> Top five quarterbacks
These guys have the potential to lift a struggling NFL franchise like, say, the Buffalo Bills.
1. Jake Locker, Washington -- Would have battled Sam Bradford for No. 1 status last April.
2. Andrew Luck, Stanford -- Only a junior, but scouts rave about his pocket presence and arm.
3. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas -- Has great height (6-foot-6) and can make all the NFL throws.
4. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri -- Has the size of a linebacker (6-5, 240) and plays with a lot of confidence.
5. Christian Ponder, Florida State -- Has improved each season with the 'Noles.
> Top five players
These guys are the best of the best in the country, regardless of position.
1. Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska -- Not as good as Ndamukong Suh but close.
2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU -- The prototypical lockdown corner.
3. Mark Ingram, TB, Alabama -- Is a 2,000-yard season in the cards?
4. Jake Locker, QB, Washington -- Recently ran the 40 in 4.39.
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- If Moore plays at an elite level, the Broncos will win a national championship.
> Top five Heisman hopefuls
This is the first time in about 30 years Tim Tebow won't make this list.
1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama -- No reason he can't win it again.
2. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- Has lost once in 26 starts.
3. Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State -- Enjoyed a huge Rose Bowl, which could be a springboard to a big 2010.
4. Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh -- If Ingram is the No. 1 tailback, Lewis is 1a.
5. Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska -- The middle of the Cornhuskers' defense is overwhelming because of Crick.
> Top five sleepers for championship
If some of the top teams fail, someone from this group will step up.
1. Arkansas -- The Hogs are good enough to win road games at Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
2. Miami -- 'Canes will be tested by a very difficult schedule.
3. Florida State -- Hate to say it, but Jimbo Fisher is an upgrade over Bobby Bowden.
4. Cincinnati -- Some people (aka the staff at UB) say the Bearcats have the potential to be better than last year.
5. Stanford -- With any Luck, the Cardinal can win the Pac-10.
> Bottom five teams
These teams will be watching bowl games come December.
1. Western Kentucky -- They've lost 20 in a row. Nuf said.
2. Eastern Michigan -- Ron English has to change the culture and so far it's been slow.
3. New Mexico -- They say Mike Locksley can recruit. He better get to it.
4. Washington State -- Cougs two-year record is 3-22.
5. Miami (Ohio) -- Should be improved but not by much.
> Top five coaches
Want to win a national championship? Hire one of these guys.
1. Urban Meyer, Florida -- His next stop will be in the NFL.
2. Nick Saban, Alabama -- Already been to the pros so he'll settle for building the Tide into the sport's next powerhouse.
3. Mack Brown, Texas -- In terms of recruiting, he's the John Calipari of college football.
4. Jim Tressel, Ohio State -- The vest is corny, but mark him down for 10 wins each season.
5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma -- The Sooners lost several players to the NFL and still will contend for the national crown.
> Top five underrated coaches
Publicity is hard to come by for these guys.
1. Chris Peterson, Boise State -- He's 49-4 in four seasons.
2. Gary Patterson, TCU -- No one can figure out his 4-2-5 defense.
3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame -- He'll do for the Irish what he did for Central Michigan and Cincinnati.
4. Randy Edsall, UConn -- Flirted with Notre Dame during the offseason.
5. Kyle Whittingham, Utah -- Picked up where Urban Meyer left off.
> The next five
These coaches are headed for a BCS school near you.
1. Kevin Sumlin, Houston -- Cougars play an entertaining brand of football.
2. June Jones, SMU -- Took the Mustangs to a bowl in just his second season in '09.
3. Al Golden, Temple -- A self promoter who finally backed it up in '09.
4. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy -- Played a major role in installing the triple-option attack.
5. Jerry Kill, Northern Illinois -- If Illinois job opens, he'll be the top candidate.
> Five on the hot seat
These guys should consider renting instead of buying.
1. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan -- Rich Rod has the Wolverines in hot water with the NCAA and he can't win games. That's a bad mix.
2. Ralph Friedgen, Maryland -- It's been nine seasons since he led the Terps to a major bowl.
3. Dan Hawkins, Colorado -- Once a hot name is now colder than Tiger's golf game.
4. Ron Zook, Illinois -- Illini haven't done much since their visit to the Rose Bowl.
5. Mike Sherman, Texas A&M -- In two seasons he's won 10 games with the Aggies.
> Top five games of 2010
1. Florida at Alabama (Oct. 2) -- The winner of their last two meetings captured the SEC and BCS crowns.
2. Miami (Fla.) at Ohio State (Sept. 11) -- If the 'Canes are truly back, they'll have to prove it here.
3. Texas at Nebraska (Oct. 16) -- Sad but true: This is the final time they'll meet as Big 12 rivals.
4. Virginia Tech vs. Boise State (Sept. 6) -- If the Broncos win, they'll creep closer to No. 1.
5. Oklahoma vs. Texas (Oct. 2) -- Always a huge game because the winner remains in the hunt for the national title.