Toughest Games: No. 7 Virginia Tech (Sept. 5), at No. 8 Ole Miss (Oct. 10), No. 11 LSU (Nov. 7)
Why the Crimson Tide will win it all: The run defense, which finished ranked No. 2 in the country last year, should be even better this season. Like Texas' pass defense in the Big 12, that bodes well in the run-happy SEC.
Once again, Alabama will fly under the radar early, but look out if it manages to get by Ole Miss, because the schedule, while tough, isn't killer.
Why they won't: Greg McElroy has to be the same type of quarterback that John Parker Wilson was last year: don't make mistakes and manage the offense well. The Crimson Tide also need to replace offensive tackle Andre Smith and running back Glen Coffee.
Analysis: why top five college football teams will (or won't) win it All