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8 Fan Bases That Should Be Pumped For 2016 After What They Saw This Bowl Season

College football's 2015 bowl season is over. We've got one more game to watch before heading into the offseason. The national championship game between Alabama and Clemson is set to be played on Monday and then we'll be without college football for eight months. 

Which teams are going into the offseason feeling good about themselves? Which fan bases should be pumped for next season based on what they saw their team do in their bowl game? 

Of course, winning a bowl game isn't vital to a team's success the following season, but it can help. Starting offseason workouts and winter recruiting with a nice bowl win under your belt can go a long way toward building for next fall. 

Here are the eight fan bases that should be excited for next season based on what we saw this past bowl season. They're in no particular order. 

Start with No. 8 ??? >>>

8. Ole Miss

The Rebels are losing plenty of talent to the NFL during the offseason, but there's more where that came from. Ole Miss is locked and loaded for its 2016 campaign, and Rebels fans should be excited. 

Ole Miss had its ups and down during 2015, handing Alabama its only loss to date, but ended the season on a high note, as the Rebels destroyed Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl, 48-20. Quarterback Chad Kelly was excellent, throwing for 302 yards and four touchdowns on the way to Sugar Bowl MVP. 

">January 2, 2016

With Kelly returning to Oxford, the Rebels will have the tools to challenge anybody they come across. And in the SEC West, that goes a long way. Youth will only be stronger next season, so tighten your seat belts, Rebels fans.No. 7 ??? >>>7. LouisvilleLouisville lost four of its first six games of the season, but managed to finish strong with an impressive Music City Bowl victory over Texas A&M. Cardinals fans have a lot to look forward to in 2016, and most of that surrounds the return of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who really settled into his leadership role down the stretch. Against A&M, Jackson threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns. 

">December 31, 2015

Louisville will have to work its way through the ACC next year, and will also have to face Houston for a solid out-of-conference game, but the Cardinals are built to withstand the weather. It should be an interesting season next year.

No. 6 ??? >>>

6. Baylor

Baylor's football team was riddled with injuries in 2015, leading to struggles down the stretch, as the Bears lost three of the last five games of the season. 

However, with several players missing, the Bears were able to game plan and run all over North Carolina during the 49-38 Russell Athletic Bowl victory. Baylor rushed for a staggering 645 yards during that game. 


— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 30, 2015

With a healthy Seth Russell returning to quarterback, the Bears should be back to business and scoring all over the competition. Besides a Texas, TCU, Oklahoma stretch, Baylor's schedule is favorable in 2016. Fans should be excited for what lies ahead.No. 5 ??? >>>5. HoustonHouston fans should be pumped for 2016 after the Cougars upset Florida State last weekend during the Peach Bowl, 38-24. The Cougars were stellar on both sides of the ball, holding FSU running back Dalvin Cook to his lowest total of the season and hurrying quarterback Sean Maguire into four interceptions. When it was all said and done, the Seminoles turned the ball over five times against the Cougs. 

">@UHCougarFB class in history of Houston football program" -

"The most important @UHCougarFB class in history of Houston football program" - @CoachTomHerman


— #CFAPeachBowl (@CFAPeachBowl) December 31, 2015


— ChickfilA Peach Bowl (@CFAPeachBowl)

"The most important @UHCougarFB class in history of Houston football program" - @CoachTomHerman


— #CFAPeachBowl (@CFAPeachBowl) December 31, 2015

">December 31, 2015

During his first year as head coach, Tom Herman led Houston to an impressive 13-1 season, capturing the AAC title and a major bowl victory over a Power 5 program. With Herman quarterback Greg Ward Jr. set to return, Cougars fans can look forward for the offensive trend to continue. 

Next: No. 4 ??? >>>

4. LSU 

The Tigers had a great bowl season, thumping Texas Tech, 56-27, in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. 

The best performance in the game, undoubtedly, came from LSU's star running back, Leonard Fournette. The Tigers' sophomore gave his fan base a glimpse of what they should be witnessing all next season, as he rushed for 212 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. The ridiculous showcase of talent was nothing new for Fournette, who had a spectacular 2015, but his bowl performance was one of his best. He should be one of the Heisman Trophy frontrunners next season. 

LSU brings back a lot of talent and if the Tigers play like they did against the Red Raiders, they'll be an extremely tough team to beat in 2016. Les Miles' squad should be one of the favorites to win the SEC and a College Football Playoff contender next fall. 

Next: No. 3 ??? >>>

3. Nebraska 

The Huskers had one of the most disappointing 2015 campaigns, going 5-7 in the first regular season of the Mike Riley era. Bowl season was a very different story, though. 

Nebraska beat UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl, 37-29. Riley's team rallied from a 14-point deficit and scored 30 unanswered points against the Bruins on way to a victory. 

The win, obviously, was nice, but it was how Nebraska won that should have Huskers' fans pumped for next season. Tommy Armstrong was excellent at quarterback and the offensive line was dominant. The defense wasn't spectacular, but it made the plays it needed to while preserving the victory. 

If Nebraska wants a blueprint for success in 2016, just watch the game type of this bowl game. 

Next: No. 2 ??? >>>

2. Michigan 

The Wolverines might be the favorite to win the Big Ten in 2016. If Michigan plays like it did in its bowl game, it's tough to imagine anyone beating Jim Harbaugh's squad. 

Michigan was dominant in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, demolishing Florida, 41-7, excelling in nearly every aspect of the game. 

Harbaugh's building something special in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Wolverines will likely start the 2016 season ranked in the top 10 as a serious contender for the College Football Playoff. 

Don't bet against Michigan next fall. 

Next: No. 1 ??? >>>

1. Tennessee

The Volunteers were viewed by some as a dark horse contender to win the SEC in 2015. Tennessee has a ton of young talent, but fell a little bit short of expectations this past season. That was until the bowl game, anyway. 

Tennessee, which went 8-4 in the regular season, showed people what to expect next fall in its bowl game. The Volunteers throttled Northwestern, 45-6, in the Outback Bowl. 

With Joshua Dobbs back at quarterback and much of the talent around him returning, Tennessee should be one of college football's best teams in 2016. Next fall could be the time when Butch Jones' program truly arrives back on the national scene. The Volunteers will be an SEC East favorite and College Football Playoff contender. We can't wait to see what they're capable of. 

Who are you looking forward to watching next season? 

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