Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
Coach: Nick Saban, sixth season (156-71-1 overall, 50-12 at Alabama).
Last year's record: 12-1 overall, 7-1 in the SEC (2nd in the West). Defeated LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship Game.
Starters returning: 12 (six offense, four defense, two specialists).
Best case scenario: The young Tide defense plays up to Nick Saban's standards right from the start and the Tide take down Arkansas on the road on Sept. 15 to gain an early edge in the West. From there, it's a smooth ride to the showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 3. Alabama downs the Tigers and advances to Atlanta.
Worst case scenario: The defense, which returns only four starters, has some growing pains, while the offense, lacking a dynamic receiver, becomes too one-dimensional and the Tide struggle early against Michigan and Arkansas. The slow start puts Alabama behind LSU and the Tide never catch up.
Quotable: “I think this 2012 team will be defined by what they do, not what we've done (in the past). We're looking forward to the challenges of the 2012 season.” — Nick Saban
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