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Insider

Roundtable: A Tennessee test?

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Every other week, TideNation's writers will answer a handful of questions that address a pressing topic regarding the Alabama football program. And with every roundtable, we'll seek out the opinions of a guest. This week's contributor is ESPN SEC reporter Chris Low.

What do we know about Alabama as a national title contender?
Low: First off, they're still very good on defense. They're the kind of defense that's not going to give up a lot of points, which mean they're going to be in every game. They've also been one of the best teams in the country in turnover margin, and they really don't do anything offensively to give the other team any easy scores. The final thing would be, they have the offensive line that can take over games, and when they finally do get into a close game at the end, it's the kind of offensive line you can sort of put the game on their shoulders and feel good that they're going to get it done.

Scarborough: We know Alabama has the talent to compete for the title. AJ McCarron is an elite quarterback, and the offense as a whole is far better than it was a year ago. But I'm not certain we know about the Tide's mental wherewithal yet. We haven't seen adversity strike, and that's what makes a championship team. You have to remember, Alabama is missing big-time leaders on defense in Mark Barron, Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower. Those guys were dominant players who had been through the wars. Through six games, Alabama has been through less of a war and more of a walk-through.