Bubble Watch: What to watch in Week 1
Oklahoma moved its Belldozer -- er, quarterback -- to tight end. Auburn's Nick Marshall won't start the opener -- but he could finish it. Ohio State lost Braxton Miller to a season-ending injury, and Miami has chosen a true freshman quarterback over a fifth-year senior transfer. Will LSU join the Canes and favor a frosh? Can Alabama advance to the playoff with a first-year starter? Wait, who is Alabama's starter?
August was filled with quarterback news, and rookie signal-callers will be introduced all over the country this week -- everywhere but the Pac-12, that is. There are 10 returning starting quarterbacks in the Pac-12, including seven who threw at least 20 touchdowns last season. While the SEC opens 2014 with more questions than answers at that position, it's the Pac-12's biggest strength.
"I really think it's something else," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "Man, it's a packed house, and they're all a little bit different."
"It's just ridiculous," said Stanford coach David Shaw. "They're all potentially NFL draft picks. It's almost unheard of."
So is winning the Heisman twice, but Famous Jameis is back to try.
Two of the biggest games in Week 1 --- Texas A&M at South Carolina and LSU versus Wisconsin -- will feature four (or five) new quarterbacks. Whether loaded or lacking, it's a storyline that will set the tone for the rest of the season.
How will the selection committee judge a one-loss team? Wisconsin doesn't want to find out. The Badgers can make a statement for the entire Big Ten Conference with a win over LSU on Saturday. In another Top 25 matchup, Georgia and Clemson can both make an early playoff push with a win.
Undefeated Or Bust
The Broncos have no margin for error. None. And there won't be any stage bigger than tonight's game against Ole Miss. The Rebels are the only opponent from a Power 5 conference on Boise's schedule. With strength of schedule a key component in the playoff, Boise's time to impress the committee is now.
There's one chance to make a first impression, and this is it for J.T. Barrett, the redshirt freshman quarterback who will replace Miller. The Buckeyes' playoff stock dropped immediately following the news of Miller's injury, but was it warranted? Let's give Barrett a chance to prove himself, first.
Defending national champs FSU open against Oklahoma State in AT&T Stadium -- the same site as this year's national title game. The Noles are heavy favorites to return (#Dallas2Dallas). Just ask Mike Gundy, who said FSU is "as far along as any team I've ever played against in my 25 years at this level."
GameDay Kickoff Live
To watch Kickoff Live on you mobile device click here.
Mark Schlabach, Heather Dinich and Ted Miller join host Chantel Jennings to preview Week 1 of the college football season that will for the first time end in a four-team playoff.
Watch: Drive Through
This Week's Superlatives
Biggest Upset Threat
Navy: Expect the Middies to give the Buckeyes their best shot in Baltimore. Since 2003, Navy has won 21 games against teams from Power 5 conferences -- more than any other program outside of the Power 5.
Arizona State versus Weber State: The FCS Wildcats were 2-10 last season and won just one game in the Big Sky Conference. Set your alarm.
Player in spotlight
Miami QB Brad Kaaya: The Canes were picked to win the Coastal Division, but can a true freshman get them there? His first test is on the road against ACC newcomer Louisville on Monday night, when all eyes will be on one game.
No. 13 LSU vs. No. 14 Wisconsin: The Tigers' defensive line will be tested by Heisman hopeful running back Melvin Gordon in what should be a down-to-the-wire game. LSU has won an FBS-record 45 straight nonconference games in the regular season.
Games Of The Week
No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State
• Pregame Matchup Quality: 92.1
• Win percentage: Florida State, 87 percent
No. 21 Texas A&M at No. 9 South Carolina
• Pregame Matchup Quality: 91.7
• Win percentage: South Carolina, 64 percent
No. 13 LSU vs. Wisconsin
• Pregame Matchup Quality: 91.0
• Win percentage: LSU, 61 percent