In recent years, Alabama has won more games than any other team in college football.
It’s a record for a program that’s made a big leap in terms of talent, experience and overall competitiveness.
But as the Tide heads into its third season in the SEC, what’s next?
Here’s a look at what’s on the horizon for the Tide heading into the 2016 season.
Who’s in contention for the SEC East crown?
The defending national champions Alabama and the defending national champion LSU are both on the outside looking in this year, and it’s a situation the Crimson Tide will have to sort out in the coming weeks.
Both teams have a few wins under their belts, but the SEC West title game on Jan. 1 in Nashville will determine which team will move on to the national title game.
The Bulldogs will take on No. 3 Texas A&M, while LSU will host No. 6 Florida State.
The biggest question mark for Alabama is its depth at wide receiver.
The Crimson Tide had eight players take snaps at the position in 2016, but it’s clear that there are gaps to fill in the wide receiver class.
That means that the Crimson Cats will be forced to either add talent at receiver to shore up that need or, as was the case in 2016 with Deon Cain, trade a piece of the position to get the player they want.
The former could lead to a huge difference in the Tide’s offense.
Another factor that could be impacting the Tide in 2016 is the status of freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The senior is set to enter his senior season after throwing for 3,722 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his first season as a starter.
Hurts was the best quarterback in the country at his position last year, throwing for 4,764 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
However, his arm has fallen off a bit in his sophomore campaign.
With the return of starting QB Jalen Watson, it could be a different story for Hurts, but he has the skills and the arm to be a good option for Alabama in 2016.
It could also lead to some new faces joining the offensive line as well.
Alabama has a number of options at offensive tackle for the upcoming season, and the addition of junior Nick Saban has them a number options to choose from, according to Bleacher Report’s John Keim.
The best option at left tackle would be redshirt sophomore John Moats, who is currently battling for a starting job with the redshirt freshman Marcus Cannon.
Moats has the tools to be an effective left tackle, but at 6-foot-6 and 307 pounds, he’s not the ideal player to replace the departed Matt Kalil.
Moat would have a similar look to Moats and Cannon as a left tackle with some physicality in the area of blocking, but Moats is not a big blocker.
The redshirt junior would give Alabama a solid option at the guard position, but with the addition on the offensive side of the ball of a new starter, Alabama would have to figure out how to replace those two positions.
Another option would be the redshirting sophomore center Jordan Littrell.
Littll started the first two games at center in 2016 after playing in just three games at left guard last year.
The 6-3, 320-pounder is a good athlete who plays with a lot of confidence and can be a solid starter in the middle.
Littrell has a chance to be the team’s starting center and could give Alabama an upgrade to its offensive line for the foreseeable future.
The problem is that Littrel hasn’t lived up to his potential this season.
His completion percentage of 64.6 percent in 2016 was the worst among all players in the Big 12 and he completed just five of 15 passes for just 17 yards in the first half of the season.LITTLE LITTLE POTENTIAL If Littles development goes down, the team could move on from him as a possible replacement for Kalil at left center.
It is possible that the coaching staff could look to recruit another center in the next recruiting class.
This could be one of the toughest positions to fill for Alabama as the team looks to make its run at the national championship.
The final position of need for the Crimson Cats is at right tackle.
After adding Jake Matthews, Nick Marshall and JUCO transfer Ryan Kelly, Alabama will have plenty of depth to play with.
However if Littlers development goes up, he could be an option to compete for the job.
The left tackle spot has been one of Saban’s biggest needs this year.
He will be looking for a solution at the left tackle position to replace former starting center Joe Berger.
In his first year as a starting center, Berger struggled, completing just 24 of 50 attempts for 247 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Berger is the only right tackle the Tide has ever had in a program