The 2013 college football season doesn’t begin until Aug.29, but speculation has already started about who will be in the Top 25. Even after the top tier of teams, there are several schools that can make the argument for being ranked in the top 10 or 15.
Alabama ended the 2012 season as national champs with a convincing win over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game. Six months later, there is not much reason to believe the Crimson Tide aren’t, still, the best team in the country. On offense, quarterback AJ McCarron and running back T.J. Yeldon will be back for another year, as well as 1,000-yard receiver Amari Cooper. With Nick Saban at the helm, the defending champs should make another run at the title.
Ohio State may be the biggest threat to Alabama for supremacy in the Top 25. The Buckeyes are coming off an undefeated season in their first year under Urban Meyer and are primed to make their first title run of the decade. Now that they are eligible for the postseason, the Buckeyes could run the table and be back in the national championship picture.
In the Pac-12, Stanford and Oregon are sure to be near the top of the poll. Each team lost one conference game in 2012. The Ducks will have to deal with the loss of head coach Chip Kelly, but should be fine with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich taking over. The Cardinal should be better than ever with Kevin Hogan at quarterback and a top offensive line making up for the loss of tight end Zach Ertz.
Aside from Alabama, the rest of the SEC will be well-represented in the Top 25. As many as seven teams from the conference could be represented on the preseason poll. Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M, LSU and Florida all have a chance to be in the top 10.
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Below is a predicted Top 25 poll for the 2013 college football season. Individual conference rankings have already started to be revealed.
2) Ohio State
6) Texas A&M
8) South Carolina
11) Notre Dame
14) Florida State
15) Oklahoma State
20) Arizona State
21) Boise State