What a dominant performance on Monday night as the Alabama Crimson Tide destroyed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
ND was getting a lot of love and a lot of the media gave them a real chance of ending the SEC reign over college football. ‘Bama was gunning for a 7th consecutive title for the powerful SEC. Notre Dame, coming off of an outstanding season, was looking to restore it’s past glory. Coach Kelly had said all along that he was in a 4 year plan for the Irish to be BCS contenders and exceeded everyone’s expectations this year by getting them to the championship in year 3 of his regime. In the end, the Tide looked like they could have beaten anybody on that night. Don’t think for a minute that Oregon could have played with them. ‘Bama’s lines would have crushed the Ducks and thrashed them worse than they did against the Irish. At least ND had some hamburg, I mean beef, to somewhat stand up versus the Tide. Maybe a rematch against Texas A&M would have been a better game.
All of you SEC haters would have loved that – another BCS National Championship game between 2 SEC schools!! The reality is that the SEC championship games are the better games, a true indication of the best 2 teams in America. We now have Florida in ’06, LSU in ’07, Florida in ’08, Alabama in ’09, Auburn in ’10, Alabama in ’11, and Alabama in ’12 as the last seven BCS National Champions - all schools representing the SEC!!
So, what does it look like for the 2013 season? In no particular order, here are the Top 10 contenders for the 2014 title:
1. Stanford. No Harbaugh, no ♣Luck, no problem! The Cardinal is flying high these days! Only Oregon and UCLA seem to be in their way.
2. Clemson. Coming off their greatest win in years versus LSU, the offense is loaded, recruiting looks good, and the defense seems to be improving. Georgia, FSU, and South Carolina will have something to say about that.
3. Notre Dame. They return practically everyone, have another stellar recruiting class coming in, know what it is like to be in the spotlight, and Golson keeps improving. Watch out!
4. Alabama. McCarron, Lacy, Yeldon, and SABAN. Great recruits, great planning, great work ethics – ’nuff said!!
5. Georgia. Losing a bit on “D” but a tremendous offense returns. Can they get past a brutal opening schedule?
6. South Carolina. Jadaveon Clowney, 2 solid quarterbacks, and Steve Superior highlight a bright outlook for the 2013 Gamecocks.
7. Ohio State. After going 12-0 in 2012 they are primed to get back into the national spotlight. Coach Meyer is loading up on star recruits!
8. Texas A&M. Was their first year in the SEC a fluke? Recruiting has been solid over the last 2 years and if they can keep Manziel out of the tabloids, they will be a national force again. Manziel was a one man wrecking crew in year 1. How does he build on his Heisman performance in year 2?
9. Oregon. Now that Chip Kelly has decided to stay in Eugene, their fast break offense will continue. A ton of offense returns but how will recruits react knowing that Kelly may bolt for the NFL?
10. UCLA. Move over USC, their is a new sheriff in town. The Bruins are back, may have a Heisman hopeful, are relevant once again, and stealing some of the top recruits that USC used to get. Nice job by Pete Carroll getting USC on probation and jetting off to the NFL leaving the door open for Coach Mora and the Bruins.
I am sure some Cinderella will pop up and contend. LSU can’t stand ‘Bama getting all the ink, Texas is bound to bounce back, FSU plays in the weak ACC and should be tough, Florida will be there, Charlie Strong and Louisville continues to get “Stonger”, and maybe Boise State will cause some BCS noise. New coaches at Tennessee, Auburn, and Arkansas will create some more competition, probably in 2014 and beyond, but will set the tone this year.
Most of the 2013 schedules are set and are now posted. Last year I picked on Oregon, FSU, and Georgia for playing atrocious schedules – and they deserved it!! However, maybe the worst schedule in the history of college football, goes to the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes. Get this – they open with Buffalo, San Diego State, California, and Florida A&M! Are you freaking kidding me? This is a supposed to be a national contender? How can voters put a team like this in the top of the weekly polls, and you know they will???? The Big 10 will once again be the doormat of all of the power conferences and this will be their face?? On the flip side after trashing Georgia last year, my hat is off to them for this year. Three out of their first four games are against Clemson, South Carolina, and LSU. I don’t care if their third game is against South West Winston-Salem ( Anchorage ) AT&T! That’s the type of schedule that if you win, will get you to the BCS National Championship game!
The Heisman watch has begun and the list includes:
Oregon – QB Marcus Mariota, RB De’Anthony Thomas
Alabama – QB AJ McCarron, RB Eddie Lacy, RB TJ Yeldon
South Carolina – DE Jadaveon Clowney
Texas A&M – Johnny Manziel
Clemson – QB Tajh Boyd
Louisville – QB Teddy Bridgewater
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