2013 Preseason College Football Rankings: Early Look at Next Year's Top Teams

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07:  The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a score of 42-14 to win the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It is never too early to look toward next season in the college football world.

Before Alabama was even able to celebrate its national championship, coaches were focused on recruiting for next season while also filling out their depth charts for spring practices.

A lot can happen before the 2013 season begins, but the first poll of the new year will likely have a Top 10 very similar to this when all is said and done.


10. Louisville

The world finally got a look at Teddy Bridgewater when his team was able to dominate Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The quarterback is a legitimate Heisman candidate next season if he stays healthy and continues to throw to his favorite target, DeVante Parker.

While the Big East will look different next season, the Cardinals should easily be the best team in the conference. 


9. Clemson

Tajh Boyd is going to stay in school instead of entering the NFL draft, according to ESPN. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the country this season and should be able to put up big numbers once again next year.

The Tigers had the No. 6 offense in the nation and should once again have a big year in a weak ACC.


8. Notre Dame

Notre Dame is not going to sneak up on anyone next year after reaching the BCS National Championship Game this season. However, it will still have Everett Golson at quarterback and Louis Nix III anchoring the defensive line. 

America will also get a chance to see playmaker George Atkinson III finally get a chance to succeed after averaging 7.1 yards per carry in limited playing time at running back this year.


7. South Carolina

This season, South Carolina showed that it does not need Marcus Lattimore to succeed. Even with Connor Shaw out for the spring, Dylan Thompson looked good in the Outback Bowl and will certainly be able to lead this team if needed.

On defense, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is really all this team will need to be successful.


6. Stanford

What Stanford lacks in star power it makes up for in good, hard-nosed players. The offensive and defensive lines will be key for the Cardinal as it tries to build off its Rose Bowl victory from this season.

Kevin Hogan will definitely be better at quarterback with an entire offseason of first-team reps. 


5. Texas A&M

When you have the returning Heisman winner leading the offense, anything is possible. Texas A&M will have some major losses of players leaving for the NFL, but Johnny Manziel proved this year never to count him out.

If they can make it through a difficult SEC schedule, the Aggies can win the national championship. 


4. Georgia

The Bulldogs will lose not only talent from this season, but a lot of leadership on the defensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Aaron Murray will have to pick up the slack and make this an elite offense next season. Running back Todd Gurley could end up being one of the best in the country at his position, so this status might not be too hard to achieve. 


3. Ohio State

After missing out on all the postseason fun this year, Urban Meyer is ready to take on the nation for real next season.

Braxton Miller is one of the most dynamic players in the country at any position and the quarterback should be a Heisman candidate in 2013. With Carlos Hyde alongside him at running back and a great offensive line, the sky is the limit for this offense and the team as a whole.


2. Oregon

Chip Kelly will remain the coach of Oregon and that alone makes them contenders for a top BCS bowl. Of course, it helps to have a talented quarterback who was 12-1 as a freshman in Marcus Mariota and one of the fastest players in the nation in De'Anthony Thomas.


1. Alabama

Until someone stops this team from winning national championships, Alabama will remain in the top spot. Even when the school loses skilled players to the NFL, all it does is reload with new 5-star prospects across the board.

The experience of A.J. McCarron at quarterback will make it extremely difficult to beat the Tide next season.