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Power Ranking All 126 Teams After the 2014 BCS National Championship

Brian PedersenFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2017

Power Ranking All 126 Teams After the 2014 BCS National Championship

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    Now what do we do?

    The 2013-14 college football season was one of the most exciting in recent memory, with amazing plays and tremendous performances each and every night of competition. And in the end, we got a matchup of teams that absolutely no one (don't even try to say you picked Auburn vs. Florida State) would have predicted playing for the final BCS title.

    And what a heck of a game it was.

    Now that the season is officially over, there's only one thing left to do: Rank all 126 FBS teams one last time.

    For your enjoyment—and to help tide you over until the next college football milestone, which is national signing day on Feb. 5—here's our final power rankings.

126. Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

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    Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 0-12, 0-8 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: With new coach Chuck Martin at the helm, expect the RedHawks to show at least some improvement, especially to an offense that averaged only 225 yards and less than 10 points per game.

125. Georgia State Panthers

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    John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

    Final record: 0-12, 0-7 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: With a year of FBS experience under their belts, the Panthers should win a few games. That could start with their opener against FCS transitioning program Abilene Christian.

124. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 1-11, 1-7 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The Eagles snapped their 23-game losing streak in their season finale, a great block to build on in Todd Monken's second season.

123. Florida International Golden Panthers

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    Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sp

    Final record: 1-11, 1-7 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: Things can only get better for a team that averaged 9.8 points and 219 yards per game, but it will take some fresh faces, since none of the current crop could get anything done.

122. Massachusetts Minutemen

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    Final record: 1-11, 1-7 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The dismissal of coach Charley Molnar serves as an overhaul for a program that's only been in FBS for two seasons. Whoever comes in will probably look to make sweeping changes.

121. Idaho Vandals

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    Final record: 1-11 as an independent

    2014 outlook: The move to the Sun Belt Conference, although not ideal geographically, will at least give the Vandals some stability.

120. Western Michigan Broncos

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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 1-11, 1-7 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The Broncos struggled mightily in P.J. Fleck's first season, but freshman quarterback Zach Terrell provides promise for the future.

119. Hawaii Warriors

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    Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 1-11, 0-8 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: The Warriors need to find a quarterback to replace Sean Schroeder, but the late-season emergence of two running backs bodes well for some offensive diversity.

118. New Mexico State Aggies

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 2-10 as an independent

    2014 outlook: The Aggies at least get a fixed schedule with the switch to the Sun Belt Conference, but other than Idaho their closest league foe will be Texas State.

117. UAB Blazers

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    Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 2-10, 1-7 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The Blazers take a six-game losing streak into next year, and that streak will only end if they can shore up a defense that allowed nearly 44 points per game in 2013.

116. Eastern Michigan Eagles

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    Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 2-10, 1-7 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The Eagles will look to fly higher under new coach Chris Creighton, who has never had a losing season in 20 years as a head coach but takes over what is perennially one of the nation's worst programs.

115. UTEP Miners

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    Final record: 2-10, 1-7 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The Miners have been on a downward track for years, but with the continued weakening of C-USA they could benefit from all that uncertainty.

114. Army Black Knights

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    Final record: 3-9 as an independent

    2014 outlook: New coach Jeff Monken brings a long history as a successful option coach at Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech and Navy, fitting in perfectly with the athletes the Black Knights had under Rich Ellerson.

113. Purdue Boilermakers

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    Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 1-11, 0-8 Big Ten Conference

    2014 outlook: The Boilermakers finally showed some offensive spark down the stretch. Next year will depend on whether freshman quarterback Danny Etling can be the real deal.

112. California Golden Bears

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    Final record: 1-11, 0-8 Pac-12 Conference

    2014 outlook: The Golden Bears can only get better in the second year of Sonny Dykes' offense-driven tenure. If not, expect Cal to think about another coaching change after its worst season in school history.

111. Memphis Tigers

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    Final record: 3-9, 1-7 American Athletic Conference

    2014 outlook: The Tigers' move from Conference USA didn't go well the first time out, but if their offense can get in gear and match the defensive production, the second go-around could turn out much better.

110. Temple Owls

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    Final record: 2-10, 1-7 American Athletic Conference

    2014 outlook: The Owls played a lot better in 2013 than their record shows, so look for a few more wins as this young team learns how to close games out.

109. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

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    Final record: 3-9, 2-6 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The Golden Hurricane move to the American Athletic Conference, where it will need to search for a replacement for reliable senior running back Trey Watts.

108. Air Force Falcons

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 2-10, 0-8 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: The Falcons bring a nine-game conference losing streak into a pivotal year, one that could cost Troy Calhoun his job if another losing season occurs.

107. South Florida Bulls

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    Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 2-10, 2-6 American Athletic Conference

    2014 outlook: The Bulls had one of the nation's worst offenses in 2013, but if Willie Taggart can find some playmakers to rely on, the AAC is ripe for the taking next year.

106. Kent State Golden Flashes

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    Final record: 4-8, 3-6 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The Golden Flashes bring a two-game win streak into the new season and should continue to improve after a down year fueled by inexperience.

105. Old Dominion Monarchs

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    Final record: 8-4 as an independent

    2014 outlook: The Monarchs continue their transition from FCS with a full slate of FBS opponents, including inclusion on the Conference USA schedule.

104. New Mexico Lobos

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    Final record: 3-9, 1-7 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: The Lobos will look to continue building on their run game, which averaged more than 308 yards per game this past season.

103. Kansas Jayhawks

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    Final record: 3-9, 1-8 Big 12 Conference

    2014 outlook: The Jayhawks ended long skids against FBS and Big 12 opponents in 2013. Now comes the goal of trying to put together a winning season for the first time since 2008.

102. Kentucky Wildcats

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    Final record: 2-10, 0-8 SEC

    2014 outlook: The Wildcats have a lot of work to do to try to compete in the toughest league in FBS, though another solid recruiting class should help that cause.

101. Virginia Cavaliers

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    Final record: 2-10, 0-8 ACC

    2014 outlook: The Cavaliers will be playing for coach Mike London's job, as his win total has dropped from eight in 2011 to four in 2012 to just two this past season.

100. North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Final record: 3-9, 0-8 ACC

    2014 outlook: Dave Doeren will look to try to tap into some of the magic he had at Northern Illinois in his second season with the Wolfpack. He doesn't have a Jordan Lynch, but running back Shadrach Thornton is a good start.

99. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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    Final record: 4-8, 3-5 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The cupboard is slowly refilling for the Bulldogs, who were the top scoring team in the nation in 2012 but struggled on offense last season. A second year in C-USA should bring improvement.

98. Akron Zips

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    Final record: 5-7, 4-4 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The Zips are coming off their best season in five years and will enter on a three-game win streak. The first bowl invite since 2005 isn't out of the question.

97. Connecticut Huskies

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    Final record: 3-9, 3-5 American Athletic Conference

    2014 outlook: New coach Bob Diaco inherits a program that won its last three games in 2013. With a favorable schedule to start the new season, he could get off to a fast start.

96. Colorado Buffaloes

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    Final record: 4-8, 1-8 Pac-12 Conference

    2014 outlook: The Buffaloes need to move past being just a big-play offense to succeed in the Pac-12. So much will rest on whether quarterback Sefo Liufau is the right fit.

95. Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Final record: 3-9, 0-8 SEC

    2014 outlook: Things can only get better for the Razorbacks, who had their worst season since joining the SEC. Running back Alex Collins is a good one to build around, but they need more than just him to succeed.

94. Nevada Wolf Pack

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    Final record: 4-8, 3-5 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: The Wolf Pack will look to return to its winning ways after the first losing season in eight years. Quarterback Cody Fajardo battled injuries to put together a solid year, and will be called on as the leader next season.

93. Iowa State Cyclones

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    Final record: 3-9, 2-7 Big 12 Conference

    2014 outlook: A hard-luck season ended on a high note with an overtime win at West Virginia, something the Cyclones can build off for next year. Progress from quarterback Grant Rohach is key.

92. Wyoming Cowboys

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    Final record: 5-7, 3-5 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: It will be a completely new culture in Laramie under Craig Bohl, who comes in after piloting North Dakota State to three consecutive FCS titles. The Cowboys will need to replace a lot of offense, though, with dual-threat quarterback Brett Smith declaring for the NFL draft.

91. TCU Horned Frogs

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    Final record: 4-8, 2-7 Big 12 Conference

    2014 outlook: Solidifying the playmakers on offense will be key to the Horned Frogs making this past season an anomaly.

90. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Final record: 4-8, 2-7 Big 12 Conference

    2014 outlook: The natives are getting restless in Morgantown, where a down year has made the switch from the Big East look unwise through two seasons. Look for Dana Holgorsen to tear down and rebuild the offense in an effort to get back on track, especially with an opener against Alabama (in Atlanta) looming.

89. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Final record: 4-8, 2-6 ACC

    2014 outlook: New coach Dave Clawson will have a decent defense to work with, but he'll need to find some answers to fix the Demon Deacons' sluggish offense.

88. Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Final record: 4-8, 1-7 Big Ten Conference

    2014 outlook: Tim Beckman will be on the hot seat in Champaign, with expectations far greater than one league win in two seasons looming over him.

87. SMU Mustangs

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    Final record: 5-7, 4-4 American Athletic Conference

    2014 outlook: The Mustangs did themselves no favors with their nonleague schedule, opening with three bowl teams (Baylor and North Texas on the road, Texas A&M at home) and then a visit from TCU.

86. Northwestern Wildcats

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    Final record: 5-7, 1-7 Big Ten Conference

    2014 outlook: The Wildcats fell apart last year, but the late play of quarterback Trevor Siemian could lead to a quick turnaround thanks to a favorable schedule that includes Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin all at home.

85. Indiana Hoosiers

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    Final record: 5-7, 3-5 Big Ten Conference

    2014 outlook: Work needs to be done on the Hoosiers' defense if they hope to get back into the bowl mix next year after allowing almost 39 points per game in 2013.

84. Tennessee Volunteers

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    Final record: 5-7, 2-6 SEC

    2014 outlook: Butch Jones' second year should show some improvement on the offensive side now that he'll have more of his guys installed in the scheme. That started with the late-year insertion of freshman Joshua Dobbs at quarterback.

83. Florida Gators

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    Final record: 4-8, 3-5 SEC

    2014 outlook: It'll be put up or shut up for Will Muschamp, who is coming off the worst season for the Gators in more than 30 years. A new offensive coordinator will be asked to do a lot—and quickly.

82. Utah Utes

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    Final record: 5-7, 2-7 Pac-12

    2014 outlook: The latest shuffling of assistant coaches in Salt Lake City could be the change that the Utes need, or could be a harbinger of another rough year that might cost Kyle Whittingham his job.

81. Texas State Bobcats

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    Final record: 6-6, 2-5 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The Bobcats struggled down the stretch in league play, but this coming season could be a big one with the Sun Belt getting weaker because of the departure of Western Kentucky and addition of two FCS programs.

80. South Alabama Jaguars

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    Final record: 6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The Jaguars made great progress in their second year of FBS play, and next year should be in the running for a bowl bid. They also get to host an SEC program when Mississippi State comes to Mobile in mid-September.

79. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

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    Final record: 6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The Warhawks lose quarterback Kolton Browning but bring back plenty of other key players, making them a contender for a top spot in the league.

78. Central Michigan Chippewas

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    Final record: 6-6, 5-3 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: The Chippewas should once again feast on the lower rungs of the MAC. If they can knock off a nonconference foe or two (they face Kansas, Purdue and Syracuse), it could mean a bowl bid.

77. Troy Trojans

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    Final record: 6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The Trojans will have big shoes to fill with the loss of one of the most prolific pass-catching combos in FBS history, quarterback Corey Robinson and receiver Eric Thomas.

76. Florida Atlantic Owls

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    Final record: 6-6, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The Owls have momentum on their side as they usher in the Charlie Partridge era, as they ended last season on a four-game win streak.

75. San Jose State Spartans

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    Final record: 6-6, 5-3 Mountain West Conference

    2014 outlook: David Fales threw for more than 8,800 yards and tossed 66 touchdowns in the past two years. Replacing him will be essential for the Spartans to get back to a bowl game.

74. UTSA Roadrunners

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    Final record: 7-5, 6-2 Conference USA

    2014 outlook: The Roadrunners should contend for a division title after finishing on a five-game win streak. Most of their skill players are back, and this looks like a program on the fast track to success.

73. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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    Final record: 8-4, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference

    2014 outlook: The move to Conference USA should be an interesting one for the Hilltoppers, who could contend for a division title if they can replace the offense lost from senior running back Antonio Andrews and if Bobby Petrino sticks around.

72. Toledo Rockets

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    Final record: 7-5, 5-3 Mid-American Conference

    2014 outlook: With many starters graduating, the Rockets will lean heavily on young tailback Kareem Hunt to lead the charge.

71. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Final record: 6-7, 3-5 American Athletic Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 29-16 to Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Scarlet Knights have their hands full with the move to the Big Ten Conference. Stuck in a division with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, they also play at Nebraska and open at Washington State.

70. Washington State Cougars

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    Final record: 6-7, 4-5 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 48-45 to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cougars bring back a lot on offense, though the improved defense will have some big holes to fill heading into another year of having to face the league's array of potent offenses.

69. Ohio Bobcats

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    Final record: 7-6, 4-4 Mid-American Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 37-20 to East Carolina in the Beef O' Brady's Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bobcats could struggle next season as they break in new players across the board, including at quarterback, running back and receiver.

68. Tulane Green Wave

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    Final record: 7-6, 5-3 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Lost 24-21 to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Green Wave will need to find some offense if they want to contend next season in the American Athletic Conference.

67. UNLV Runnin' Rebels

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    Final record: 7-6, 5-3 Mountain West

    Bowl result: Lost 36-14 to North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Runnin' Rebels need to find a new quarterback and running back if they want to make this season's bowl bid a regular thing.

66. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

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    Final record: 8-5, 6-2 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Lost 24-6 to Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl

    2014 outlook: How the Blue Raiders fare next year will depend a lot on who replaces Logan Kilgore at quarterback.

65. Buffalo Bulls

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    Final record: 8-5, 6-2 Mid-American Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 49-24 to San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bulls will have a lot of stars to replace on both sides of the ball, but Joe Licata's return at quarterback should provide some stability for next season.

64. Maryland Terrapins

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    Final record: 7-6, 3-5 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 31-20 to Marshall in the Military Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Terrapins move to the Big Ten Conference and will be stuck on the far-tougher side of the league, along with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. It could be a long year.

63. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Final record: 7-6, 5-3 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 25-17 to Ole Miss in the Music City Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Yellow Jackets' inconsistent option game will be in search of a capable field general after the Jan. 2 news that Vad Lee has decided to transfer.

62. Arkansas State Red Wolves

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    Final record: 8-5, 5-2 Sun Belt Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Ball State 23-20 in the GoDaddy Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Red Wolves seem to keep winning despite constant coaching turnover, but the hope is new coach Blake Anderson might stick around more than one season. If he does, look for Arkansas State to continue to contend for Sun Belt crowns.

61. Colorado State Rams

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    Final record: 8-6, 5-3 Mountain West Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Washington State 48-45 in the New Mexico Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Rams' epic comeback to win their bowl game serves as a great leaping point for 2014, though they'll have to do it without stellar running back Kapri Bibbs, who is skipping his senior year to try out the NFL early.

60. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

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    Final record: 9-4, 5-2 Sun Belt Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Tulane 24-21 in the New Orleans Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Ragin' Cajuns should be a favorite to win the Sun Belt yet again, especially with Arkansas State's continued coaching turnover and the departure of Western Kentucky.

59. San Diego State Aztecs

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    Final record: 8-5, 6-2 Mountain West Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Buffalo 49-24 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Aztecs should make a run for the MWC's West title with most of their top players returning on offense.

58. Syracuse Orange

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    Final record: 7-6, 4-4 ACC

    Bowl result: Beat Minnesota 21-17 in the Texas Bowl

    2014 outlook: With a solid defense remaining mostly intact and a more experienced Terrel Hunt under center, look for the Orange to move up a few rungs in its second year in the ACC.

57. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Final record: 7-6, 3-5 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Rice 44-7 in the Liberty Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bulldogs won three straight down the stretch. The momentum from that run (along with many returners, including quarterback Dak Prescott) makes for a promising year.

56. Navy Midshipmen

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    Final record: 9-4 as an independent

    Bowl result: Beat Middle Tennessee 24-6 in the Armed Forces Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Midshipmen are looking good for a few years, since quarterback Keenan Reynolds was just a sophomore during this record-breaking season. That means more of the same type of effective option running next season.

55. North Texas Mean Green

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    Final record: 9-4, 6-2 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Beat UNLV 36-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Mean Green face a tough road next season as they try to replace numerous senior standouts.

54. Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Final record: 7-6, 3-5 ACC

    Bowl result: Beat Bowling Green 30-27 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

    2014 outlook: The bowl performances of freshmen James Conner and Tyler Boyd show the future is bright for the Panthers.

53. Oregon State Beavers

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    Final record: 7-6, 4-5 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Boise State 38-23 in the Hawaii Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Beavers lose a huge weapon in receiver Brandin Cooks, who is leaving early for the NFL, but quarterback Sean Mannion will just need to find someone else to throw to constantly.

52. Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Final record: 8-5, 5-3 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 42-12 to UCLA in the Sun Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Hokies lose their main offensive weapon (quarterback Logan Thomas), which will put even more pressure on the defense to carry the load. A slide is very possible.

51. Boston College Eagles

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    Final record: 7-6, 4-4 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 42-19 to Arizona in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Eagles will need to start from scratch next year after losing their quarterback, record-setting running back and top wide receiver to graduation.

50. Michigan Wolverines

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    Final record: 7-6, 3-5 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 31-14 to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

    2014 outlook: The healthy return of quarterback Devin Gardner will be a key part of whether the Wolverines can get back on track; developing a solid run game and playing defense will help, too.

49. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Final record: 7-5, 4-4 Big Ten Conference

    2014 outlook: The third year of the Nittany Lions' four seasons of major NCAA sanctions will also include a new coach. Who that is will determine whether Christian Hackenberg continues his progress at quarterback.

48. North Carolina Tar Heels

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    Final record: 7-6, 4-4 ACC

    Bowl result: Beat Cincinnati 39-17 in the Belk Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Tar Heels lose their offensive coordinator (new Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson) and their top receiving target (tight end Eric Ebron, who is leaving early for the NFL), but young stars like Marquise Williams and Ryan Switzer should help keep things moving forward.

47. East Carolina Pirates

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 10-3, 6-2 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Beat Ohio 37-20 in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl

    2014 outlook: The move to the American Athletic Conference will bring new challenges for the Pirates, but the return of big-armed quarterback Shane Carden should help with the transition.

46. Marshall Thundering Herd

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    Final record: 10-4, 7-1 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Beat Maryland 31-20 in the Military Bowl

    2014 outlook: Rakeem Cato has one year left, so unless the prolific quarterback makes a surprise decision to head to the NFL early, the Thundering Herd should be solid again next season.

45. Utah State Aggies

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    Final record: 9-5, 7-1 Mountain West

    Bowl result: Beat Northern Illinois 21-14 in the Poinsettia Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Aggies used smoke and mirrors on offense to balance a solid defense last year. Expect more of that next season, though Matt Wells' young skill players will now have more experience.

44. Boise State Broncos

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    Final record: 8-5, 6-2 Mountain West Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 38-23 to Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Broncos should be fine transitioning from Chris Petersen (now at Washington) to former Arkansas State coach and one-time Boise assistant Bryan Harsin. He'll get his first test when Boise opens in Atlanta against Ole Miss.

43. Houston Cougars

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    Final record: 8-5, 5-3 American Athletic Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 41-24 to Vanderbilt in the BBVA Compass Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cougars were young in 2013. With the AAC becoming more like the old Conference USA in terms of opponents, look for Houston to be among the top contenders next season.

42. BYU Cougars

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    Final record: 8-5 as an independent

    Bowl result: Lost 31-16 to Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl

    2014 outlook: With dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill still at the helm, look for the Cougars to put together a similar result as this past season. The schedule is tough, though, with trips to Boise State, Central Florida and Texas on tap.

41. Rice Owls

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    Final record: 10-4, 7-1 Conference USA

    Bowl result: Lost 44-7 to Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Owls may drop off a bit next season with some key losses, but their league is wide open enough that they should still be in the mix for another division title.

40. Ball State Cardinals

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    Final record: 10-3, 7-1 Mid-American Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 23-20 to Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cardinals have to find a quarterback to replace Keith Wenning, but if that happens—and no one poaches coach Pete Lembo during the offseason—it should be another good year in Muncie.

39. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Final record: 8-5, 4-4 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 21-17 to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Golden Gophers will need to figure out how to score if they're going to be able to contend again; relying just on a strong defense won't cut it.

38. Kansas State Wildcats

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    Final record: 8-5, 4-4 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Wildcats won six of seven to end the 2013 season. With many standouts returning, look for a fast start to the next campaign.

37. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 8-5, 5-3 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 21-14 to LSU in the Outback Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Hawkeyes should be strong on defense again next year, but they'll need to become more consistent and explosive on offense to move past eight victories.

36. Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes

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    Final record: 9-4, 5-3 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 36-9 to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Hurricanes look like they'll hold onto their coach, as Al Golden backed away from a chance to coach at Penn State. Now the key will be whether Duke Johnson can successfully return from injury.

35. Arizona Wildcats

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    Final record: 8-5, 4-5 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Boston College 42-19 in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Wildcats likely will have to replace prolific running back Ka'Deem Carey, who is expected to leave early for the NFL. They'll need a new quarterback, too, so expect a slow start to next season.

34. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Final record: 8-5, 4-5 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Arizona State 37-23 in the Holiday Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Red Raiders won't enter next season with uncertainty at quarterback after the way Davis Webb played in the bowl win. But they'll still need to replace the production of departing tight end standout Jace Amaro.

33. Ole Miss Rebels

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    Final record: 8-5, 3-5 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Georgia Tech 25-17 in the Music City Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Rebels have to replace top receiver Donte Moncrief, who's headed to the NFL early. Otherwise, the Rebels were pretty young and should be solid next season.

32. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Final record: 8-5, 5-3 SEC

    Bowl result: Lost 24-19 to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bulldogs need to get their defense shored up to stay competitive in the SEC, while the continued development of young quarterback Hutson Mason is also essential for success.

31. Texas Longhorns

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    Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 8-5, 7-2 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 30-7 to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl

    2014 outlook: Now that the Longhorns have their man in Charlie Strong, he can start putting together the defense he implemented so successfully at Louisville. He'll need to find a capable quarterback, too.

30. Washington Huskies

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    Final record: 9-4, 5-4 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat BYU 31-16 in the Fight Hunger Bowl

    2014 outlook: Keith Price and Bishop Sankey are gone, meaning new coach Chris Petersen will need to find his own replacements to keep the Huskies competitive.

29. Bowling Green Falcons

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    Final record: 10-4, 7-1 Mid-American Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 30-27 to Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

    2014 outlook: New coach Dino Babers will bring in his fast-paced attack, which should be music to the ears of quarterback Matt Johnson and running back Travis Greene.

28. Fresno State Bulldogs

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 11-2, 7-1 Mountain West

    Bowl result: Lost 45-20 to USC in the Las Vegas Bowl

    2014 outlook: The dynamic passing combo of Derek Carr and Davante Adams are off to the NFL, so Tim DeRuyter may switch to more of a defensive approach like what he's been known for in the past.

27. Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Final record: 9-4, 6-2 American Athletic Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 39-17 to North Carolina in the Belk Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bearcats overachieved thanks to a soft schedule in 2013, but now Tommy Tuberville will need to use his players to keep the ship afloat.

26. Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Final record: 12-2, 8-0 Mid-American Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 21-14 to Utah State in the Poinsettia Bowl

    2014 outlook: Fewer teams will be losing more of an impactful player than the Huskies, who have to replace nearly their entire offense with the departure of quarterback Jordan Lynch.

25. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 9-4 as an independent

    Bowl result: Beat Rutgers 29-16 in the Pinstripe Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Fighting Irish lose both their coordinators and several stars on defense. With a ramped-up schedule that includes trips to Arizona State and Florida State, a lot will ride on how well Everett Golson fares at quarterback after sitting out a year.

24. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Final record: 9-4, 5-3 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Georgia 24-19 in the Gator Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cornhuskers silenced a lot of critics with their bowl victory, but those clamors will resume if they can't get the quarterback situation figured out and shore up the defense next season.

23. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Final record: 9-4, 4-4 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Houston 41-24 in the BBVA Compass Bowl

    2014 outlook: So much will depend on the dwindling chances the school has of holding on to coach James Franklin. If he leaves, a solid replacement will be needed to continue the program's best stretch in school history.

22. Duke Blue Devils

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    Final record: 10-4, 6-2 ACC

    Bowl result: Lost 52-48 to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Blue Devils won't be able to sneak up on anyone next year, but Anthony Boone seems poised for a big season.

21. USC Trojans

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    Final record: 10-4, 6-3 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Fresno State 45-20 in the Las Vegas Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Trojans will probably not look very different under Steve Sarkisian, though they'll still have some depth limitations thanks to old-regime NCAA run-ins.

20. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Final record: 9-4, 4-4 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Duke 52-48 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl

    2014 outlook: Unless Johnny Manziel does a complete fake-out and comes back for his junior year, there's going to be a lot of new faces impacting the Aggies' offense.

19. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Final record: 9-4, 6-2 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 34-24 to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Badgers have Melvin Gordon coming back, and Gary Andersen is apt to start implementing more of his wide-open attack around the potent runner.

18. UCLA Bruins

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    Final record: 10-3, 6-3 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Virginia Tech 42-12 in the Sun Bowl

    2014 outlook: The decision by quarterback Brett Hundley to come back for another season immediately makes the Bruins one of the favorites in the Pac-12's South Division.

17. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Final record: 10-4, 8-1 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 37-23 to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Sun Devils will be mostly intact on offense, but they lose many stud defenders, a concern in the offense-driven Pac-12.

16. LSU Tigers

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 10-3, 5-3 SEC

    Bowl result: Won 21-14 over Iowa in the Outback Bowl.

    2014 outlook: The Tigers will need to replace a lot of weapons on offense. Look for Les Miles to change things around to make quarterback Anthony Jennings more comfortable and successful.

15. Baylor Bears

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    Final record: 11-2, 8-1 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 52-42 to Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Bears will have to replace some skill players, but they still have plenty of weapons and should once again be an offensive force.

14. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Final record: 10-3, 7-2 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 41-31 to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cowboys have to decide if J.W. Walsh is the answer at quarterback, and need to decide if Desmond Roland can be an every-down back.

13. Oregon Ducks

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    Final record: 11-2, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Texas 30-7 in the Alamo Bowl

    2014 outlook: With Marcus Mariota back for his senior year, expect the Ducks to once again be a national title contender.

12. Stanford Cardinal

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    Final record: 11-3, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference

    Bowl result: Lost 24-20 to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl

    2014 outlook: The Cardinal have a lot of holes to fill on defense, which might put a lot of pressure on Kevin Hogan to put more points on the board. There could be a slight slide.

11. Louisville Cardinals

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    Final record: 12-1, 7-1 American Athletic Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Miami (Fla.) 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl

    2014 outlook: Gone are coach Charlie Strong (to Texas) and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (early to the NFL), and the Cardinals are headed to the ACC. Whoever the school gets as their next coach might face some early hurdles.

10. Central Florida Knights

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    Final record: 12-1, 8-0 American Athletic Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl

    2014 outlook: Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson are gone to the NFL, which will likely lead to a significant fall for the Knights. But no one saw them coming this year, so who knows.

9. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Final record: 12-2, 8-0 Big Ten Championship

    Bowl result: Lost 40-35 to Clemson in the Orange Bowl

    2014 outlook: Braxton Miller's return to Columbus is huge for the Buckeyes, who will get Michigan State on their half of the league next season with a chance to avenge the Big Ten title loss.

8. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Final record: 10-2, 7-1 SEC

    Bowl result: Lost 45-31 to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

    2014 outlook: The Crimson Tide will hand the quarterback spot over to someone new for the first time in what seems like forever. Who that is will have a lot to live up to, but odds are the running backs, receivers and defense will help carry the load, if needed.

7. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Final record: 11-2, 7-2 Big 12 Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Alabama 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl

    2014 outlook: Trevor Knight's play in the bowl win will make the Sooners a hot pick heading into next season, but some key losses on defense need to be addressed for that to be a reality.

6. Clemson Tigers

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    Final record: 11-2, 7-1 ACC

    Bowl result: Beat Ohio State 40-35 in the Orange Bowl.

    2014 outlook: The Tigers will need to break in new players all over the field to keep their recent run going. The loss of Tajh Boyd and their top two receivers will take a while to overcome.

5. Missouri Tigers

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    Final record: 12-2, 7-1 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Oklahoma State 41-31 in the Cotton Bowl

    2014 outlook: The defense might need some fill-ins to get to last year's level, but the trio of Maty Mauk, Henry Josey and Dorial Green-Beckham might be one of the greatest in FBS.

    UPDATE: Josey declared for the NFL Draft on Tuesday, which moves Russell Hansbrough into the spotlight at tailback.

4. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Final record: 11-2, 6-2 SEC

    Bowl result: Beat Wisconsin 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl

    2014 outlook: Look for the Gamecocks to go heavy on Mike Davis rushing while the head ball coach figures out his quarterback situation.

3. Michigan State Spartans

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Final record: 13-1, 8-0 Big Ten Conference

    Bowl result: Beat Stanford 24-20 in the Rose Bowl

    2014 outlook: Expect another defense-driven Spartans unit, but Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford will make for a very complete team. One that could contend for a national title.

2. Auburn Tigers

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    Final record: 12-2, 7-1 SEC

    Bowl result: Lost 34-31 to Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game.

    2014 outlook: If Tre Mason and Nick Marshall stick around for their senior years, expect more of the same from the Tigers. Even if one or both leaves, though, Gus Malzahn's system seems to be one that can succeed regardless of the players.

1. Florida State Seminoles

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    Final record: 14-0, 8-0 ACC

    Bowl result: Beat Auburn 34-31 in the BCS National Championship Game.

    2014 outlook: Expect a few title-winning Seminoles to leap to the NFL now that they have a ring, but the most important one (quarterback Jameis Winston) will be around for at least one more season. That, and a defense that swarms and swallows, will be enough to make FSU the favorite heading into the first year where a playoff actually determines the national champion.

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