It looks to be a make-it-or-break-it season for embattled Gators coach Will Muschamp after UF finished 4-8 this past season, its first losing campaign since going winless in 1979. Hopefully for Muschamp, the Gators will be much healthier than they were last season, when 13 players suffered season-ending injuries. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is coming back from a broken leg, and new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, formerly of Duke, will try to find the right kind of system for him. Also, Will Grier, the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback according to ESPN Recruiting, has already enrolled at UF and will participate in spring practice. There still seems to be a dearth of playmakers on offense, so UF might have to look for early help from its incoming freshmen. UF's defense was hit hard by the NFL draft; junior cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson, linebacker Ronald Powell and tackle Dominique Easley left school early.
After a 7-6 disaster this past season, in which the Wolverines lost five of their last six games, they'll be looking to bounce back in a big way in 2014. Coach Brady Hoke fired offensive coordinator Al Borges and replaced him with former Alabama coordinator Doug Nussmeier. Quarterback Devin Gardner is coming back for his senior season, but the offensive line is really going to have to improve if he's going to become more consistent. Michigan will have to replace left tackle Taylor Lewan, along with top receiver Jeremy Gallon and leading rusher Fitzgerald Toussaint. Seven starters are coming back on defense, but the Wolverines will have to replace both interior tackles and both safeties. The Wolverines won't play Iowa, Nebraska or Wisconsin during the regular season, but they'll play at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Say what you want about new Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, but the guy usually puts a winning team on the field. His first season back at Louisville shouldn't be any different in the Cardinals' first season in the ACC. The Cardinals have to find a replacement for departing junior Teddy Bridgewater, who might be the first quarterback taken in the NFL draft. Rising sophomores Will Gardner and Kyle Bolin will battle for the job, and they'll be surrounded by a lot of proven playmakers. Tailback Dominique Brown is coming back after running for 825 yards this past season, and Auburn transfer Michael Dyer might get new life under Petrino. The Cardinals also bring back seven players who caught at least 15 passes in 2013. Defensively, the Cardinals might bring back only four starters, after losing junior safety Calvin Pryor to the NFL draft. The ACC schedule makers gave the Cardinals a break; they'll play conference road games at Boston College, Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia.