Winning a national championship in college football is not an easy thing to do. Winning two out of three is extremely rare. Winning three out of four is almost unheard of. And to accomplish any of these feats when your jersey says Alabama on it is even more difficult.
As the Crimson Tide gets closer and closer to the start of fall practice and begins to really focus on winning yet another BCS National Championship, there are 12 other schools circling their calendars, marking with a bright red Sharpie the day that they get their shot at the defending champs.
It is no secret that the Tide has lost a lot from last year's title run. Names like Hightower, Barron, Richardson and Upshaw are now bright lights in Alabama history, but no longer available for on-field action.
The new generation of 'Bama superstars come with quite a bit of hype themselves. Chris Black, Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon and more are expected to have immediate impact in 2012.
With the stockpile of talent that head coach Nick Saban has amassed year after year, Alabama appears to be fully loaded for years to come. Alabama does not rebuild under Saban, it simply reloads
But with the many changes that will be seen on the field for Alabama this fall, there are sure to be some mistakes. Players will miss assignments and run the wrong routes. Blocks will be missed and arm-tackling will occur.
As is always the case in big time college football, mental lapses will most certainly lose ballgames.
Looking at the gauntlet that the Tide will call a schedule in 2012, there are many places where Alabama could potentially trip up. A particular night game in Baton Rouge this November comes immediately to mind. But there are three athletes in particular who could single-handedly blow the Tide right out of the national championship picture.