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Home | Sports | College / NCAA |

Sports Illustrated releases its preseason top 25 for the 2013 college football season

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Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban along with wife Terry Saban ride their way to the National Championship celebration. (Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

Sports Illustrated has released its projected top 25 rankings for the 2013 college football season. Like most pundits, the magazine has a lot of faith in Stanford, who is coming off of its first Rose Bowl victory in generations, and Oregon, in spite of the fact that coach Chip Kelly jumped ship to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Louisville, who stomped Florida in the Sugar Bowl and will return star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, is also rising quickly in most projections.

In just their first season in the SEC, the Texas A&M Aggies stole the show in beating No. 1 and BCS Champions Alabama in Tuscaloosa. However, and unlike CBS’ preseason rankings, SI allows the kings to keep their crown to open the year.

[Vegas breaks down each team's championship odds for the 2014 BCS National Championship game]

25. Northern Illinois Huskies

24. UCLA Bruins

23. Vanderbilt Commodores

22. Nebraska Cornhuskers

21. Northwestern Wildcats

20. Baylor Bears

19. Kansas State Wildcats

18. Boise State Broncos

17. Texas Longhorns

16. Florida State Seminoles

15. TCU Horned Frogs

14. LSU Tigers

13. Oklahoma Sooners

12. Michigan Wolverines

11. Georgia Bulldogs

10. Clemson Tigers

9. Florida Gators

8. South Carolina Gamecocks

7. Louisville Cardinals

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

4. Oregon Ducks

3. Stanford Cardinal

2. Texas A&M Aggies

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

No surprise here at the top. Alabama has taken home three of the nation’s last four national championships, earning the right to legitimately call themselves a dynasty. Johnny Football and his Aggies shocked the college football world in 2012. While coach Kevin Sumlin’s squad returns starters all over the field, most seem to be dismissing the fact that two anchors of the line, left tackle Luke Joeckel and defensive end Damontre Moore, are about to be taken in the top five of the 2013 NFL Draft.

There is no easy replacement for talent such as this, even if A&M does have Jake Matthews ready to replace Joeckel.

Other teams have been hit even harder by underclassman attrition, most notably LSU, who has dropped significantly in just about every preseason poll after losing a record 10 underclassmen to the draft.

More CFB: Take a look at the complete list of all the underclassmen to declare early for the 2013 NFL Draft.

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