The coaches have spoken, Alabama the team to beat

To the surprise of nobody, perhaps, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been declared the team to beat in the 2013 college football season. The USA Today Coaches Top 25 was released this afternoon and the two-time defending BCS champions from Alabama have been placed on top of the college football poll used in part to determine the BCS Championship Game match-up at the end of the year. Alabama received 58 first-place votes, by far the most.

Ohio State received three first-place votes and is ranked second in the coaches poll. The Buckeyes are a clear favorite in the Big Ten and are now in the best position to make the run to dethrone the SEC from the BCS mountain. Right behind them is PAC 12 favorite Oregon, ranked third in the poll a hair ahead of last year's Pac 12 champion Stanford. Last year's SEC runner-up Georgia rounds out the top five.

Texas A&M, with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, picked up the only other first-place vote in the poll. The Aggies are ranked sixth in the poll, followed by South Carolina at seventh, Clemson at eighth, Louisville at ninth and Florida to finish off the top ten.

Notre Dame, who was soundly defeated by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, debuts in 2013 ranked 11th, followed by Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Boise State and TCU in the top 20. UCLA, Northwestern, Wisconsin, USC and Oregon State bottom out the top 25.

Seven teams in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll were not ranked in the final coaches poll from the 2012 season, but that includes Ohio State. The Buckeyes were ineligible for postseason play last year and thus ineligible for the coaches poll.

Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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