As we count down 50 days until the start of the 2014 college football season, ESPN Insider Travis Haney is answering at least one big question a day until South Carolina and Texas A&M’s kickoff on Aug. 28.
Heisman contenders, breakout freshmen, conference winners – it will all be covered as part of Insider’s Ultimate Season Preview.
The question: Which teams outside the top 25 of our CFB Future Power Rankings could make the list next year?
Here is a school to watch from each power conference.
Wisconsin Badgers (No. 26 in 2014 FPR)
The Badgers missed the top 25 by a decimal point. They won nine games last season and went to the Capital One Bowl in Gary Andersen's first season as head coach. So it's not as if they had fallen far after Bret Bielema took the program to three consecutive Rose Bowls.
I expect the Badgers to rise, particularly after a spring visit with the engaging and honest Andersen. He seems to be a perfect philosophical fit in Madison, where a strong running game and defense have long been central to success.
Another member of our five-man FPR panel, Mark Schlabach, agreed with me, saying the Badgers would have been in his top 25.
The central question is recruiting, a category in which Wisconsin received a 5.8 rating on our 10-point scale. Andersen admitted to me that it's been something that he and his staff have had to adjust to since coming over from the Utah State Aggies. Still, they found and developed talent in Logan, Utah, so it stands to reason they'll be able to succeed with the additional resources and support offered at Wisconsin.