CFP Contenders in the SEC: Where does LSU football rank?

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Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second quarter in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

2. Alabama

With Nick Saban roaming the sidelines, it’s hard to ever dismiss the Alabama Crimson Tide when it comes to the SEC and national title conversation.

During his tenure at Alabama, Saban has proven to be a defensive mastermind. He has also been able to recruit and develop a long line of powerful running backs, with Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon being just a few of the big names on the list. Derrick Henry will look to follow in these players’ footsteps, and all signs point to him having the capability to do so.

Alabama’s ability to stop the run on defense will be extremely important this season, as they attempt to defend their SEC title from a year ago. With six defensive linemen returning from last season, and an improved linebacking core, the Crimson Tide are going to give offensive linemen and opposing backfields headaches all year long.

However, Alabama’s secondary appears to be a major weakness going into 2015.  With the departure of talented safety Landon Collins, the new players in the Alabama secondary are going to need to step up in order for the defense to be successful as whole.

With only two starters from last year’s offense returning, it is most likely that the Alabama offense will take a step back at the beginning of the season. Right now, Jacob Coker appears to be the favorite to start the season at quarterback, but he has still not managed to separate himself from the pack and entrench himself as the definite starter.

If Alabama can have another competitive season, it will set up a very exciting matchup when they play Auburn at the end of the season in the Iron Bowl on November 28th, and one that could have serious postseason implications.

Next: Georgia