Tide takes up challenge of defending SEC title

SEC teams have won four national titles in a row, and for the second season in a row, the reigning national champion will go into the season as the favorite to win it all again.

Nick Saban and Alabama stormed to a 14-0 record and the national title last season, but repeating as champs — both in the league and nationally — will mean overcoming the loss of nine full-time defensive starters and three key special teams performers, including All-America kicker Leigh Tiffin and All-America return man Javier Arenas.

Florida won it all in 2008 and returned its entire defensive two-deep last season, but offensive issues derailed the Gators, though they still finished 13-1.