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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…

Story Continues →