NCAA FB

Final BCS season should be a wild ride

Share This Story

   
 

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:

---

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.

---

TOP PLAYERS

Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. The first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Football may still have something to prove this year after a difficult offseason.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. The most disruptive force in college football could become the first full-time defensive player to win the Heisman.

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama. He has as many national titles (two) as losses. `Nuff said.

Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California. One of those threat-to-score-on-every-touch guys.

Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona. Nation's leading rusher should continue to thrive in Rich Rodriguez's snap-before-they're-ready offense.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon. Possibly the most dynamic player in the country.

---

BEST GAMES

Alabama at Texas A&M, Sept 14. Manziel had the signature game for his Heisman resume by handing Alabama its only loss of the season. The Crimson Tide want payback - in a bad way.

Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 7. The ultimate in contrasting styles could have a huge impact on the national championship race again this year.

LSU at Alabama, Nov. 9. Another Game of the Century? Maybe, but will have national championship implications and fun to watch no matter what.

Georgia at Clemson, Saturday. The No. 5 Bulldogs and No. 8 Tigers have two of the nation's best quarterbacks in Murray and Tajh Boyd. The marquee game of the opening weekend should provide plenty of fireworks in Death Valley.

Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 30. The Fighting Irish won last year's game in overtime on a goal-line stand and went on to the national title game. The Cardinal had to ''settle'' for the Rose Bowl and will be looking for payback at home.

Wisconsin at Arizona State, Sept. 14. The Badgers' speed vs. the Sun Devils' power in an early-season test for teams that have BCS bowl aspirations.

---

HOT SEATS

A handful of coaches head into the season needing to win a few games or they could be looking for a new job. Here's a few:

Randy Edsall, Maryland. He's won three conference games in two seasons since taking over for popular Ralph Friedgen and it won't get any easier with the Terps headed to the Big Ten after this season.

Lane Kiffin, USC. He's been hamstrung through a postseason ban and limited scholarships from the Reggie Bush-related sanctions, but excuses have a limited shelf life in the land of Troy, particularly after last season's flameout.

Mack Brown, Texas. The Longhorns are 11-15 in the Big 12 since playing for a national title in 2009 and have been ripped by rival Oklahoma three straight years. That won't fly in Austin for very long.

Bobby Hauck, UNLV. A highly-successful coach at Montana, he's struggled in the move up to the FBS, winning three games in each of his three seasons.

Gary Pinkel, Missouri. A move to the SEC could be Pinkel's undoing if the Tigers don't start winning in their new league soon.

---

BEST NAMES

Run through college football rosters across the country and you'll find some interesting names. Here's some of the coolest we could find:

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama defensive back.

Taco Charlton, Michigan defensive end.

Spiffy Evans, Boston College receiver.

Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn linebacker.

Thor Jozwiak, South Florida offensive lineman.

Silverberry Mouhon, Cincinnati defensive lineman.

Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati quarterback.

Pharoah McKever, North Carolina State receiver.

---

Follow John Marshall at www.Twitter.com/jmarshallap

Tagged: Arizona, Stanford, Oregon, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Johnny Manziel

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash