Alabama was one stop shy against Clemson of repeating as National Champions in 2016 and Nick Saban tying Bear Bryant for the most national championships in college football. The Tide’s heartbreaking loss was followed by the lost offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, and fill in OC Steve Sarkisian.
The Tide will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator in 2017, but all that is minor in the grand scheme of things in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama is flat loaded in 2017 and don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Yes we can go back and forth over how accurate or inaccurate quarterback Jalen Hurts is, or is Tua Tagovailoa going to see significant playing time this fall?
Hurts completed 63 percent of his passes a year ago and showed he is a true run-pass threat for Alabama and will only be better this fall. Hurts is the top returning quarterback in the SEC this fall per the Hour Glass’s quarterback stamp with a rating of 19. The National quarterback average per the Hour Glass is 10.6.
Alabama continues to be the top recruiter in the country and that in itself is why Alabama will always be in the conversation of the College Football Playoff and the National Championship.
The Tide returns Damien Harris, Hurts and Bo Scarbrough in their backfield and this offense should get back to running the football the way Alabama is used to doing.
Alabama has shown they are the most balanced team offensively over the last five years, throwing 52 percent of the time and rushing the football 48 percent of the time. Expect that balance to continue this fall.
Alabama did suffer some key losses, especially on defense, but again we don’t look at starters in our analytics. Recruiting typically washes all those numbers to the side on a given year. Alabama gave up only 13 points per ball game on defense a year ago, and hasn’t given up on average more than 15 points per ball game since Saban has been in Tuscaloosa. Again – expect that defensive domination to continue.
On our coaching matrix, to no surprise Saban has the best three year trend with a coaching stamp of 52. The next best coach or coaches in the country are Dabo Swinney of Clemson and Urban Meyer at Ohio State with a stamp of 33.