According to Auburn Daily's Brian Smith, there are doubts about Alabama's ability to maintain its dominance in the SEC following Nick Saban's retirement. With several blue-chip talents like Julian Sayin, Kadyn Proctor, and Caleb Downs leaving Tuscaloosa, Smith believes that other programs like LSU, Ole Miss, and Auburn will catch up to the Crimson Tide.
Smith highlights the departure of offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor, elite safety Caleb Downs, and talented running back Roydell Williams, who is now enrolled at Florida State. He emphasizes that Alabama cannot sustain this level of attrition and expect to remain at the top of college football.
Concerns arise for Auburn's offense in 2024 due to the lack of clarity at the quarterback position. The Tigers must rely on Payton Thorne, redshirt freshman Hank Brown, or true freshman Walker White, none of whom bring extensive experience to the table. This could limit Auburn's potential for an SEC championship.
Although Alabama retains talented players like Jalen Milroe and key members of their offensive line and defense, their prospects for SEC championships in 2024 seem diminished. DeBoer's Alabama may reach a ceiling of nine wins at most, unless there are noteworthy performances from new acquisitions via the transfer portal.
Looking to the future, Auburn is predicted to overtake Alabama in the state by 2025. Hugh Freeze and his coaching prowess may push DeBoer's Alabama behind, as concerns about underwhelming defensive coordinator hires arise in the south.
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