Oregon at No. 3 on USA Today preseason rankings

Marcus Mariota 2, UA,2012,KC

Kevin Cline

USA Today unveiled its Top 25 preseason college football rankings Thursday.  No surprise, Alabama sits pretty at the top.  The Crimson Tide lost only one game on their march to consecutive National Title Game wins, beating Notre Dame in the last championship game.

Coach Saban and AJ McCarron

NCAA

Coach Saban and AJ McCarron

The number one spot is a given that Alabama is a major favorite to win again and create a football dynasty in Tuscaloosa.  Much of their core roster, and the arm of quarterback A.J. McCarron, are back for another ride, and no one should bet against them.

Sitting below the Crimson Tide at number two are the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Fresh off a undefeated season and recent bowl ban, head coach Urban Meyer will try to get back into the national spotlight like he did at Florida and come out of the Big Ten as a serious contender.

That leaves the Oregon Ducks next on the list at No. 3, and a strong candidate for No. 2.  I am not worried that the game plan will change with the departure of Chip Kelly.  New head coach Mark Helfrich knows what is expected of his players and how to run this football program by watching Kelly the last few years.

Our biggest challenge for the 2013 season will be the wrestling match with Stanford who, by the way, come in at No. 4.  We don’t need to be reminded of the overtime loss last year in Autzen, and with the biggest game in the Pac-12 to be played in Palto Alto, the Cardinal have as legitimate a shot at the national title as does Oregon.

The other Pac-12 representatives to make the cut in the Top 25 are UCLA (No. 21), USC (No. 24) and Oregon State (No. 25).

USA Today Preseason College Football Rankings:

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Oregon
4. Stanford
5. Georgia
6. Texas A&M
7. South Carolina
8. Clemson
9. Louisville
10. Florida
11. Notre Dame
12. Florida State
13. LSU
14. Oklahoma State
15. Texas
16. Oklahoma
17. Michigan
18. Nebraska
19. Boise State
20. TCU
21. UCLA
22. Northwestern
23. Wisconsin
24. USC
25. Oregon State

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Nick Filipas

Nick Filipas

Nicholas Filipas is a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism with an emphasis in magazine journalism. Nicholas was born in southern California, raised in Portland, OR and now resides in Nashville, TN. His favorite teams include the Portland Trail Blazers, San Francisco 49ers/Giants and the Ducks since enrolling in 2011. His dream job is to be a professional NBA beat writer in a major city. Follow him on Twitter: @nicholasfilipas