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Senior College Football Columnist

Mailbag: Retroactively claiming national titles?

Auburn went undefeated in 2004, but did not finish No. 1. (Getty)
Auburn went undefeated in 2004, but did not finish No. 1 in the major polls. (Getty)

Here is this week's mailbag. As always, send your questions to me via Twitter to @BFeldmanCBS:

From @Gtucker24: what are your thoughts on schools retroactively claiming national titles?

I cringed when I read that story from 247Sports about Auburn and A.D. Jay Jacobs talking about that possibility, including for the 1993 season (while on probation) and for the 2004 season, among five others.

"We're so competitive. We compare ourselves to other schools,” Jacobs said. “If they're counting something that we're not counting, and we're on equal footing, wouldn't it be wise to count it.

“I think it's something we need to consider right now. It's been talked about here and there, but lets get it out there now and look at it and see what we should do.”

What next? Does Utah also get to claim a national title in 2004 since the Utes won a BCS Bowl in a blowout and were undefeated that year?

What about the 2006 Boise State team that knocked off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl for its perfect season when 13-1 UF was awarded the title after beating Ohio State?

Heck, does Miami put in a claim for 2002 after a controversial late flag on Glenn Sharpe in the Ohio State game? Can Notre Dame add on another one back in 1990 for the called-back Orange Bowl TD on Rocket Ismail's TD against Colorado?

Years ago, when I was around Ole Miss, I noticed on the Rebels recruiting letterhead the school claimed three national titles although those had been bestowed by Berryman, Dunkle and the Litkenhous Ratings. Of course, that was a much different era when the game was so much more regionalized.

I think if your school hasn't already been anointed for some national title before games were televised is one thing, but to all of a sudden bring the eraser to the scorecard after the 18th hole seems really sketchy to me.

From @ianistweeting: Chris Petersen's Huskies. O/U 9.5 wins in 2014?

How Petersen does in Seattle will be one of the more fascinating stories of the next five years. Obviously, some other former Boise State head coaches struggled after leaving BSU. Will Petersen with his superb track record (92-12?!?) be much different? My hunch is yes. He's proven to be an excellent game-planner, evaluator and developer of talent. I am curious though how the players respond to his personality, which is quite different from Steve Sarkisian's.

If I'm a Washington fan, I'm very excited about landing Petersen as a coach although I think it's worth noting that he takes over in a much more competitive league than what it was when Sark debuted. That year there were no Pac-12 teams that finished in the Top 10 and only one (No. 11 Oregon) that cracked the Top 20. Stanford is much better than it was back then. Same for the Arizona schools and UCLA. Same for arch-rival Washington State. The only program that isn't better than it was back in 2009 is Cal.

Petersen inherits some good personnel--much better than what Sarkisian inherited when he arrived at U-Dub. The good news: there are 14 starters back (seven on both sides of the ball) including some difference-makers on D (start with 13-sack DE Hau'oli Kikaha and LB Shaq Thompson) and the entire O-line. The bad news? QB Keith Price is gone. He was terrific last season, but there's good buzz around Cyler Miles, a big, athletic QB just lacking experience. A bigger issue would be replacing star RB Bishop Sankey. Huge TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins also is gone. Keep an eye on WR John Ross, who certainly has some play-making skills and could emerge from a gifted crop of receivers.

The 2014 schedule is quite favorable. UW should open with four wins: at Hawaii, Eastern Washington, Illinois and then Ga. State before a strong Stanford team visits. Worth noting: The Huskies get a bye week after facing the physical Cardinal squad before traveling to rebuilding Cal and then going to Eugene to face a Top Five Ducks team. The other Pac-12 team I expect to be preseason Top 10--UCLA is also on the schedule but the Bruins have to come to Seattle. Since there are 13 regular-season games, I'll give them 10 wins although obviously Miles play is the big wildcard in this.

From @RyanPecka: can Minnesota become a power in the big ten in the next couple years, or is this to tall of a task in modern college football?

I think Jerry Kill and his staff have done a really nice job there, but I'm very skeptical the Gophers can take the next step because it's such a big step. Keep in mind that Northwestern, for as well as Pat Fitzgerald has done, has yet to take that kind of step.

The trajectory in Kill's first three seasons looks good: from three wins to six to eight but can't this program expect to go that much higher? To be a "power" I think you're talking about being a consistent Top 12 team. Ohio State is that, and will probably remain that under Urban Meyer. Michigan's been struggling to get back near that. Same with Nebraska.

Iowa's has only had two seasons in the the past nine where it has finished in the Top 25, so I couldn't call them that either.

Wisconsin had three Top 10 finishes in Bret Bielema's seven seasons there. Would it be fair to call them a Big Ten power? Not sure I'd go quite that far. They Badgers have been very good, but a powerhouse? They only had one other season where they finished in the Top 20 in that stretch.

Point being, there a bunch of solid programs the Gophers would have to leapfrog to get where you're talking about going. There are some good pieces in place for 2014 with nine starters back on offense, led by standout RB David Cobb and seven back on D. But they'll miss difference-making DT Ra'Shede Hageman. I see a seven or eight win team here in 2014.

From @JimBowman82: what's your prediction on where Florida State ranks on recruiting class?

The only rankings FSU fans should ever care about is the one that comes out after the national title game. For years FSU has been anointed with Top 5 signing classes and they didn't translate for one reason or another on the field.

That said, I expect FSU to have a Top Five ranked class. 247Sports has FSU at No. 5 now with one five-star and 14 four-stars committed and the Noles should win more than their share of last-minute battles. If they can snag a Malachi Dupre, Lorenzo Carter or Malik McDowell or J.C. Jackson maybe they move into the top three.

From @AdamDuvall: What's the latest on Ed Orgeron?

He's in the New Orleans area getting to spend time with his family. You can hear more from him Wednesday. He is scheduled to be on our Signing Day show here on CBSSports.com.

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