Five days, 25 teams: Part 1


Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin claps at his players in the first half of a game against South Carolina in Nashville, Tenn., in 2012. (The Associated Press)

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

This is the first in a five-part series with an eye on the 2013 college football season. Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley has picked his preseason Top 25 and will reveal five a day. Today, Nos. 21-25.

No. 25: TCU

Good news: The Horned Frogs made the transition to the Big 12 just fine defensively, leading the conference with that unit. They also get quarterback Casey Pachall back after a stint in rehab.

Bad news: TCU doesn't exactly have momentum going after losing five of its last seven games in 2012 and opens the season with the daunting task of facing LSU.

No. 24: Boise State

Good news: You know the Broncos will be strong enough to have a chance to be a BCS-buster in the last season of the BCS, especially if quarterback Joe Southwick plays like he did in the spring.

Bad news: The Broncos lose a pair of lockdown cornerbacks and have shown a penchant for losing one game they aren't supposed to over the last few years.

No. 23: Vanderbilt

Good news: Coach James Franklin is the real deal and is starting to stack up recruiting classes that can compete in the SEC. The Commodores, who are riding a seven-game winning streak, were not a fluke last year.

Bad news: While the 'Dores have a soft non-conference schedule, they have to go to College Station, Columbia, S.C., and Gainesville for SEC games and the Thursday opener against Ole Miss could deflate the season.

No. 22: Nebraska

Good news: The Cornhuskers have enough talent to compete for the Big Ten title as long as the good Taylor Martinez plays quarterback.

Bad news: Nebraska can be about as bad as anybody on defense. In its four losses last season, the Cornhuskers gave up 214 points. Blackshirts, indeed.

No. 21: UCLA

Good news: The Bruins have a Heisman Trophy darkhorse in quarterback Brett Hundley and a defense that will keep them in games.

Bad news: UCLA isn't sneaking up on anyone this year. Last year was a surprise, but momentum was crippled by three straight losses to end the season, including two straight to Stanford.

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