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Countdown to SEC kickoff: 38 days

Now that SEC media days have come and gone, the start to the 2013 college football season is well within our sights.

Practice for some of the teams in the league will begin next week.

To whet your appetite, we'll count down the days to opening night in the SEC with a by-the-numbers look each week day on the SEC blog until we get to the North Carolina at South Carolina and Ole Miss at Vanderbilt contests on Aug. 29.

We'll select a number and tie it to the upcoming season.

The first one in our countdown: Three.

Alabama can make it three straight national championships and four of the last five if the Crimson Tide can add to their ring collection next January. Not since Minnesota in 1934-36 (and never in the Associated Press poll era) has a school won three consecutive national titles in football. The first year of the AP poll was 1936. Alabama coach Nick Saban, who's already the only coach in the AP poll era to win national championships at two different schools, frowns on the mere mention of a possible three-peat. "Every year stands on its own, and each team has to reinvent itself," Saban said. "Our focus is on this season and this team being the best it can be ... and nothing else." Even though Saban won't go down the road of what a possible three-peat would mean, winning four national championships in a five-year span would unequivocally establish the Crimson Tide as one of the greatest dynasties in college football history.