The 2013 season for the Alabama Crimson Tide could be a historic one in more ways than one.
The Crimson Tide will be looking to win a third straight national championship and a 4th in five years. The Crimson Tide are coming off a beat down of Notre Dame 42-14 in the 2012 national championship in a game that was never in question. If the Crimson Tide are able to win it all in 2013 they would be the first team to win three straight undisputed national championships. The Tide are also looking to win Nick Saban his 5th national championship in his head coaching career at the college level. This would put him in the category of rare greatness with the likes of Bear Bryant, John McKay, and Darrell Royal. There is a lot at stack in 2013 for the Crimson Tide and all signs point to them accomplishing the three peat that has never been accomplished before.
The roster for the Tide is loaded and I mean LOADED. Alabama returns the three year starter A.J. McCarron who is looking to win his third straight national championship as a starting quarterback and put him in a category of his own in the history of college football. The Tide also return a star on the rise at the running back position T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon is coming off a freshman season in which he had 1,108 rushing yards and 131 receiving yards. The future even after the 2013 season looks bright with Yeldon leading the way for the Tide after his incredible freshman season. Alabama also returns two stand out receivers this season in Amari Cooper and Kevin Norwood. Cooper was a thousand yard receiver in 2012 and seems primed to be even a bigger star in 2013. The offensive side of the football for Alabama is like a well oiled machine and shows no signs of stopping this season.
The scary part after breaking down the explosive offensive side of the ball is that Alabama hangs their hat on defense. The Tide return seven starters off of a defense that man handled Notre Dame in the national title. The heart and soul of the Tide defense is middle linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley is coming off a season where he recorded 107 tackles. The defense seems to feed off of each other with a pack mentality that help pushes each other to be better each play. This Tide defense has the potential to be one of the best in a long time, which is scary considering the Tide had one of the greatest defenses ever just two seasons ago in 2011. If this Alabama defense performs as advertised in 2013 the three peat may be all but a certain come early January in Pasadena, California.
The schedule for the 2013 Crimson Tide appears to be set up perfectly for a three peat as well. The Tide start the season on August 31 against the Hokies of Virgina Tech. The Hokies are coming off a 7-6 season and don't appear to be on the comeback trail anytime soon. The Tide then have a bye week before heading to College Station to play the Texas A&M Aggies in one of the most hyped games in the off season. The question of whether or not Johnny Manziel will be the quarterback for A&M in the September 14 meeting against Alabama will be the headlines up until kickoff. This game is one of the few games that the Tide will have a challenge with and an A&M team with no Manziel seems trouble for the Aggies. After the match up against Texas A&M the Tide do not face a serious opponent until the November 9 meeting against rival LSU. The Tigers were minutes away from beating the Tide last season before blowing a late lead on a screen pass to Yeldon. The Tigers are losing a considerable amount of talent of off their defense from last year and will have to retool. The Tide will have the luxury of facing LSU in Tuscaloosa which may spell trouble for the Tigers. The Tide then wrap up the 2013 regular season against long time rival Auburn. The Tigers of Auburn are in full rebuilding mode under new coach Gus Malzahn and are not likely to pose a threat to the Tide this season. The toughest game on the schedule may not come until the SEC title game against the SEC East champion. The SEC East champion is likely to be either South Carolina or Georgia which may be a real challenge for the Tide. This schedule for the Tide may be the number one reason I feel they have a real shot at a three peat. I understand they don't play the game on paper, but if the Tide play like they look like on paper than they will win most of their games with ease in 2013.
The Tide obviously are the king of college football at the moment. This king of college football seems to go in cycles every several years. Whether it was Nebraska in the mid 90's, Miami Hurricanes in the early 2000's or the USC Trojans in the mid 2000's, the cycle is real and continues to spin around. The Tide are enjoying being king right now and show no signs of stopping as long as Saban is leading the way. The recruiting isn't slowing down and the competitive drive for coaches, players and fans alike is just the same. Alabama set their sails on a three peat August 31 and are the consensus favorite to win it all again.
My final thoughts on Alabama in 2013 are that I feel they will indeed make it to Pasadena to play for a historic third straight national title. I am not convinced that they will complete the three peat considering it has never been done before. The closest team to three peat was USC in 2005 before losing to Texas in the 2005 national championship game in Pasadena. The saying that history repeats itself seems to be truer than ever with the shot that the Tide could also be going for a three peat in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The opponent that the Tide face in the national title game will play a big factor in whether they win it all or if the curse of a three peat strikes yet again. This year will be one to remember no matter how it turns out for Alabama as the chance for history stares the Tide right in the eyes.