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Oregon. LaMichael James and Darron Thomas are gone? Big deal. The Ducks have plenty of other players who can fly in those new winged unis.

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KEEP AN EYE ON

Arkansas. QB Tyler Wilson and RB Knile Davis are back, coach John L. Smith has calmed the storm after Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle crash and subsequent firing. All Arkansas has to do now is get by Alabama and LSU _ its only two losses a year ago _ which isn’t as farfetched as you might think. Both visit the Natural state, one early (Alabama on Sept. 15) the other late (LSU the day after Thanksgiving)

Florida State. The Seminoles’ return to prominence has been rumored for years. Under coach Jimbo Fisher, it may actually happen this season.

Wisconsin. The Badgers are hungry after consecutive Rose Bowl losses and they have Ball, one of the nation’s best running backs.

Michigan State. Behind RB Le’Veon Bell, the Spartans could be on the verge of breaking a Rose Bowl drought that goes back to 1988.

Texas. Mack Brown’s crew appears to be headed back to the big stage behind a helmet-rattling defense.

West Virginia. The Mountaineers could make their first season in the Big 12 championship worthy.

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TOP PLAYERS

Barkley, USC. Projected as a high NFL draft pick, Barkley became an instant Heisman Trophy front-runner when he announced he was coming back for his senior season.

Ball, Wisconsin. The Badgers’ star running back changed the pronunciation of his name from Mon-tee to Mon-tay. Whatever you call him, dude’s good.

Robinson, Michigan. The Wolverines’ electric quarterback has churned out more than 8,000 yards in his career, most of those the past two seasons. Imagine what he could do if he tied his shoes.

Geno Smith, West Virginia. The Mountaineers’ QB set multiple school records as a junior and more could be on the way in his final season in Charleston.

Story Continues →