Alabama football: Reasons Crimson Tide win fourth consecutive SEC title in 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football has had a strangle-hold on the Southeastern Conference for the past three years.

Will that change this season?

Here, we take a look at why Alabama will win the SEC for the fourth straight season. Wednesday, we’ll break down what could cause the Crimson Tide to fall short.

One of the best offenses in the country

Think about this: Alabama averaged nearly 40 points (38.8) per game with a true freshman quarterback and an offensive coordinator who wasn’t always locked in. That was No. 1 in the SEC and tied for 15th in the nation.

This year, Jalen Hurts is heading into his second season and will be improved. Brian Daboll brings stability to Alabama’s offense. Look for the Crimson Tide to be more balanced this season, compared to the big play-or-bust offense we often saw under Lane Kiffin. That’s no slight to Kiffin, who did great things in Tuscaloosa. But it was clear Alabama couldn’t sustain drives at times during his tenure.

Alabama will feature a six-headed monster at running back, headlined by Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. Calvin Ridley is back at receiver along with Robert Foster, Cam Sims and newcomer Jerry Jeudy.

If Alabama can figure out the right side of its offensive line, expect a huge year from the offense.

Alabama’s defense shouldn’t take too big of a step back

Every year Alabama loses a lot of talent on defense and every year people think they’re going to take a step back.

Outside of 2014, Alabama has fielded a top five defense (based on total defense) every year since 2009. In 2014, Alabama’s defense ranked 12th in total defense.

Based on those numbers, there’s nothing to suggest that Alabama won’t once again feature a top five defensive unit.

There is plenty of talent to replace, but Alabama has prepared for this with tireless recruiting each year.