2013 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW IN A NUTSHELL
GUARANTEED TOP TEAMS FOR 2013
Folks can say what they want about the NationalChamps.net
Early Bird Preview. Yea, we know it's way too
early. But like every December, take it to the
bank with what is spelled out here...the Top
7 teams to start next year, when every preseason
magazine and poll under the summer sun comes
out, will be Alabama, Stanford, Oregon, Georgia,
Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Ohio State. The
order may vary, but the teams won't. Yes, LSU
takes a massive drop out of that list considering
ten Bayou Bengals have already declared for
Early Bird Preview will get revamped immediately
after January 15, the last day for college players
to declare for early entry in NFL Draft.
one aspect that really sticks out with this
2013 preview is the fact that the Top 10 teams
currently dotting the 2012 polls will be pretty
much the same exact Top 10 teams in the 2013
polls. For one reason or another all these teams
bring back the most returning players. The best
explanation probably has to do with recruiting.
Many lesser ranked teams heavily rely on seniors
so the turnover is always much greater. These
Top 10 programs rely on the best man, which
many times is an underclassman.
The biggest trend NationalChamps.net can see
at this point is what actually wins football
games. Sure, spread offenses, big time statistics,
high scoring offenses and Heisman quarterbacks
now lighting up the NFL are great. However,
the SEC has won seven straight national championships
for a different reason. Notre Dame made this
year's national championship for a different
reason...great line of scrimmage, great defense,
run with the ball. In fact, heading into the
2012 season, Alabama was considered as having
the best offensive line unit in the country.
Notre Dame was second. That is why Stanford
should be an overwhelming preseason choice to
push for Top 2 or 3 preseason status. Stanford
head coach David Shaw has been wondering out
loud why his team isn't getting the respect
it deserves in the rankings. Be careful what
you wish for David. Stanford now goes from being
the hunter to the hunted with a target on the
chest. Playing Oregon and Notre Dame on the
road in 2012 were great challenges but nothing
compared to the pressure Stanford will get being
predicted to play in the national championship
and what this team will get week-in-and-week-out
now from opponents.
Looking for a team no one might see coming next
year? In terms of national championship possibilities
look no further than Louisville.
If the complete beat down of a highly rated
Florida Gator team in the Sugar Bowl didn't
wake up college football fans from around the
country in regards to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
and what head coach Charlie Strong is accomplishing
in Louisville these days, nothing will. Beating
Florida was not a fluke. Throw in the fact Louisville
has 17 starters coming back and the fact the
Cardinals will face another year of watered
down Big East opponents (that no longer has
Boise State as an option) plus a non-conference
schedule that has Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Florida
International and Kentucky on the list and the
makings for a title run seem very possible.
5 SURPRISE TEAMS
Outside national championship discussions...
1. Ole Miss - The Rebels compete
in the SEC so, NO, the Rebels aren't going to
be competing for a post-season trip to Atlanta.
Out of everyone we evaluated from the current
2012 BCS Poll Top 75 teams, nobody else brings
back 20 starters. But what sells the Rebels
wasn't their big win over in-state rival Mississippi
State in the Egg Bowl finale or the fact they
return so many starters. This is about the way
Ole Miss hung tough versus top SEC competition.
Both Texas A&M and LSU were more than happy
to come out victorious against the Rebels by
less than a touchdown. The convincing bowl win
over Pittsburgh only furthered the Ole Miss
promise for 2013.
2. Texas - Again, another team
bringing back a ton of starters. The pressure
is on in Austin as the Longhorn faithful seems
to believe head coach Mack Brown has been doing
less with more in regards to wins vs. talent.
Beating Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl carries
this a step further in regards to higher expectations.
The Longhorns are poised for a Top 10 push...on
paper that is.
3. Miami FL - The Hurricanes
just don't have any defense while ranking near
the bottom of the ACC in almost every single
defensive statistic. The NCAA still has an investigative
cloud over the program in regards to what sanctions
might be on the way. But none of this has kept
head coach Al Golden off the successful recruiting
path. This team, especially the defense, was
extremely young. Stephen Morris is improving
as a passing quarterback and the skill positions
have speed and talent behind a veteran offensive
line. This is shaping up to be the best offense
in the ACC.
4. East Carolina - With 18 starters
returning it's likely they will be the favorite
to win Conference USA. Whether that can equate
to a Top 25 ranking at some point remains to
be seen. But non-conference opponents North
Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech better
take upset notice.
5. Washington - Seattle is just
waiting for something to give with the Huskies
in regards to getting some Top 25 respect. The
upcoming season offers a great chance to get
that respect. With 18 starters coming back,
QB Keith Price, RB Bishop Sankey, All-American
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins among them, this
Husky team is going to make it.
From head coaches, to players leaving early,
to conference realignment...nothing represents
change more than what 2013 will offer. But not
so in regards to King of the Hill discussions.
The SEC will continue to dominate college football
and this year's Top 10 will be next year's Top