At long last a new season dawns, and with it comes the inaugural College Football Playoff. Now, for the first time in the history of the sport, programs across the nation will compete for a spot in the four-team field. At least one major-conference champion will be left on the outside looking in.
So, which teams are poised to succeed? Which could fall short of expectations? The College Football Playoff era is here -- will it prove any less controversial than that of the oft-maligned BCS?
As the first weekend of games approaches, Sports Illustrated unveils its preseason Top 25, including its four playoff-bound selections. For more college football preview content, be sure check out SI's Preseason All-America Team, 2014 schedule guide, TV media roundtable and much more.