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Our Very Early 2013 Northwestern Football Preview

Over the past week, we've been giving you a look at the 2013 football season, including how the rosters might look and the biggest games on the schedule. It will certainly be the most hype Northwestern has had entering a season since 1996, and the Wildcats may even be favored by some to win the Legends Division. Here's a wrap-up of our preview pieces, with a lot more to come in the coming months.

A look at the 2013 offenseWe analyze the offense in 2013, looking at the key areas where NU needs to replace players, analyzing possible position battles and looking at players who could step up.

A look at the 2013 defense: We analyze the defense in 2013, looking at the key areas where NU needs to replace players, analyzing possible position battles and looking at players who could step up.

Where will NU be ranked?: There have been a lot of preseason rankings so far, and almost all of them rank NU in the top 25. ESPN.com's Big Ten blog even has Northwestern ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten. But where should NU be ranked nationally? Chris Johnson and Kevin Trahan debate.

A 2013 schedule breakdown: A lot has been made of Northwestern's schedule next season — yes the Wildcats will be very good, but the schedule is also very difficult. We take a look at NU's toughest and most important games.

Five most important players: Northwestern will have a lot of stars on next year's team, but here's a look at the five players most important to the Wildcats' success.

Five breakout players for 2013: In addition to all the proven talent that we know next year's Northwestern team will have, here are five players who could break out and have increased roles in 2013.