The 2013 AP Preseason Poll has been released, finally giving fans a chance to see the road their favorite programs will need to navigate in order to climb the rankings and contend for a BCS National Championship.
You can view the preseason poll via the AP's official site.
With the release of both the Associated Press and USA Today polls, it’s time to take a crack at predicting how each team will perform during the 2013 regular season.
Read on to check out the official AP Poll and my predicted wins and losses for every team in the Top 25, plus some bold predictions heading into this season.
Bold Predictions for 2013 Season
Alabama Makes it Three Championships in a Row
It may not be that bold of a prediction because the Alabama Crimson Tide have won two BCS National Championships in a row, but that only means the target on their backs is even bigger. How dominant willy they be in 2013 without a couple key players from last year returning?
After losing star offensive linemen Chance Warmack and Barrett Jones, as well as running back Eddie Lacy, starting quarterback A.J. McCarron will need to be at his best. The senior is still the face of the offense, but not having those contributors around him will make a difference.
Fortunately, McCarron still has a lot going for him to thrive this season.
Despite the departures of key players, head coach Nick Saban is bringing back a strong class, including McCarron, running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper. There are high expectations for these playmakers and this deep, well-rounded offense.
With a roster that is still one of the most impressive in the nation and enough championship experience to give the program a definitive edge, there should be little doubt that Alabama brings home the crystal trophy once again.
Ohio State Will Not Match 2012’s Perfect Season
The Ohio State Buckeyes were punished by the NCAA last season and were excluded from the conference championship and any bowl games. For a program that went undefeated in 2012 (12-0), the postseason ban was tough to swallow.
As high as the expectations are for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes this season, the pressure placed on this team will force it to crumble in key moments and will result in three tough losses that take the program out of championship consideration.
With a schedule that features serious tests against Wisconsin, Michigan and an improved Penn State squad, Ohio State will find it difficult to match perfection in 2013.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller will have the most impact on the Buckeyes’ chances of becoming one of the best teams in the nation, but with six games last season amassing 155 passing yards or less, defenses will be better prepared for Ohio State’s game plan.
If Miller doesn’t improve his passing consistency, the Buckeyes are in trouble.
Boise State Will Go Undefeated
While Ohio State won’t go undefeated, the only team that will earn that honor this year will be the Boise State Broncos. There is no question that the program has been underestimated once again, but the school has become accustomed to the disrespect.
Senior quarterback Joe Southwick led the team to an impressive 11-2 record last season, and with the return of junior wide receiver Matt Miller and sophomore running back Jay Ajayi, this year could be the Broncos' chance to make a run at a BCS National Championship.
The slate of matchups this season plays into the favor of Boise State—the toughest game will be a trip to play BYU in Utah—and the lackluster competition offers the chance for the team to go undefeated.
The strength of schedule in the Mountain West Conference will always be an issue, but if Boise State maintains perfection, the program at least deserves to be considered for a bid to play for a national title.
All stats and information via USA Today and the AP.