Quarterback • Texas A&M
OK, a lot of hurdles for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner to overcome just to get on the field, obviously. But if this NCAA mess sorts itself out, there is no question he starts the season as the top contender.
Quarterback • Clemson
Boyd should put up crazy numbers as should the Tigers offense in general. Combine that with the fact that the Tigers will likely only be pushed in two games and are a virtual lock to win 10 or more, and Boyd will be an extremely strong candidate.
Quarterback • Louisville
Bridgewater has plenty going for him. His talent and experience should produce a big year and the Cardinals should finish the season ranked in the top 10. And, because the Cardinals play in the AAC (the old Big East), he should be able to pad his statistics in a string of blowout wins.
Defensive end • South Carolina
It is very hard for a defensive player to win, but in order to be in the discussion he must be at a position of impact, make highlight-reel plays and be able to rack up stats in a category such as sacks or interceptions. Is there any doubt about Clowney's ability to do all that and lead one of the nation's best defenses to the SEC title game?
Wide receiver • Southern California
Lee has one big problem: The Trojans are breaking in a new quarterback. But Lee is a big-play guy who will get plenty of opportunities to make plays in the passing game and on special teams as a kick returner.