2013 Preseason College Football Rankings: 5 Teams That Will Contend for Top Spot

Daine Pavloski@@dpavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 8, 2013

2013 Preseason College Football Rankings: 5 Teams That Will Contend for Top Spot

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    Alabama has won another national championship and has ended the season in the No. 1 spot. However, as teams prepare for the 2013 season, things may not be so clear-cut. 

    As the confetti is cleaned up and players head back to class, there are already a few teams making a strong case for the top spot in college football next season.

    Here are five teams that are already contending for title of preseason No. 1.  

5. Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame won't be thinking about its undefeated regular season or going from unranked to No. 1 throughout the season any time soon. It'll be thinking about its loss to Alabama and missing its opportunity at the national championship. 

    When the dust settles eventually, the Irish will realize just how set they are for a great sequel to their stellar Cinderella season.

    Notre Dame will be losing a few of its big-name players on defense, including Heisman candidate Manti Te'o and senior running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick, which will make things difficult in the offseason.

    However, Notre Dame is always a highly sought-after destination for recruits, and that will hold especially true after its great season.

    Quarterback Everett Golson will come back with championship game experience under his belt and will look to lead the Fighting Irish to another big year.  

4. Georgia

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    While Georgia is losing some of its best defensive players to the NFL, including Alec Ogletree, Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins, all is not lost.

    Aaron Murray, Georgia's stud quarterback, has turned down the fame and fortune of the NFL for another year at school in the red, black and grey. 

    Having their superstar quarterback at the helm will help a very talented Bulldogs team have a legitimate shot at contending for the top spot next preseason.  

3. Ohio State

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    Even without eligibility for postseason play, the Ohio State Buckeyes had a great 2012 season, going 12-0. 

    The Buckeyes are set to have a huge repeat performance. Quarterback Braxton Miller will return along with Carlos Hyde, who scored 16 times for the Buckeyes. Also returning are receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith who led the team in receiving in 2012.

    Defensively, Urban Meyer's squad will welcome back all five of their leading tacklers from the 2012 campaign.

    With all of the talent returning to Columbus, the Buckeyes are locked and loaded for a huge 2013 season and a good ranking in the preseason poll.  

2. Oregon

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    Oregon is all about scoring points fast and often, and it is set to keep it going in 2013. 

    Quarterback Marcus Mariota will return after scoring 37 total touchdowns last season and will be joined in the backfield by speedster De'Anthony Thomas. 

    Even with the loss of Kenjon Barner, Oregon will keep enough of its major pieces in place to make a big run in 2013. 

    Most importantly, the Ducks kept their head coach Chip Kelly out of the NFL for at least one more season. 

1. Alabama

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    And, of course, Alabama.

    The Crimson Tide had another fantastic season and ended it by hoisting the National Championship Trophy once again. 

    The Tide are set for yet another repeat as AJ McCarron and defensive captain CJ Mosley will return for their senior seasons. Bama will also welcome back 1,000-yard back TJ Yeldon and receiver phenom Amari Cooper on offensive. 

    The Tide loses great players every season but keeps churning out great teams year in and year out. The 2013 season will be no different.  

In Conclusion...

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    The 2012 season has ended and the final AP rankings look like this:

    Rank Team
    25 Nebraska
    24 Michigan
    23 Vanderbilt
    22 Northern Illinois
    21 San Jose State
    20 Oregon State
    19 Texas
    18 Boise State
    17 Northwestern
    16 Utah State
    15 Oklahoma
    14 LSU
    13 Louisville 
    12 Kansas State
    11 Clemson
    10 Florida State
    9 Florida
    8 South Carolina
    7 Stanford
    5 Texas A&M
    5 Georgia
    4 Notre Dame
    3 Ohio State
    2 Oregon
    1 Alabama

    There are many things that can change from now until next summer, but expect a few of these teams to be taking a run at the top spot.