Coach: Bob Stoops (13th season)
2010 record: 12-2, 6-2 in Big 12
Noteworthy: The Sooners averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season, last in the Big 12. Shoring up the ground game has been one of OU's primary focuses this year.
2010 postseason: Fiesta Bowl, W 48-20 over Connecticut.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Sooners can notch road victories at Florida State in Week 2 and at Oklahoma State in the regular season finale, as well as avoid a slipup at home against Texas A&M on the first weekend in November.
Coach: Nick Saban (Fourth season)
2010 record: 10-3, 5-3 in SEC
Noteworthy: The Crimson Tide lost loads of offensive firepower in running back Mark Ingram, receiver Julio Jones and quarterback Greg McElroy. But Bama has plenty coming back as well. Tailback Trent Richardson could have a big season.
2010 postseason: Capital One Bowl, W 49-7 over Michigan State.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Crimson Tide protects its home field. Bama's toughest tests will come inside Bryant-Denny Stadium against Arkansas and LSU. Road games against Penn State and Auburn are tall tasks as well. Anything less than 2-2 in those four won't cut it.
Coach: Chip Kelly (Third season)
2010 record: 12-1 (9-0 in Pac-10)
Noteworthy: On defense, the Ducks lost five starters from the front seven. But on offense, Oregon returns Heisman candidate LaMichael James at running back and Darron Thomas at quarterback.
2010 postseason: BCS Championship Game, L 22-19 to Auburn.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Ducks just find a way to topple Stanford on the road. The rest of the schedule is a piece of cake after a season opener against LSU inside Cowboys Stadium.
Coach: Les Miles (Seventh season)
2010 record: 11-2 (6-2 in SEC)
Noteworthy: Keep a close eye on the Tigers' special teams play. LSU lost its place-kicker, punter and its best return man.
2010 postseason: Cotton Bowl, W 41-24 over Texas A&M.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Tigers can survive a brutal schedule that includes two non-conference games against Oregon and at West Virginia, as well as a clash with Alabama on the road.
Coach: Chris Petersen (Sixth season)
2010 record: 12-1 (7-1 in WAC).
Noteworthy: This season will mark the debut of the Broncos in the Mountain West Conference after 10 seasons in the WAC. But the Broncos will probably find replacing the production of receivers Austin Pettis and Titus Young (combined 142 receptions and 19 touchdowns) much tougher than anything the new schedule throws their way.
2010 postseason: Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, W 26-3 over Utah.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Broncos can steal a road win at Georgia in the season opener and protect its home field against TCU. The rest of the schedule shouldn't be a problem.
Coach: Jimbo Fisher (Second season)
2010 record: 10-4 (6-2 in ACC)
Noteworthy: In 2010, the Seminoles won 10 games for the first time since 2003. For Florida State to take the next step, junior quarterback E.J. Manuel must shine in his first year as the full-time starter. He waited patiently behind Christian Ponder for three seasons. Now, the fans in Tallahassee are expecting big things out of Manuel.
2010 postseason: Chick-Fil-A Bowl, W 26-17 over South Carolina.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Seminoles win in back-to-back games against Oklahoma in Tallahassee (Sept. 17) and at Clemson (Sept. 24).
Coach: Mike Gundy (Seventh season)
2010 record: 11-2 (6-2 in Big 12)
Noteworthy: How good was the offense in 2010? The Cowboys averaged 537.6 yards per game, 44.9 points per game and outscored opponents 168-47 in the third quarter. And OSU has 10 starters returning on that side of the ball. Look out.
2010 postseason: Alamo Bowl, W 36-10 over Arizona.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Cowboys can win on the road. Oklahoma State must play at Texas A&M, Texas, Missouri and Texas Tech.
Coach: Frank Beamer (25th season)
2010 record: 11-3 (8-0 in ACC)
Noteworthy: Three-and-a-half year starter and 2010 ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor is gone, and heralded sophomore gunslinger Logan Thomas now steps in under center for the Hokies. A lot is on Thomas' shoulders as Tech seeks its fourth ACC title in five seasons. Is Thomas ready? He's thrown just 26 career passes.
2010 postseason: Orange Bowl, L 40-12 to Stanford.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Hokies don't fall victim to an upset. Tech is better than every team it will line up against this season prior to a likely meeting with Florida State in the ACC title game.
Coach: Mike Sherman (Fourth season)
2010 record: 9-4 (6-2 in Big 12)
Noteworthy: The Aggies finished last season in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1999. Under coach Sherman, Texas A&M has gradually improved, going from four wins to six to nine over the past three seasons.
2010 postseason: Cotton Bowl, L 41-24 to LSU.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Aggies can win at Oklahoma on Nov. 5. It looks to be the only real test A&M will get on the road.
Coach: David Shaw (First season)
2010 record: 12-1 (8-1 in Pac-10)
Noteworthy: Shaw is in his first season as a head coach. The 39-year-old is a pupil to former Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh, as well as Bill Walsh and Dennis Green.
2010 postseason: Orange Bowl, W 40-12 over Virginia Tech.
Makes a BCS bowl if…Quarterback Andrew Luck stays healthy. The nation's best passer threw for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns a year ago. Keeping him healthy is a bigger challenge than anyone on the Cardinal schedule.
Coach: Bo Pelini (Fourth season)
2010 record: 10-4 (6-2 in Big 12)
Noteworthy: Tim Beck takes the reins of the offense from Shawn Watson after serving as the Cornhuskers' running backs coach for the previous three seasons. Beck's biggest goal is restoring a dominant running game in Lincoln.
2010 postseason: Holiday Bowl, L 19-7 to Washington.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Cornhuskers can adapt quickly to their new league. Their debut season brings tough road dates with Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan.
Coach: Bret Bielema (Fifth season)
2010 record: 11-2 (7-1 in Big Ten)
Noteworthy: Russell Wilson enters as the starting quarterback after transferring from N.C. State. He's expected to be an immediate impact player for the Badgers after throwing 76 touchdown passes and rushing for another 17 in three seasons with the Wolfpack.
2010 postseason: Rose Bowl, L 21-19 to TCU.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Badgers can take care of business at home. Five of Wisconsin's first six games are at home. The other is against Northern Illinois at a neutral site. The Badgers will play only four true road games this year.
Coach: Gary Patterson (11th season)
2010 record: 13-0 record (8-0 in Mountain West)
Noteworthy: This will be the Horned Frogs' final year in the Mountain West. Following their seventh season in the conference, they're heading to the Big East. TCU has gone 98-28 (61-18 in the WAC) the past six seasons.
2010 postseason: Rose Bowl, W 21-19 over Wisconsin.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Horned Frogs find a way to knock off Boise State in Boise. That's the biggest test. But back-to-back road tilts against Baylor and Air Force to start the season, as well as a mid-season road clash with San Diego State are also critical.
Coach: Steve Spurrier (Seventh season)
2010 record: 9-5 (5-3 in SEC)
Noteworthy: As a true freshman, running back Marcus Lattimore rushed for a team-leading 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns on 249 carries. He was a unanimous choice for National Freshman of the Year.
2010 postseason: Chick-Fil-A Bowl, L 26-17 to Florida State.
Makes a BCS bowl if…Sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore assembles a Heisman-like season. He rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, while catching 29 passes for 412 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach: Bobby Petrino (Fourth season)
2010 record: 10-2 (6-2 in SEC)
Noteworthy: Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson takes over for the departed Ryan Mallet. Wilson won three state titles in high school and gave Razorbacks fans a glimpse of his ability when he threw for 332 yards and four TDs against Auburn last season.
2010 postseason: Sugar Bowl, L 31-26 to Ohio State.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Razorbacks can win its first and last road games. Arkansas opens its road schedule at Alabama and closes it at LSU. Keep an eye on the Oct. 1 neutral site game against Texas A&M as well.
Coach: Mark Richt (11th season)
2010 record: 6-7 (3-5 in SEC)
Noteworthy: In 2010, the Bulldogs had their first losing season under coach Richt.
2010 postseason: Liberty Bowl, L 10-6 to UCF.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Bulldogs can get off to a good start. Georgia's first two games are against Boise State and South Carolina. Win those and anything's possible.
Coach: Luke Fickell (First season)
2010 record: 12-1 (7-1 in Big Ten)
Noteworthy: Coach Jim Tressel resigned after 10 years with the Buckeyes in the wake of NCAA infractions. He is the Buckeyes' third winningest coach behind Woody Hayes and John Cooper. His interim successor for 2011, Luke Fickell, has no previous head coaching experience.
2010 postseason: Sugar Bowl, W 31-26 over Arkansas.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Buckeyes can ignore all the turmoil surrounding its program. Integrating a new coach and quarterback is the next step. The challenge of the schedule comes third.
Coach: Brian Kelly (Second season)
2010 record: 8-5
Noteworthy: The quarterback battle between Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees is the biggest storyline. The outcome could be the determining factor for this season.
2010 postseason: Sun Bowl, W 33-17 over Miami.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Fighting Irish have a magical season. Anything short of magical and they won't make it. Their schedule is too tough.
Coach: Gary Pinkel (11th season)
2010 record: 10-3 (6-2 in Big 12)
Noteworthy: The Tigers finished last season first in the Big 12 and sixth in the nation in scoring defense at just 16.08 points per game. Missouri was third in the nation in total defense.
2010 postseason: Insight Bowl, L 27-24 to Iowa.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Tigers can win at least two out of three critical road games at Arizona State, at Oklahoma and at Texas A&M.
Coach: Mark Dantonio (Fifth season)
2010 record: 11-2 (7-1 in Big Ten)
Noteworthy: Junior running back Edwin Baker rushed for 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns on 207 carries last season. He says he's shooting for 2,000 yards and 21 TDs this year.
2010 postseason: Capital One Bowl, L 49-7 to Alabama.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Spartans can go undefeated on the road. It won't be easy with four of their five away games against Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa.
Coach: Dana Holgorsen (First season)
2010 record: 9-4 (5-2 in Big East)
Noteworthy: In just one year as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, Holgorsen helped the Cowboys go from 61st in the nation in total offense to first.
2010 postseason: Champs Sports Bowl, L 23-7 to NC State.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Mountaineers can win back-to-back games against Maryland and LSU in late September. They'd still have work to do. But lose those two and they have no shot.
Coach: Joe Paterno (46th season)
2010 record: 7-6 (4-4 in Big Ten)
Noteworthy: John Urschel is expected to step in at right guard for the departed Stefen Wisniewski, a second-round draft pick and the Nittany Lions lone All-American last season.
2010 postseason: Outback Bowl, L 37-24 to Florida.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Nittany Lions can beat Alabama in Week 2 and got 3-0 in the final three games of the year against Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Coach: Gene Chizik (Third season)
2010 record: 14-0 (8-0 in SEC)
Noteworthy: With the departure of Heisman quarterback Cam Newton, the Tigers lost their leading passer and rusher. Auburn also lost 30 scholarship players and will return only six starters.
2010 postseason: BCS Championship Game, W 22-19 over Oregon.
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Tigers stun the SEC and the rest of the college football world. There just doesn't appear to be enough left in Auburn to make another run.
Coach: Will Muschamp (First season)
2010 record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC)
Noteworthy: Now calling the shots on offense is Charlie Weis. The Gators newest offensive coordinator has implemented a pro-style attack that replaces the spread option. The new system is expected to benefit quarterback John Brantley.
2010 postseason: Outback Bowl, W 37-24 over Penn State.
Makes a BCS bowl if…They know something we don't. As we see it, there's no way the Gators make it out of its regular season schedule with enough wins.
Coach: Dennis Erickson (Fifth season)
2010 record: 6-6 (4-5 in Pac-10)
Noteworthy: The Sun Devils haven't had a winning season since 2007 when they went 10-3.
2010 postseason: None
Makes a BCS bowl if…The Sun Devils can notch non-conference wins against Missouri and Illinois and knock off Oregon in Oregon. Arizona State must then finish strong.