Greg McElroy explains why he's 'more bullish' on Alabama entering 2023 instead of 2022

Greg McElroy is high on Alabama heading into the 2023 season. In fact, he likes the makeup of this year’s version of the Crimson Tide better than the 2022 edition.

During Tuesday’s broadcast of McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning, McElroy explained some of the reasons he was not as high on last year’s team as others around the country. While Nick Saban’s squad did possess some dynamic playmakers in QB Bryce Young, RB Jahmyr Gibbs and Edge defender Will Anderson Jr., McElroy was not convinced last year’s Alabama team was well-equipped along the line of scrimmage and in the passing attack.

“I really like this team, and we talked about it last year. I was not as high on last year’s team as I am on this team,” said McElroy. “Last year’s team, while I thought they could get to the Playoff, I thought they were without a truly dynamic No. 1 WR. I thought the interior of the defensive line was still of significant concern, I didn’t think they had great game-changers on the backend of the perimeter, and I thought that the offensive line might still be a bit of an issue.”

What has changed for Alabama? For starters, McElroy likes that Nick Saban has gone back to a focus on the ground-and-pound offensive style with a new OC and commitment to focusing on the line of scrimmage.

“So last year, full disclosure, I thought they’d be good. (I) was not as bullish on them as I am right now. I think this year’s team, I really like,” explained McElroy. “I like that Nick Saban has basically said ‘Forget it, we’re going back to the drawing board, we’re going to do things the way we did things for a very long time.’ …So I think getting back to the ground-and-pound with Tommy Rees coming in is why I’m most bullish on them.”

Alabama’s 2023 outlook

While Alabama did beat Georgia to win the SEC in 2021, the Crimson Tide would lose to the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff title game. Last season, Saban’s program missed out on the SEC Championship Game and the Playohff after a pair of nail-biting defeats to Tennessee and LSU.

Now, Alabama is looking up at Georgia and Kirby Smart’s back-to-back national championships as the gold standard in the SEC and in the country. We’ll see if Saban can reclaim his grip on college football after changing things up on his coaching staff for the 2023 season.