Media days are over, fall camps are open and college football season is officially just weeks away from kickoff.
This year marks the long-awaited end of the BCS era and the start of the College Football Playoff, which will pit four teams against each other in two national semifinal games on New Year's Day. The winners will square off in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the right to be crowned national champion on January 12.
Part of the beauty of college football is that we never know where superstars are hiding. At this time two seasons ago, for example, Johnny Manziel was an anonymous redshirt freshman competing with three other players just to start at Texas A&M.
Five months later, he was Johnny F'n Football!
Still, even if we can't predict where the next Manziel might come from, we can be sure of certain players, coaches and administrators whose actions in 2014 will dictate the narrative of the season.
Whether they are Heisman contenders, small-school superstars, coaches with something to prove or executives in charge of running the CFP, they are names every fan must know before the season.
For the sake of fairness, we have not listed multiple figures from any one school. There are too many promising players, coaches and storylines throughout the country that demand our attention.
Here are our 50 favorites, presented in alphabetical order.