The Biggest Storyline for Each BCS Team Midway Through Spring Practice

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2013

The Biggest Storyline for Each BCS Team Midway Through Spring Practice

0 of 74

    We are about midway through spring practice across the college football landscape, and storylines are beginning to emerge around the country.

    While some teams may be much more publicized than others, there is no question that every team has a storyline that is dominating spring camp.

    With spring games only a few weeks away in most cases, it is time to talk about what is happening as far as position battles, new head coaches or off-the-field incidents.

    Here is the biggest storyline for each BCS team as spring games approach.


    *Notre Dame and BYU are included with the BCS teams

Alabama Crimson Tide

1 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the Crimson Tide three-peat?

    While there is certainly a lot going on in Tuscaloosa right now, the off-the-field issues that plagued the program have passed, as four players have been kicked off the team.

    There will be a lot of new starters, particularly along the offensive line and throughout the defense, but as we all know, this team will be just fine.

    Whether or not they can three-peat is still up in the air.

    It is one of the most talked about subjects in college football right now.

Arizona Wildcats

2 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing Matt Scott

    A year ago, the main storyline would have been welcoming a new head coach in Rich Rodriguez, but now it is trying to find somebody to replace the talented Matt Scott.

    Last year he excelled at the quarterback position, and right now the Wildcats are still trying to find somebody to replace him.

    There are three guys who are in the mix, and while it will be hard to put up the numbers Scott did, B.J. Denker, Javelle Allen and Nick Isham all have a shot.

    Stay tuned, as this battle could last well into the summer.

Arizona State Sun Devils

3 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the defense show improvements?

    Arizona State had a solid offense last season, but was up-and-down on defense. With star defensive tackle Will Sutton coming back for his senior season, if the group improves, this team could go a long way.

    Last season, the Wildcats were 14th in the country in scoring, averaging 38.6 points a game, and should be right around that level again this season.

    Look for a solid season from head coach Todd Graham and his squad.

Arkansas Razorbacks

4 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transition with a new head coach

    Transitioning to a new head coach is never something that is easy to do, particularly with a program that has gone through what Arkansas has over the past year. Just ask Will Muschamp at Florida.

    Bret Bielema takes over the program, and he will be a change of pace from what Razorback fans are typically used to.

    It may take some getting used to, but this team will be right back on track in no time.

    The new head coach will dominate the spring storylines.

Auburn Tigers

5 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will be the quarterback?

    While welcoming new head coach Gus Malzahn is certainly a storyline, finding a quarterback to run the team is the talk of spring camp.

    One of the main reasons for the Tigers' struggles last season was the play from that position.

    With Clint Moseley no longer in the program, the job likely comes down to two players. The man who saw a lot of the snaps early last season was junior Kiehl Frazier.

    His main competition will come from sophomore Jonathan Wallace, who might just have the most talent of the two.

Baylor Bears

6 of 74

    Biggest storyline: the battle for the quarterback job

    Baylor is another team that has to replace a talented quarterback, as Nick Florence has moved on.

    There are three players who are in the mix to replace him. The man with the most time in the program is junior Bryce Petty.

    Along with Petty, there are two younger players who have a chance: redshirt freshman Seth Russell will be in the mix, along with true freshman Chris Johnson.

    As of right now, it appears that Petty is the favorite.

Boston College Eagles

7 of 74

    Biggest storyline: new head coach Steve Addazio

    A change of the guard at head coach is just what Boston College needed. The Eagles struggled the past few seasons under Frank Spaziani, and it was time for a change.

    Steve Addazio comes from Temple, and he will bring a ton of intensity to a program that could use a little.

    He has a tall order to rebuild the program, and that is the biggest storyline of the spring for the Eagles.

BYU Cougars

8 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Kyle Van Noy

    BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy is one of the best in the country at his position, and he is a story in himself.

    The talented Van Noy decided to come back for his senior season, and he will be a force to be reckoned with.

    The defense was phenomenal last season, and while there are some key players who will no longer be in the fold, including Ezekiel Ansah, this team will still be tough.

    Van Noy has been talked about this entire offseason, and rightfully so.

California Golden Bears

9 of 74

    Biggest storyline: offensive transition under Sonny Dykes

    California is another team that is welcoming a new head coach, and fans need to get used to some high-flying offense, as former Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes takes over for Jeff Tedford.

    His Louisiana Tech team loved to put points on the board last season, and California is going to try to do the same thing this year.

    The way the Bears will get that done is through the air. Expect some serious points to be scored by this team in 2013.

Central Florida Knights

10 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transitioning to the Big East

    While the Big East is certainly not what it used to be, Central Florida will still be making a jump up in 2013 from its old home in Conference USA.

    The schedule will be very challenging, as nonconference games against Penn State and South Carolina await.

    There are still some talented teams in the Big East, as Louisville and Rutgers loom on the schedule.

    Things will not be as easy as they were a year ago for this team.

Cincinnati Bearcats

11 of 74

    Biggest storyline: the Tommy Tuberville era

    Cincinnati made a splash in the offseason with the hiring of former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville.

    So far at camp he has been rather quiet—something Cincinnati fans did not expect when he was hired.

    When he will flip the switch and light a player up still remains to be seen, but talk of the Tuberville era is dominating spring practice at Cincinnati, even overshadowing the quarterback battle between Munchie Legaux and Brendon Kay.

Clemson Tigers

12 of 74

    Biggest storyline: finding a replacement at running back

    Losing a guy like Andre Ellington is not easy. He is not a player that can be replaced by one person. It might take a group of people.

    There are three players who could see carries in 2013 for the Tigers, but right now it seems like the starter will be Rod McDowell.

    He will get competition from Zac Brooks and D.J. Howard.

    There is a chance that Clemson fans will be wishing Ellington was still in the program by the end of the season.

Colorado Buffaloes

13 of 74

    Biggest storyline: winning with a new head coach

    Colorado has been one of the worst teams at the FBS level in recent years and will get a fresh start in 2013 as Mike MacIntyre takes over the program.

    MacIntyre comes from San Jose State, where he led the Spartans to a 10-2 record last season.

    Colorado on the other hand suffered through a 1-11 campaign.

    There is not a lot to talk about when it comes to Colorado football, but a new head coach is certainly worth a little conversation.

Connecticut Huskies

14 of 74

    Biggest storyline: finding a quarterback

    While the Connecticut defense did its fair share to keep its team in the game last season, the offense did not help it out at all.

    The group only averaged 17.8 points a year ago, and a lot of that was due to the struggles from the quarterback position.

    With spring practice beginning, there are two players in contention: Chandler Whitmer and Scott McCummings.

Duke Blue Devils

15 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the Blue Devils reach a bowl game again?

    Duke football is not something that is usually talked about too much, but last season the Blue Devils beat all odds and finished the regular season 6-6, earning a berth in the Belk Bowl.

    Will head coach David Cutcliffe and his staff be able to continue that success next season?

    That is the talk of camp for the Blue Devils so far this spring.

Florida Gators

16 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Loucheiz Purifoy

    Florida defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy is making noise this spring, as he is taking snaps on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver.

    He is a solid corner, and it looks like he might have the skills to be a talented receiver also.

    This is not only one of the biggest stories of any team in the SEC, but is also one of the most talked-about topics in the entire country.

    With so much talent on defense, Purifoy might find himself seeing more action on offense in 2013.

Florida State Seminoles

17 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Clint Trickett replace E.J. Manuel?

    E.J. Manuel was an absolute stud for Florida State over the past two seasons, and life is not going to be easy for head coach Jimbo Fisher without him.

    The man who is likely to take his job is junior Clint Trickett.

    He is going to get some competition from redshirt freshman Jameis Winston. Winston was one of the most heralded recruits in the 2012 class and will give Trickett all he can handle this spring.

Georgia Bulldogs

18 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing lost defensive talent

    Georgia had a solid defense last season, but the Bulldogs will have to replace a pair of linebackers, including Jarvis Jones, as well as four defensive backs and both defensive tackles.

    Head coach Mark Richt will undoubtedly have his hands full finding some replacements.

    Good thing he has plenty of talent to choose from.

    The offensive side of the ball will not be anything to worry about with quarterback Aaron Murray coming back for his senior season.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

19 of 74

    Biggest storyline: moving on with a new quarterback

    Tevin Washington had quite a successful career at Georgia Tech running the triple-option offense, and he has graduated.

    Finding a replacement for him is not a given, but the man who will likely replace him is Vad Lee.

    The sophomore saw action as a backup last season, but there will be some other players vying for his job, including incoming freshman Ty Griffin and Justin Thomas.

Houston Cougars

20 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transitioning to a new conference

    Houston is another of the four schools that is making the jump this season to the Big East.

    The Cougars struggled mightily last season on the defensive side of the ball, and things are not going to get easier in the Big East.

    The unit allowed 36 points a game last season, and head coach Tony Levine will need to find a way to get his team better on that side of the ball.

    At least there is a chance for an automatic berth to a BCS bowl game in 2013.

Illinois Fighting Illini

21 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Nathan Scheelhaase be productive?

    There is not a lot of talent behind him, so it appears that Nathan Scheelhaase will be the starter once again for his senior season.

    He struggled big-time last season, but there is not a lot of help around him on the offensive side of the ball.

    The talk of camp for the Fighting Illini is whether or not Scheelhaase can be productive enough in 2013 to hold the starting job.

Indiana Hoosiers

22 of 74

    Biggest storyline: the quarterback battle

    It appears that there is going to be a battle for the starting quarterback job at Indiana this season, and it has gotten underway with spring camp.

    There are three players that will be in the mix for the job. The leading contender might be sophomore Tre Roberson. He was the starter last season before being injured early in the season and lost for the year with a broken leg.

    A few other names to consider are junior Cameron Coffman and sophomore Nate Sudfeld.

    It should be an interesting battle in Bloomington all spring long.

Iowa Hawkeyes

23 of 74

    Biggest storyline: another quarterback battle

    Iowa struggled last season and now will have to replace starting quarterback James Vandenberg. He struggled during his senior season, and now there are three players trying to replace him.

    The top names on the list include sophomore Jake Rudock, junior Cody Sokol and freshman C.J. Beathard.

    While Vandenberg did not have the senior season he was expecting, he might be missed more than people expect in 2013.

Iowa State Cyclones

24 of 74

    Biggest storylines: finding replacements at linebacker

    Iowa State was blessed the past few seasons to have some very talented linebackers. A.J. Klein and Jake Knott were two of the best tacklers in the history of the program and combined for over 700 career tackles.

    They are going to be very hard to replace, and head coach Paul Rhoads will have his hands full trying to do so.

    Jeremiah George is one player who should be able to fill in rather nicely.

Kansas Jayhawks

25 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Will success come with JUCO transfers?

    Everybody knows Kansas struggled last season, and to try to get immediate results, head coach Charlie Weis has gone the junior college route to pick up some recruits. 

    Whether or not these recruits can make the immediate impact he is hoping for remains to be seen, but they might give Weis the best chance to win and save his job at least for a year.

    He is going to need to do more than win just one game in 2013.

Kansas State Wildcats

26 of 74

    Biggest storyline: battle for the quarterback job

    Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder will no longer be able to look to Collin Klein for help, as the talented quarterback has moved on to the next level.

    There will be two main candidates vying for the starting job, and Snyder will almost certainly pick the right one.

    The two names duking it out in spring camp are sophomore Daniel Sams—who might be the front-runner—and junior Jake Waters.

Kentucky Wildcats

27 of 74

    Biggest storyline: quarterback battle

    Kentucky is welcoming new head coach Mark Stoops, and he has already brought a solid recruiting class with him.

    He will need to decide who is going to be his starting quarterback this season, and he has three players to choose from.

    The three candidates are junior Maxwell Smith, sophomore Jalen Whitlow and sophomore Patrick Towles.

    No matter who he chooses, it is not going to be easy pickings in the SEC.

LSU Tigers

28 of 74

    Biggest storyline: development of Zach Mettenberger

    LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is talked about probably more than he should be, but there is no doubt that he will be the key to the season for the Tigers.

    If he can turn into the quarterback a lot of people are expecting him to be, this team could be dangerous.

    While there are a lot of questions that need to be answered on defense, the biggest storyline for the Tigers is without question the development of Mettenberger.

Louisville Cardinals

29 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Teddy Bridgewater be in the Heisman conversation?

    Louisville will be entering its final season in the Big East and has one of the best quarterbacks in the country to lead the way.

    Teddy Bridgewater will likely be in the Heisman conversation this season. With a solid team coming back, the Cardinals are the favorites to win the Big East.

    While that is definitely a storyline for the spring, the chances of Bridgewater winning the Heisman are dominating the conversation.

Maryland Terrapins

30 of 74

    Biggest storyline: battle for the starting quarterback job

    Maryland started three different quarterbacks last season and lost four for the year due to injury.

    That was something nobody could have prepared for, and it has to get better in 2013 for head coach Randy Edsall and his squad.

    Starter C.J. Brown was lost for the season to a torn ACL, but it looks like he will be in the mix once again this season.

    New Mexico transfer Ricardo Young also has a chance.

Memphis Tigers

31 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transitioning to the Big East

    Memphis had its fair share of struggles last season in Conference USA, so do not expect things to get much easier in the Big East this year.

    Second-year head coach Justin Fuente will need to find some more talent on both sides of the ball in 2013 for his team to win close to the four games it did a season ago.

    Look for Memphis to struggle in the Big East, at least initially.

Miami Hurricanes

32 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Duke Johnson

    Duke Johnson emerged for Miami last season as a true freshman, and there is no telling how good he could be this year.

    With Mike James gone, he will get the bulk of the touches out of the backfield this season, and his numbers should improve greatly.

    Where he also shines is as a kick returner. Look for him to be an All-American on special teams if he can stay healthy.

Michigan Wolverines

33 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Devin Gardner have sustained success?

    Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner took over last season for the injured Denard Robinson and did a very solid job.

    Now teams are going to have an entire offseason to prepare for his style, and he might not find it as easy the second time around.

    Michigan has a lot of talent coming back, but it will not be a walk in the park for Gardner in 2013.

Michigan State Spartans

34 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will replace Le'Veon Bell?

    Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell was a workhorse last season for the Spartans, and with his early departure to the NFL draft, this team could struggle mightily on offense, particularly at the beginning of the season.

    Head coach Mark Dantonio will have the unenviable task of trying to replace him, and it is going to be a tall task.

    The leading running back returning is Nick Hill, who carried the ball 51 times last season for 163 yards.

    There are some other names to keep in mind, including junior Jeremy Langford and redshirt freshman Nick Tompkins. There are also three incoming freshmen to keep an eye on.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

35 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Is another bowl game a possibility?

    Minnesota had a remarkable year in 2012, finishing the regular season 6-6 and qualifying for a bowl game.

    To do that again, the Golden Gophers are going to need to get help from a secondary that was one of the best in the country last season.

    Minnesota loses both cornerbacks, meaning it is going to have to find some viable options to replace Michael Carter and Troy Stoudermire.

Mississippi Rebels

36 of 74

    Biggest storyline: the recruiting class

    Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze put together a recruiting class that nobody could have expected a year ago at this time.

    He had one of the best classes in the country, and the biggest storyline in camp is just how well that class will fair.

    While it is not easy for a true freshman to start, there are some guys in this class that could make an immediate impact, including the incoming freshman Robert Nkemdiche.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

37 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will emerge at wide receiver?

    Mississippi State had a very successful 2012 campaign, and to build on that, head coach Dan Mullen will need some skill players to step up in 2013, specifically at wide receiver.

    There are only two receivers coming back who had 10 or more receptions last season, as the Bulldogs had to say goodbye to the likes of Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith, Arceto Clark and tight end Marcus Green.

    With a few recruits coming in, including junior college transfer Jeremy Chappelle, this is as wide open as any position on the roster.

Missouri Tigers

38 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can James Franklin return to form?

    Missouri struggled mightily in its first season in the SEC in 2012. One of the reasons for that was the play from the quarterback position.

    Quarterback James Franklin struggled big-time with injuries and will be looking to have a comeback season in 2013.

    There are a few players who could take his job, but it looks like Franklin will be the man for his senior season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

39 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Taylor Martinez lead the Cornhuskers to a Big Ten title?

    There are few players in the country who mean more to their team than Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.

    For Nebraska, there is certainly the storyline of rebuilding an awful defense, but a lot of fans are wondering just how good Martinez can be this season.

    He will be entering his senior season, and last year showed his versatility throughout the year.

    Watch out for Martinez in 2013.

North Carolina Tar Heels

40 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will replace Giovani Bernard?

    It was not a huge surprise that North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard left after his redshirt sophomore season, but head coach Larry Fedora now has to find somebody to replace him.

    He was as good as it got in the ACC last season and will be sorely missed.

    The man who will likely replace him is A.J. Blue. Blue rushed for 433 yards and nine touchdowns a year ago.

    It will take a few guys to make up for the lost production of Bernard.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

41 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will take over for Mike Glennon?

    North Carolina State has been blessed to have talented quarterbacks the past few seasons with Mike Glennon and Russell Wilson before him.

    That will not necessarily be the case in 2013, as Pete Thomas and Manny Stocker will be battling for the starting job.

    New head coach Dave Doeren will have his hands full trying to pick a starter, but both have a wealth of potential.

Northwestern Wildcats

42 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the success continue?

    The Northwestern Wildcats had one of the best seasons in school history, winning 10 games in 2012.

    Will head coach Pat Fitzgerald and his squad be able to continue that success in 2013?

    That is the biggest storyline surrounding this program during spring practice. It goes without saying just how far this program has come since the arrival of Fitzgerald.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

43 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the success from last season continue?

    The 2012 Notre Dame season was well documented, and there are a few storylines in spring camp, but perhaps the most notable of them all is whether or not that success can be duplicated.

    While it will be hard to run the table in the regular season again, the defense will be solid in 2013, and the offense should be nearly as good.

    There is a lot to talk about when it comes to Notre Dame, and many storylines to choose from this spring.

Ohio State Buckeyes

44 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing the defensive line

    Not many teams lost more talent at one position than Ohio State lost along the defensive line.

    The Buckeyes will have to replace all four starters, including the likes of John Simon, Nathan Williams and Johnathan Hankins.

    The biggest position battle this spring is undoubtedly along the defensive line.

    There is plenty of talent to choose from including some skilled sophomores. Watch for names like Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington to emerge in 2013.

Oklahoma Sooners

45 of 74

    Biggest storyline: How will Blake Bell fair as the starter?

    Over the past seven years, Oklahoma has had pure pocket passers, including the likes of Sam Bradford and Landry Jones.

    The 2013 season will be a completely different story, as dual-threat quarterback Blake Bell takes over the starting role.

    He might get some competition from Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson, but the job is his to lose.

    It should interesting to see just how Bob Stoops handles the quarterback situation in 2013.

Okahoma State Cowboys

46 of 74

    Biggest storyline: three quarterbacks for one job

    While some other teams have three decent quarterbacks in the mix, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has three extremely talented quarterbacks to choose from.

    All three made starts in 2012 and it will be a battle all spring to see who will come out on top and be ready for the season-opener against Mississippi State in Houston.

    The three names who made a splash last season are senior Clint Chelf, and sophomores West Lunt and J.W. Walsh.

    This race is wide open.

Oregon Ducks

47 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Oregon contend for a national title?

    The Oregon Ducks will return one of the best teams in the country, and the buzz this spring is whether they can contend for a national title under first-year head coach Mark Helfrich.  

    Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota will be one of the best in the country, and a trio of running backs should set the table for what promises to be another explosive offense.

    Just how good this team can be remains to be seen, but all signs are pointing toward another successful 2013 season.

Oregon State Beavers

48 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Will it be Sean Mannion or Cody Vaz?

    There are a lot of quarterback competitions across the country, but none more heated than the one at Oregon State between Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz.

    Both saw extensive playing time last season, and each brings a little something different to the table.

    Look for this competition to be fierce and very competitive. Each brings something a little different to the table, and head coach Mike Riley will have a huge decision to make.

Penn State Nittany Lions

49 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will replace Matt McGloin?

    Penn State has had the opportunity to have Matt McGloin under center the past few seasons, and now the Nittany Lions will need to find his replacement.

    There are three players with a shot, but the front-runner might be freshman Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg was one of the most highly touted recruits in the 2013 class and could have an instant impact as a true freshman.

    He will get competition from two sophomores, as both Steven Bench and Tyler Ferguson have a legitimate shot.

Pittsburgh Panthers

50 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing offensive playmakers

    There is a lot to replace on offense for Pittsburgh, and it all starts with quarterback Tino Sunseri.

    While losing running back Ray Graham will hurt, there are viable replacements including Rushel Shell.

    The battle for the quarterback position will be a completely different story. To say the job is wide open would be an understatement, as there are four guys with a legitimate shot.

    Topping the list is Rutgers transfer Tom Savage. Others include junior Trey Anderson and a pair of freshmen.

Purdue Boilermakers

51 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transitioning to a new head coach

    Former Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell is bringing a winning attitude to Purdue, and transitioning under a new head coach is the biggest storyline for the Boilermakers this spring.

    There are a few position battles that are still up for grabs, including quarterback, so there is a lot to watch out for this spring in West Lafayette.

    While it might take a while to turn the program around, they are headed in the right direction with Hazell running the show.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

52 of 74

    Biggest storyline: how to replace Jawan Jamison

    Running back Jawan Jamison bolted early for the NFL draft, and that has left the Rutgers offense in a tough place.

    The group struggled all of last season, and losing Jamison is not going to help.

    Head coach Kyle Flood will have some options to choose from, but for a team that only averaged 21.5 points a game with Jamison last season, do not expect things to be much better in 2013.

South Carolina Gamecocks

53 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Jadeveon Clowney

    South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a walking storyline, and he will be in the news from now until he is drafted next April.

    Without question, he is the most explosive defensive player in the country, and keeping him healthy this season is certainly at the top of head coach Steve Spurrier's wish list.

    If that happens, he will be in the news all season and likely be the first overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft.

South Florida Bulls

54 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will replace B.J. Daniels?

    It seems like B.J. Daniels was at South Florida for the better part of a decade, and now that he is finally gone, new head coach Willie Taggart will need to find a viable replacement.

    Matt Floyd was the backup last season, but struggled in limited action. He will be challenged by Bobby Eveld throughout spring practice.

    If neither of those two work, incoming freshman Mike White will have an opportunity to show what he can do.

SMU Mustangs

55 of 74

    Biggest storyline: transitioning to a new league

    SMU is the final of four teams moving to the Big East this season, and head coach June Jones will need to be on his game this spring to have his Mustangs in contention for a bowl game this fall.

    The Mustangs came on strong at the end of last season, dominating Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl.

    There is plenty of talent coming back, and it will be interesting to see how this team fairs in a new conference.

Stanford Cardinal

56 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing Stepfan Taylor

    Finding a replacement for a guy like Stepfan Taylor is certainly not something head coach David Shaw was looking forward to when the offseason began, but there are a few running backs to choose from.

    The leading candidate is Anthony Wilkerson. He saw the bulk of the carries last year and will be entering his senior campaign.

    A few other names to watch out for are Remound Wright, Ricky Seale and Barry Sanders Jr.

    It might be more of a running back by committee for Stanford in 2013.

Syracuse Orange

57 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing Ryan Nassib

    Ryan Nassib has moved on to the NFL draft. New Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer is looking for a viable replacement during spring practice.

    There are four names in the mix: a pair of sophomores in Ashton Broyld and Terrel Hunt could be leading the way, but there are also some upperclassmen in the conversation.

    Junior John Kinder and senior Charley Loeb could also be named the starter by Shafer.

    Expect a hard-fought battle between four talented quarterbacks.

Temple Owls

58 of 74

    Biggest storyline: replacing two talented running backs

    Temple lost not only one but two talented running backs, as both Matt Brown and Montel Harris moved on to the next level.

    New head coach Matt Rhule will need to find a viable replacement, as the Owls struggled mightily last season even with these two players.

    His first order of business this spring is finding some replacements for these two guys.

Tennessee Volunteers

59 of 74

    Biggest storyline: selecting some new receivers

    New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones kind of walked into a mess when he took the job, at least when it comes to the wide receiver position.

    The Vols lost their top three receivers from a year ago, as Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson and Zach Rogers are gone.

    Throw in tight end Mychal Rivera and there is not much proven talent coming back.

    The good news for Jones is he will have all spring and summer to pick some starters from a talented group.

Texas Longhorns

60 of 74

    Biggest storyline: how to dominate the line of scrimmage

    The Texas Longhorns have plenty of talent but have not lived up to expectations in recent years.

    Part of the reason for that, at least last year, was injuries. This year, if linebacker Jordan Hicks and defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat can come back healthy, that will go a long way toward helping dominate the line of scrimmage.

    Head coach Mack Brown needs to get more production on both sides of the line of scrimmage in 2013.

Texas A&M Aggies

61 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Johnny Manziel repeat as Heisman winner?

    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel burst onto the scene in 2012, winning the Heisman trophy and running all around against talented SEC defenses.

    During the offseason, he has made noise off the field and will come back with a chance to be only the second two-time Heisman trophy winner.

    No question Manziel is one of the biggest stories in all of college football.

TCU Horned Frogs

62 of 74

    Biggest storyline: a comeback for Casey Pachall

    TCU quarterback Casey Pachall is back with the Horned Frogs and will be in contention to earn his starting job once again.

    If he can stay on the field, TCU could be a very dangerous team in 2013.

    He can do it all from the quarterback position, and while sophomore Trevone Boykin is very talented, he is not in the same class as Pachall.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

63 of 74

    Biggest storyline: life after Tommy Tuberville

    Former Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville left the program by surprise, and that did not sit well with Red Raider fans.

    He was replaced by Kliff Kingsbury, and it is going to be quite an adjustment period, beginning with spring practice.

    Kingsbury is one of the youngest head coaches at the FBS level. Life after Tommy Tuberville may not go as smooth as some would like to think.

UCLA Bruins

64 of 74

    Biggest storyline: how to replace Johnathan Franklin

    Similar to Stanford, UCLA is also going to have to replace its star running back, as Johnathan Franklin is on to the NFL. 

    While head coach Jim Mora Jr. does get quarterback Brett Hundley back, he is going to have to find a replacement for Franklin.

    Last season the workhorse rushed for 1,734 yards and 13 touchdowns on 282 carries.

    There are plenty of candidates in the running at spring practice to replace him.

USC Trojans

65 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Who will be the starting quarterback?

    Matt Barkley has moved on. There are two quarterbacks who will be trying to replace him and be given the opportunity to throw the ball to Marqise Lee.

    Sophomore Max Wittek did not really impress last season while filling in for Barkley. He will get a huge challenge from incoming freshman Max Browne.

    Browne is one of the most highly touted recruits in the class and just might be the favorite to win the starting job.

Utah Utes

66 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Is Dennis Erickson the answer?

    New Utah offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson has quite a resume, and he is bringing that to Utah to try to revitalize an offense that struggled last season.

    He is planning on running a no-huddle offense, and that is going to do nothing but put more points on the board for the Utes.

    This is a very intriguing story that should be followed closely from spring practice through the entire season.

Vanderbilt Commodores

67 of 74

    Biggest storyline: open battle for the quarterback position

    Not that Jordan Rodgers was the best quarterback in the world, but he did have some success last season for the Commodores.

    He is gone, and the leading candidate to replace him is Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels.

    There will be plenty of competition from a few freshmen. Both Johnny McCrary and Patton Robinette will get their shot as well. 

    Look for another big season from the Commodores in 2013.

Virginia Cavaliers

68 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can the Cavaliers bounce back?

    Virginia struggled to a 4-8 campaign in 2012, and head coach Mike London was certainly looking to get back at it all winter long.

    Now that spring practice is underway, he is getting his chance.

    He is going to need improved play from the quarterback position if the Cavaliers plan on improving on their record from 2012.

    Having a recovery season will be the talk of spring practice at Virginia.

Virginia Tech Hokies

69 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Logan Thomas

    The struggles of Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas were well documented last season as he struggled mightily during his junior campaign

    He made an excellent decision to come back for his senior year and could benefit immensely.

    Thomas has all the tools to be an NFL quarterback, and if he can improve on his decision-making, he could still be a high selection in the 2014 NFL draft.

    There is no question that Thomas will be the story of the 2013 Hokies season.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

70 of 74

    Biggest storyline: how to improve on offense

    Wake Forest did not show much on the offensive side of the ball in 2012. The Demon Deacons only managed to average 18.5 points a game, and that was part of the reason for the 5-7 record.

    Head coach Jim Grobe will undoubtedly be on a mission to improve on both of those numbers.

    It all begins with spring practice, and he will likely need to find some new starters on the offensive side of the ball if things are going to change.

    The place to start would be along the young offensive line.

Washington Huskies

71 of 74

    Biggest storyline: how to improve on offense

    Washington struggled on offense last season, but the talent is there to have a breakout season in 2013.

    Quarterback Keith Price will be back for his senior season, and running back Bishop Sankey burst onto the scene in 2012.

    Head coach Steve Sarkisian and his squad only finished the season 7-6, and that has probably not sat well over the past few months with them.

    Improving on that all starts with offense and begins in the spring.

Washington State Cougars

72 of 74

    Biggest storyline: Can Leach succeed in his second season?

    It was a bit of a struggle for Washington State's Mike Leach in his first season as the head coach of the Cougars.

    A victory in the Apple Cup over Washington in the final game of the season was the perfect way to end the year for the Cougars.

    Look for some improvements in 2013, but there still appears to be a long way to go for this squad.

    Leach will be the focus of spring practice for Washington State.

West Virginia Mountaineers

73 of 74

    Biggest storyline: finding some playmakers on offense

    Not many teams lost as many playmakers as West Virginia did in 2012.

    At the top of the list is quarterback Geno Smith along with wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

    Head coach Dana Holgorsen needs to use the spring to find some playmakers, particularly on offense. There is enough talent coming back at running back, but it will take some digging to come up with the wide receiver spots.

    There will also be a battle at the quarterback position between junior Paul Millard and freshman Ford Childress.

Wisconsin Badgers

74 of 74

    Biggest storyline: moving on to a new regime

    Wisconsin is another school that underwent a head-coaching change in the offseason as Gary Andersen took over for Bret Bielema.

    The Badgers also lost running back Montee Ball to graduation.

    This might look like a slightly different team in 2013, as Andersen comes from a Utah State program that has had some major success over the past few seasons.

    It might be a new-look Badgers program in 2013.