The Alabama Crimson Tide start the road to defending their BCS championship on Saturday, September 1.
With an offseason that included having the No. 1 ranked recruiting class, according to rivals.com, and the No. 2 ranked recruiting class by scout.com and despite having the most players picked in the 2012 NFL draft and many others signing free-agent deals, Alabama's scouting will help keep it at the top of its division of the SEC.
On top of the new recruits, the Crimson Tide will have 16 returning players, six each on offense and defense and four on special teams. The returnees are led by quarterback A.J. McCarron, who will be looking to lead the team once again to the championship.
Once again led by Nick Saban, who enters his sixth year as Alabama's coach, the Crimson Tide are in a prime position to repeat.
The Crimson Tide's first opponent is the Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten conference, taking place at Cowboys Stadium. The last time these two teams met was the 2000 Orange Bowl, in which Michigan won, 35-34. Michigan also leads the all-time series 2-1.
Here are three predictions for what will happen in next Saturday.
It Will Be a High-Scoring Game
Both the Crimson Tide and the Wolverines were quite adept in putting up the points last season, and that shouldn't change this for this game. I would not be surprised to see a point total that approaches or exceeds 100.
Who will win the opening game?
A.J. McCarron Will Continue his Upward Trajectory
Last season, McCarron became the first sophomore quarterback ever to lead his team to the BCS Championship. With all the success he had last offseason, I don't see that changing anytime soon.
T.J. Yeldon Will Make a Big Impact
Eddie Lacy may be in line to be the starting running back, but T.J. Yeldon has the talent to make a game-breaking play in every play he's a part of.
For more on Yeldon, check out fellow Bleacher Report writer Brian Mazique's article in April about how he thinks that Yeldon could be better than Crimson Red alumni Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram.
Alabama Will Win
Michigan will put up a huge fight, but I don't see Alabama losing its first game after winning the BCS Championship.
As far as predictions go, that's as much as I can think of. Even though both defenses will be good throughout the season, this game will be all offense, which should make for an exciting game to watch.
This Saturday, it all starts again. Let's see what the Crimson Tide can do.