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As of May 26, 2012, this is now a college football blog by Ren Simon. All previous posts were written by the previous blog owners. Follow us on twitter: Diehard CFB Fans

CFB National Title Contenders in 2013

November 13th 2012 21:06
It seems like yesterday that the 2012 season just kicked off, and now teams have started accepting bowl invites and clinching division titles. That means it's getting about that time to look towards next season--especially if your favorite team blew it this season. And a lot of the teams on this list have blown it in 2012. But it won't surprise anyone to see most of the teams on this list of teams that can compete for national title in 2013.

Let's break it down by conference.

ACC: Florida State

Why the Seminoles Could Win: Everyone knows about the talent Jimbo Fisher is bringing in. FSU also doesn’t play in a conference that presents major obstacles week after week. For the most part, if FSU gets by Clemson and Virginia Tech (and North Carolina State and Florida) you tend to think the Seminoles are going to the national title game.


Why the Seminoles Could Lose: Because they always do, and even before they make it to the national title game. I also haven’t looked at their schedule for next season, so I’m just assuming they’re playing Florida. Florida is on the rise and could be a national title contender next season, as well. You can’t ever totally count out a Miami upset, either.

Big 12: Texas

Why the Longhorns Could Win: This is another team that always has the talent to do so. David Ash is fairly young and should be back at QB next season, along with young RB Johnathan Gray. Texas looked as if it was in for another disappointing season earlier this year, but the Longhorns are pulling it together, playing better defense and have a shot at winning out. If they do this, or even if they lose to Kansas State but win their bowl game, they will be put in the conversation during the summer.


Why the Longhorns Could Lose: Because, lately, they always do, too. Their biggest obstacle really seems to be Oklahoma, who smacks the Longhorns worse and worse each season. There has looked like a world of difference between these two teams, but at least Landry Jones will be moving on. Kansas State could also trip Texas up. And the last time the Longhorns played for the national title, they lost to Alabama.

Big East: Louisville

Why the Cardinals Could Win: Teddy Bridgewater and the weapons on offense. Bridgewater will be a Heisman-caliber QB next season--in fact, he basically already is. Plus, Louisville doesn’t necessarily have the toughest conference schedule, though it will get tougher with the newer members coming in. The Cardinals also have a head coach who is on the rise and has coached in the “best” conference, bringing that experience and recruiting ties to Louisville--which will only make the Cardinals better and better each season.

Why the Cardinals Could Lose: Pick your poison--their conference not allowing them to get to the title game, needing to play better defense, Boise State’s beginning conference play, Rutgers on the rise...oh, and what if Charlie Strong leaves after this season? Louisville could have gone undefeated this season and it still wouldn’t have played for a national title, so even if the Cardinals do make it past all these other issues they’d still have conference affiliation holding them back.

Big Ten: Ohio State

Why the Buckeyes Could Win: Urban Meyer, year 2, Braxton Miller and the recruiting class that’s coming in. You also don’t know how tough the Big Ten is going to be next season, because it seems to get worse every season. OSU is rolling through it now, and if it’s anywhere near as bad in 2013 OSU will roll through it again. And Meyer knows how to win national titles, and he’s at one of the best programs in the nation that would allow him to essentially walk in and do it.

Why the Buckeyes Could Lose: While Meyer has two national titles, I don’t know that he will have what he needs to do it at OSU next season. OSU has at times struggled with the speed of Big Ten teams the likes of Indiana on defense. This is a big problem if you look at the types of teams OSU would face in the title game. People talk about how Meyer doesn’t have a Percy Harvin-type player, but the D is the biggest concern--especially since OSU will lose good players. It must get better, faster, more athletic if OSU is to beat teams like Oregon and SEC teams in national title games. There’s also Michigan on the road next season.

Pac-12: Oregon

Why the Ducks Could Win: Marcus Mariota, explosive players and Chip Kelly. Oregon has been in national title contention every season since Chip Kelly took over, and the Ducks could very well win this season with what some think is the best defense they’ve had since he has been there. Some people also think Mariota is the best QB Kelly has had, and Mariota has performed remarkably well down the stretch so far this season. The best news for Oregon is he’ll be back next season.

Why the Ducks Could Lose: As with Louisville and Charlie Strong, there’s a chance Kelly won’t stick around. And as with some of the other teams on this list, the Ducks always lose when they have a shot at the title. Now, they took a big step finally winning the Rose Bowl last season, and they could certainly win the national title this season. If they do win it this season, though, that’s another strike for next season. As Alabama knows, back-to-back national titles don’t exactly happen anymore.

SEC: LSU

Why the Tigers Could Win: You could go with Alabama, too, but if Zach Mettenberger is with LSU next season (as he should be) and he keeps improving, the Tigers should also be national title contenders. If Mettenberger gets better they’ll have him and a good young RB in Jeremy Hill, and they’re pretty much always great on defense. Next season LSU could have the team that everyone expected them to have in 2012, and, right now, I’d favor that team over Bama.

Why the Tigers Could Lose: Alabama. Texas A&M. The SEC East champion. Maybe even an improving team like Ole Miss. Whether or not you think the SEC is the best conference or is just top heavy, SEC teams usually don’t go undefeated nowadays. They can lose and still make it to the national title game. But odds are, if there are two undefeated teams and both consist of Notre Dame, Florida State, a Pac-12 champion, a Big Ten champion and/or a Big 12 champion, LSU can forget it.

Just a few (or five) of the other possible contenders...

Notre Dame
: Brian Kelly seems to have the Irish near being “Notre Dame” again, but the schedule is tough again next season. They’ve got Michigan on the road, Michigan State should be better, USC, BYU, at Stanford and so on.

Michigan: An overachieving year 1 in the Brady Hoke era raised people’s expectations. But the offensive line needs to improve greatly, there’s a need for more consistent playmakers on O and the Wolverines have the same issue OSU does as far as the D struggling with speed even just in the Big Ten (Northwestern).

Alabama: I’d think AJ McCarron will be back, and TJ Yeldon is an amazing RB even just as a freshman. Nick Saban goes without saying. The D will need to show improvement, though, and McCarron will need to handle the pressure of expectations better than he has this season when the big games roll around next season.

USC: The Trojans will have some good players coming back, and, no doubt, they will plug in some good guys to replace the departing stars. But, boy, the departing stars are huge losses who still couldn’t help deliver a national title in 2012 when it was more expected than it’ll be in 2013. Gotta play better D, too, no question--which they haven’t done at all under Lane Kiffin.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have some young QBs who are good enough right now to win games, and I think they’ll get back towards the top of the Big 12 next season because of this. But to actually make it to the title game and then again to win it, they’ll have to play a little bit better D. They can’t slip up against those explosive Big 12 offenses, either, or think they can relax against Iowa State or Kansas. And I don’t know of a Justin Blackmon/Dez Bryant on O this season. There might be one, but the fact that a lot of us don’t know says something.
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