Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.
Coach: Nick Saban, seventh season (169-72-1 overall, 63-13 at Alabama).
Last year's record: 13-1 overall, 7-1 in the SEC (1st in the West). Defeated Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS Championship Game.
Fans' expectations: Alabama had only one misstep last season on its way to a national title, losing to Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa. There will be no missteps this season. The Crimson Tide have shown the past two seasons that it has the players and the coaching, and that when it is focused and ready to play, Alabama is unbeatable. Quarterback AJ McCarron could have a Heisman Trophy-like season and he's surrounded by dynamic skill players. Nick Saban's defense will be like it always is — among the strongest in the nation.
Realistic expectations: Alabama has to do some rebuilding on both lines of scrimmage, but the Tide have the talent on the roster to be just as strong up front as it was the past two championship seasons. If Alabama wins at A&M on Sept. 14, the Tide are looking at a 12-0 regular season. The weapons are there on offense (McCarron, wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon) and the defense will be strong. And then there's the Saban factor.
Quotable: “I read and I hear how you all make predictions on what's going to happen in the season. It seems almost a little crazy to predict what's going to happen. I think it's crazy to speculate.” — Nick Saban