ALABAMA - The Crimson Tide won 12 games last year. However, the last four times the team has garnered double-digit win seasons, it finished below .500 the following campaign with a combined 17-31 record. Alabama covered its last three games in '08 when favored by three touchdowns or more.
Offense - Last year's offense was a veteran-laden squad and it showed as the club topped the 30-ppg mark for the first time since 1989. Nevertheless, the unit still ranked 63rd nationally in total offense and now moves forward with only four returning starters. Greg McElroy, who takes over at QB, has completed 16 of 20 career attempts, but 15 of those passes came against Western Kentucky and Western Carolina. The o-line also loses three key starters.
Defense - It will be up to the defense to carry the offense early on and that shouldn't be a problem with 13 of the top 16 tacklers returning to Tuscaloosa. Still, the "D" allowed seven red zone TDs in the final two games after giving up only seven in the first 12. Additionally, the entire defense lost just two starts to injury the entire season, and with a rebuilt o-line and an inexperienced QB, the unit will be on the field a lot more in '09.
Outlook - It's doubtful this squad will fall apart as the other 'Bama teams did the year following a double-digit win season. However, the club won't win 10 games either. Look for eight victories with a .500 SEC mark.
SEC - Can Anyone Upset Florida?