After much anticipation, HBO's "Hard Knocks" is finally back. The new season begins with tonight's episode and we'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the Atlanta Falcons' first week of training camp. A teaser clip already has us pumped for the premiere.
While we can't wait to see the storylines evolve as the Falcons go through training camp, it did get College Football 24/7 to thinking about which college programs would be fun to see on a similar show. With that in mind, here are the top 10 college football teams we'd like to see star in a Hard Knocks-type show in 2014.
At first glance, most people will be puzzled as to why Rutgers would land on this list. If that's the case, you haven't been following along lately as the athletic department has stepped on people's toes left and right. To see such dysfunction up close would alone be interesting, but the Scarlet Knights are also transitioning into the Big Ten and have a new offensive coordinator in the colorful Ralph Friedgen.
9. Coastal Carolina
Yes this a small school that few have even heard of, but in many respects the Chanticleers (yes, that's their nickname) offer the most compelling story. It starts with the coach in Joe Moglia, who once was the CEO of TD Ameritrade but opted to leave Wall Street behind and go into coaching. He's doing a good job of it, too, as the team made it all the way to the FCS quarterfinals last season. It would be fascinating to see how a small school, rising power operates for a season.
8. Boise State
Chris Petersen has moved on from the Blue Turf and there's a new sheriff in town in Bryan Harsin. The energetic former Broncos quarterback is in just his second season as a head coach and takes over one of the most successful programs in the country. Seeing how he and his staff lead the team through a tough schedule would be interesting.
The Ducks have operated in a ton of secrecy up in the Pacific Northwest for years, and a peek inside the program would be very interesting. They practice differently from most programs and they of course have a ton of interesting ties to Nike that viewers would love to see. Following around a potential first-round quarterback in Marcus Mariota doesn't hurt either, plus we'd get to see their opulent football facility (Nepalese rugs!) up close.
6. Texas A&M
What will life after Johnny Manziel be like? It would be fantastic to see what takes shape in College Station without the popular Heisman Trophy winner around. The Aggies compete in the SEC, so there's always a nice storyline on that front, plus head coach Kevin Sumlin is one of the best in the country with the cameras around.
Wait, what? Those outside of the Pac-12 region may question why the Wildcats are up here, but they must not be too familiar with Rich Rodriguez. Nobody is better at charming an audience or delivering a one-liner quite like RichRod, and how he tries to get the program over the hump in a very tough league would be fun to watch.
Les Miles, plain and simple. Not much needs to be said beyond that.
The Bears have been one of the best stories in recent memory, rising from afterthought to Big 12 champion under the folksy Art Briles. They'll have a top-25 team again in 2014 and are opening a brand new stadium right on the Brazos River to boot. They could have a number of NFL Draft picks on the roster and have one of the most interesting offenses in the country. Sounds like fun.
2. Penn State
James Franklin made the move North and takes over the Nittany Lions with the departure of Bill O'Brien. Despite a host of issues, Franklin has not backed down from anybody and his fiery nature would be fun to capture on camera. Throw in lingering NCAA sanctions to deal with a tough Big Ten and they could be must-see TV. Plus, assistant coach Herb Hand already has television experience from his appearance on Food Network's "Chopped."
1. Florida State
How will the defending champs try to repeat in 2014? It would be very interesting to see how they do it by going behind the scenes. Following along reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston certainly would be a big tune-in factor, and he definitely has the charisma to carry the show. Also, the ability to slow the tape down on super-fast talker Jimbo Fisher is likely a plus.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.