And while Saban is concerned about breaking in new players on defense, he's got a core of veterans that includes safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and tackle Da'Ron Payne.
The Vols were most everyone's pick to win the East last year at Media Days, as they had a senior quarterback in Joshua Dobbs and returning starters at just about every position.
In reality, the reverse appears to be far more accurate. He's becoming a laughingstock on Rocky Top.
You knew it coming; that all familiar cheer by the Bama faithful! So, was it a disappointment?
"Here lies the difference: (Alabama) coach (Nick) Saban decides when it's homecoming", McElwain said.
Saban is confused when a magazine uses the phrase "revolving door" in a question about multiple changes at right guard last season.
Name SearchWatch Service' Derek Mason, while quick to say he won't "fear" anybody, does sound almost in awe of what Saban has done in the SEC because there has been no compromise.
That's what has led them to adopt their mantra:"Don't wast a failure". Because everybody's hurt by the fact that they lost, especially the way we lost that particular game on the last play of the game, but it wasn't the last play.
Besides Alabama, no team in the SEC has the same coach it did seven years ago, and one reporter asked Saban what it takes to stay at one program so long.
You heard him right. Jalen Hurts, as a freshman, was really good last year. A third straight SEC title. Savage later became general manager of the Browns from 2005 to 2008.
Upon hearing the phrase "quarterback controversy", the 65-year-old Saban scratched his face and dove into a retort.
"There's a lot of really good football teams in college football", Saban said. Alabama defines success as winning a national championship. There was a shootout loss to Alabama in 2013 followed by beatdowns at the hands of the Tide in 2014 and 2015. Even though Florida-Tennessee was the real conference title game, at least it felt like more than one team had a shot.
Seemingly all of Saban's 85 scholarship players buy in hook, line and sinker.
Since splitting into divisions in 1992, the SEC has had one similar period of sustained dominance.
Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are the four teams making the trek to SEC media days. "Yes, I do, but that's not my decision". "We just push it, break down barriers and knock down walls".
As a teacher, Greg is typically the one collecting phones from the "selfie generation", but this week he joined them, snapping pictures with everyone from Alabama's Bradley Bozeman to the SEC Commissioner. It is what it is.
In addition to going out of his way to point out how the freshmen were developing, Orgeron also mentioned how highly ranked each player was in high school. "You go out there and get people excited, interested and afraid". I am trying to think of somebody in our league that I don't have a tremendous amount of respect for. In addition to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey telling a story about how Bielema butt-dialed him shortly, Jones also congratulated the Arkansas coach on his new fatherhood.
Football pundits often say the SEC is the closest thing to the NFL when it comes to on-field talent and it's clear that SEC Media Days are the closest college football has to Super Bowl Media Day. After going 10-3 in 2010, the Tide is 76-8 overall (.905) and has won the last three SEC titles, four of the last five and has won three national championships.
He obsesses over the details.
Under Saban, the Crimson Tide have embraced a new agreement in which the NFL and the American Football Coaches Association agreed to allow league personnel evaluators extra access to as many as five underclassmen for additional scouting.