Way-Too-Early Top 25

4. Stanford Cardinal

Suddenly, Stanford has become the most dominant program on the West Coast. The Cardinal have won back-to-back Pac-12 championships, played in four straight BCS bowl games and won 34 games in coach David Shaw's three seasons. As long as Shaw remains on the Farm -- and he has made it clear he isn't going anywhere in the near future -- the Cardinal figure to be in the Pac-12 title mix every season. Stanford will have to rebuild its dominant offensive line, especially if junior All-American guard David Yankey and junior offensive tackle Cameron Fleming enter the NFL draft. Senior center Khalil Wilkes and guard Kevin Danser also are departing. But Stanford has recruited offensive linemen better than any program in the country, and future NFL players such as Kyle Murphy, Johnny Caspers and Joshua Garnett are waiting in the wings. The Cardinal might bring back seven starters on defense, but linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov will be difficult to replace. The Cardinal will face a daunting road slate in Pac-12 play this coming season with road contests at Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA and Washington.

For more on how the Cardinal will look in 2014, check out Stanford's recruiting profile Insider and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.

5. Auburn Tigers

If the Tigers were able to win an SEC championship and reach the BCS National Championship in their first season under coach Gus Malzahn, how good can they be in Year 2? Everything seemed to fall in place during Auburn's magical season in 2013, but it might be loaded for a repeat this coming season. The Tigers might bring back 10 starters on offense, including quarterback Nick Marshall and tailback Tre Mason (who might enter the NFL draft). Auburn started two freshmen and a sophomore on the offensive line this season, though the unit figures to take a hit with Greg Robinson heading to the draft. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson will have to do a little more work in the offseason, with five starters departing, including defensive end Dee Ford and cornerback Chris Davis. Auburn also will have to replace kicker Cody Parkey and punter Steven Clark. The Tigers will have to navigate their way through a few difficult road games in 2014, including trips to Kansas State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama.

For more on how the Tigers will look in 2014, check out Auburn's recruiting profile Insider and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.

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