It's a new day for Alabama – somewhat. Nick Saban has brought back one-time, one-game offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to oversee what many believe will be a return to the offense of 2017, based more in power and vertical passing than last year's RPO-heavy, spread-forward attack. The RPOs will still be here, and so will the spread elements and the option elements, but Alabama football's identity is tough defense and a downhill running game. It wasn't lost on Saban that Clemson took the physical fight to Alabama in the College Football Championship – and won.
As the number of expert (and not-so-expert) opinions available on the internet has exploded over the past 20 years, what has been lacking in many of those prognostications is objective data of any sort. While ranking the strength of all position units at this point in the preseason demands some degree of subjective judgment, TideFans.com continues to do its best to add some hard numbers to the mix.
Clemson: There's no longer a question about the program; now it's just a matter of replacing pieces; Alabama: The offense will be dynamic; the defense is rebuilding. We're still not sure what this team is.
The NFL Draft has recently become a sports-flavored version of three-card monte, with Bama seemingly supplying one out of every three cards for NFL teams to select. While the real math isn't quite so tilted in Alabama's favor, it also figures to be some time before Alabama stops being such a major presence on draft day. Nick Saban's player development skills are the best in the business, and the 2019 Alabama Crimson Tide team figures to have more than its share of NFL-caliber hopefuls on the roster.
What to get for the man who has everything? If you're buying for Nick Saban right now, try to find one of those fancy laser pens Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith hold up in “Men In Black” that, when flashing, erases the memory of the person looking at them.
Alabama's first spring practice is in the books. Given the way the 2018 season ended, there will probably be greater fan scrutiny on 2019 spring practices than in recent years. Here's our look at 10 key positions headed into spring, which could see more shuffling of personnel than expected given the turnover in position assistant jobs and the new perspective first-year assistants might bring to their evaluations.
Alabama's setback in the national championship game did not carry over to its 2019 recruiting class. Signing 27 players between the early and late signing periods, Alabama claimed the top spot in the 2019 TideFans.com/NARCAS recruiting rankings, narrowly edging out Georgia in the process.