The college football season is a little under 180 days away, and it's time to start thinking about who's going to be a contender and who's going to be a pretender.
With all of the changes in college football and some great players leaving for the draft it could be an interesting year.
Here is a look at which mid-majors will be smelling the roses or eating the chips and salsa this season.
The Aztecs are looking to follow in the footsteps of their basketball team and become a household name in the world of college football.
They are returning a quarterback who will be a senior this season in Ryan Lindley.
Lindley, the 6'4" senior out of Alpine, California, had a great year last season but is looking to build upon that. In 2010, Lindley through for 3,830 yards and 28 touchdowns, while throwing 14 interceptions.
With the leadership of Lindley, along with many other key contributors, the Aztecs should be poised to make a run at the major bowl if not a BCS bowl.
Although Navy is losing their quarterback this season, they should still be a strong team.
With their great triple option, they are able to dominate opposing defenses and give defensive coordinators headaches that are immune to medicine.
Their defense will remain strong and they should be able to build on their bowl season of just a year ago when they came up just short of San Diego State.
Navy is a team to watch, although they might not be a BCS contender they could wind up in a major bowl this season.
Houston had a rebuilding year of sorts last season and his looking to once again turn into a bowl eligible team and should succeed.
They have a star in the making in sophomore quarterback David Piland. In his freshman year, he threw for 2,641 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Now that Piland has a year under his belt, he will start to be mentioned as one of the nation's elite quarterbacks until he leaves school.
Houston should be able to turn it around this season. Not sure they will be able to make a BCS bowl, but they will definitely be a contender for a major one.
The University of Central Florida may just have a breakout season. They made a bowl game last year and are looking to build upon that success to become one of the nation's elite mid-major programs.
They return dual-threat sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey next season.
In his first season, Godfrey had an excellent year.
He threw for 2,159 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also rushing for 566 and nine touchdowns.
This kid is the real deal and has what it takes to be an elite quarterback if he continues to grow as a player.
He might just put UCF on the map as an elite mid-major for the next three seasons.
Florida International might have what it takes to build upon a record season and create a dynasty of sorts for the football program.
Last season they reached their first bowl in school history as their program has only been around for so many seasons.
FIU is led by a great leader in Mario Cristobal.
After a dramatic victory in the Little Caesars Bowl just a season ago, look for FIU to make some noise and continue to build on their success.
Air Force is yet another service branch that is going to have a great football program again this season.
Unlike Navy however, they return their leader on the offensive side of the ball, Tim Jefferson.
Last season while running the option, Jefferson ran for 794 yards and 15 touchdowns, while passing for 1,459 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Building on Jefferson, the Falcons should be able to make a serious run at a great bowl game next season.
They have all the building blocks, it's just a matter of execution now.
Nevada only lost one game last season and is looking to carry that success over into 2011.
The Wolf Pack will have to do it with a new field general; however, which might cause some problems on the offensive side of the ball.
Their defense, however, is once again loaded and should prove to be enough to carry the team to another postseason berth.
The only question is how good can they be?
TCU will be playing its last season as a mid-major this year as they will finally move to the more competitive Big East conference, although it is the Big East, they are still considered major.
TCU is going to be great again this season even without returning their QB from last year.
Their defense will once again be deadly and they will be great once again creating an interesting dynamic in the Mountain West.
It could be one heck of a season for the Horned Frogs, especially considering the fact they just came off a Rose Bowl victory.
Surprise, Boise State is on this list.
They are by-far the most celebrated mid-major in the country and are returning a great team for 2011.
Led by quarterback Kellen Moore, the Boise State offense will be tough to stop again this season. A year ago, Moore threw for 3,845 yards and 35 touchdowns.
This number is just phenomenal and it will only be improved this season.
With the addition of his brother playing the receiver position this season, Boise State could have an excellent season once again.
The only question is, can they be the Butler of football and get to the BCS National Championship?