The Alabama Crimson Tide will be attempting to become the first repeat champions since Nebraska pulled off this feat in 1994 and 1995. But the 2009 national champions have a long road ahead, especially considering they lost several key defensive players to the NFL and the recent injury of Heisman winner, Mark Ingram. And yes, they play in one of the toughest conferences in college football, the SEC.
But even with all of these roadblocks, the Crimson Tide has a legitimate chance of being crowned national champions when the college football season is done.
Alabama’s strength is on the offensive side with a unit that is return key contributors from 2009, like quarterback Greg McElroy and running backs Ingram and Trent Richardson. College football fans should keep an eye on Richardson who has the potential to be a better Heisman candidate than Ingram.
The biggest area of concern is on the offensive line where they lost two starters to graduation. You can expect the front line to experience some growing pains early on but they should shape up by the time they starting playing conference games.
While the defense lost almost all of their daily starters from 2009, they still have plenty of players from the front seven who had plenty of experience thanks to Coach Nick Saban constantly rotating them out. The unit is led by Marcel Dareus who some may remember from his standout performance against Texas last year. The linebacker group will have a hard time replacing Butkus Award winner Rolando McClain while the secondary unit has a harder task of finding a player with any real game experience.
The Crimson Tide’s schedule is laid out in their favor, especially when it comes to their home games. The second game of the season is going to be a solid test against Penn State from the Big Ten. His game should help show coach Saban his weaknesses so he can have them corrected by the end of September.
The road game against Arkansas will be the key because it could be a trap game for the Crimson Tide, who maybe looking forward to the following week when they play host to Florida. If they can reach this point without a loss, the outlook should be good for the Crimson Tide, especially since they have four of their last six games at home. They also catch a lucky break by having a bye week between the road game at Tennessee and LSU.
While it is doubtful that the Alabama Crimson Tide will be able to go another full season without a loss, they appear to have everything in place to make a serious run at another national championship in 2010.