The first and only team in our hearts is the Ole Miss Rebels, but we have to always look around the conference to see what everyone else is cooking. Red Cup Quick Hits will take fans through the SEC leading up to season kick-off, so fans will know enough just to survive in the office every day with that other team’s fan that annoys them.
Look, if you’re having to do a whip around of the entire Southeastern Conference, it’s best to just start with the one you really hate a lot and is the most boring so...
University of Alabama Crimson Tide, these are the quick hits:
Last year’s record
SEC East opponents
at Missouri, Georgia, at Tennessee, Kentucky
Stat that should scare opponents
94.9 percent of running back snaps returned
Stat to worry about
36.8 percent of snaps returned in the secondary
If they’re going to lose a game it will be this one
October 17 vs. Georgia
Best returning players
RB Najee Harris - 6-foot-2, 230-pounds
Last season, Harris impressed with 209 carries for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns, good enough for a 59.3 percent success rate. The former top-ranked recruit in the 2017 recruiting class led the Crimson Tide backfield in 2019, but had cover with Tua Tagovailoa.
Now, with Mac Jones or Bryce Young under center, Harris is back to being the workhorse. To go undefeated against a 10-game SEC schedule, he will need to have another impressive season.
WR Devonta Smith - 6-foot-1, 175-pounds
Smith hauled in 68 receptions on 90 targets for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns last season with a 61.5 percent success rate and 2.2 percent drop rate (lowest for returning receivers).
DeVonta Smith just did THAT pic.twitter.com/qA6j4dUSJK— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 1, 2020
Smith was part of the best receiver corps in the country last year, and headlines a 2020 group that still features a 1,000-yard receiver and a lightning fast slot receiver in Jaylen Waddle. One of these two will need to be an outlet for a green quarterback.
DT Christian Barmore - 6-foot-5, 310-pounds
Barmore amassed 19 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, and a 42.1 percent havoc rate in 2019. Probably the most unknown Bama superstar, the Philadelphia, Penn. native created more havoc than nearly anyone in the country.
#Alabama DT Christian Barmore (6-5, 312, R-So.) is in line to be a huge breakout candidate next season. Placed a top-32 grade on him. I’m that confident in his ascension next season. Remember the name.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) June 16, 2020
Summer Scouting Report: https://t.co/VRgVNOQaiq pic.twitter.com/Q8U7VGq9aI
With Raekwon Davis gone, Barmore’s snap count will increase, and with that his expected production. He was second on the team in run stuffs to Davis, and led the defensive line unit in sacks and tackles for loss.