Tide working toward repeat performance

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the next potential dynasty in college football.

Alabama has gone 26-2 the past two seasons. What will Nick Saban’s defending national champion need to do to keep its engine roaring? Develop the defense.

Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart — perhaps the hottest assistant in the nation, a guy who was wooed by Georgia and Tennessee in the offseason — must replace nine fulltime starters, including two who left early for the NFL: linebacker Rolando McClain and cornerback Kareem Jackson.

There is talent on defense, but the Tide may have to keep things simple from a scheme standpoint early on and rely on a veteran offense to carry the load.