SEC Football: Best and Worst-Case Scenario for Every Team in 2015

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Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Maurice Smith (21) reacts to the defeat by Ohio State Buckeyes the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Ohio State defeated Alabama 42-35. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

All good things must come to an end, and one day the Alabama football dynasty will officially die. Some say it’s over already: after all, the Crimson Tide haven’t played for a national championship since 2012, and the Tide has been proven vulnerable by losing to teams like Texas A&M, Auburn, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Ohio State over the last three seasons.

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Also, this year’s Alabama squad has a lot of question marks. Record setting quarterback Blake Sims is gone, and several players are still competing to replace him less than a week before the season kicks off against a tough Wisconsin team. The Tide must also replace Heisman Trophy finalist Amari Cooper and six others that were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.

If Alabama slips coming out of the gate, and falls to the Badgers in Arlington in Week 1 – things can turn sour very quickly. Running back Derrick Henry has the potential to win the Heisman Trophy, but he’s never been asked to be the team’s primary ball carrier and there’s no telling how he’ll respond.

Plus, the position is thinner than it’s been in many years after the departure of T.J. Yeldon and the ACL injury to Bo Scarbrough. Speaking of injuries, if something happens to Henry, or star left tackle Cam Robinson, the offense could be in big trouble.

Defensively, Alabama gave up 630 yards of offense to Auburn and 537 total yards to Ohio State at the tail end of last season, which is a huge red flag heading into 2015. Plus, the schedule is tougher with a trip to SEC East favorite Georgia in October, in addition to always difficult road games against Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn. Finally, Alabama plays three SEC games (Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU) in which the opponent has an extra week to prepare.

If Alabama can’t find a quarterback, if the Tide can’t find a dynamic playmaker to replace Cooper, and if the leaks on defense can’t be prepared, four regular season losses is very possible.

Alabama’s Worst-Case Scenario: 8-5 overall, plus a loss in the Belk Bowl

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