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From Champ to Defending Champ: What Alabama Can Keep Doing to Do It Again
Returning Offensive Greats and Expert Coaching Are Key to Alabama’s Road to Repeat
Can Saban,McElroy, and Ingram Bring Alabama Another Championship?
The University of Alabama returns most of its championship offense for the 2010-2011 season, but the repeat championship hopefuls have already missed the mark of their perfect season last year with a surprise loss to South Carolina.Many analysts are returning to examine the Bama 2009-2010 season, which culminated in a championship and an outpouring ofAlabama t-shirts, to see what elements of Coach Saban’s perfect chemistry will need to be present thisyear to bring another BCS championship to the SEC.The first point commentators are making about Bama this year is that Coach Saban’s no-nonsense approach, the same one that took his team to victory and made that victory perhaps less tasty than a pack of stale saltines, will beperfect for bucking the SEC’s history of teams flopping in their defending national championship seasons – think 2007-2008 LSU in and 2008-2009 Florida Gators for two recent examples. However, these same analysts caution, he’ll have to temper his hard line tone if he is to deliver the motivation necessary to turn and agreen defensive line and special team from potential greats to productive assets. Everyone’s second point is that Heisman trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram and vet QB Greg McElroy return, hopefully to offer some of the same explosive ground game and athleticism that propelled the Crimson Tide to the top last year. Last season the running game played a huge role in the Alabama offense, with the top five backs amassing nearly 3000 yards and 30 touchdowns– the passing game played the support role. Look for a more seasoned Ingram and veteran targets such as Marquis Maze, Julio Jones (recovering from a broken hand from the South Carolina game), and Earl Alexander to try and overcome Ingram’s multiple early-season sacks to exploit the passing game more than last year, making up for the loss of two of Bama’s top five running backs from last year. Will fans have a chance to buy themselves new championship Alabama t-shirts this year? A look at the 2009 season suggests that Bama has what it takes again, but will have to overcome serious obstacles to defend their title.