16. Oklahoma State — National title contenders play defense, and the Cowboys often do not.
17. Kansas — Arduous schedule could scuttle Jayhawks’ Big 12 title hopes — again.
18. Oregon — Run-happy Ducks unlikely to fade after transition from Bellotti to Chip Kelly.
19. Nebraska — Didn’t take long for Bo Pelini to revitalize the Cornhuskers, who could win Big 12 North.
20. TCU — For a textbook defensive display, see Horned Frogs’ Sept. 12 visit to Virginia.
21. Florida State — With a dominant line and a feisty defense, Seminoles should win ACC Atlantic.
22. Michigan State — Not quite on Big Ten’s top tier, but Spartans are a clear favorite for third.
23. Utah — From unbeaten to… merely contending for a Mountain West title. Life could be worse.
24. Texas Tech — Aaargh! Pirate-loving Leach will look up at three salty scalawags in tough Big 12 South.
25. Cincinnati — Even with 10 lost starters on defense, it remains unwise to discount mad genius Kelly.
26. Clemson — Spiller-for-Heisman campaign starts (and could end) Sept. 10 against Georgia Tech.
27. West Virginia — The QB limelight finally belongs to longtime understudy Jarrett Brown.
28. Iowa — Hawkeyes will miss Shonn Greene a lot, star defensive tackles even more.
29. Brigham Young — Cougars ended last year with a thud, but program still looks capable.
30. N.C. State — Wolfpack’s omnipresent caveat: If Russell Wilson can stay healthy…