Stanford has the team to take down Alabama this yearAug 29, 2013 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
This is the year college football fans should see the Southeastern Conference's streak of national titles come to an end.
The powerful SEC has won the last seven national championships. The streak started in 2006 when the Florida Gators won the championship.
LSU won it in 2007. Florida took it again in 2008. Alabama has claimed titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Auburn was on top of the world in 2010.
It's going to be tough for the other conferences to win the whole thing, but it can be done.
Sure, the SEC fans pack the stadiums and have some of the best coaches and players come to collide on the football field. But I'm just not a huge fan of the SEC. It would be good for college football to see a different team from a different conference win it. The SEC fans need to get humbled. They have been on top of the college football world too long.
College football experts have Alabama as the overwhelming preseason favorite to win its third consecutive title under coach Nick Saban.
Some say Alabama could compete against some of the current National Football League teams.
Alabama has size returning on the offensive and defensive lines. There is an experienced quarterback and good depth.
I believe there are some teams out there that can match up with the SEC's best.
The best three teams who don't play in the SEC are the Stanford Cardinal, the Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Stanford should have a strong running game to balance out a passing game.
Stanford has big-time experience of playing in pressure situation games the last few years in the PAC-12 conference.
The PAC-12 enters the college football season as probably the second best league in the United States behind the SEC.
Oregon may have a new coach, but I don't believe very much will change. The Ducks are going to be knocking on the door for a national title this year.
Ohio State is again loaded in all the key areas. Coach Urban Meyer made the smooth transition into his new duties last year after success at Florida.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is going to get all kinds of attention for his ability on the field. He has the speed to scramble. The only question mark is his arm.
Oregon likes to use its fast-paced offense from start to finish against its opponents. The Ducks can score, score and score.
The weak spot is Oregon's defense, and I didn't like how the special teams played in critical moments last year.
Louisville has a chance to roll through its season undefeated. The toughest game on the schedule is set for Dec. 3 at Cincinnati.
Louisville might end up the season undefeated and still not be good enough to play in the big game.
Boise State and Fresno State are the two best teams from the Mountain West Conference. Boise State is ranked in No 19 in the preseason poll and opens the season Saturday night against at PAC-12 opponent Washington.
Boise State must win that first game if the Broncos have any chance to continue to climb in the rankings.
Stanford should be near the top all season long.
Coach David Shaw has handled himself like a pro after taking over for Jim Harbaugh.
The pivotal games for Stanford are Oct. 19 (vs. UCLA), Nov. 7 (vs. Oregon), Nov. 16 (vs. USC) and Notre Dame (vs. Nov. 30).
Stanford plays a key road game Oct. 26 at Oregon State.
Stanford's schedule will help the Cardinal advance all the way to the championship game. Behind quarterback Kevin Hogan and his offensive line, the Cardinals should be an offensive machine.
I'm pulling for Stanford to take down the SEC.
Most of all, I'm just pumped college football is back.