This story is part of USA TODAY Sports’ 25 days to college football countdown.   

Alabama must replace a star quarterback (Mac Jones), the Heisman Trophy winner (wide receiver DeVonta Smith) and the nation’s best running back (Najee Harris), along with the normal level of attrition from the nation’s most talented roster, yet in the preseason .

There is no greater respect paid to the program than this: Alabama can lose anyone — maybe even everyone — yet still be viewed by more people than not .

even in the strongest conference in college football. Alabama has lost just five games in Southeastern Conference play since 2014, two against rival Auburn, with four of those losses coming by six or fewer points. In comparison, only five of the Tide’s 51 SEC

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