1: ALABAMA – No doubt it HAS to be Roll Tide. Back to back, three of four, starting QB McCarron (and the only quarterback in BCS history to repeat) is back, Bama freshman record-setting receiver Cooper back, best LB Mosley on nation’s best defense back, 1,000 yard freshman RB Yeldon back. It goes on and on. And oh yeah, Saban’s sticking around for awhile and vows to be back to work after “24 hours” (that means tomorrow) for next years title run. Come on, man. That’s simply unfair.
2: OREGON – The temptation to put Stanford here is high. After all, they beat the Ducks (and get them at home) smacked South winner UCLA twice for the conference crown and came within 6 inches (on a horrendous call by their own conference officials) of double OT with National Championship runner-up Notre Dame. But with Chip Kelly remaining at UO and the Ducks reloading around sensational sophomore Qb Jeremiah Masoli, they should be the Bama challenger in 2013’s Championship game. Their ability to run the football is the difference between them and all other challengers. And oh by the way, “Black Mamba” is forced to play another year… unfair.
3: GEORGIA – Plenty of weapons return and they should challenge for a return to the SEC Championship game. Speaking of that game, UGA was simply heart-broken after they had a chance to win in the final moments and let it slip away. Depth might be an issue but QB Aaron Murray and Freshman All America RB Todd Gurley return and Georgia always has a ton of talent. There’s no doubt they’ll be out to prove they’re the best in the SEC next season.
4: TEXAS A&M – Johnny Football returns to defend his Heisman with the most explosive passing game as the most dangerous dual-threat Qb in football. The only team to beat Bama in ’12 will also have them at home, but Saban has that thing about him that won’t allow his teams to lose 2 in a row to anybody, just ask LSU. There is great news though in Aggie-land: 8 home games, no Florida, no Georgia, and that Bama game is 3rd on the schedule which means win or lose they’ll have a chance to rise in the rankings the rest of the way with a soft schedule. LSU and Mizzou are 2 games on the road to finish the year though. Still, Advantage: TAMU
5: NOTRE DAME – Would not surprise me if ND gets the nod all the way up to #2 in this list, but for some unknown reason, voters don’t like to put runners-up in the #2 spot, or even necessarily in the top 5. It doesn’t help that ND got totally mauled like they were a bear’s newly discovered honey pot last night. People only saw the difference in talent level and Bama isn’t considered to have one of their better teams, so that will lead to major questions. The toughest tests will be at Michigan, Oklahoma and USC at home, then at Stanford in what could be the non-SEC game of the year to end the season. They will have the aid of arguably the best recruiting class in the country to add even more talent and depth, but it will again come down to going undefeated and Oregon losing somewhere along the way, due to a weak schedule in the final year of the BCS.
6: OHIO STATE
9: FLORIDA STATE
- Three SEC teams in the top 4? You betcha! Voters understand that those teams will undoubtedly knock each other off in the SEC, but after 8 straight SEC National Champions, an SEC title that ended up being better than the BCS title and the Heisman winner at another school, the conference has earned the right to claim three teams this high. Two of these teams may even end their season here. My vote is for A&M and Bama, since Bama will probably win the conference and A&M will not have to lose in the SEC title game. Would finally like to see Oregon get their shot at Bama in next years BCS Championship, if indeed Bama makes it.