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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Tide projected to start season No. 1

By Chris Low

It's hard to find anyone who doesn't have two-time defending national champion Alabama pegged as the No. 1 team going into the 2013 season.

College football analyst Phil Steele projects the Associated Press' preseason Top 25 each year, and like everyone else, he expects the Crimson Tide to be atop the AP poll that comes out in August.

For the last six years, Steele has projected the preseason AP Top 10 nearly six months in advance and has correctly projected at least nine of the Top 10 teams each year. He picked 24 teams last year, and all 24 were included in the AP's preseason poll.

This year, he's picked 26 teams. Again, this is not his preseason poll, but the way he projects the AP preseason poll to look come August.

In addition to Alabama, four other SEC teams are in the Top 10 -- Texas A&M at No. 5, Georgia at No. 6, Florida at No. 8 and South Carolina at No. 9. LSU projects as the No. 12 team in the AP preseason poll, according to Steele.

He doesn't think Ole Miss or Vanderbilt will crack the AP's preseason poll, although I'd say both will receive votes. The Commodores were No. 23 in the AP's final poll last season. They've never been ranked in the AP's Top 25 to open a season.