- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The BCS farewell tour is about to begin.

Love it or hate it _ we’re guessing there are far more in the hating camp _ the system for determining college football’s national champion will be mothballed after this season, replaced by the new, aptly-named College Football Playoff.

As farewells go, this one has a chance to be a memorable one, filled with intriguing story lines, great players and great teams, led by two-time defending national champion Alabama.

And, because this is the BCS, we can probably expect plenty of debate about what team should be where in the rankings.

This final go-round starts on Thursday, so here’s a few things to look for:

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TOP TEAMS

Alabama. All those future pros, an unflappable quarterback, one of the game’s all-time great coaches _ hard to pick against the Crimson Tide making it three straight titles.

Ohio State. The Buckeyes went 12-0 in their first season under Urban Meyer, but were tattooed out of the national title game because of NCAA sanctions. They’re still loaded with talented players.

Oregon. Don’t expect any drop-off under Mark Helfrich. Chip Kelly left the cupboard plenty full before leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Stanford. The defending Rose Bowl champions are eyeing the big prize this season.

Texas A&M. Johnny Manziel is good to go after the NCAA looked into whether he was paid for signing autographs.

Georgia. The Bulldogs have to replace a few players on defense, but their offense is loaded with playmakers, led by QB Aaron Murray.

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TOP PLAYERS

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