At SB Nation Dallas, a look at how the defending national champs didn't miss a beat in the first game of the 2012 season:
It's a cliche, but it's true -- Alabama doesn't rebuild, it reloads. After going 12-1 and winning the national title, the Crimson Tide had five players taken in the top 35 picks of the NFL Draft. Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont'a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw were great players, but like everyone else in Tuscaloosa, they are replaceable.
Mark Ingram, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, begat Richardson, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Now, running behind a mammoth offensive line, a slew of young running backs look more than capable of carrying the offense in 2012. Their top 4 backs combined to rush for 232 yards and 2 TD's on 36 carries, with an eye-popping average of 5.04 yards per rush.
Alabama has a 6'6 311 five-star OT (Cyrus Kouandjio) on the left side of the line, a 6'5 335 five-star OT (DJ Fluker) on the right and a 6'5 302 former Outland Trophy winner (Barrett Jones) in the middle. Their size and athleticism up front absolutely overwhelmed the Michigan defenders as the game wore on, opening up huge running lanes for the Crimson Tide backs.