Dean Legge / Dawg Post

Legge's Thoughts: 2016 Alabama Preview

BIRMINGHAM – Here's a look at Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide heading into the 2016 season.

Last season: 14-1, (7-1 SEC)

Last game vs. UGA: AL 38, UGA 10 in Athens

Series Record: Alabama leads 38-25-4

Last five meetings vs. UGA: 3-2

Most memorable Georgia win: 1964 Flea-flicker

Most painful Georgia loss: 2008 – Blackout gone very wrong

Legge’s Take: Alabama returns from another national title season, but this time without several key players and a longtime coordinator - UGA coach Kirby Smart. Gone are Heisman winner Derrick Henry, Jake Coker and Reggie Ragland. But Alabama isn’t hurting for talent. The Tide, which has won no fewer than ten games each year since 2008, never seems to have problems developing their high-level recruits no matter what players left. 

Bama returns a slew of former recruiting stars, but standout WR Calvin Ridley and TE O.J. Howard are probably the Tide’s best overall players. Former 5-star LB Reuben Foster returned for his final season in Tuscaloosa as well. 

Alabama hasn’t had much in common with the rest of the SEC over the last few seasons, but this year they have issues at quarterback as well. Cooper Bateman, Blake Barnett, David Cornwell and Jalen Hurts will fight to the death to figure out who the signal caller will be this fall in Tuscaloosa. Bama has entered the last two seasons with major question marks at quarterback and still won the SEC. 

Most prognosticators are picking LSU to be the winner in the West, but the Tigers have rarely figured Alabama out. But LSU will host the Tide on Nov. 5 in what will almost certainly be the most pivotal game in the West this fall. 

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