The Latest Preseason Top 25

Alabama's Pro Combat Uniform for BCS Championship. Via Nike.

The Alabama Crimson Tide will make history, winning their third consecutive national championship to clinch dynasty status in one of the sports it is most unlikely to establish such a foothold. With a veteran and proven winning quarterback manning the offense, a ground game that should be punishing, a defense that is always going to be difficult to penetrate consistently, and the best college football coach in a generation leading the way, why wouldn’t Alabama be considered the clear favorite this college football season.

This Alabama team may not be the best Crimson Tide team to win a BCS title over the past few years, but they only have to be the best on the field this year. Heck, I think it is entirely possible for Alabama to lose a game and still be the top team in the BCS picture. The only way I see Alabama not reaching the BCS Championship Game is if they happen to lose twice in the regular season, including the SEC Championship Game. Possible? Yes, but I would not bank on that happening barring any significant injuries to key players of course.

Ohio State has long been my top pick in the runners-up category, as I am calling for the Buckeyes to find a way to run the table for a second straight season in Urban Meyer. This year, of course, that would include winning a Big Ten Championship Game to go 13-0 before a clash of the titans in the final BCS Championship Game of the BCS era. Should the Buckeyes happen to be cracked along the way, I think Mark Helfrich slips right in with a fantastic coaching debut in Oregon. His biggest test will be getting by Stanford, which will not be easy.

My BCS Buster pick for the 2013 season is a familiar one. I’m picking Boise State to sneak in to the BCS bowl line-up one more time before we move to the College Football Playoff model in 2014. I’m giving Boise state a bit of a decent starting point at No. 19, which should put them in position to work their way up and take advantage of any stumble by Louisville in The American. Remember that a conference champion from the Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC or Sun Belt may grab an automatic BCS spot if the highest ranked conference champion from those conferences can finish higher than a conference champion from any of the larger conferences. There are other qualifiers that can come in to play of course, and if the need arises later on we will explore them once again. For now though, let’s see if Boise State can manage to navigate through what could actually be a tricky path to a BCS bowl game.

When it comes to preseason ranking there are two basic approaches to attack it from. The first would be to predict what the final standings will look like at the end of the year. The second would be to guess which teams would win in head-to-head match-ups and order them from strongest to weakest. Ideally these two methods would fall inline with each other but I do not believe that is always the case. Once the season kicks off my weekly top 25 could look very different as I try to take on-field performance in to strong consideration as opposed to who I feel the best team overall is. But we’ll get more in to that as we get in to the season.

Here is a look at my entire preseason top 25. Feel free to agree or disagree (I assume largely disagree) with my standings in the comments below.

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oregon
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Stanford
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Louisville
  9. Clemson
  10. South Carolina
  11. Oklahoma State
  12. Nebraska
  13. LSU
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Texas
  16. TCU
  17. Florida State
  18. Michigan
  19. Boise State
  20. Notre Dame
  21. UCLA
  22. Oregon State
  23. Baylor
  24. Miami
  25. Northwestern

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.

Hmmm. I'd put USC (the real one in Los Angeles, not that odd 'gamecock" school on the east coast) in around 23 or so. ...but after last year i understand why one would skip the trojans for now.