The 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide football season opens August 3rd, 2017 as Nick Saban’s 11th fall camp in Tuscaloosa opens. Just 30 days and 29 team activities separate ‘Bama from its quest for 17.
In many ways, this season feels from the outside like the opening of the 2014 season: Following a one-point last-second loss that cost the team a championship, Alabama finds itself with a revamped staff, a new-look offense, and lingering questions. As in 2014, that same offense will try to buoy the Tide as the defense finds its way. A kicking game is looking for answers. A manageable schedule is offset by the return of solid veteran quarterbacks across the league.
The individual talent is there on both sides of the ball, to be sure -- Alabama has two legitimate Heisman contenders on offense; Outland and Butkus and Nagurski and Thorpe candidates are scattered throughout the defensive lineup; to be sure, though experienced depth is at a premium. Youngsters will be demanded to lead. Players who have bided their time must step into the gap. New faces, unexpected faces will become stars. Chemistry and leadership must be developed. An identity must be forged. And, above all, Alabama must find ways to play to its standard, to find consistency in those areas that cost it a title just seven months ago.
Fifteen games are all that divide the Tide from another Championship, and Saban from college football history. And, as of this writing, just 30 days await the most anticipated, meaningful season-opener in college football history, as two storied programs, the No. 1 Crimson Tide and the No. 2 Seminoles, kickoff in Atlanta.
All of these questions will be answered, memories will be made, and legends will be born on these heartbreakingly beautiful Saturdays in the deep south.
“Let’s go out and be champions, boys.”