Alabama proved the doubters wrong and exacted revenge in a big way over LSU for the national championship, 21-0. The defense ranked first in the country in every major statistical category, and guys like A.J. McCarron proved themselves in a big way.
But when USC quarterback Matt Barkley opted to return to Los Angeles for his senior season rather than declaring for the NFL draft, the polls for next season just got a lot tighter.
Here are three reasons why the Trojans will be able to beat out the Tide and the rest of the SEC for a national championship next season.