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Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 Preview

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The Alabama Crimson Tide have won double-digit games in eight straight seasons and enter 2016 as the defending national champions. Even with a few moving parts heading into the new year, Alabama is still considered one of the favorites to again make the playoffs and hoist the big trophy.

It’s a revolving door when it comes to Alabama and head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Here’s your 2016 Alabama Crimson Tide college football preview.

Offense: Alabama’s offense will feature a ton of new faces, as quarterback Jake Coker, and running backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake are no longer around. This time it’s the wide receivers who are the most experienced as a trio of Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart and O.J. Howard is as good as it gets in the SEC. Howard has star tight end written all over him and Ridley is a 1,000-yard receiver who will once again shine as the top option. Also, replacing a Heisman winner in Henry won’t be that difficult with a former 5-star recruit in Bo Scarbrough being given the keys. Scarbrough averaged 5.7 yards per carry in limited action last season and has all the tools to be the next great Alabama running back. The questions for the Crimson Tide offensively are at quarterback. Cooper Bateman is the only guy with experience, but David Cornwell has impressed during camp and has the ideal build. Either way, Alabama has the playmakers and the offensive line (If Cam Robinson is able to play) to be great once again.

Defense: Jeremy Pruitt will replace Kirby Smart at defensive coordinator and he’s working with the usual Alabama talent on this side of the ball. Even with a ton of players bolting for the NFL draft, a defensive line made up of Da’Shawn Hand, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne is nothing to sneeze at. Reuben Foster will have no problem replacing Reggie Ragland as the leader and main linebacker of the second unit while Eddie Jackson returns after leading the SEC with six interceptions. Rashaan Evans proved he’s ready for an expanded role at linebacker and Minkah Fitzpatrick is a rising player who had 11 pass deflections as a freshman. Alabama may not have the same depth it had on the defensive side of the ball last season, but the overall talent is there when you consider nearly everybody was a 4 or 5-star recruit. Just another day at the office for the Alabama defense.

Special Teams: JK Scott returns at punter after averaging 44.2 yards per attempt on 70 punts. Adam Griffith returns at kicker after making 23 of 32 field goal attempts and all 62 extra point attempts.

Outlook: As long as Nick Saban is the head coach and there’s elite talent across the board, Alabama will be considered a favorite to win the national championship. Even after losing its starting quarterback, Heisman winning running back and oodles of players on the defense, Alabama won’t bat an eye. It’s still championship or bust for the team in Tuscaloosa.

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Schedule:

Sept. 3 vs. Southern California Arlington, Texas
Sept. 10 Western Kentucky Bryant-Denny Stadium
Sept. 17 *at Ole Miss Oxford, Miss.
Sept. 24 Kent State Bryant-Denny Stadium
Oct. 1 *Kentucky Bryant-Denny Stadium
Oct. 8 *at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark.
Oct. 15 *at Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn.
Oct. 22 *Texas A&M Bryant-Denny Stadium
Oct. 29 Open Date  
Nov. 5 *at LSU Baton Rouge, La.
Nov. 12 *Mississippi State Bryant-Denny Stadium
Nov. 19 Chattanooga Bryant-Denny Stadium
Nov. 26 *Auburn Bryant-Denny Stadium

 

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