ESPN released its football power index (FPI) preseason rankings and predictably, Alabama is ranked number one.

The Tide returns eight starters on defense, including last years sack leader, Will Anderson, who heads a vaunted Alabama unit. The Crimson Tide also returns First Team All-SEC safety Jordan Battle as well as leader of the defensive line, Byron Young.

The defending SEC champions also got some help at corner through the transfer portal. Former LSU Tiger Eli Ricks is expected to be a huge addition in the secondary and make a big impact on the Crimson Tide defense.

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On the offensive side of the ball, Alabama returns five starters, including the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young. The Crimson Tide also added talented Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton to a young and inexperienced receiving core that features sophomores Ja'Corey Brooks, Christian Leary and Jojo Earle.

Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs is expected to start at running back while juniors Jase McClellan, Roydell Williams and Trey Sanders will likely round out the rotation.

The offensive line remains a concern for Alabama, much like it was heading into the national title game against Georgia. Three starters return, but the unit will have a tough time replacing former left tackle Evan Neal who departed for the NFL.

ESPN's FPI gives Alabama a 79.3 percent chance to make the college football playoff, which is second best odds next to Ohio State at 82 percent.

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