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Ranking every FBS team: Nos. 26-50


26. Arkansas (7-6)

Buzz: The Hogs look to be on the right path. They finished strong, winning four of their last six, and whipped Ole Miss and LSU by a combined 47-0. They also had legit opportunities to beat Alabama, Mississippi State and Missouri.
Player to watch next season: G Denver Kirkland.

27. Minnesota (8-5)

Buzz: The Golden Gophers played in a New Year's Day Bowl for the first time since the 1961 season. In addition, they have won 16 games in the past two seasons -- just the second time since 1960-61 that they've won that many in back-to-back seasons.
Player to watch next season: CB Briean Boddy-Williams.

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28. Notre Dame (8-5)

Buzz: The Irish started 6-0, and there were visions of a playoff appearance. Alas, turnovers and a spotty defense cost the Irish in the second half of the season.
Player to watch next season: OT Ronnie Stanley.

29. Memphis (10-3)

Buzz: Coach Justin Fuente definitely has the Tigers headed in the right direction. They tied for the AAC title this season, then downed BYU in a bowl.
Player to watch next season: QB Paxton Lynch.

30. Duke (9-4)

Buzz: The Blue Devils won at least nine games in a season for the second year in a row, and that never had happened before in school history.
Player to watch next season: S Jeremy Cash.

31. LSU (8-5)

Buzz: Poor quarterback play hampered the Tigers all season. At some point, you have to be able to effectively throw the ball, and the Tigers never reached that point.
Player to watch next season: RB Leonard Fournette.

32. Louisiana Tech (9-5)

Buzz: This season could've been even better, as three of the Bulldogs' losses came by three points. The other two setbacks came to Auburn and Oklahoma.
Player to watch next season: RB Kenneth Dixon.

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33. Nebraska (9-4)

Buzz: The Huskers finished with at least nine wins for the seventh season in a row. But that wasn't enough for coach Bo Pelini to save his job.
Player to watch next season: DT Maliek Collins.

34. North Carolina State (8-5)

Buzz: It was a season of streaks for the Wolfpack; NCSU opened 4-0, then lost four in a row, then won four of their last five, including each of its last three.
Player to watch next season: QB Jacoby Brissett.

35. Utah State (10-4)

Buzz: Who needs to use the same quarterback week after week? The Aggies' top three quarterbacks suffered injuries, but despite having to use its fourth-string quarterback, Utah State kept winning. This was just the second season with double-digit victories in school history.
Player to watch next season: LB Nick Vigil.

36. Texas A&M (8-5)

Buzz: The defense was shaky all season, and new coordinator John Chavis -- who had held the same job at LSU -- will be tasked with fixing that side of the ball.
Player to watch next season: DE Myles Garrett.

37. Colorado State (10-3)

Buzz: The Rams reached double-digit wins for just the fifth time in school history. The question is whether new coach Mike Bobo, who had been offensive coordinator at Georgia, can remain on the same path.
Player to watch next season: WR Rashard Higgins.

38. Oklahoma (8-5)

Buzz: Last January's upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl sure seems a long time ago. QB Trevor Knight didn't progress at all this season.
Player to watch next season: RB Samaje Perine.

39. West Virginia (7-6)

Buzz: Each of WVU's losses came to teams that went to bowls, including an excruciating one-point loss to TCU. And WVU beat Baylor. Overall, though, there was too much inconsistency, and the defense must tighten up.
Player to watch next season: SS Karl Joseph.

40. Air Force (10-3)

Buzz: The Falcons enjoyed a big turnaround this season after winning just twice in 2013. This was Air Force's first season with double-digit wins since 1998.
Player to watch next season: SS Weston Steelhammer.

41. Washington (8-6)

Buzz: Chris Petersen's first season as coach didn't go all that smoothly. The offense lacked consistency, and despite a bunch of NFL-level talent on defense, that unit was shredded at times.
Player to watch next season: G Dexter Charles.

42. UCF (9-4)

Buzz: UCF tied for the AAC title. And if not for an inexplicable loss to a terrible UConn team, the Knights would have won it outright.
Player to watch next season: CB Jacoby Glenn.

43. Cincinnati (9-4)

Buzz: It's funny (well, funny to some, anyway) -- Coach Tommy Tuberville is a defense-minded guy, but his team won because of its offense and in spite of its defense. The Bearcats gave up an average of 45 points per game in their losses.
Player to watch next season: QB Gunner Kiel.

44. South Carolina (7-6)

Buzz: The Gamecocks were a trendy pick to win the SEC East, but they weren't consistent on either side of the ball.
Player to watch next season: WR Pharoh Cooper.

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45. Florida (7-5)

Buzz: The offense was miserable again, so Will Muschamp is out and Jim McElwain in as coach. McElwain's job is to rev up the offense while keeping the defense at the same level.
Player to watch next season: CB Vernon Hargreaves III.

46. Tennessee (7-6)

Buzz: The Vols had iffy lines on both sides of the ball, but still managed to win seven games. QB Josh Dobbs appears as if he will be one of the best at his position in the SEC next season.
Player to watch next season: DE Marcus Bennett.

47. BYU (8-5)

Buzz: The Cougars lost star QB (and dark-horse Heisman contender) Taysom Hill to a knee injury on Oct. 3, and they weren't the same after that.
Player to watch next season: QB Taysom Hill.

48. East Carolina (8-5)

Buzz: This was a solid season for ECU, as the Pirates beat two ACC opponents (North Carolina and Virginia Tech). In addition, senior WR Justin Hardy -- who started his career as a walk-on -- became the leading career receiver in FBS history.
Player to watch next season: OT Ike Harris.

49. Northern Illinois (11-3)

Buzz: The Huskies keep chugging along -- this was their fifth season in a row with at least 11 wins. But each of their three losses was by at least 17 points, including a 29-point setback to Marshall in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Player to watch next season: C Andrew Ness.

50. Toledo (9-4)

Buzz: The Rockets overcame the loss of their starting quarterback early in the season, and still managed to average 490.5 yards and 36.6 points per game.
Player to watch next season: RB Kareem Hunt.

Follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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