Why Alabama's offense is elite

A top O-line, quality QB and other reasons the Crimson Tide will roll in 2012

Updated: August 29, 2012, 12:09 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Eddie LacyAP Photo/Butch DillAlabama lost Trent Richardson to the NFL, but with Eddie Lacy back the run game is in good hands.

Many of the signature moments throughout the illustrious history of the Alabama Crimson Tide have occurred on the defensive side of the ball. The goal-line stand versus the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 1979 Sugar Bowl. Antonio Langham's pick-six that sealed the win against Florida in the first SEC title game. Lee Roy Jordan's incredible 31 tackles against Oklahoma in the 1963 Orange Bowl.

Last season's national championship club kept that tradition going by garnering victories with the stingiest defense in college football, but, as noted by Alabama coach Nick Saban in a recent interview on "Mike and Mike," a roster turnover of 25 percent means that this isn't the same team as last season and a new identity will have to be forged.

While it is certain that any Saban club will have a strong defense as its calling card, the 2012 Crimson Tide will also have the option of leaning on an unusually strong offense.

In fact, a case could be made that Alabama will not only field one of the top offenses this season, but it could also prove to have the best in college football.