Alabama and the Southeastern Conference are trying to climb back atop the college football mountain.
The SEC was toppled— at least temporarily — from that summit by the Atlantic Coast Conference last season. A powerhouse Crimson Tide team has a much shorter climb back after a down-to-the-last-breath loss to the ACC's Clemson in the national championship game .
'Bama has won 17 consecutive SEC games by an average of 21 points but coach Nick Saban insists "there's a lot of parity in our league."
Despite Saban's perspective, there's no debating that the battle for No. 2 has been more heated than the competition for the top spot the past few seasons. Exhibit...