Will the Tide keep rolling this season?

Brian Stone

Football season is quickly approaching and with it comes the same drama that we’ve heard for the last six months.  Johnny Football, Roll Tide, blah, blah.  There are some pretty good contenders this year that might be able to take the title from Tuscaloosa, so let’s take a look at some of ESPN’s top 10 and see if they will (or won’t) live up to the hype.

To start off, Alabama is still the team to beat. Critics may be tired of hearing about the dominance of the Crimson Tide, but until someone learns to beat when it counts, they’ll be here to stay. Ohio State is the preseason number two, and to be fair, their schedule looks like a cakewalk at the moment. They could easily go undefeated, end up in the National Championship game with whoever the SEC sends this time around, and suffer the exact same fate that Notre Dame did last year. It’s the most likely scenario for them.

With the next two spots we have two Pac-12 teams, Stanford and Oregon. I’ll reserve my judgment for Oregon until I’ve seen them play, but I assume they will be the same high-powered offense that goes 11-2 with a Rose Bowl berth every year. Stanford, however, is a bit of a wild card. They have a great coach in David Shaw, but they are a bit of an unknown commodity. Lee Corso picked them to beat ‘Bama, but I think that’s a little too much for them to handle.

Our next three teams are from the SEC in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M. Even coming from a self-professed South Carolina fan, I think Georgia wins the SEC East again this year. Aaron Murray is still there and so is Mark Richt. I think they’ll be the same 11-or-12-win team that they usually are. South Carolina has an easy schedule outside of Florida and Georgia, but will most likely lose a game they have no business losing. A&M is probably the biggest threat to Alabama out there. They’ve already defeated the mighty Tide once, and could do it again. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Manziel leading his team to an SEC title this season.

The last three teams in the top 10 are Clemson, Louisville and Florida. Clemson’s good, but I feel that they really won’t get over the hump with Dabo Swinney as head coach. Louisville has Teddy Bridgewater, but I don’t think they have enough weapons on offense to really hurt powerhouse teams or the defense to stop the strongest teams in the country. Florida will not go anywhere until they learn how to throw the football. It’s amazing that with the top recruiting classes they pull in every year they still haven’t replaced Tim Tebow at quarterback.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Georgia Southern running all over them in November.