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2016 SEC season preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

Can they continue to be the team to beat and stay at No. 1?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Winning Head Coach Press Conference Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last Season’s record: 14-1 (7-1 in SEC)

Key Departure(s): RB Derrick Henry; LB A’Shawn Robinson; QB Jake Coker; LB Denzall Duvall; OT Dominick Jackson; RB Kenyan Drake; WR Richard Mullaney; C Ryan Kelly; LB Reggie Ragland; CB Cyrus Jones; FS Geno Matias-Smith; DE Jarran Reed

Key Arrivals: QB Jalen Hurts; LB Ben Davis; OLB Lyndell Wilson; RB B.J. Emmons; DB Shyheim Carter

The 2015 SEC and National Champs barreled through most of their opponents with the exception of losing to Ole Miss and barely got by Clemson in the National Championship, 45-40. Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were the team to watch, but were focused on winning and getting the College Football Playoff trophy, which they did and deserved.

Key Players

Calvin Ridley

The sophomore wide receiver is expected to do big things and accumulate big numbers this season. The 2015 All-SEC is the player to watch, enjoy, and help lead his team to another championship. Last season, Ridley had 89 receptions, over a 1,000 yards receiving, and seven touchdowns.

Cam Robinson-OT

The 2015 All-SEC offensive tackle is ready to lead the offensive line and protect whoever will be running and throwing the ball. After a little run-in with the law, having been arrested for possession of a weapon and marijuana this summer, I think this was a wake-up for Robinson to be focused on his future. Saban implied at SEC Media Days that he will not be suspended. Robinson will have to be on the straight and narrow this season and it’s expected that Nick Saban makes it so.

Eddie Jackson SS

This All-American has recently been moved to the safety position from cornerback, where he has made a name for himself and could possibly be even better. Jackson led the team with six interceptions, two for touchdowns, and 46 tackles in 2015.

Best case scenario

Looking at the team’s schedule, they could possibly go undefeated. They are a powerhouse of a team and their schedule looks fairly easy. They will have to settle the score with Ole Miss and trot through LSU who could be a team to watch in the conference and the nation this season as well.

Worst case scenario

‘Bama’s worst nightmare could be that they lose to Ole Miss and LSU and drop down in the AP Poll rankings. Also, they would have to claw their way into the playoffs. I mean, we do have consider other conferences and their best teams.

There is little to no worry what Alabama will do this season because Saban is that good. They have several starters returning and I would not be surprised if they do go undefeated and win the National Championship... again.

Saban is said to share plays between running backs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. The QB has yet to be picked but has been narrowed down to Cooper Bateman and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett.

The Crimson Tide will continue to show as to why they are the team to beat. They have a target on their back and I don't think they're afraid. The Champs will do what’s necessary to defend their title.

Can they hold on to it?