For practically my entire life, Alabama has been a team defined by defense. The first college football national champion I can remember is the 1992 Alabama team, which defined “defense wins championships” better than maybe any team in football at any level, limiting 10 of its 13 opponents to fewer than 11 points and snagging 22 interceptions in the process. Even last year’s team owed its national title as much to the defense (the win against Ole Miss, Mt. Cody’s blocks vs. Tennessee, the flip side of the “Mark Ingram Game” against South Carolina) as maybe any other part of the team.
But this year is different, in part because just two offensive starters return to the Tide, while major factor (if not technically a “returning starter” by some definitions) Marcel Dareus awaits the fallout of Agentgate. This year, with one of the best running back tandems in the nation, a solid receiving corps and the most experienced quarterback in the SEC, Alabama will try to find out if offense wins championships as well.