The Alabama Crimson Tide have five SEC teams to worry about in 2013.
Alabama has made its spot at the top of the mountain comfortable, and with several key components returning, such as AJ McCarron, C.J. Mosley, Amari Cooper, etc., it seems the Tide will once again be the "king of the mountain" this upcoming season.
In the words of College GameDay's Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend!"
These five SEC teams have enough talent to compete against the Crimson Tide and potentially knock them off of their route toward winning three straight national championships.
Hey, they nearly upset the Tide last December.
Todd Gurley. Aaron Murray. Malcolm Mitchell. John Theus. Tray Matthews. Josh Harvey-Clemons. Jot these names down, NFL fans; you're sure to see them in the pros after their stay in Georgia.
The Bulldogs have an athletic, veteran quarterback, experienced offensive line, the best running back duo in the country, a solid linebacker corps and a young secondary that will surely create superstars.
Can you say rematch in the SEC Championship Game?
With the talent and maturity Georgia possesses on offense, the Bulldogs should be able to match the Tide in athletic ability.
You can put an asterisk next to this one.
Sure, Mike Evans, Jake Matthews, Brandon Williams and Steven Jenkins can be All-SEC-type performers, but the Texas A&M Aggies will live and die with Johnny Football.
If Johnny Manziel avoids losing any playing time over his paid autograph investigation, Texas A&M will serve as a fine challenger for the Tide indeed.
Kevin Sumlin's offense maximizes the Aggies' ability to create big plays and score points. On that same note, Manziel is the perfect orchestrator for the unit.
Without him, Texas A&M's talented club looks miniscule compared to Alabama.
Don't look now—Steve Spurrier just might have his most talented team in his tenure at South Carolina.
Spurrier has the luxury of watching the best player in college football perform his craft on the defensive side of the ball again this year, as Jadeveon Clowney returns for his junior season.
He'll be joined by Kelcy Quarles and J.T. Surratt, once again another top defensive line for the Ol' Ball Coach.
But come on, this is South Carolina and this is Spurrier—his best weapons are on the offensive side of the football.
Led by two capable, experienced quarterbacks, Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson should lead an offense that sports an impressive Mike Davis and two potential breakout wide receivers in Bruce Ellington and Shaq Roland. Could this be the year Spurrier finally breaks through?
The Florida Gators have immense talent on defense.
Where do we begin? Hmm, how about arguably the most talented position on the team?
The Gators secondary is the best in the conference heading into the 2013 season. Florida has playmakers such as Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy and Vernon Hargreaves III who should dominate the defensive backfield.
Upfront, Florida has one of the best defensive linemen in the country with Dominique Easley returning, and he's joined by Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard. Ronald Powell should shine brightly in the front seven after having his season taken away with an ACL injury in the 2012 spring game.
Offensively, Jeff Driskel returns, and he'll do his fair share of handing off to Matt Jones, who will replace Mike Gillislee for the Gators. Though the defense will have to do most of the heavy lifting, this Florida team is capable of winning the SEC East and challenging Alabama's reign.
Keep sleeping on LSU. The players down in Baton Rouge love the underdog role.
Anthony Johnson told me last week that he likes to pull the "rope-a-dope." He's counting on nobody seeing it coming.
The Tigers are a lot like Georgia. They have most of their starters returning on offense and a lot of holes to fill on defense.
Zach Mettenberger looks to take the next step in his career as the returning starting quarterback, while depth is had at running back and wide receiver. LSU will count on new names on defense, particularly Kendell Beckwith, Lewis Neal and Tre'Davious White. You might not know the names now, but you soon will.
The SEC West came down to LSU and Alabama in recent years, and with the Tigers' young, adept replacements mixed with the old cast, 2013 should be no different.