Alabama comes into 2010 ranked No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches' Polls, and the oddsmakers in Las Vegas seem to agree, making them a 4:1 favorite to repeat as BCS Champion. They received 54 out of a possible 60 first-place votes in the AP Poll, with Ohio State garnering 3 votes, and Boise State, Texas, and Oklahoma each bringing home a single vote. The Coaches' Poll was quite similar; 'Bama brought home 55 of the 59 first-place votes, while Ohio State was the recipient of the other four.
With Alabama being the "buzz" of the college football world since their dismantling of the Texas Longhorns last January, one has to wonder if they will go unbeaten once more. Both the coaches and sportswriters alike think they are deserving of their No.1 ranking, but does this mean they will go undefeated? Not necessarily. We only need to reflect back to 2007, when the LSU Tigers brought the BCS Trophy home to Baton Rouge with a pair of losses. In fact, it has become rather commonplace to win college football's top honor with a defeat. With the exception of last year, the previous three champions each had at least one setback. (Florida had one loss in both 2006 and 2008)
After all this talk, one might think that Nick Saban & Company are worry-free down in Tuscaloosa. But for anyone who has been watching "All-Access" on ESPN this month, you can see that the hardest working coach in college football has his hands full. Replacing nine starters on defense and game-planning for one of the hardest football schedules in the nation are just a few of the obstacles facing the Crimson Tide this year.
Other hindrances facing the Crimson Tide in 2010 are their lack of depth in one of the nation's youngest defensive backfields, scheduling issues that include six SEC opponents having a "bye" the week before they face Alabama, the impact of "AgentGate" on the eligibility of Marcel Dareus, and the added pressures that come with both the 2009 BCS Championship Trophy and Heisman Trophy resting in Tuscaloosa.
With that said, here are the Top Five teams with the best chance of knocking Alabama off its lofty perch atop the college football landscape in 2010.