Finally, the wait is over, and college football fans will get a four-team playoff this season.
What else is hot in college football in 2014? Florida State. Pac-12 quarterbacks. Sailgating on the Brazos River.
What's not? SEC quarterbacks. BCS computers. Subglacial volcanoes.
Here's a look at what else is trending in college football in 2014:
|FSU: The Seminoles bring back Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston and five senior starters on the offensive line. FSU will attempt to become the sport's second straight back-to-back national champion.||USF: Only seven years ago, the Bulls were ranked in the top 5 nationally under coach Jim Leavitt. They've had only one winning season since Leavitt was fired in January 2010, including a 2-10 mark under first-year coach Willie Taggart in 2013.|
|Pac-12 quarterbacks: It's the Year of the Quarterback on the West Coast, as 10 Pac-12 starters return. Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley are leading Heisman Trophy contenders, and Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Washington State's Connor Halliday will probably produce huge stats.||SEC quarterbacks: Don't be surprised if the SEC returns to three yards and a cloud of dust. The SEC has to replace a plethora of outstanding quarterbacks, including Alabama's AJ McCarron, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Georgia's Aaron Murray. Auburn's Nick Marshall and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott look like the league's top returning passers.|
|Playoff: For the first time in the sport's history, a four-team playoff will determine its national champion. Semifinals games will take place at the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, followed by the National Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12.||Bowl Championships Series: After 16 seasons of deciding which two teams would play for the national championship, the BCS era ended after FSU defeated Auburn 34-31 in the final BCS National Championship. The much-maligned BCS got it right most of the time, but most fans are saying, "Good riddance."|
|Selection committee: A 13-person selection committee, which includes legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez, former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning and ex-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is charged with choosing the four teams for the playoff and deciding the matchups in the other four-top tier bowl games.||BCS computers: The six computer ratings that made up one-third of the BCS formula won't have a role in determining which teams will make the playoff. The Associated Press top 25 poll, coaches' poll and Harris Interactive Poll, which at times made up the other two-thirds of the BCS formula, also won't have much clout during the playoff era.|
|New Year's Eve and New Year's Day: College football is taking back its traditional holiday spot starting this season. Three of the marquee postseason games -- Peach Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl -- will be played on New Year's Eve. The two semifinal games (Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl) and the Cotton Bowl will be played on New Year's Day.||Halloween: You won't have an excuse not to take the kids trick-or-treating this season. Although Oct. 30 offers what might be a fright for defending national champion Florida State -- a Thursday night trip to Louisville -- Halloween night doesn't offer much of a treat. Cincinnati plays at Tulane, and Tulsa plays at Memphis.|
|Bahamas: The inaugural Bahamas Bowl will kick off on Christmas Eve at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau. Lucky teams from Conference USA and the MAC will get to spend the holidays on the beach. New bowls also will be played in Boca Raton, Florida, Montgomery, Alabama, and Miami.||Hawaii: The Warriors have been a mess on the field without former coach June Jones, going 4-20 the past two seasons under coach Norm Chow. Athletics director Ben Jay said last week that the athletics department is facing a $2.1 million deficit with increased costs on the way and might have to cut football.|
|ACC: The ACC ended the SEC's seven-year reign in the BCS, with Florida State defeating Auburn to win the last BCS national championship. Clemson defeated Ohio State 40-35 in the Orange Bowl, and an NCAA-record 11 ACC teams played in bowl games. This season, UNC might be ready to join Clemson and FSU in the league's upper echelon.||AAC: The former Big East is a shell of itself, after Rutgers left for the Big Ten and Louisville exited for the ACC. The league is now a hodgepodge of former schools from the Big East and Conference USA. Cincinnati, Houston and UCF seem to be the class of the league, but they'll face an uphill climb in making the playoff.|
|Transfer quarterbacks: More than a handful of quarterbacks might start for new teams this season, including Michael Brewer (Texas Tech to Virginia Tech), Gunner Kiel (Notre Dame to Cincinnati), Jacoby Brissett (Florida to NC State), Wes Lunt (Oklahoma State to Illinois) and Jake Coker (Florida State to Alabama).||Injured quarterbacks: Ohio State's chances of winning the Big Ten and making the playoff were dealt a serious blow last week, when senior quarterback Braxton Miller was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett is expected to start for the Buckeyes. Miami will start freshman Brad Kaaya after losing Ryan Williams to a knee injury in the spring.|
|Lions, Tigers and Bears: Penn State is banned from the postseason for one more season, but the Nittany Lions are excited about their future under new coach James Franklin. There are four Tigers in the preseason AP Top 25 poll (No. 6 Auburn, No. 13 LSU, No. 16 Clemson and No. 24 Missouri) and two Bears or Bruins (No. 7 UCLA and No. 10 Baylor).||Reptiles: Florida and TCU are both coming off forgettable seasons in 2013. The Gators finished 4-8, including a loss to FCS foe Georgia Southern at the Swamp, their worst season since a winless campaign in 1979. The Horned Frogs also went 4-8, losing five of their last six games, and they kicked star defensive end Devonte Fields off the team.|
|Sailgating at Baylor: Baylor's new McLane Stadium will have boat slips available on the nearby Brazos River, joining Tennessee's Neyland Stadium and Washington's Husky Stadium as football venues that are accessible by boat.||Tailgating at Arizona State: Sun Devils fans aren't excited about the school's new tailgating rules, which prohibit kegs and drinking games like beer pong from parking lots around Sun Devil Stadium. The school said it's trying to eliminate apparatuses that would "encourage the reckless consumption of alcoholic beverages."|
|Alabama/Auburn: Alabama and Auburn combined to win four of the past five BCS national championships, with the Crimson Tide winning in 2009, '11 and '12 and Auburn winning in 2010. This season, both teams are ranked in the top 10 of the preseason AP Top 25 poll for the first time since 1995 (fourth time ever) and the top five of the coaches' poll.||UAB: The Blazers haven't had a winning season since going 7-5 in 2004. UAB went 31-76 during the past nine seasons, including a woeful 5-19 in former coach Garrick McGee's two seasons. McGee left in January to become Louisville's offensive coordinator and was replaced by former Jacksonville State coach Bill Clark.|
|Marshall: With quarterback Rakeem Cato coming back to lead a high-flying offense, the Thundering Herd might be the best bet out of a non-Power Five conference to go unbeaten. Marshall doesn't play an opponent from a Power Five league and is the preseason favorite to win Conference USA.||West Virginia: After going 10-3 in coach Dana Holgorsen's first season in 2011, the Mountaineers went 12-14 the past two seasons, including 4-8 in 2013. West Virginia's defense allowed 33.3 points per game last season, and Holgorsen's high-flying offense even struggled.|
|First-year coaches: A few first-year coaches will have chances to really make their marks at their new schools: Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Franklin (Penn State), Steve Sarkisian (USC), Chris Petersen (Washington) and Charlie Strong (Texas).||Coaches on the hot seat: Among the coaches who really need big seasons: Muschamp (Florida), Charlie Weis (Kansas), Holgorsen (West Virginia), Ron Turner (FIU), Mike London (Virginia), Darrell Hazell (Purdue) and Tim Beckman (Illinois).|
|Bo Pelini: Has any coach done more to try to earn his way into fans' hearts than Nebraska's head coach? From letting 7-year-old cancer survivor Jack Hoffman score a touchdown in last year's spring game to holding a cat while leading the Cornhuskers through the tunnel at this year's spring game, Pelini has worked hard to reveal his soft side.||Bo Pelini: Sure, Pelini won the offseason as college football's most colorful head coach. But the Cornhuskers lost four games in each of his first six seasons, and there was a lot of doubt about whether he'd be back for a seventh campaign in Lincoln. If the Cornhuskers aren't more consistent this season, fans won't be laughing with Pelini for very long.|
|Sideline eruption: Alabama's Nick Saban made the most interesting hire during the offseason when he brought in former USC coach Lane Kiffin as his new offensive coordinator. Given their personalities, doesn't it only seem a matter of time before we see an eruption in Tuscaloosa? And who can't wait for Alabama's Oct. 25 trip to Tennessee?||Volcanic eruption: A subglacial volcano in Iceland is threatening Penn State's opener against UCF, which is scheduled to be played Saturday in Dublin. Ice around the Bardarbunga glacier is being melted by lava and there are concerns about volcanic ash, which could cancel airline flights in Europe.|
|Nov. 8: The second Saturday in November can be described in one word: epic. Here's your TV viewing: Baylor at Oklahoma, Alabama at LSU, Ohio State at Michigan State, Texas A&M at Auburn, UCLA at Washington and Notre Dame at Arizona State.||Sept. 13: By my estimation, the third Saturday of the season offers two marquee games: Georgia at South Carolina and UCLA at Texas (and possibly UCF at Missouri). The rest of the top-25 schedule is pretty ho-hum, including Southern Miss at Alabama, Wyoming at Oregon and Kent State at Ohio State.|
|SEC running backs: With Georgia's Todd Gurley, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon (and Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake), South Carolina's Mike Davis, Arkansas' Alex Collins and LSU freshman Leonard Fournette, the SEC has the best stable of running backs in the country.||Running on empty: Auburn ran for 48 touchdowns last season, which was second most among FBS teams, behind Navy's 50. But five teams ran for five or fewer touchdowns in 2013: USF (4), FIU (5), Southern Miss (5), Miami, Ohio (5) and Massachusetts (5).|
|Mike Sadler: Maybe you haven't heard of Michigan State's punter, but Sadler has become a must-follow for college football fans on Twitter. Sadler likes to make fun of himself and sometimes contemplates the toughest questions in life -- like what you'd have if you crossed a dalmatian and a zebra. Sadler is also a really good punter, averaging 44.2 yards in his career.||Alabama's kicking game: Does Saban's "process" not include special teams? For a team that's been so good for so long, Alabama's kicking game has been a nightmare in recent seasons. Last season, the Tide gave up a 100-yard return on a missed field goal on the final play of a stunning loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. This season, they'll have a new kicker and punter.|
|HBC: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, the "Head Ball Coach," has a 33-6 record the past three seasons -- at a school that has rarely won. The Gamecocks have defeated rival Clemson five consecutive times and have accomplished everything but winning an SEC championship.||DGB: Former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was kicked off the team following two marijuana-related arrests and an incident in which he allegedly pushed a woman down the stairs, won't be eligible to play at Oklahoma this season. Hopefully, Green-Beckham spends the season growing up.|