Projecting the season in stages
Here's what the standings could look like as the 2013 campaign unfolds
Surprises certainly play a part in those shifts. Alabama and Kansas State both held the top spot at one point last season (and Oregon was in the hunt as well) before upsets shook up the standings. But in addition to unexpected results, the ebb and flow of each team's strength of schedule plays a role.
Teams that may be expected to have strong end-of-year rankings won't necessarily get off to a blazing start, and some teams that have an easy road early on may fall off in the final month of the season. We broke down the 2013 season into five-week segments and ran our drive-based FEI projections to see which teams may boast the nation's best records at various stages.
To see which teams are likeliest to be at the top of the standings at three different points throughout the season, sign up for Insider today.
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Sharon Katz of ESPN Stats & Info projects the top 10 offenses for 2014.