With the season starting this week, many college football teams are primed for big seasons.
However, teams also must keep maintaining their recruiting, as building their rosters for the future is crucial for success. Examining programs across the country, only a select few appear to be ready to have big seasons on the field and also ready to sign great recruiting classes.
The SEC is represented on this list, as it is home to the two-time defending national champions. A Big Ten program appears ready to take advantage of its soft schedule, while bringing in good talent. Plus, a team from the American Athletic Conference could be poised for a banner year.
The TCU Horned Frogs are ranked 20th in both major polls, per ESPN, and are in position to challenge for the Big 12 title. They open up with a huge game versus LSU in Cowboys Stadium.
Head coach Gary Patterson, who is one of the best coaches in the country, also is stepping up as a recruiter. Patterson has TCU in the running for elite prospects such as 247Sports' 4-star linebacker/safety Edwin Freeman and 4-star offensive lineman Braden Smith.
A big 2013 season for TCU could go a long way in luring the two great recruits to Ft. Worth.
The Gators are a favorite to win the SEC East and could find themselves playing for a BCS title game berth. In recruiting, Florida has the No. 8 class in the country, via 247Sports' recruiting rankings.
The Texas A&M Aggies went 11-2 last season, their first run in the SEC. With a year of experience under their belts, look for them to play with even more confidence in the mighty conference.
After an eventful offseason, 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel will lead a potent offense, plus the Aggies will continue their attacking 4-3 defense. Texas A&M not only has its sights on an SEC title, but it also wants a national championship.
With the No. 11 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, Texas A&M also is having a great recruiting cycle. The Aggies are trying to finish their class with prospects such as 5-star defensive end Myles Garrett, 5-star athlete Speedy Noil and 4-star defensive end Qualen Cunningham.
Florida State is expected to win another ACC title in 2013. The Seminoles have a talented roster, a fast defense and will start budding star Jameis Winston at quarterback.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher will be careful with his young quarterback, but Winston is talented enough to become FSU's offensive pillar by the end of the season.
The 'Noles also have the No. 5 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Prospects such as 5-star offensive tackle Damian Prince and 4-star receiver Josh Malone will pay close attention to Florida State this season.
Georgia may be green on defense, but it has outstanding experience at the quarterback position with senior Aaron Murray at the helm.
Head coach Mark Richt trusts Murray with the offense, plus running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall form perhaps the best tandem in the country. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 5 in both major polls, per ESPN, and have unfinished business in 2013.
On the recruiting front, 247Sports lists UGA's class at No. 4 in the country. Led by 5-star running back Sony Michel, the class would love to add recruits such as 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and 4-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw to finish strong.
The LSU Tigers will boast another tough defense that has good speed, athleticism and strength. If new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron can provide a spark to the offense, LSU will be a force on the field.
The Tigers have the No. 13 class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, but are in the running for 5-star recruits such as Cameron Robinson, running back Leonard Fournette, athlete Speedy Noil, linebacker Clifton Garrett, receiver Malachi Dupre, safety Laurence Jones and defensive tackle Gerald Willis.
With so many excellent prospects at stake, it is easy to why this 2013 season is so important for LSU. A big season could result in not only an SEC title, but also a No. 1 recruiting class.
Louisville burst onto the national radar last year with a big win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The team returns all-world quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who will be a high pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Head coach Charlie Strong could guide his squad to an undefeated record, as the Cardinals do not have the toughest schedule in the country.
Strong has also done well on the recruiting trail, as 247Sports ranks his class at No. 23, which is a high ranking for Louisville. If the Cardinals can get cleanly through the regular season to get back into a BCS bowl game, they'll sign their best class in school history.
The Ohio State Buckeyes begin their second year under head coach Urban Meyer, and expectations are grand in Columbus.
With Ohio State being ranked No. 2 in both major preseason polls, according to ESPN, anything short of an undefeated season to go along with a Big Ten and national title would be considered a disappointment.
Quarterback Braxton Miller is back to lead Meyer's spread-option offense, and if the defensive line can grow quickly, the Buckeyes should be more than fine.
Meyer has guided Ohio State to the No. 2 recruiting ranking, according to 247Sports. The class has great talent, plus prospects such as 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan, 4-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley and 4-star cornerback Marshon Lattimore all remain realistic targets.
Alabama is looking to win its third consecutive national championship. It returns poised quarterback A.J. McCarron, star running back T.J. Yeldon, left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and receiver Amari Cooper—just on offense.
The Tide will also have another strong defense, as head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart are two of the best defensive minds in the business.
'Bama also has the No. 1 class in the country, according to the 247Sports recruiting rankings. The class is full of elite talent, but more could be on the way, as 5-star recruits such as Cameron Robinson, Leonard Fournette, Lorenzo Carter and cornerback Marlon Humphrey are all seriously considering signing with the Tide.
Finishing this year with another national title and No. 1 recruiting class would be not be a surprise in Tuscaloosa.