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SEC PREVIEW ALABAMA

0-2 finish serves as Saban's elixir

By Tom Murphy

This article was published July 27, 2014 at 3:57 a.m.

alabama-coach-nick-saban-speaks-to-media-at-the-southeastern-conference-ncaa-college-football-media-days-on-thursday-july-17-2014-in-hoover-ala-ap-photobutch-dill

Alabama coach Nick Saban speaks to media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days on Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

ALABAMA

2014 schedule

&Aug. 30 vs. West Virginia, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)

Sept. 6 Florida Atlantic, 11 a.m. (SECN)

Sept. 13 Southern Miss, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

*Sept. 20 Florida

*Oct. 4 at Ole Miss

*Oct. 11 at Arkansas

*Oct. 18 Texas A&M

*Oct. 25 at Tennessee

*Nov. 8 at LSU

*Nov. 15 Miss. State

Nov. 22 Western Carolina

*Nov. 29 Auburn

& Chick-fil-A Classic

*SEC game

Alabama glance

Last season 11-2, 7-1 (tied for 1st) in SEC West

Coach Nick Saban (74-15 in 8th year at Alabama, 180-74-1 in 21st year overall)

Returning starters Offense 7, Defense 5, Special teams 1

Key returning players WR Amari Cooper, RB T.J. Yeldon, TE O.J. Howard, DB Landon Collins, LB Trey DePriest, RS Christion Jones

SEC title scenario The offensive front must jell quickly in new coordinator Lane Kiffin’s schemes to allow whomever wins the quarterback job to dole the ball to the Tide’s array of skill talent. The play in the secondary, a specialty of Saban’s and coordinator Kirby Smart, must be markedly improved for Alabama to contend.

Anything less than a national championship game appearance makes it difficult to motivate Alabama football players in the postseason, Nick Saban confessed during the ESPN "car wash" earlier this week.

ALABAMA

2014 schedule

&Aug. 30 vs. West Virginia, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)

Sept. 6 Florida Atlantic, 11 a.m. (SECN)

Sept. 13 Southern Miss, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

*Sept. 20 Florida

*Oct. 4 at Ole Miss

*Oct. 11 at Arkansas

*Oct. 18 Texas A&M

*Oct. 25 at Tennessee

*Nov. 8 at LSU

*Nov. 15 Miss. State

Nov. 22 Western Carolina

*Nov. 29 Auburn

& Chick-fil-A Classic

*SEC game

Alabama glance

Last season 11-2, 7-1 (tied for 1st) in SEC West

Coach Nick Saban (74-15 in 8th year at Alabama, 180-74-1 in 21st year overall)

Returning starters Offense 7, Defense 5, Special teams 1

Key returning players WR Amari Cooper, RB T.J. Yeldon, TE O.J. Howard, DB Landon Collins, LB Trey DePriest, RS Christion Jones

SEC title scenario The offensive front must jell quickly in new coordinator Lane Kiffin’s schemes to allow whomever wins the quarterback job to dole the ball to the Tide’s array of skill talent. The play in the secondary, a specialty of Saban’s and coordinator Kirby Smart, must be markedly improved for Alabama to contend.

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