Alabama will win the National Championship, even though they necessarily do not have the best team. The Tide have a young defense and could potentially have a few close calls on their way to being crowned National Champions.
Although quarterback Greg Mcelroy is no Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, he finds ways to lead his team to win games. Mcelroy has never lost a college or high school game when he started at quarterback. When he has Julio Jones catching passes for him and can hand the ball of to Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson, he should win every game he starts.
It was an impressive comeback for the Senior quarterback against Arkansas when they were down 20-7 with 1 minute left in the 3rd quarter against then #10 Arkansas. Between Mcelroy, Ingram, Richardson, and the young defense, Alabama's key players stepped up their game and showed that they could win on the road when they did not bring their A game.
Greg Mcelroy is just a flat out winner. The last time Mcelroy lost a game that he started, he was in the eight grade. Against Auburn last year, Mcelroy pulled off an incredible game winning drive to keep Alabama in the hunt for a National Title. Mcelroy just finds a way to get the job done, whether its giving the ball to his backs or throwing it down the field to his receivers. Mcelroy, who has never left the college field a loser, does not think about his wins, he prepares himself for the next game. With Mcelroy controlling the Tide offense this year, fans in Tuscaloosa should not be worried a bit.
If Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson did not have to share carries in Alabama's backfield, they would both finish in the top 3 voting for the Heisman trophy. Last year, Ingram carried the Alabama offense on his back by dominating and was awarded with the Heisman trophy. His combination of speed and power is unstoppable for every defense in the country. And when a defense gets a break from Ingram, they have to deal with weight room spectacle Trent Richardson. On top of the 465 lbs. that Trent Richardson can easily bench, he is one heck of a running back. With the same versatility as Ingram of speed and power, he is one of the greatest backup running backs in the history of football. If even only one of these two guys stays healthy this year, Alabama will have the best running game in the SEC if not the nation.
Defense wins championships and Alabama has a great defense. In college, coaching wins championship and Alabama has great coaching. Additionally, Alabama has the best defensive coaching. Nick Saban is a defensive genius, and his defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, is no slouch either. Saban and Smart teamed up last year to be 2nd in the country in total defense. This year, Saban and Smart are dialing up good blitz and coverage schemes that will have good offenses guessing all year. With the combination of a quality defensive coordinator and a defensive-minded head coach, Alabama will have no shortage of great defensive play calls.
Alabama lost 8 defensive starters from last year's National Title team. No need to worry, the players on the team got to learn from the great skill of last years defense and some of them even got some playing time with the incredible defense. With Mark Barron, Marcell Dareus, and Dont'a Hightower leading this years defense, the new starters have all year to learn from them. All of the crucial positions on offense have returning starters from last season and Alabama will have no trouble putting up points against good teams in crucial moments. Even if skill might not get the Tide all the way to the National Title, their experience will put the over the top in close games.
Unlike last year where Alabama had to be better than Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow, there are no teams that stand out as teams with a good chance to take down the Tide. If Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State is the biggest thing standing in the way of Alabama going back-to-back, then they really do not have much to worry about. Oregon has a high powered offense, but Alabama has a better defense and Oregon's defense will not be able to stop them. The only way I can see Alabama losing this year is if Terrelle Pryor just takes over the National Championship game and single-handedly leads the Buckeyes over the Tide. If Alabama just plays decent against their opponents for the rest of the year, they will have nothing stopping them on their way to repeating as National Champions.