Alabama Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide appear to have an easy path… (Jamie Squire / Getty Images )
I'm not sure today who is going to win this year's national title but go ahead and put Alabama down for winning it next year.
The release of the Southeastern Conference's 2013 schedule Thursday instantly makes the Crimson Tide next year's lock-down favorite.
Crimson Tide fans, book your vacation plans to sunny California.
It would be fitting for an SEC win in the last BCS title game played before college football moves to a four-team playoff in 2014. History will also be made at the Rose Bowl, where Alabama won its first BCS title in January 2010.
In fact, the toughest game on Alabama's 2013 SEC schedule might be against a former Big 12 conference also-ran. The Crimson Tide opens at Texas A&M, where quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka "Johnny Football," might pose some problems.
After that? Alabama gets Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana State at home and misses East powers Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Alabama closes the regular season at Mississippi State (small sweat) and then at Auburn (no sweat).
There were other 2013 schedules revealed Thursday, but it was basically over when the league arranged its release in alphabetical order, starting with ALA.
Alabama does play Virginia Tech in nonconference in neutral-site Atlanta and would eventually have to play the East champion in the SEC title game.
All told, though, Nick Saban himself could not have drawn up a better path to glory.
After Thursday's news, why would he be dumb enough to even consider the Cleveland Browns?
Discussion: How will USC and UCLA end their seasons?
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