If Alabama is going to have a true chance to bring home a third consecutive BCS national title, there are a number of players that must step up their game.
The Tide will most certainly enter the season loaded with the talent needed to make such an unprecedented run, but, as coach Nick Saban would be happy to tell us, there is a lot of work yet to be done before title talk can be justified.
Alabama is facing the task of replacing key players on the offensive line and lost some of its defensive leaders as well. And don't forget running back Eddie Lacy. Again, there is work to be done.
Saban has brought in the kind of recruits needed to fill these holes, and Alabama has a stable of elite talent waiting in the wings. Nonetheless, the Tide's success in 2013 will largely depend on improvement from some of their returning playmakers from 2012.
Here is a look at some of those who must take it to the next level when the Tide takes the field again this fall.