After a dominant 2012 season that saw them lose just one game, the Tide are now in position to win their third title in a row, and their fourth in five years. Dynasties are tough to come by in sports these days, but Nick Saban seems to be building one in Tuscaloosa.

In order to earn the three-peat Alabama must go through the SEC, which is widely regarded as the most difficult conference in college football. USA Today’s rankings are littered with SEC teams including Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU, so there is no guarantee that Bama will make it out of conference play unscathed.

Thanks to a stout defense and returning quarterback A.J. McCarron, though, Alabama is in an ideal position to accomplish something very special this season.

A number of SEC teams are also in the mix, but it’s possible that those teams will beat each other up so badly that they’ll play themselves out of contention. If that is the case, then the rankings seem to suggest that Oklahoma State could come out of the Big 12, or Ohio State could make a run out of the Big Ten.

USA Today Coaches Poll Preseason Rankings

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

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I would like to specifically point out that Alabama doesn’t play Florida, South Carolina, or Georgia this year (unless they meet them in the SEC Championship). Alabama’s schedule seems pretty weak to me. LSU and Texas A&M are the only two teams I would really be concerned with. MAYBE Arkansas because they have Bret Bielema from Wisconsin. But, maybe the Razborbacks will need a year or two to rebuild after having ex-MSU head coach John L. Smith for a year. 

  1. vs. Virginia Tech
  2. @ Texas A&M
  3. vs. Colorado State
  4. vs. Ole Miss
  5. vs. Georgia State
  6. @ Kentucky
  7. vs. Arkansas
  8. vs. Tennessee
  9. vs. LSU
  10. @ Mississippi State
  11. vs. Chattanooga
  12. @ Auburn