Mike talked with Lars Anders who has covered college football for years for Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report and always brings a unique perspective as he meets a lot of people behind the scenes. He says there's a "here-we-go-again" feeling across the nation about Bama. This is arguably Saban's best collection of skill players on offense that he's ever had. The secondary will probably be the best in the nation. They lost a lot of talent on the defensive front seven, but all that talent is being replaced by former 5-star recruits. Lars sees no steps backward for this team. This is going to be another quintessential Nick Saban Squad, one that has as good a shot as anyone to win the national title.
Lars just wrote a book with Bruce Arians, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. He's developed many quarterbacks In his career, from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck to Ben Roethlisberger. And the one thing Bruce always told Lars is the one thing you can't teach is accuracy. You either have it or you don't. And last year Jalen Hurts struggled with his accuracy. Lars thinks he will improve this year but not dramatically. Lars thinks Saturday's match up between Alabama and FSU will be a preview of the national title game. He thinks these two teams will meet again on a Monday night in January. Turning to Auburn, it looks like Jarrett Stidham could be the answer for Gus Malzahn. But we've been fooled before. Remember all those glowing reporters emanating from the plains two summers ago about Jeremy Johnson? But Lars thinks Jarret is different. By all accounts, he's got NFL potential. He's not a runner like Cam or Nick Marshall, but from what Lars hears he's the best passer that Gus has ever had at the quarterback position.
Lars thinks Auburn has a chance of stealing a win at Clemson. If you're going to get Clemson this season, get them early when they have a new quarterback whose head is spinning. Lars actually really, really likes Auburn's chances in that game. Lars' sleeper team in the SEC is Mississippi State. He thinks their QB Nick Fitzgerald has a chance to become a very, very special player -- a Heisman Trophy winning kind of player. And nationally ... don't sleep on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Remember the name, Tanner Lee. He's their quarterback and he's 'a future top 10 NFL pick. Mike Reilly finally has his offensive system in place and Nebraska has an outside shot to win the Big 10. Lars says the return of UAB football is a beautiful story -- a story of redemption, perseverance, and tenacity. He says writers from all around the nation will be monitoring UAB closely. And who knows, maybe he will be able to pump out a 5,000-word piece on this remarkable rise from the ashes.
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