Preseason 2010 College Football Predictions: Top 10 Position Battles
Summer is winding down, meaning Fall Camp is just around the corner.
Many of the nation's elite have secured their positions for next season and, barring any injuries players like quarterback Terrelle Pryor from Ohio State and running back Mark Ingram from Alabama, have little to nothing to worry about.
Not all the positions are locked up across the country, especially with the new freshman arrivals over the summer.
Many coaches will be looking to use Fall Camp as a way to decide who gets the nod once the hitting begins.
Here's a look at some high profile position battles that will be occurring this fall.
The transfer of Steven Threet to Arizona State in 2008 left the quarterback competition between two true freshman in Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson in 2009.
Tate Forcier won the competition last year, but was hampered by a shoulder injury during the second half of the season, giving Robinson a chance to show off his blazing speed.
Robinson was expected to change positions this summer, but instead showed great improvement as a passer, causing Coach Rich Rodriguez to re-open the competition this fall.
The good news for Wolverine fans is that once you throw true freshman Devin Gardner into this QB battle they are guaranteed to have a solid competition this fall and excellent depth moving into the season.
Who will start this fall: Tate Forcier
Joe Cox ran out of eligibility this spring, possibly just in time for most Bulldog fans.
Afterall, Cox threw for 15 interceptions in the 2009 season.
Back-up Logan Gray added two more interceptions, giving Georgia its most interceptions since 1984.
Gray was expected to switch positions this spring, leaving the quarterback battle between red shirt freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger.
Mettenberger was dismissed from the team after an incident outside a bar in Valdosta led to an arrest.
That means Logan Gray will once again be throwing footballs at Georgia instead of catching them, as he competes with Murray in fall camp.
True freshman Hutson Mason could be given a look if Murray and Gray disappoint.
Who will start this fall: Aaron Murray
Auburn has a history of having ridiculous running back tandems (Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown in 2004), and 2009 showed that the Tigers had multiple running backs capable of carrying the load.
Ben Tate, Ontario McCalebb, and Mario Fannin teamed up to rush for more than 2,300 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Auburn's running back trio became a duo this year, as Tate has run out of eligibility, but the Tigers will have several players competing with McCalebb and Fannin for playing time in 2010.
Redshirt Freshman Dontae Aycock has showed he is a very capable player this Spring and Michael Dyer is one of the top incoming freshman running backs in the nation.
A solid, deep unit will bode well for Auburn this Fall as they break in Junior College transfer Cameron Newton at quarterback.
Who will start this fall: Mario Fannin
The defensive end position was on lock-down last year as both Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham were All-SEC selections.
Having both leave for the NFL means there are two positions both ends of the defense line are up for grabs this fall.
Justin Trattou had 17 tackles as a back-up to the Terrible Two last season and William Green has put together a solid spring.
Both will be trying to hold off true freshmen Ronald Powell and Lynden Trail.
Powell was considered to be the best defensive recruit in the 2010 class, so his arrival this fall will be treated with a lot of fanfare.
Who will start this fall: Justin Trattou and Ronald Powell
Quarterback was supposed to be a strong position for the Ducks this fall with returning senior Jeremiah Masoli being a lock.
A high profile arrest for a burglary at a campus fraternity led to Coach Chip Kelly suspending Masoli for the 2010 season for his involvement.
A second arrest for a separate incident led to Masoli's dismissal from the team.
Nate Costa threw for a 60.6 completion percentage in limited action and one start against UCLA in 2009.
Darren Thomas played in five games as a true freshman in 2008, but redshirted the 2009 season.
Thomas and Costa planned on battling for the back-up role this season and saving the starter battle for 2011.
Duck fans will get to see that competition a year early however, due to the mess that Masoli made.
Who will start this fall: Nate Costa
Highly touted running back Sam McGuffie couldn't make it work in Michigan and transferred before the start of the 2009 season.
Michigan also loses their top two rushers from the 2009 season in Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown.
Vincent Smith showed some flashes of brilliance before tearing an ACL against Ohio State, leaving Michael Shaw and Michael Cox with back-up duties.
Smith, Shaw, and Cox will be joined by redshirt freshman Fitzgerald Toussaint in the competition for carries this Fall.
Toussaint put together an excellent spring, proving the decision to redshirt him was a good one.
Who will start this fall: Fitzgerald Toussaint
Most Volunteer fans were calling for a quarterback battle last season after a poor start from Jonathan Crompton.
Crompton pulled it together in a whirlwind fashion, throwing for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns, and held off Nick Stephens.
Stephens left the team at the end of the season, leaving junior college transfer Matt Simms and true freshman Tyler Bray to battle it out for the starting nod.
Bray brings talent, but Simms bring experience. Unfortunately, neither has the talent and experience of Jonathan Crompton, yet.
Who will start this fall: Matt Simms
The Tide have to replace All American Javier Arenas and third team SEC cornerback Kareem Jackson.
With two lock down corners on the roster in 2009 it was hard for back-ups Dre Kirkpatrick and BJ Scott to earn playing time.
Kirkpatrick and Scott are going to continue to have competition in 2010 as LSU transfer Phelon Jones is now eligible and the Tide added DeMarcus Milliner in the 2010 class.
Milliner is one of the best incoming corners in the nation and should compete for playing time right away.
The secondary will be a lot less experienced this season, but competition for all four starting spots will be fierce.
Who will start this fall: Dre Kirkpatrick and DeMarcus Milliner
Texas has had more than it's fair share of talented running backs, including two Heisman trophy winners.
Production dropped off in 2008 with the leading rusher, Vondrell McGee, rushing for only 376 yards.
McGee struggled again in 2009 and missed some games due to injury, but he still has the most experience of any running back on Texas' roster.
The injury to McGee allowed Tre' Newton to take over the position and rush for 552 yards.
Texas will be using an I-formation with quarterback Garret Gilbert, which means either Newton or McGee could have a breakout year.
Jeremy Hills and Aaron smith will also compete for carries.
Who will start this fall: Tre' Newton
Ohio State RB
Buckeye fans will get a sequel to last year's running back competition between Brandon Saine and Dan Herron.
Saine led Ohio State last year with 768 yards, but Herron had 633 and had three more touchdowns than Saine.
Even more exciting for Buckeye fans is the fact that redshirt freshman Jaamal Berry will be competing for carries this fall as well.
Berry was only redshirted because of problems with a hamstring injury, but he is speedy, powerful, and capable.
Whoever loses the battle between Saine and Herron might just fall to number three on the depth chart behind Berry.
Who will start this fall: Brandon Saine