3. SOUTH CAROLINA
6. MISSISSIPPI STATE
Alabama will take a step back this year after its surprising resurgence in 2008.
Tide guard MIKE JOHNSON says: "It would be easy for people to see that we've lost our quarterback and a great running back and some guys in key spots and think we're not going to be the same team. But we've got young guys who are unbelievably talented and ready to play. We've got Coach (Nick) Saban pushing us day after day. We are not the team that lost those last two games last year. We are the team that won those first 12."