The preseason polls are set. Starting quarterback battles have been won. Coaches are already getting fired. TCU-Minnesota, Michigan-Utah, North Carolina-South Carolina and 15 other games will kick the season off on Thursday night, with a Week 1 celebration lasting all the way through Ohio State's rematch with Virginia Tech on Labor Day night.

The 2015 college football season is finally upon us.

At Sports on Earth, we've been gearing up for the 2015 season since the moment Ohio State beat Oregon to win the first College Football Playoff last January. Throughout the offseason, we've published articles evaluating teams, coaches and players, leading up to -- at long last -- the start of the season.

Over the last month, we've previewed every team in an 11-part series, covering every FBS conference and the independents. Here, we've compiled much of our preview content from the last few months below.

This week, also check out our complete rankings of every team, from 1 to 128 from Monday, as well as playoff and bowl projections from Tuesday. Also listen to our season preview podcast with Will Leitch.

Enjoy the season.

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Big Ten


The Big Ten is riding high after its postseason success, although depth remains an issue for the conference. Ohio State is the consensus choice for No. 1 again this season, with Michigan State leading a number of teams in a race for second.



The Pac-12 might have college football's most intriguing race in 2015. With rising programs in the South Division and Oregon and Stanford in the North, the title race appears to be wide-open, with several teams owning playoff aspirations.



The SEC appears to be as wide-open as ever. Alabama experiences a lot of turnover, while its competition consists of the best division in football in the SEC West. Still, even though the list of contenders is long, it's hard to bet against the Crimson Tide.



With five or six legitimate title contenders, all with significant holes, the ACC may be the major conference most likely to be left out of the playoff. That doesn't mean the race won't be entertaining, with Deshaun Watson hoping to lead Clemson to the top.

Big 12


The Big 12 has changed drastically in the last few years, with the rise of Baylor and TCU coinciding with struggles at traditional powers Oklahoma and Texas. The 2015 season presents another golden opportunity for the Bears and Horned Frogs.


The FBS Independents are down to only three teams who are not full members of conferences: Notre Dame, BYU and Army. The status of independents has been questioned in the playoff era, but the Fighting Irish have a chance to dive into the debate.

Mountain West

The Mountain West boasts a solid stable of teams, including Utah State and San Diego State, but everyone is still chasing Boise State. With nearly everyone returning but the backfield, the Broncos could again be headed for a major bowl bid. 

American Athletic

Formerly the Big East, the American Athletic Conference has lost its status as a power conference. Still, with the addition of Navy and an intriguing group of coaches, the AAC has the makings of a fun, competitive league, led by an explosive Cincinnati team.

Conference USA

Conference USA looks totally different than it did just a couple of years ago thanks to realignment, and it's in rebuilding mode as a whole. Still, with high-powered Western Kentucky competing with Marshall and Louisiana Tech, there's plenty to like.


Northern Illinois has dominated the MAC in recent years, but the conference could have its most entertaining race in a while, with Toledo, Western Michigan, Bowling Green and others boasting impressive offensive talent.

Sun Belt

The Group of Five conferences don't get much attention, but they all have reasons to watch. The Sun Belt in particular could have a thrilling race, with Arkansas State and UL Lafayette trying to hold off newcomers Georgia Southern and Appalachian State.

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The Top 100 Players in College Football


After spending much of the offseason evaluating players position by position, with five weeks left until the season it's time to put it all together and present Sports on Earth's second annual list of the top 100 players entering the college football season.

Rankings by Position: Running Backs | Linebackers | Receivers | Defensive Line | Offensive Line | Defensive Backs | Quarterbacks

Guide to the Heisman Race

It's almost impossible to predict how the Heisman Trophy race will play out from week to week during the season, let alone in the preseason. But our projections for the 2015 Heisman race believe that running backs could dominate the conversation.

All-Watchability Team

There are some players who have a knack for the highlight-reel play, who consistently do mind-blowing things on the field with their speed, size, versatility or overall athleticism. We picked the most entertaining college football players at every position.

Best and Worst Schedules

College football is obsessed with strength-of-schedule debates between conferences, but luck of the draw within conference play also plays a big factor. We identify the luckiest and unluckiest draws from each conference this season.

Path to the College Football Playoff

College football gets off to a later start than the last few years, meaning a schedule that is a week shorter. That just means there isn't a week without a big game in 2015. Here's a week by week guide to the best and worst of the schedule.

Best Defenses


Most vacant head coaching positions are being filled with offensive minds, but you can't win a championship without a complete team. So, with the 2015 season just a few weeks away, let's take a look at what could be the top 25 defenses this fall.

All-Underrated Team

While it's a lot easier for players to get noticed in this age in which every game is on TV and highlights are accessible on the Internet, it's still easy for star college football players to get overlooked. These 22 players deserve greater national recognition.

The Unblockable Penn State Tackles

While it's a lot easier for players to get noticed in this age in which every game is on TV and highlights are accessible on the Internet, it's still easy for star college football players to get overlooked. These 22 players deserve greater national recognition.

Mayfield Is Right Fit For Oklahoma

By David Ubben. Baker Mayfield started Texas Tech's opener as a true freshman walk-on in 2013, and now he'll get a chance to be the opening-day starter at Oklahoma two years later. As Oklahoma shifts to a new system, Mayfield brings the perfect mentality to the job.

The Lee Corso You Don't Know

By Terence Moore. After nearly 30 years as part of ESPN's "College GameDay," Lee Corso is remembered much more for his TV antics than his playing and coaching days. But his days at Florida State, Louisville and Indiana are worth remembering too.

Wisconsin's Next Big Thing


Wisconsin is a great place to be for a running back, but the system comes at a price: intense competition from productive teammates. After patiently waiting his turn, junior Corey Clement is poised to become the next star runner in Madison.

The Jim Harbaugh Experience

Jim Harbaugh spent most of Friday fielding questions from reporters at Big Ten media days, but few tangible answers were offered. More than anything, the new Michigan coach just desperately wants the questions to stop and actual football to begin.

Ohio State's Repeat Challenge

Ohio State announced that four players -- including star Joey Bosa -- are suspended for the opener at Virginia Tech. It was the first of many challenges the No. 1 Buckeyes face in their attempt to deliver on the hype and win another title.

UCLA Won't Step Aside For USC

UCLA has won three in a row against rival USC, and that shouldn't be forgotten entering 2015. Even with Brett Hundley gone, a loaded Bruins team stands as perhaps the biggest obstacle to a return to national prominence by the Trojans.

Braxton Miller Makes Right Move

Ohio State was already returning the most talented offense in college football, and now it's found a way to ensure that another explosive athlete will get onto the field: Braxton Miller is moving to receiver, a move that will benefit all parties involved.

Oklahoma An Unlikely Sleeper

Last year, Oklahoma was overhyped in the preseason after an impressive bowl win. Now, after a dreadful bowl loss and a coaching shakeup, the opposite is true: The Sooners are being overlooked, when they still have a chance to be contenders.

Ultimate College Football Road Trip


By Will Leitch. Before the season begins, it's time to start figuring out how to make things exciting in the future. So, quit your job, find a large vehicle and get ready to hit the road all fall to as many college football games as possible, with this as your guide.

Best College Position Groups

Ohio State enters the year with a ridiculous amount of talent at quarterback, but it's not the only position at which the Buckeyes own impressive depth. They have several of the deepest, most talented position groups in college football entering 2015.

All-Breakout Players Team

With the yearly NFL attrition, every college football season presents a new opportunity for previous backups and rising young talent to step into starring roles. We identify the players at every position who could become difference-makers in bigger roles in 2015.

The Case For LSU

Most news coming out of LSU for the last year and a half has not been good, and the Tigers are still searching for reliable quarterback play. But with a long list of rising young stars and better depth, LSU should be taken seriously as a contender.

The Key To The SEC West

Ole Miss' breakthrough 2014 season featured many rising stars but a disappointing finish. Now, most of those rising stars are back as All-America candidates, making the Rebels a crucial SEC West wild card whose progress could decide the division.

Players Under Pressure

As the 2015 college football season nears, pressure builds on various coaches, but also on specific players and units hoping to engineer turnarounds after running into problems last year. These 10 are under the most pressure.

The Realignment Champions


Years of conference reshuffling appear to be finished, and while it got left out of the playoff last year, TCU may be the biggest winner of the realignment craze. College football's underappreciated nomad finally has a home, and it's making the most of it.

Don't Give Up On Georgia

The Mark Richt era at Georgia has been defined by close calls, by coming up just short in comparison to his contemporaries. Pessimism is therefore understandable. But with Nick Chubb, a great pass rush and strong recruiting, hope still remains for something more.

Coaches on the Rise

Fifteen college football coaching jobs changed hands at the end of last season, and as many or more are sure to change by the end of this year. So, here's a look at 10 current head coaches and 10 current assistants who could be ready for bigger things.

How Everett Golson Fits At Florida State

Seven months after just coming up shy of leading Notre Dame to an upset over Florida State, quarterback Everett Golson decided to transfer to the Seminoles. For a change of scenery, he couldn't ask for much better of an opportunity.

Breakout Team Candidates

Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arizona all achieved breakthrough seasons last year, leaving us to wonder which team will follow in their footsteps in 2015. As the season approaches, these are the teams most likely to make a leap forward.

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