Alabama Football: The five greatest threats to a 2017 championship season

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Alabama football running back Bo Scarbrough

Dec 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Bo Scarbrough (9) runs the ball for a long touchdown during the fourth quarter in the 2016 CFP Semifinal against the Washington Huskies at the Georgia Dome. Alabama defeated Washington 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

When the oppressive deep south heat peaks in August, Alabama football will be ranked at or near the top of every preseason poll. The Five things that can go wrong and destroy a successful season.

None of the five biggest threats to a successful Alabama football season include the words Florida State or Auburn. Or any other team the Tide will face in the regular season.

As always, the biggest threats to Alabama football in 2017 are internal rather than external.

We are not suggesting that Alabama does not have a difficult schedule. In the recent Athlon Preseason Ranking, Tennessee is No. 19; LSU, No. 11; Auburn, No. 9 and FSU, No. 3.

Tennessee and LSU  have unresolved weaknesses, including neither one has a proven quarterback. Even so, Alabama football could self-inflict enough to lose either game. FSU is good enough to beat Alabama. If Auburn lives up to its hype, it could do so as well.

Or Alabama football could run the table through the SEC Championship and again qualify for the CFB Playoff. The current odds are greater that 2017 will be another CFB Playoff season.

What could go wrong? Wait, that is far too broad. It is a long road from early summer to December. The 2017 season outcome will be determined by many variables, most beyond prediction. Looking back at 2016, we believe the injury to Eddie Jackson was the biggest factor in Alabama football not repeating as National Champion.

Nonetheless, it is not too much of a stretch to predict five key areas that could derail the 2017 Alabama football season. Let’s dive into each one.

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