By RantSports Staff on May 31, 2014
Several big-name players (specifically quarterbacks) who ruled the college football world over the past few seasons are now gone to the NFL. That means the upcoming season is going to be filled with surprises and the emergences of new stars. So as you gather info in preparation for which teams you should monitor in 2014, keep these 15 programs in mind.
It’s never a list without Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are getting Everett Golson back for the 2014 season, which is a big deal for the program. Why is a big deal? The quarterback led the Fighting Irish to a national title appearance in 2012 before getting suspended for the entire 2013 season. Could another national title be in Notre Dame’s future?
Les Miles always puts together a team that competes for national titles at LSU. The Tigers always have a solid defense and people are excited about the possibility of an electrifying offense in 2014 – even with a new quarterback, receivers and running back in place. The Tigers might be reloading and not rebuilding in 2014.
Taylor Kelly is yet another guy on this list who can be considered an exciting quarterback and one that could get you watching his team play live. Kelly has an electric arm and could be one of the top quarterbacks in next year’s NFL draft. The Sun Devils have a team that can win the Pac-12 and steal the crown from a team like Oregon.
Any team that can put a beat down on a program like Alabama in the Sugar Bowl deserves to be respected and followed the following year. Bob Stoops is trying to put together a national title-caliber squad at Oklahoma and this might be the year he does so. Want to see a team that blew out Alabama in a BCS bowl play live? Oklahoma is your squad.
I’m seeing a trend of Heisman contenders on the list of teams worth watching as quarterback Brett Hundley is just that for the Bruins. The UCLA quarterback was another guy that was expected to go pro, but decided to come back for another season to perfect his game. The in-state rivalry against the USC Trojans will be a good one to watch live this season.
A new coach is in place, but the Trojans are looking to get back to their winning ways. This team has many solid athletes in place that could help USC get over the hump and finally end the slump of mediocrity. No matter how “poorly” the Trojans play, they are always exciting and worth watching live.
Auburn was arguably the most exciting team of 2013. If you blinked, you probably missed a few big plays in the Tigers’ favor. Remember the Hail Mary victory or how about the missed field goal that was returned for a touchdown with no time left against Alabama? They produce excitement and watching them play live will have you on the edge of your seat.
It seems like the Cardinal make it to the Rose Bowl every season. This year, if they do so, they would be making an appearance in the first college football playoff. Kevin Hogan will be poised to send Stanford to the first ever playoff and prove his doubters wrong who say he can’t produce as a college quarterback.
Bryce Petty and one of the best offenses in the nation will go back at it in 2014 looking to win a Big 12 title that slipped away in 2013. Petty is yet another Heisman candidate that could surprise some people and pass for close to 5,000 yards this season. Want to see one of the best passing attacks play live? I thought so.
No shocker here as the reigning national champions will always be worth watching live. Jameis Winston is the reigning Heisman winner as a freshman – the second ever – and he is fun to watch by himself. Add him to arguably the most talented team in the nation and you have yet another year where Florida State could be national champs.
Braxton Miller is reason enough to make you want to watch the Buckeyes play live. He is a serious Heisman contender and this could be the season that Urban Meyer leads Ohio State back to a national title. Don’t forget that Ohio State won 24 consecutive games before a loss in the Big Ten title last season.
How can a school that was home to the first freshman to ever win a Heisman not be worth watching live? Texas A&M might have lost Johnny Manziel to the NFL following the 2013 season, but there is no shortage of talent on the roster. Watch one of the most exciting programs in the nation try to make a run without their star quarterback.
Coming off its first Rose Bowl victory in decades, Michigan State has become everyone’s underdog pick to make this year’s college football playoff. Can Connor Cook and the Spartans make yet another impressive run in 2014? Watch this team play live and you’ll see a solid offense and the best defense in the nation.
Oregon thought that it was going to lose star quarterback Marcus Mariota to the NFL draft, but he decided to come back for another season. Don’t be surprised if the young QB contends for a Heisman Trophy. Wouldn’t you want to see one of the top-three quarterbacks in the country play live?
Nick Saban has put together the most dominant program in college football and you would be crazy to not want to see a serious national title contender play live. Although they are losing AJ McCarron, the Tide are looking to make yet another serious run. Don’t sleep on the depth of the quarterback position.
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