Top Story Lines

Gainesville, FL - While Tim Tebow and Florida attempt to turn 2009 into a historic season

- consecutive national titles for Urban Meyer's team and a second Heisman Trophy for Tim Terrific - the Gators' run toward a repeat won't be the only story line worth watching in college football.
Here are six more:
- The Weis Watch. It's win-or-go-be-a-coordinator time for Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. The Fighting Irish are 10-15 the past two seasons, but the experts say he's been racking it up on the recruiting trail. Supposedly, the talent is there. Every game the Irish play will be viewed as a referendum on Weis.

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- New coaches. There are 22 coaches in their first seasons with a new team, the vast majority stepping into foundering programs with the promise of better days to come - some sooner than others. Among those who will face the most scrutiny are Tennessee's Lane Kiffin, Auburn's Gene Chizik and Washington's Steve Sarkisian.
ed up yet another notch after the Sooners and Longhorns never settled their differences last season. On the field, Colt McCoy and Texas beat Oklahoma at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. But the Sooners ended up with all the big prizes: the Big 12 title, the Heisman Trophy for Sam Bradford and a spot in the national title game. They meet again on Oct. 17 and the stakes will be just as high.
- Can Michigan rebound? The winningest program in college football history took a huge tumble last season, going 3-9 in Rich Rodriguez's first season as coach. The Wolverines were inexperienced and in transition, but there's really no excuse for losing at home to Toledo. It has to get better quickly in Ann Arbor or Coach Rod will face some ugliness.
- The outsiders. After Utah's perfect 2008 season wasn't good enough to earn a shot at the national title, the Mountain West Conference, the Utah attorney general and a prominent U.S. Senator all took aim at the BCS. Which team from the non-automatic qualifying conferences will make waves this season? Utah's in-state rival BYU has potential. Boise State also could be up for another big season.
k are among the players who enter the season as the leading Heisman dark horses.

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Posted: 8/13/09 7:45PM ET

 

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