WHY ALABAMA NABS OUR TOP SPOT
Yes, the American-Statesman sports staff did put Bama at No. 1 in our preseason poll, but to repeat: the Tide will not only have to overcome its powerful SEC foes, but the bane of the Bowl Championship Series. Since the birth of the BCS national title game in January 1999, no team has claimed back-to-back titles. USC won national championships in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, but the first was an Associated Press crown; the BCS title that year was awarded to LSU. Oh, and the NCAA just erased the Trojans’ championship season of 2004 because of Reggie Bush’s improper dealings with an agent. So Nick Saban’s crew could make history this year by doubling up — even though the odds say they won’t.