The Alabama Crimson Tide has a football team many fans claim could compete with some NFL teams.
While that consideration is pretty far-fetched, they still hold the unanimous title as the best college football team in the nation. Head coach Nick Saban has his team riding back-to-back BCS national titles, and this college offseason will have him looking to reload for a third consecutive championship.
Are there any teams that can stand up to the physical, fast, borderline abusive football that the Crimson Tide play week in, week out during the college football season?
Here are five teams that Alabama fans should be wary of, come 2013. They aren't all teams that the Crimson Tide will face in the regular season, but rather the five teams that pose the greatest threat to Bama's chances of a three-peat.
And no, Notre Dame isn’t one of them.
I'll say it now. I'm a freshman at the University of Florida.
After putting that out there, no I do not think the Gators would beat Alabama, home or away.
However, they are a team that could give the Crimson Tide a fight till the end. Strong defensive play, a wicked special teams unit, and better quarterback play will see them as a key contender in the SEC next year.
Alabama doesn't need to start panicking about the Gators now, but Florida is definitely not a team to sit on.
The Cardinal are not an SEC team.
However, Alabama could possibly see them in a BCS contest.
Many thought Stanford's team would drop a few notches after losing Andrew Luck to the NFL. However, the team hasn't missed a beat.
A running game, a play-action pass attack and solid defensive play has the Cardinal playing a style of football that is not unlike like that of the Crimson Tide.
This is a matchup that we may have seen in this year's BCS title game had the controversial goal-line stand call between Stanford and Notre Dame gone the other way.
Next year, perhaps?
The Buckeyes went undefeated against a tough Big Ten schedule last season. Unfortunately, serving a one-year bowl suspension had them staying home for the BCS title game.
The top teams in college football won't have that luxury next year.
Because you can bet that Urban Meyer will be gunning for the top prize with the school that he attended as a college student himself.
Braxton Miller is blossoming into a dangerous dual-threat quarterback, despite some questions about his durability.
He throws accurately on the run, and with a ground game to benefit him, defenses tire quickly from guarding against so many weapons.
Ohio State would have probably replaced Alabama in the championship game this past season had the Buckeyes not been serving their suspension. The Crimson Tide should be very wary of facing this Big Ten opponent.
Another SEC team. This one being the Georgia Bulldogs, who battled the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game before losing 32-28.
It is another team of which Alabama needs to be very wary or next season. In fact, either Georgia or Florida will likely be 'Bama's opponent in next year's SEC title game.
The reason this UF student picks Georgia at No. 2, while Florida sits at No. 5, is that the Bulldogs have a lot more weapons on offense than the Gators. QB Aaron Murray stepped up and gave the 'Bama defense all it could handle in the second half of the SEC title game.
If this extremely talented Georgia team can put it all together next year, we might get two undefeated teams squaring off next season in the SEC Championship Game.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel should scare every one of his opponents.
In Texas A&M's SEC debut year, Manziel's squad went 10-2, including an impressive road win over the Crimson Tide in the middle of the season.
The fact that I predicted that game is besides the point. The fact that I predicted an interception by AJ McCarron in the first quarter is also irrelevant.
What is relevant is that Alabama will face the Aggies on the road during Week 3 of the season next year. Even though an early season game, the matchup will still have huge implications for the SEC—and for college football in general.
The winner of the game may find themselves in the BCS Championship Game. And if the Crimson Tide is to win, they'll have to beat the sophomore Manziel in his own stadium.