Five days, 25 teams: Part 2


Notre Dame should still have one of the nation's best defenses under head coach Brian Kelly. (The Associated Press)

Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.

This is the second 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. 16-20.

No. 20: Notre Dame

The good news: Even with Manti Te'o gone to the NFL, the Irish should be one of the nation's best defensive teams again this year.

The bad news: The offense doesn't figure to be a lot better and you wonder if the breaks the Irish caught last year might not happen this year. Already, the loss of quarterback Everett Golson to academics is a blow.

No. 19: Michigan State

The good news: This was a team that was so close to being really good a year ago, losing five games by a total of 13 points. And the defense should be salty again this season.

The bad news: The Spartans finished 114th in pass efficiency last year and lack the playmakers needed to win big games.

No. 18: Northwestern

The good news: Pat Fitzgerald knows what he is doing and his offense is difficult to prepare for, especially with the dual-quarterback system.

The bad news: The offensive line lost three starters and that could put a lot of pressure on both of the quarterbacks.

No. 17: Michigan

The good news: Quarterback Devin Gardner can make big-time plays.

The bad news: The Wolverines' schedule is seriously back-loaded. They finish with a stretch of three road games in four weeks and then play host to Ohio State.

No. 16: Oklahoma State

The good news: The Cowboys return plenty of talent with 15 starters coming back for 2013.

The bad news: Two new coordinators can inject some life into a team, but they can also take a year to get their feet wet.

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