Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Florida are teams that could have the best chance to knock Alabama off its perch atop the league.
The Tide lost to Clemson 35-31 on a last-second TD pass. Alabama was one more stop away from a second national championship victory in a row over the Tigers when Deshaun Watson threw the 2-yard game-winner to Hunter Renfrow. Saban said at SEC Media Days. "Nobody we're playing is backing up".
"They try to do a great job of managing us as coaches on the sidelines, which can be hard at times, especially with the emotion that goes into a game and the intensity that we all have".
Will Alabama continue to go spread and up-tempo under Daboll?
The Crimson Tide will have to reload this season, losing multiple All-Americans to graduation and the NFL.
ACC supremacy won't be decided in a non-conference game on September 2; more like October 29 when the Seminoles visit Death Valley.
Well, we've always had a get-back coach. He said, 'the reason why I'm getting on you, is because I know how good you could be and how great you can be.' It just made me appreciate it a lot more.
Alabama is using this past season's national title game loss as a motivating tool for the upcoming season.
Panic time (though carefully choreographed by Saban). Just not a January loss. There are a number of questions facing this year's team, and they're further magnified by championship-or-bust expectations and the pressure of trying to sustain a dynasty that has experienced nary a hiccup during its almost decade-long run. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who won SEC Offensive Player of the Year last season, will be back under center.
Everything was going fine for Alabama after bruising running back Bo Scarbrough scored on runs of 25 and 37 yards to put Clemson in a 14-0 hole.
Saban said Fisher, who has won a national championship and three ACC titles at FSU since 2010, has accomplished that. "You think of fast, explosive players but they also have a big, physical [team] ... play great defense, tough".
"Well, like everybody knows, Alabama has cookie cutters for the National Football League, and they are always talented, genetically freaky", Arkansas center Frank Ragnow said. "It was a game where we didn't do what we were supposed to do".
Florida State will face a different Tide. The Tigers played well down the stretch in 2016 - beating Vanderbilt and Arkansas - and return 10 starters on offense, including junior quarterback Drew Lock.
The Crimson Tide will have to replace a lot, especially on the defensive line and at linebacker. Here comes the shocker: It looks like Alabama will be in good position to compete for the College Football Playoff again in 2017.
Calvin Ridley hasn't heard much of that chatter.
"Kind of", Ridley said.
The same thing happened in 2011, with a little bit of luck.
"No", he said, "because I know we're still Alabama". "They are now working very hard, work out, do a great job of individually staying organized and how they can develop, whether it's in 7- on-7 and the type of drills that coaches aren't allowed to be involved with that I think has really helped the development of our young players". "But I try not to watch it".
Dawn awoke with the Wynfrey Hotel lobby already filling up with eager Alabama fans awaiting the arrival of coach Nick Saban and his players.