1. Florida State
This is a big year for the Ducks and getting Marcus Mariota back makes them the top national championship contender out West as he will be surrounded by a stacked offensive line and healthy stable of backs. The key for the Ducks maintaining a spot that lines up with the first College Football Playoff will hinge on if they can keep running the hurry-up better than anyone in the nation, the emergence of some playmakers at receiver and if their defense can bounce back from a rough finish to 2013.
5. Michigan State
The hype for this season for the Bruins has been boiling ever since Brett Hundley turn down the NFL to return for his junior year and it is the primary reason that the Bruins are rated as high in the pre-season as I can ever remember. While Hundley's return might get all of the attention, the reason I have them rated this high is the ridiculous young talent that Jim Mora has loaded his offensive line and defensive unit with.
9. South Carolina
The Cardinal may have lost more talent and experience than any other elite program from 2013, but the young players that are filling in for the departing veterans are just as talented, so they don't fall too far. The key to the Cardinal getting into the national championship conversation again is the development of Kevin Hogan. If he can, the Cardinal could easily be a Top 5 team again.
13. Ohio State
16. Notre Dame
18. Texas A&M
The Trojans are still razor thin at almost every position, but what they lack in depth, they make up for in pure talent. They might have the best running backs in the nation, a first round talent at receiver in Nelson Agholor and most importantly, who I think is the nation's best defensive player tackle in monster Leonard Williams.
21. North Carolina
Chris Petersen inherits a team with serious question marks at their offensive skill positions, but as much talent and experience as the Huskies have had in more than a decade on the offensive line and on defense. If players step up at quarterback, running back and receiver, the Huskies could be a sleeper to creep into the Top 10.
24. Oklahoma State
On the edge
Iowa, UCF, Louisville, Missouri, BYU
Arizona State? Many have the Sun Devils ranked, but I don't or even have them on the edge because I am wary of them losing their entire starting defense. I love their Big Three of Taylor Kelly, D.J. Foster and Jaelen Strong but I am just too wary of all of that rebuilding on defense.