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AJ McCarron

Alabama is No. 3, because how could a Nick Saban team be any lower?

Alabama is No. 3, because how could a Nick Saban team be any lower?

The Times' annual college football countdown continues its march toward No. 1 with the pick for No. 3. Alabama probably doesn't have enough returning starters to justify a ranking this high, but sometimes you just have to bet on the coach. Lane Kiffin was, frankly, bubble-screen brilliant in 2014 as the Crimson Tide offense rewrote the school's record book. You know what that means: One more quality season could earn Kiffin his fourth head coaching position before age 41. He might make a perfect choice for a school out West willing to give him a second chance … ah, never mind. Alabama could be great this season provided Kiffin gets a little coaching help...

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