College Football Spring Practices 2014: Full Schedule and Dates for Top 25 Teams

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2014

Jan 2, 2014; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) stretches at practice for the 2014 BCS National Championship against the Auburn Tigers at the Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

College football's top teams will soon hit the gridiron once again for spring practices after a short offseason. This is the time when teams begin installing schemes and figuring out which players best fit them in the upcoming season.    

For fans and coaches alike, this is also the first chance to see what incoming freshmen who have enrolled early have to offer their new teams. It's an exciting time akin to Christmas morning for those who eat, drink and breath college football. 

Here's the full schedule with start and end dates for all the top 25 teams, per last year's final Associated Press Poll and PhilSteele.com:

2014 Spring Practice Dates for Top 25 Teams
RankTeamStart DateFinish Date
1Florida StateMarch 19April 12
2AuburnMarch 18April 19
3Michigan StateMarch 25April 26
4South CarolinaMarch 4April 12
5MissouriMarch 11April 19
6OklahomaMarch 8April 12
7AlabamaMarch 15April 19
8ClemsonMarch 5April 12
9OregonApril 1May 3
10UCFMarch 12April 12
11StanfordFebruary 24April 12
12Ohio StateMarch 4April 12
13BaylorFebruary 28April 5
14LSUMarch 7April 5
15LouisvilleMarch 18April 11
16UCLA-April 26
17Oklahoma State--
18Texas A&MFebruary 28April 5
19USCMarch 11April 19
20Arizona StateMarch 18April 19
21Notre DameMarch 3April 12
22WisconsinMarch 7April 12
23DukeFebruary 7March 5
24VanderbiltMarch 15April 13
25WashingtonMarch 4April 19
CollegeFootball.AP.org and PhilSteele.com

 

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher (L) holds the Coaches' Trophy as quarterback Jameis Winston (center) #5 looks on after defeating the Auburn Tigers 34-31 in the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Ro
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Florida State looks strong to repeat as the national champion this upcoming season, with quarterback Jameis Winston returning to action.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com has the Seminoles atop his preseason rankings and explains some of the reasons why he is optimistic about their success in 2014:

The Seminoles are starting to resemble what former FSU coach Bobby Bowden built during the 1990s. The defending BCS national champions have stockpiled NFL-type talent under coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff, and they might bring back eight starters on offense and six on defense in 2014.

However, with top contributors like Kelvin Benjamin, Timmy Jernigan, Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks all headed to the NFL, it won't be easy to conquer college football once again. 

As usual, one of the teams vying for the championship will be Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Saban's 2014 recruiting class was rated as the nation's best according to 247Sports' composite rankings, with six 5-star recruits and a whopping 15 4-stars coming in this season. 

And while many wondered who would be able to replace veteran starter AJ McCarron, who's on his way to the pros, Saban convinced Jacob Coker to transfer from Florida State. 

"We think a lot of Jake and we are excited to have him join our team," Saban said in a statement, as relayed by the Associated Press (via USA Today). "He is not only an outstanding football player, but he is also a fine young man who we feel will be a great fit with our program at Alabama."

Marcus Mariota's return to Oregon gives the Ducks reason to feel confident about next season, too. He was projected by many analysts as a first-round lock, had he declared for the 2014 NFL draft. 

While De'Anthony Thomas left to pursue a pro career, the Ducks return most of last year's starting offensive lineup. With one more year under his belt, Mariota should be able to help the Ducks reach greater heights than ever before. 

Auburn will be fascinating to watch this season, as Nick Marshall becomes more and more comfortable as the incumbent starter in his second year at the helm.

Without Tre Mason and demigod left tackle Greg Robinson, though, it remains to be seen if he'll continue his meteoric rise as one of college football's top stars.

Given the way Gus Malzahn creatively got the most out of his players last season, however, nobody should expect Marshall and the Tigers to fall by the wayside. This team will be relevant as a championship contender all year long. 

Nov 30, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn high fives quarterback Nick Marshall (14) during the second quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA, Oklahoma and Ohio State are all dark horses to win the championship next year in the new playoff format. All three schools feature exciting quarterbacks capable of carrying an offense and defenses that can turn up the heat.

The 2014-15 season will surely provide fans with as much drama and excitement as they could wish for. Nobody knows if the new playoff format will be better or worse than the BCS system, but it should at least make things interesting at the end. 

The long road to the championship begins this spring.

 

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