Alabama has won two of the last three NCAA College Football Championships and enter the 2012 season ranked number two in the nation. With several players from last year's squad now playing in the NFL, the team will look for returning lettermen to lead the way.
Here is a closer look at the Crimson Tide and what to expect from the SEC power for the upcoming college football season.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron will lead the team again this year. The 6'4" junior was terrific as a first-time starter in 2011 and completed nearly 67% of his throws for 2,634 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he may need to do even more this season if the Tide want to win another BCS title. The offense line could be the strongest unit on the team and features three potential All-Americans. The wide receiving group is deep in talent, and running back Eddie Lucy looks to take over for Trent Richardson. The biggest concern is the team has a new offensive coordinator, and developing some chemistry and continuity could take some time.
The defense took a big hit from graduation, but head coach Nick Saban and his staff have done a terrific job at recruiting. The defensive line is strong and the linebacking unit has speed, but the concern is in the secondary where the Crimson Tide lack depth at corner, and health could play a big role in how this team performs.
Alabama opens their schedule this week against Michigan, who is ranked eighth in the nation, and then travel on the road two weeks later to face Arkansas. Those two games will give an early test on this team and their title chances, and if they manage to win both, LSU and the tough SEC schedule still awaits.
Most NCAA College Football experts feel this team has what it takes to win a 15th National Title, but with so many changes, it is hard to gauge where this team will go. The Wolverines are a big test this week and the Razorbacks have a strong offense, but if this team gets on a roll, Saban and company could be creating a dynasty in Alabama.