SEC Breakdown 2009: How Will Alabama Fare This Season?

L.C. May@lcmay474Correspondent IMay 18, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 08:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide avoids a tackle by Chris Hawkins #29 of the Louisiana State University Tigers  on November 11, 2008 at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Tide defeated the Tigers 27-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

I have decided to break down each team in the SEC, starting with the West and then working my way down to the East.

I will start off with Alabama.

Alabama had one of the biggest surprises of the year just by going undefeated in the regular season. That proved that Nick Saban is capable of doing any thing if he's just given the time. In that case though, he only needed two years.

So, will Alabama be as successful as they were in the 2008 season or will they have to wait another year to be successful?

Alabama is going to have a rough time on offense. This is very tough for me to say simply because it sounds like I am not giving Greg McElroy enough credit.

I believe he will do great things at Alabama, but it might take him a year to do it. We should not be terrible—I mean you have stars like Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Mike McCoy, and Roy Upchurch.

Do not get me wrong; I am not just saying that we might not be as successful on offense just because of our new quarterback. We also have many things to worry about on the offensive line.

It is extremely hard to replace people like Andre Smith, Antoine Caldwell, Marlon Davis, Nick Walker, and Travis McCall. It will take some time to see how well we will do with the offense we have now, but we will surprise some teams.

On the defensive side of the ball, we are basically loaded. We have almost every one of our starters returning, including All-SEC linebacker Rolando McClain. The few players we did lose on defense are being replaced by some very talented guys such as Lorenzo Washington.

We will be very successful on defense and probably will have one of the best in the nation. So let this be an early warning for all teams that are playing Alabama this year—get ready for the defense to come at you.

On special teams, we will be the same as last year, despite Leigh Tiffin getting assaulted. P.J. Fitzgerald is not the best punter, but I think he will be good enough to get us through the season without messing up.

So, here is my first breakdown of an SEC team. There will be more to come, and I hope you enjoy.