Spring Practices have been in full swing across the country. All teams enter with one goal... win a national title. It is a lofty dream for many teams, however there are a handful of teams that can do so. Coach Saban and the Tide will have a target on their back all season. Let's take a look at Alabama's best competition for the title.
The SEC title game was down to the wire... The Tide held off the Bulldogs for a 32-28 win. Georgia was just yards shy of a win and will be fighting hard to reach the top this season. The Georgia defense will need to be rebuilt with the loss of players like Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogeltree, and Bacarri Rambo. Aaron Murray (who was regarded as one the best quarterbacks in the nation) will return and control the Bulldog offense.
Freshman phenom Todd Gurley returns and will be running even harder this season. Gurley ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the SEC Championship game. With Murray and Gurley the Bulldog's offense will be primed to perform. The Bulldogs always seem to get to certain plateau and can't get over it. If they can rebuild the defense they will be a formidable foe.
The Aggies will be looking to shine after a solid first year in the SEC. They were the only team to defeat Alabama last season and will look to build off the momentum surrounding Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel. In order to succeed the Aggies will need Manziel to consistently play his best. It won't be easy, seeing that Texas A&M will lose Luke Joeckel. Joeckel protected Manziel's blind side all season.
The Aggies were happy to hear that offensive tackle Jake Matthews decided to return for another season. Manziel caused confusion for many teams with his versatility and deception. Teams have since had time to study Texas A&M's game plan and will look to contain "Johnny Football". The addition of recruit Ricky Seal-Jones (6'5'' 230 lbs) will benefit Manziel offering a big bodied target. The Aggies also will use home field play to their advantage.
Last year was a start for the Aggies. They will be looking to continue their success this year. It will not be easy, but they have the tools to make a run.
With the post-season ban uplifted, the Buckeyes will be looking to wreak havoc all season. Coach Urban Meyer has brought faith back to Columbus, and quarterback Braxton Miller is electrifying. Meyer has gone on a recruiting tear, snagging up prospects from other Big Ten teams.
The Buckeyes have a schedule that seems to be in their favor. They certainly are the most well rounded Big Ten team. Miller has gained hype this off-season covering Sports Illustrated. Miller is talented and quick footed. He has been groomed by Coach Meyer and put together a strong sophomore season.
The team is focused and will be looking to return to past glory. Although they were banned from post-season play in 2012/13, they would have been an interesting competitor for the Tide in the Title game.
There are numerous teams (Oregon, Stanford, South Carolina, etc.) who will be looking to topple the Tide and win a BCS National Championship. As prepared as these teams are, they will still have to challenge the preparation of Alabama. Coach Saban's game planning is almost unparalleled, and the Crimson Tide players work ethic in the off-season will be shown on game day.