It’s rare for college football spring games to be appointment viewing, but Alabama’s annual “A-Day” installment this Saturday has so much intrigue that it’s reaching that territory. For the first time in almost two decades, the Crimson Tide will be led onto the field by someone not named Nick Saban after the legendary coach decided to hang up the headset in January.

Alabama moved quickly to hire Washington’s Kalen DeBoer as his replacement. He obviously has big shoes to fill, given that Saban is leaving six national titles and nine SEC championships in his wake. Saban isn’t the only significant loss Alabama took during the offseason. The Crimson Tide had their fair share of draft departures, but the transfer portal took its toll as well, with reliable stars like defensive back Caleb Downs and wide receiver Isaiah Bond taking their talents to other programs.

DeBoer is no stranger to big expectations, nor do roster rebuilds seem to phase him. He’s never suffered a losing record in a full 12-game season as a head coach and is fresh off leading Washington to its first College Football Playoff National Championship appearance in program history.

Before he can think about the postseason — or Alabama’s first regular season game for that matter — he still has to make his debut in front of fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium as the Crimson Tide’s head coach.

Here’s how to watch the DeBoer era get underway, and some storylines to monitor in Saturday’s spring show.


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