Alabama Coach Nick Saban met with the media Monday for his first pre-game press briefing and said that he suspected the reporters would be giggling in glee because he was issuing a depth chart. But, he cautioned, it was good for today only. Players will continue to compete for jobs.
There were a few things to catch the eye, but most were either anticipated or at least considered real possibilities.
Those minor surprises included:
Placekicker Jamie Christensen has been hobbled with a muscle pull, and Saban said Monday he is doubtful for Saturday's season-opener against Western Carolina. But even before Monday, it was believed that Leigh Tiffin had a hold on the first team position. Tiffin is listed number one both as field goal/extra point kicker and kickoff man.
Earlier there had been talk of Jimmy Johns moving from tailback to fullback, but on the depth chart Johns is the second tailback (behind Terry Grant) and the fullback position shows Baron Huber first team and true freshman Jeramie Griffin second team.
At wide receiver, D.J. Hall is listed as starter at one spot (it would have been shocking news only if he had not been) and Mike McCoy is number one at the other wide receiver spot. Matt Caddell and Earl Alexander are behind Hall and Nikita Stover and Will Oakley behind McCoy.
It was no surprise that returning starting right tackle Chris Capps was listed as a back-up left tackle to Andre Smith. Mike Johnson is listed as the number one right tackle with B.J. Stabler behind him.
Brian Motley missed some work at nose guard because of a hand injury, but he's listed number one at the position, ahead of Lorenzo Washington. There are some positions with three players listed, but this is not one of them. Josh Chapman, a true freshman from Hoover whose eligibility has been questioned because of a high school grade change, is not on the depth chart.
It was probably a minor surprise that neither Sam Burnthall nor Justin Woodall was among the five safeties on the depth chart. At strong safety, returning starter Marcus Carter is ahead of Ali Sharrief and Chris Rogers. At free safety, Rashad Johnson is ahead of Javier Arenas.