Oregon just finished a historic run in Pac-12 play, going 33-3 in conference games over the last four years, including a trip to the BCS National Championship game. Those four years are better known as the Chip Kelly era in Eugene.
Mike Riley and company have some big holes to fill this spring.
Mike Riley finished the 2011 season with a nasty taste in his mouth after losing nine of 12 games. It was his worst season as the head coach in Corvallis and his defense was the issue. Last season, Riley reinvented the defense and it led to nine wins. Now that Oregon State is back in contention, Riley is faced with battling Stanford and Oregon for Pac-12 North Division supremacy.
Logan Thomas looks to put disappointing 2012 season behind him
The fact that Virginia Tech, despite playing in its 20th straight bowl game and finishing last season with a winning record, was labeled one of the nation’s most disappointing teams in 2012 tells you just how far this program has come. The reality for Frank Beamer and his Hokies is that last season was just that, a disappointment.
Auburn fans can't forget about the 2012 season quick enough. The first 0-8 season in SEC play, as well as widespread off the field chaos, led to the eventual ouster of head coach Gene Chizik, who led the Tigers to a BCS title in the 2010 season. Enter Gus Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator for that undefeated national championship team.
Teddy Bridgewater could lead Louisville to an undefeated record in 2013.
Everything seemed to bounce Louisville’s way in 2012, as the Cardinals managed to survive two late-season conference losses to win the Big East, and coach Charlie Strong turned down lucrative opportunities in the SEC to stay with the Cardinals. What can Louisville do for an encore?
Can Jameis Winston win the starting quarterback spot this spring?
With the departure of seven all-conference performers and six new assistant coaches, Florida State’s spring practice is all about getting everyone on the same page and acclimated with all of the new faces.
Dan Mullen has fans in Starkville excited about Hail State again in 2013.
Mississippi State started 7-0 last year before running into the eventual national champs, the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, LSU, in-state rival Ole Miss and a Northwestern team that celebrated its first bowl win since 1949. Needless to say, the end of the season didn't go as Dan Mullen had planned.
Notre Dame is ready to move on from their disappointing BCS championship performance.
An undefeated run and a BCS National Championship were clearly premature for Brian Kelly. However, no one has ever doubted his ability to return the Golden Dome to national prominence and 2012 was proof. Now, the bar has been raised considerably for Kelly and his Irish.
The Spartans are trying to get back to championship form in 2013.
Entering 2012, Mark Dantonio's program faced an age-old question of rebuilding or reloading? Had Michigan State, following the two most successful seasons in program history (11 wins), become a program that reloads or rebuilds? After five losses in Big Ten play, it appears the Spartans are closer to rebuilding than reloading.
AJ McCarron looks to lead Alabama to another national championship.
Alabama opens spring practice as a heavy favorite to win the 2013 national championship. And with 14 starters back, there’s not much for the Crimson Tide to be concerned about heading into spring workouts. However, Nick Saban is always looking for ways for his team to get better, so Alabama isn’t going to cruise through spring workouts.