You don’t want to say that any time the University of Alabama football program doesn’t play for the national championship under Nick Saban the season wasn’t a success, but last year essentially showed otherwise.
The Crimson Tide beat Texas A&M Johnny Manziel on his home field, won the always-difficult matchup against LSU and with an 11-0 start were incredibly close to being No. 1 from start to finish during the regular season.
Of course, the last time the Crimson Tide came up short they responded by winning the next two national championships, so Saban is hoping that history repeats itself. Even with major questions at quarterback and in the secondary, there’s no doubt that Alabama has enough talent to contend, so the big question this spring was if it had the right mental makeup.
“I’m very encouraged by the attitude that we have on our team,” Saban said.
So far Alabama has been able to avoid the major distractions it had to deal with a year ago and nearly everyone who signed on as part of the nation’s top recruiting class (the unanimous choice among top recruiting evaluators) are already on campus taking summer classes.
“Guys are just a lot more hungry,” senior linebacker Trey DePriest said. “We didn’t finish the season like we wanted to. Guys knew that and they just took a different approach to it, and are trying to get back to the standard to how we do stuff.”
Here’s a position-by-position look at the 2014 Crimson Tide: