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ESPN's FPI Projects Alabama As College Football's Best Defense In 2016

Alabama has turned out some dominant offensive players like Amari Cooper and Derrick Henry in recent seasons, but the Crimson Tide win their championships on defense. A number of the top Tide defenders from 2015, as well as defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, may be gone this season, but according to ESPN's Football Power Index, 'Bama will have the top defense in the country this fall. Alabama finished first in defensive efficiency in 2015.

In an article for ESPN Insider, Sharon Katz argues that the Tide 'D' may be even better this season under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

First-team All-SEC defenders Jonathan Allen (team leader in sacks) and Eddie Jackson (team leader in interceptions) return for their senior seasons to go along with top prospects Tim Williams, Da'Shawn Hand and a boatload of blue-chip recruits. Don't be surprised if new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt produces an even more dominant defense in 2016 than the one that won the national championship last season.

When it comes to Alabama, it would be foolhardy to assume anything different. As long as Nick Saban is in Tuscaloosa, the Tide will be pre-season title contenders.