1. TEXAS If Vince Young stays true to his word and returns for his senior year, the Longhorns should be back in the title game.
2. NOTRE DAME Quarterback Brady Quinn and wideout Jeff Samardzija are among 17 returning starters, and several instant-impact recruits are on the way.
3. USC The Trojans will likely be hit hard by NFL defections, but Pete Carroll isn't afraid to go with youth at key positions.
4. LSU Star running back Alley Broussard, sidelined in '05 with a knee injury, returns to an already loaded offense, but there are some holes to fill on defense.
January 9, 2006
5. OHIO STATE QB Troy Smith should be a Heisman candidate, but the Buckeyes must replace A.J. Hawk and two other linebackers.
6. WEST VIRGINIA Freshman playmakers Pat White and Steve Slaton should build on the momentum from the Mountaineers' Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia.
7. FLORIDA Urban Meyer's offenses exploded in his second seasons at Bowling Green and Utah. The return of Chris Leak gives the Gators a good chance to do the same.
8. OKLAHOMA A healthy Adrian Peterson in the backfield and a more experienced Rhett Bomar under center should return the Sooners to prominence.
9. MICHIGAN The Wolverines could sneak up on people for a change. QB Chad Henne, running back Mike Hart and wideouts Steve Breaston and Mario Manningham return.
10. CAL A young offense came to life near the end of an 8--4 season. Coach Jeff Tedford must settle on a quarterback to complement runners Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett.
NEBRASKA A late-season surge means the Huskers could be ready to take the next step under coach Bill Callahan.
CLEMSON The Tigers won six of their last seven, and freshman tailback James Davis is among several emerging stars.
IOWA QB Drew Tate is back, and the gems from Kirk Ferentz's last two recruiting classes will start to play key roles.