The Alabama Crimson Tide have one more game left this season, but the time has come to look ahead to 2013. After all, the National Championship game is in 2013.
Crimson Tide fans have enjoyed remarkable success since Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa. Two championships already, with a third possibly forthcoming, and the success doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.
Tide fans are some of the most excited, diehard fans in the nation. They can't wait to see 'Bama play one last time this season, and they can't wait to see what next season brings. Here are some reasons for the rest of the nation to get excited as well.
A National Championship
Let's start with the Tide's first venture into 2013: the National Championship game. The Tide are favored by 9.5 by VegasInsider.com, and most are projecting the SEC to take another championship.
A look at the talent shows why. Simply put, the Crimson Tide are better in almost every way when compared to their opponent.
No team in the country can match 'Bama's running back duo of Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, and when paired with A.J. McCarron's passing, this offense is nearly unstoppable.
Meanwhile, only one player was able to even threaten this defense, and he won the Heisman. Notre Dame simply doesn't have any Johnny Football's on their offense.
'Bama fans expect nothing less than a championship in this game, and this team looks poised to deliver it.
Returning Stars, Developing Youngsters
The Crimson Tide could fill the first round of the NFL draft with some of the talent that will be returning next season. C.J. Mosley and A.J. McCarron headline the list of draft-eligible players returning, and as talented leaders, their return is key.
What is really cause for excitement, though, is some of the developing freshmen for Alabama. Two in particular stand out: T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper.
Yeldon has been dynamic at running back for the Tide this season, going for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 154 carries. That's 6.5 yards per carry, showing that the Tide offense is in good hands when Yeldon takes on the role of bell-cow back.
Amari Cooper, meanwhile, has been the Tide's best receiver, and he has been dynamic. The freshman has gone for 895 yards on a 16.9 yards per catch average. Cooper has really caught fire in recent weeks, going over 100 yards in three of the last four games. Expect plenty of Cooper against Notre Dame.
The return of all this talent guarantees that Alabama will be among the nation's top teams yet again in 2013.
The rich get richer in Tuscaloosa as the Tide feature one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. With two 5-star recruits and 12 4-star recruits, Alabama is poised to add even more talent to the nation's strongest and deepest roster.
Defensive end Jonathan Allen and tight end O.J. Howard highlight the list. Both are freakish athletes with NFL size and speed already.
Other prospects to watch include quarterback Cooper Bateman, who might be 'Bama's best recruit at quarterback under Saban, and Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones, who should continue the great Alabama tradition of running backs.
With so much talent coming back, along with the incoming recruiting class, Alabama has the goods to win a national championship this season and threaten for a three-peat next season. That is reason to get excited.