The 2015 college football season kicked off Thursday night, with South Carolina defeating North Carolina 17-13 in Charlotte.
The schedule hits full swing this weekend, so it's a good time to take one last look at the offseason that was and what might lie ahead over the next 3½ months.
Here's a look at the best of college football's offseason, along with predictions for each of the FBS conferences and what to watch for across the country:
1. Many, many members of the Division III Bethel University football team
2. Texas kicker Nick Rose
3. Nebraska defensive end Ross Dzuris
4. Georgia coach Mark Richt, circa 1979
"Alright, alright, alright" Mark Richt as a Freshman at Boca Raton HS (my buddy was a Sr. dusted off his yearbook) pic.twitter.com/3KKJQx1dVX— Mike Bell (@mikebell929) August 13, 2015
5. LSU coach Les Miles, circa 1972
New stadium renovations
1. Auburn will unveil a new $13.9 million, 190-by-57-foot scoreboard that features one of the country's largest video boards. Infamous Alabama fan Harvey Updkye has already complained about seeing the lights from his home in Louisiana.
2. Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium underwent a $120 million face-lift, including the installation of a new synthetic playing field. The end zones are patterned in blue checkerboard, which is supposed to mimic Secretariat's silks.
3. Texas A&M's Kyle Field is now the largest stadium in the SEC after undergoing a $485 million renovation. Capacity is now 102,512, making it the fourth-largest on-campus stadium in the country.
4. Central Florida has added beach-themed club seating at Bright House Networks Stadium. There's even a sundeck and frozen drinks.
5. Notre Dame announced plans last month to add a video board -- but not advertisements or commercials -- to its stadium by 2017. The north scoreboard will be removed to give fans a better view of "Touchdown Jesus."
Best coach Tweets
1. Matt Ruhl, Temple
Motor Scooter. Big difference https://t.co/lZWhdpGWii— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) July 25, 2015
2. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
3. Dave Doeren, NC State
Classic!!! pic.twitter.com/2YrGeCcrpX— Dave Doeren (@StateCoachD) August 22, 2015
4. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan
Triumph & I sharing a moment. Discussing the season & our expectations of each other! Elite working relationship! RTB pic.twitter.com/PqWjaim0IW— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) September 2, 2015
5. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois
Best preseason drills
1. Oklahoma's one-handed catches
2. Southern Miss' place-kicking
3. SMU's sliding practice
4. North Texas' weight-lifting costume party
5. Eastern Michigan climbing sand dunes
Best stadium concessions
1. The Runza Sandwich at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium is a mixture of ground beef, onions and cabbage between two yeast-bread pockets. The sandwich originated in Russia but is a Cornhuskers staple.
2. Texas is adding Torchy's Tacos to the offerings at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium this season. If you're in Austin, try the brisket or fried-chicken varieties.
3. Texas A&M's "Howdy Dog" is a hand-battered, chicken-fried hot dog on a stick. There's even jalapeno-flavored cream gravy for dipping.
4. Arkansas is adding a quarter-pound hot dog covered in mac and cheese to the menu at Razorback Stadium.
5. For the second straight season, Maryland will sell the "Cheesie," a monster-sized, 24-ounce, hot, soft pretzel smothered in back-fin crab dip and melted cheddar cheese and dusted with Old Bay seasoning.
1. Akron's Michael Buddenberg hit a moving golf cart from more than 100 feet (and six stories)
2. Western Kentucky's Nolan Dowling snapped from the Harbaugh Club into a trashcan at field level
3. Buffalo's Corbin Grassman pulled a William Tell, snapping a Gatorade bottle off a teammate's head
4. Southern Miss' Lance Schuffert pulled off a plethora of snapping tricks
5. Ohio's Jake Hale snapped off the roof of the press box at Peden Stadium
Guys we can't wait to see back on the field
Barrett is competing with Cardale Jones for the starting quarterback job, while Miller has moved to wide receiver.
2. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Treadwell's devastating leg injury was one of the worst moments of the 2014 season. He has reportedly fully recovered and is better than ever.
3. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Watson missed Clemson's bowl game after tearing the ACL in his left knee. If he stays healthy, he might lead the Tigers to an ACC championship.
4. Taysom Hill, QB, BYU
Hill might be college football's toughest quarterback since Tim Tebow, and he's healthy after breaking his left leg and tearing ligaments in his ankle against Utah State last season.
5. Chuckie Keeton, QB, Utah State
Keeton, who missed 19 games the past two seasons because of knee injuries, is back for one more season after receiving a medical hardship from the NCAA.
Best Twitter recruiting alerts
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from publicly talking about prospective student-athletes, but that doesn't stop them from announcing commitments on Twitter.
1. Larry Fedora, North Carolina
Heel Yeah!— Larry Fedora (@CoachFedora) June 16, 2015
2. David Cutcliffe, Duke
Bang Bang Duke Gang!!!!!!— David Cutcliffe (@DavidCutcliffe) June 21, 2015
3. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
4. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
5. Charlie Partridge, FAU
Freshmen to watch
1. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The "Rosen One" was the No. 2-ranked pocket passer by ESPN Recruiting, and he'll start Saturday's opener against Virginia at the Rose Bowl.
2. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Ridley was ranked as the No. 1 receiver by ESPN Recruiting, and Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has compared Ridley's talent to that of former Alabama star Amari Cooper and ex-USC star Marqise Lee.
3. Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Hyatt, ranked the No. 2 offensive tackle by ESPN Recruiting, will start at left tackle in Saturday's opener against FCS foe Wofford. It's believed he'll be the first freshman offensive lineman to start the opener in modern Clemson history.
4. Derwin James, S, Florida State
James, ranked the No. 8 prospect in the ESPN 300, is expected to get significant time from the start for the Seminoles. He looks to be FSU's next great player in a long line of great safeties.
5. Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M
The Aggies' 335-pound freshman is so strong that strength coach Larry Jackson reportedly had to order new bars to carry more weight. Mack will play early and often on new coordinator John Chavis' defense.
1. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
Le Big Mac and Royal with Cheese please. pic.twitter.com/BKLGQgbSwS— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 13, 2015
2. Bo Pelini, Youngstown State
Bo Pelini is here at the games in Cleveland and couldn't be happier that people wanna take selfies with him pic.twitter.com/NsXodFRw4Y— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) March 27, 2015
3. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
My wife and I just won the Family's Annual Corn-Hole Championship! #GoinTo DisneyWorld!— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) July 3, 2015
4. James Franklin, Penn State
5. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU
Dinner pic.twitter.com/H7xOzZR7gU— Bronco Mendenhall (@Bronco_BYU) July 11, 2015
Coaches on the hot seat
1. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
Since guiding the Cyclones to back-to-back bowl games in 2011-12, Rhoads has a two-year record of 5-19, 2-16 in the Big 12. Iowa State went 0-9 against Big 12 foes last season.
2. Darrell Hazell, Purdue
Hazell looked like the next big thing after guiding Kent State to an 11-3 record in 2012, but his Purdue teams have dropped 20 of his first 24 games. The Boilermakers have defeated one Big Ten opponent during his tenure -- a 38-27 win over Illinois in 2014.
3. Al Golden, Miami
It looked like the Hurricanes were finally starting to turn the corner after they went 9-4 in 2013. But then the Canes laid a 6-7 egg last season, falling to 28-22 (16-16 in the ACC) in Golden's four seasons. He might need to show marked improvement this season to save his job.
4. Steve Sarkisian, USC
After Sarkisian's regrettable actions at a USC alumni function last month, he might have a short leash entering his second season. USC athletic director Pat Haden indicated Sarkisian has to earn back the trust of Trojans fans, who are expecting their team to compete for a Pac-12 title this season.
5. Mike London, Virginia
London has recruited well for the Cavaliers, but his 23-38 record in five seasons has him firmly on the hot seat. The Cavaliers have had one winning season -- 8-5 in 2011 -- during his tenure.
Best Cardale Jones tweets
😳Shut up https://t.co/gi9gHp1Riu— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) September 2, 2015
S/O to @JT_theQB4th for taking my apt keys to Texas and not returning until tomorrow & CJ for being two hours away with my car ✊🏾— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) August 8, 2015
Is it weird that I have a crush on @RondaRousey and scared of her at the same time 😰— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) July 16, 2015
What I gotta do to get verified @twitter win a ESPY? 😂— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) July 14, 2015
Our bad, Cardale. https://t.co/N3LyLrZrzj— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 19, 2015
Transfers to watch
1. Vernon Adams, QB, Oregon
Adams, who played the past three seasons at FCS Eastern Washington, needed only two weeks to win Oregon's starting job after arriving to preseason camp late. His first start will come in Saturday night's opener against his former team.
2. Everett Golson, QB, Florida State
Golson, who transferred from Notre Dame this summer, has the unenviable task of replacing 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. Golson has to take better care of the football after throwing 14 interceptions and losing eight fumbles in 2014.
3. Jason Smith, WR, Auburn
Smith played quarterback at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College last season, but he'll play slot receiver for the Tigers. His speed and athleticism might make him one of Jeremy Johnson's favorite targets.
4. Greyson Lambert, QB, Georgia
The former Virginia starter arrived on Georgia's campus about seven weeks ago and then beat out two other candidates for the starting job. At 6-foot-5, he's Georgia's tallest quarterback in quite a while.
5. Devonte Fields, LB, Louisville
Fields, a former Big 12 defensive player of the year at TCU, will start at outside linebacker for Louisville in Saturday's opener against Auburn in Atlanta. Fields, who was dismissed from TCU following his arrest on domestic violence charges, might be an elite pass-rusher in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense.
1. Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs interned at Pratt Whitney, which builds engines for rockets and jets
2. Maryland tight end P.J. Gallo interned (and landed a job) at Goldman Sachs
FB: Gallo's Stock On The Rise: For many college students, getting a job while you're still in school seems uni... http://t.co/mfADKghsfw— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) September 1, 2015
3. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill interned at a venture capital firm
BYU's Taysom Hill is back for more and dives head-first into the toughest September slate in college football. http://t.co/jBEYO1nwH6— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) September 2, 2015
4. Kansas walk-on T.J. Semke works part-time - as a bounty hunter
5. Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell is a budding author
American Athletic Conference
East Division winner: Cincinnati
West Division winner: Houston
Conference champion: Cincinnati
Team poised to surprise: Temple
Team poised to disappoint: USF
Coach of the year: Tom Herman, Houston
Offensive player of the year: Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy
Defensive player of the year: Tyler Matakevich, LB, Temple
Freshman of the year: Jae'lon Oglesby, WR, Memphis
Atlantic Division winner: Clemson
Coastal Division winner: Virginia Tech
Conference champion: Clemson
Team poised to surprise: NC State
Team poised to disappoint: Miami
Coach of the year: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Offensive player of the year: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Defensive player of the year: Kendall Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech
Freshman of the year: Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Conference champion: TCU
Team poised to surprise: Kansas State
Team poised to disappoint: Oklahoma
Coach of the year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Offensive player of the year: Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Defensive player of the year: Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
Freshman of the year: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
East Division winner: Ohio State
West Division winner: Wisconsin
Conference champion: Ohio State
Team poised to surprise: Northwestern
Team poised to disappoint: Iowa
Coach of the year: Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Offensive player of the year: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Defensive player of the year: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Freshman of the year: Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan
East Division winner: Western Kentucky
West Division winner: Louisiana Tech
Conference champion: Western Kentucky
Team poised to surprise: UTEP
Team poised to disappoint: North Texas
Coach of the year: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky
Offensive player of the year: Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky
Defensive player of the year: Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
Freshman of the year: Shuler Bentley, QB, Old Dominion
East Division winner: Bowling Green
West Division winner: Toledo
Conference champion: Toledo
Team poised to surprise: UMass
Team poised to disappoint: Northern Illinois
Coach of the year: Mark Whipple, UMass
Offensive player of the year: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo
Defensive player of the year: Jatavis Brown, LB, Akron
Freshman of the year: Gus Ragland, QB, Miami
Mountain Division winner: Utah State
West Division winner: San Diego State
Conference champion: Utah State
Team poised to surprise: Colorado State
Team poised to disappoint: Air Force
Coach of the year: Rocky Long, San Diego State
Offensive player of the year: Rashard Higgins , WR, Colorado State
Defensive player of the year: Kamalei Correa, DL, Boise State
Freshman of the year: Cory Young, RB, Boise State
North Division winner: Oregon
South Division winner: Arizona State
Conference champion: Oregon
Team poised to surprise: Cal
Team poised to disappoint: USC
Coach of the year: Mark Helfrich, Oregon
Offensive player of the year: Cody Kessler, QB, USC
Defensive player of the year: Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
Freshman of the year: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
East Division winner: Georgia
West Division winner: Auburn
Conference champion: Auburn
Team poised to surprise: Texas A&M
Team poised to disappoint: South Carolina
Coach of the year: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Offensive player of the year: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Defensive player of the year: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Freshman of the year: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Conference champion: Georgia Southern
Team poised to surprise: Appalachian State
Team poised to disappoint: Texas State
Coach of the year: Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern
Offensive player of the year: Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern
Defensive player of the year: Gerrand Johnson, DL, Louisiana-Monroe
Freshman of the year: Garrett Smith, QB, Louisiana-Monroe