
    Thursday, March 28.
    Saturday, March 30.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.

    The Trojans have a decent quarterback in Max Wittek, as long as he doesn't get flustered like he did against Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. Wittek has plenty of competition, though, so he'd better bring his best to the spring field.

    Any one of the other quarterbacks battling for his position won't hesitate to claim his roster slot.

Utah Utes

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    Utah is still getting acclimated to the Pac-12, but the Utes got five total wins in 2012. That includes three wins over conference opponents and another win over an Independent Top 25, BYU.

    This biggest hole Utah needs to fill is the one Star Lotulelei has left on his way to the NFL. Guys like Lotulelei are rare, and Utah needs to figure out who fits his position best.

    The spring game will go a long way in deciding who that man is.

Vanderbilt Commodores

72 of 79

    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 2 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Friday, March 15.

    Vanderbilt's biggest question marks are at quarterback and running back. Jordan Rodgers and Zac Stacy are both leaving the program, and Stacy is going to be a nightmare to follow.

    Rodgers was sufficient for what James Franklin was doing at Vandy, but it's time for him to land one of those big fish at that position. With the 2013 recruiting class already signed, he'll have to wait another year to get one.

    On the running-back front, Stacy was a brilliant back that doesn't come along every season—unless you're Alabama, who has some sort of spell over high school tailbacks.

    Vanderbilt has a lot of positional questions to answer, but the Commodores are also steadily rising up the SEC East. Fans have got to be thrilled about that, and watching the spring game is going to reinforce that excitement.

Virginia Cavaliers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 1 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Monday, March 18.

    Virginia averaged 268 yards per game through the air in 2012, but that was basically the only thing the Cavaliers got right.

    Virginia needs a running back, a consistent quarterback and a successful plan for how to get the football in the end zone.

    From the coaching staff to the offensive line, the spring game had better showcase some improvements all over the field.

    Head coach Mike London bought himself some time by firing four coaches last season, but it would be helpful for the fans to see some immediate improvement off those changes.

Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 3 p.m.

    Television: TBA (If televised.)

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Wednesday, March 27.

    Virginia Tech had a less-than-stellar season in 2012, and the season-opening game against Alabama in 2013 looks less like a battle of conference powers than it does a mediocre out-of-conference bout for the Tide.

    Virginia Tech needs a quarterback and a running back to emerge in the spring practice season. This 83rd-place ranking in scoring offense just isn't going to cut it.

    It won't win an ACC title, it won't beat the reigning national champion, and it definitely won't sway recruits to the Hokies' side of the line. The spring game needs to show promise, even if it isn't polished skill yet.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Tuesday, March 19.

    Wake Forest managed to pull off a miraculous five-win season without ranking better than 93rd in any of the four major statistical categories.

    That's not exactly a tagline you want to use on the recruiting trail, but it at least shows that the Demon Deacons know what to do with the football.

    The difference between knowing and doing in this case is talent. Wake definitely has to wait another year for more recruits, but maybe this season will yield a bowl appearance to use as a marketing tool for the 2014 recruiting class.

    Wake Forest has so many places it needs to improve that it's probably best just to watch the spring game and see what happens. Anything is possible, and player shifting may be the answer for this program.

Washington Huskies

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 7 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via SeattleTimes.com):

    Tuesday, March 5.
    Thursday, March 7.
    Saturday, March 9.
    Tuesday, March 12.
    Thursday, March 14.
    Saturday, March 16.
    Tuesday, April 2.
    Thursday, April 4.
    Saturday, April 6.
    Tuesday, April 9.
    Thursday, April 11.
    Saturday, April 13.
    Tuesday, April 16.
    Thursday, April 18.

    Washington returns quarterback Keith Price, but he'll need a breakout year to help Washington overcome mediocrity with flashes of greatness.

    Washington needs to ensure that Price has protection and targets. Most importantly, the Huskies need to make sure he has both at the same time. If that happens, then Washington is capable of beating almost anyone in the Pac-12.

Washington State Cougars

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 5 p.m.

    Television: Pac-12 Network/Pac-12.com

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Thursday, March 21.

    Washington State beat Washington to end a horrible season on a high note during rivalry weekend. The Cougars finished 124th (last) in the FBS in rushing yards per game, ninth in the FBS in passing yards per game, and worse than 100th in both scoring offense and scoring defense.

    Washington State needs some serious help to make it from the bottom of the Pac-12 North to contending for conference titles.

    Even if you only watch the spring game for the passing attack, there will still be something worth tuning in for.

West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Spring Game Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013.

    Time/TV: TBA

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Sunday, March 10.

    West Virginia loses Geno Smith to the draft, and that means the replacement battle will start in earnest on April 20.

    The starting spots previously belonging to wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey also need to be filled.

    Smith and his two favorite targets are gone. West Virginia is going to have to do some heavy experimenting before, during and after the spring game.

    During the game, targets will be flying all over the field trying to impress the coaches. Mountaineers fans need to hope that intensity continues during the 2013 season. If not, then 2012 will look like a great year.

Wisconsin Badgers

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    Spring Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 5 p.m.

    Television: Big Ten Network/BTN2Go

    Spring Practice Schedule (via Phil Steele): Starts Saturday, March 9.

    Wisconsin made it to the Rose Bowl for the third time in a row this past season, and Montee Ball was a big part of that success.

    Sadly, for Wisconsin, that gravy train is at an end. Ball was a senior in 2012, and he's heading for a potential draft slot this April.

    Filling Ball's shoes is a nearly impossible task, even when he wasn't at 100 percent. Ball was a great addition to the Badgers' squad, and his presence will be missed.

    It will probably take two tailbacks to equal his production, and the spring game should show everyone exactly who his replacements are.

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