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Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 Preview and Prediction

Alabama begins 2016 where it ended in January – at the top of college football’s rankings. The Crimson Tide have claimed three out of the last five national championships and are Athlon’s projected No. 1 team and pick to win it all in 2016. As usual, Nick Saban’s team has work to do on both sides of the ball, but a roster loaded with ... READ MORE

Florida State Seminoles 2016 Preview and Prediction

After finishing 10-3 in a rebuilding season, Florida State is loaded for another run at a national championship in 2016. The biggest question mark for coach Jimbo Fisher is at the quarterback position, but the Seminoles aren’t hurting for talent. Redshirt freshman Deondre Francois and true freshman Malik Henry will push Sean Maguire for the starting jo... READ MORE

Ohio State Buckeyes 2016 Preview and Prediction

Despite losing a wealth of talent to the NFL, Ohio State is poised for another run at the Big Ten Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Urban Meyer’s team returns only six starters, but elite recruiting has the Buckeyes’ roster stocked for a quick rebuild. J.T. Barrett is the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback and the lack of a con... READ MORE

Clemson Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Dabo Swinney has raised expectations at Clemson, and last year's 14 wins in 2015 were the most in program history for a single season. However, the Tigers enter 2016 with unfinished business. Clemson fell just short in the national title game against Alabama, and the Tigers are hoping for another run to the championship in 2016. The pieces are ... READ MORE

Michigan Wolverines 2016 Preview and Prediction

Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back among the nation’s best, and the Wolverines should be in the conversation for a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2016. Road trips to Ohio State and Michigan State will determine just how high Michigan climbs in rankings, but the pieces are in place for a run at the Big Ten title. While a new quarterback must emerge... READ MORE

Oklahoma Sooners 2016 Preview and Prediction

Another run at the College Football Playoff and a Big 12 title is certainly within reach for Oklahoma. The Sooners return 12 starters from last year’s 11-2 team, including Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield and talented running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. Replacing Sterling Shepard and rebuilding the line are the biggest concern on offense ... READ MORE

Tennessee Volunteers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Tennessee is the clear favorite in the SEC East and a legitimate playoff contender. The Volunteers return 18 starters from last year’s nine-win team, including quarterback Joshua Dobbs and standout running backs Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd. While the ground game is among the best in the SEC, Tennessee needs more out of its passing attack in 2016. New c... READ MORE

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Fighting Irish return only eight starters, but coach Brian Kelly’s team shouldn’t be dismissed as a playoff contender. Two talented quarterbacks – DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire – will battle for the starting job, and Tarean Folston returns at running back after missing nearly all of last season due to injury. Finding a No. 1 recei... READ MORE

LSU Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

LSU’s 2015 season ended in bizarre fashion, as there was plenty of doubt on coach Les Miles’ future entering the regular season finale against Texas A&M. However, after beating the Aggies, Miles was retained for 2016 and returns a roster capable of contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff. For LSU to win the SEC and claim a playo... READ MORE

Ole Miss Rebels 2016 Preview and Prediction

Even with the departure of three NFL first-round picks, Ole Miss isn’t going to slip too far in the SEC West. The Rebels return the SEC’s top quarterback in Chad Kelly, and there’s a host of talented receivers waiting to emerge as a replacement for standout Laquon Treadwell. The biggest concern on offense is the line, but true freshman Greg... READ MORE

Washington Huskies 2016 Preview and Prediction

Washington is a program on the rise under third-year coach Chris Petersen, and the Huskies have the necessary pieces in place to challenge Stanford for the Pac-12 North title. Leading the way for the offense is a pair of sophomores – quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. Additionally, the Huskies return three starters on the offensiv... READ MORE

Stanford Cardinal 2016 Preview and Prediction

Stanford has claimed at least a share of the Pac-12 North title in four out of coach David Shaw’s five seasons. But the Cardinal face a significant rebuilding effort in order to earn their fifth in six years. Running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the nation’s best players, and he will anchor an offense that features a new quarterback (likely... READ MORE

Michigan State Spartans 2016 Preview and Prediction

Michigan State loses several key pieces from last year’s Big Ten title team, but coach Mark Dantonio’s program has plenty of staying power. The rebuilding effort starts on offense in replacing quarterback Connor Cook, receiver Aaron Burbridge and standout offensive linemen Jack Allen and Jack Conklin. The defense returns five starters, but this u... READ MORE

UCLA Bruins 2016 Preview and Prediction

With 12 returning starters and a rising star in sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen, the Bruins are the team to beat in the Pac-12 South. There’s some turnover among Rosen’s supporting cast, but UCLA has options at running back and receiver, and the offensive line may not suffer too much despite losing three starters. The defense struggled to stop t... READ MORE

Houston Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

After a 13-1 record and a Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Florida State last season, Houston is aiming even higher in coach Tom Herman’s second year. The Cougars are projected to be college football’s top Group of 5 program once again in 2016, and a schedule that features games against Louisville and Oklahoma provide opportunities for marquee wins. Dyn... READ MORE

Georgia Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

It’s a new era for Georgia’s football program, as Mark Richt’s 15-year stint in Athens ended after the regular season, and former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart was hired to lead his alma mater to SEC titles. Smart inherits plenty of talent, but the Bulldogs also feature question marks on both sides of the ball. On offense, there’s unc... READ MORE

TCU Horned Frogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

TCU entered last season as one of the favorites to win the Big 12 and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff but injuries and roster turnover on defense prevented coach Gary Patterson’s team from claiming the conference title. Even with the departure of quarterback Trevone Boykin and a revamped offensive line, the Horned Frogs aren’t expecte... READ MORE

Louisville Cardinals 2016 Preview and Prediction

The ACC already features two of the nation’s best teams in Florida State and Clemson, but the Atlantic Division will get a little deeper with Louisville’s emergence in 2016. The Cardinals finished 2015 by winning six out of their last seven games and return 16 starters, including dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson. The sophomore is surrounded by a... READ MORE

Iowa Hawkeyes 2016 Preview and Prediction

The 2015 season was certainly a memorable one for Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished 12-2, claimed the Big Ten’s West Division title and came within a goal-line stand of reaching the College Football Playoff. Considering Iowa had not won more than eight games since 2010 and coach Kirk Ferentz was starting to feel a little heat, last year’s record w... READ MORE

Florida Gators 2016 Preview and Prediction

Florida was one of college football’s biggest surprises last season. The Gators finished 10-4 and claimed the SEC East title under first-year coach Jim McElwain. While McElwain’s first season was a success, there’s plenty of work ahead for this team in 2016. The offense struggled after the suspension of quarterback Will Grier in the second ... READ MORE

North Carolina Tar Heels 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Tar Heels are coming off a breakthrough year in Larry Fedora’s fourth season in Chapel Hill. North Carolina won 11 games, claimed the Coastal Division title and finished No. 15 in the final Associated Press poll. Both sides of the ball suffered some key losses, but the Tar Heels are reloaded and open 2016 as the favorite to win the Coastal Division... READ MORE

USC Trojans 2016 Preview and Prediction

USC is one of college football's most intriguing teams to watch in 2016. New coach Clay Helton takes over on a full-time basis, and his first year at the helm features one of the nation’s toughest schedules. The Trojans open against defending national champion Alabama, play at Stanford, Utah, Washington and UCLA and match up against Notre Dame... READ MORE

Oregon Ducks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Oregon’s streak of seven consecutive double-digit win seasons ended in 2015. However, the Ducks weren’t too far off their usual tally, as coach Mark Helfrich’s team finished 9-4 and suffered three of the four losses by a touchdown or less. As the focus shifts to 2016, Oregon has work to do in order to catch Stanford and Washington in the Pa... READ MORE

Oklahoma State Cowboys 2016 Preview and Prediction

Oklahoma State rebounded from a 7-6 record in 2014 to a 10-3 mark last year. The Cowboys have won at least 10 games in two out of the last three seasons under coach Mike Gundy and enter 2016 with a chance to match last year’s victory total. The offense is led by quarterback Mason Rudolph and a deep group of options at receiver headlined by big-play thr... READ MORE

Baylor Bears 2016 Preview and Prediction

Baylor's 2016 outlook has shifted dramatically since late May. Coach Art Briles was dismissed after the results of an independent investigation into the program's response to sexual assault allegations was released on May 26. Briles was an instrumental part of Baylor's rise to a Big 12 power and one of the nation's top coaches. In addition to... READ MORE

Arkansas Razorbacks 2016 Preview and Prediction

Arkansas must replace a couple of key players from last year's team, but there's stability in Fayetteville with Bret Bielema at the helm. On offense, the Razorbacks must replace quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins, tight end Hunter Henry and offensive linemen Denver Kirkland and Sebastian Tretola. There is a lot of change in Fay... READ MORE

Miami Hurricanes 2016 Preview and Prediction

Having a new sheriff in town with Mark Richt might be the key ingredient to getting Miami back to a perennial power. Richt comes into a great quarterback situation with star quarterback Brad Kaaya returning, but will that be enough to knock off the ACC’s best - Clemson and Florida State - for a conference title?  Follow Athlon Sports on Twitter... READ MORE

Texas A&M Aggies 2016 Preview and Prediction

There's plenty of pressure on Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin to win big this year. The combination of new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and graduate transfer quarterback Trevor Knight must deliver if the Aggies are going to make a run in the SEC. With uncertainty surrounding the offense, Texas A&M could lean even more on its defense, which fea... READ MORE

Virginia Tech Hokies 2016 Preview and Prediction

New coach Justin Fuente has some big shoes to fill in replacing Frank Beamer on the Virginia Tech sideline. Defense has always been a staple for the Hokies, but the offense must make strides for Virginia Tech to be a serious ACC contender. The good news for the Hokies? Fuente has a good track record of success on that side of the ball, and junior colleg... READ MORE

Washington State Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

Washington State improved its win total by six games last season after a 3-9 mark in 2014. The Cougars also claimed the program’s second bowl trip under coach Mike Leach. As usual for a Mike Leach-coached team, Washington State will be dynamic on offense. Quarterback Luke Falk headlines the high-powered passing attack, while receiver Gab... READ MORE

Nebraska Cornhuskers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Mike Riley’s debut at Nebraska resulted in a losing record (6-7), but the Cornhuskers were better than their win total indicated. A minus-12 turnover margin was largely to blame for six losses by eight points or less. If Nebraska eliminates some of the turnovers, improving its win total by a couple of games and contending for the Big Ten West isn&rsquo... READ MORE

Utah Utes 2016 Preview and Prediction

After another productive season in Salt Lake City under coach Kyle Whittingham, the Utes look to take that next step for the program. The offensive line will be a strength, but that’s about it on offense with numerous question marks at the other positions. Utah hopes junior college transfer Troy Williams is the answer at quarterback, while running back... READ MORE

Wisconsin Badgers 2016 Preview and Prediction

There are some big shoes to fill in Madison this fall. Second-year coach Paul Chryst has to replace defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, quarterback Joel Stave and wide receiver Alex Erickson and also faces one of the nation's toughest schedules. Chryst started off his UW head coaching career with an impressive 10-win season, but can he repeat th... READ MORE

Boise State Broncos 2016 Preview and Prediction

For only the second time in the past decade, the Broncos won less than 10 games last year. The disappointing season started off strong with Boise State opening 7-2 before November, but coach Bryan Harsin's team dropped two critical November conference games and fell short of the division title. Will they be rejuvenated in 2016? Star quarterback Bret... READ MORE

Auburn Tigers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Auburn didn’t live up to the hype last season and 2016 doesn’t look that great either with many question marks on the table. Who will start at quarterback? Did coach Gus Malzahn upgrade the defense with the hire of new coordinator Kevin Steele? The Tigers will learn soon enough, but expect the defense to carry more of the weight than the off... READ MORE

San Diego State Aztecs 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Aztecs took a huge step forward last season and look to keep that momentum going into 2016. Not only did San Diego State win the Mountain West in 2015, the 11 victories also tied for the best mark in program history. Coach Rocky Long will once again lean on dynamic running back Donnell Pumphrey and lockdown cornerback Damontae Kazee to win... READ MORE

South Florida Bulls 2016 Preview and Prediction

After being one of the hottest teams in November last season, coach Willie Taggart lost to his alma mater (WKU) in the Miami Beach Bowl. But that should just be a blimp in the momentum that is in Tampa right now. Expectations are the highest they’ve been in recent memory for the Bulls, and with running back Marlon Mack and quarterback Quinton Flowers r... READ MORE

Pitt Panthers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Pittsburgh fans should feel like they have finally found their man in second-year coach Pat Narduzzi. He has given the fan base something to be excited about as expectations are relatively high entering the fall season. Star running back James Conner is on track to return in 2016, giving the Panthers a potent one-two punch in the backfield with the emergence... READ MORE

Penn State Nittany Lions 2016 Preview and Prediction

Penn State hasn't quite reached expectations in James Franklin's two seasons, but this team still has a lot of talent and the overall depth has improved. However, playing in one of the hardest divisions that college football has to offer is no small task. The Nittany Lions are looking for a spark on offense, with Franklin turning to former Fordham he... READ MORE

West Virginia Mountaineers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Is 2016 a make-or-break year for coach Dana Holgorsen? It certainly seems that way. Provided quarterback Skyler Howard picks up where he left off in the bowl game, the Mountaineers should have one of the Big 12's top offenses. However, there's concern on defense with a revamped back seven. A new-look secondary will be tested in the offensive-min... READ MORE

Mississippi State Bulldogs 2016 Preview and Prediction

In the toughest division in football (SEC West), the Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them in 2016. There are key pieces returning to Starkville, but the face of the program now straps up for the Cowboys. Will Dak Prescott be greatly missed? Coach Dan Mullen might have to do his best coaching job yet to go bowling this winter. Follow Athlon Sport... READ MORE

Texas Tech Red Raiders 2016 Preview and Prediction

Having Patrick Mahomes - one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 - will be a big help, but will those around him make the offense flourish? Texas Tech must replace standout receiver Jakeem Grant and running back DeAndre Washington, and the offensive line has to be rebuilt. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is an offensive mastermind, but the defense also has to ... READ MORE

Texas Longhorns 2016 Preview and Prediction

In a must-win year for coach Charlie Strong, the pressure is on in Austin. The Longhorns definitely gained some positive momentum after bringing in some blue-chippers on signing day this past spring, but will that be enough? New coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was brought aboard to bring significant improvement to the offense, and there's quarterback uncerta... READ MORE

California Golden Bears 2016 Preview and Prediction

Losing the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft will hurt, but coach Sonny Dykes landed a replacement for Jared Goff in May with the addition of transfer Davis Webb. In addition to getting Webb settled at quarterback, the Golden Bears have to find a few weapons at receiver. The defense has improved every year since 2014 and there’s no reason why that shoul... READ MORE

Northwestern Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Northwestern is coming off an impressive 10-3 record from 2015, but coach Pat Fitzgerald's team has a lot of work to do in order to reach double-digit wins once again. The Wildcats can lean on running back Justin Jackson to carry the offense, while quarterback Clayton Thorson should be better in his second year as the starter. The defense was a standout ... READ MORE

Arizona State Sun Devils 2016 Preview and Prediction

After a disappointing season in 2015, the Sun Devils look to get back atop the Pac-12 South. Coach Todd Graham has always had the offense on point, but in 2016 the defense might have to carry the weight. Losing quarterback Mike Bercovici hurts a lot, but coordinator Chip Lindsey feels confident they’ll have a competent player under center come fall. Un... READ MORE

BYU Cougars 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Bronco Mendenhall era ended with a loss to hated rival Utah in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. However, there's plenty of positive momentum at BYU, as new coach Kalani Sitake is plenty capable of keeping this program performing at a high level. The defense should take strides this fall led by safety Kai Nacua (six interceptions)... READ MORE

Kansas State Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Kansas State was hit hard by injuries last season, but the Wildcats could be poised for a quick rebound in 2016. A Bill Snyder-coached team is always a dangerous opponent in the Big 12, and this year's version could surprise if the right pieces fall into place on offense. The defense returns standout talents in linebacker Elijah Lee and linemen... READ MORE

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2016 Preview and Prediction

To say Georgia Tech's 2015 season would be one to forget, would be an understatement. After winning the ACC Coastal and playing in the Orange Bowl the previous year, the Yellow Jackets slumped to 3-9 overall and won just one game in conference play. Despite last season's disappointment, Georgia Tech should rebound in 2016. Quarterback Justin Thomas r... READ MORE

Air Force Falcons 2016 Preview and Prediction

Expectations are high in Colorado Springs and there is a reason to be. The Falcons’ return eight out of 11 starters on defense and offensively two playmakers Jalen Robinette and Jacobi Owens are back for another season. The two combined for 1,733 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall. Coach Troy Calhoun will enter his tenth year on the helm and it has the ... READ MORE

Duke Blue Devils 2016 Preview and Prediction

The Blue Devils didn’t finish the season strong last fall and expect another tough year as well down the stretch. In November they play four teams that made a bowl last season and Duke will have to win some of those games to go bowling. Expect the secondary to lead the defense with three returners and some question marks up front. Follow Athlon... READ MORE

Cincinnati Bearcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

Getting hammered in their bowl game 42-7 last year versus San Diego State definitely left a bad taste in the Bearcats’ mouths this offseason. But look for a rejuvenated team to come out this fall. Quarterback Gunnar Kiel looks to take more of a leadership role as he enters his senior year and should be comfortable in the backfield with three returning ... READ MORE

Indiana Hoosiers 2016 Preview and Prediction

Indiana displayed the improvement fans were looking for by earning a bowl game last season. This year will be no different with expectations being surrounding by making it to the postseason. Losing quarterback Nate Sudfeld will hurt but new offensive coordinator Kevin Johns will find a competent starter. Expect linebacker Marcus Oliver to anchor the defense ... READ MORE

Kentucky Wildcats 2016 Preview and Prediction

After another hot start under Stoops, Kentucky’s wheels fell off last season. The Wildcats’ look to take the next step for the program as quarterback Drew Barker must lead the charge. The offense won’t miss a beat this year with returning the most starters in the SEC on that side of the ball. The defense on the other hand must make strides ... READ MORE