Alabama a long way from knowing its offensive identity

Alabama second-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin won't know the identity of this year's offense until he tabs a starting quarterback among five hopefuls.

For a second consecutive year, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is spending August trying to determine a starting quarterback.

Unlike last year, however, the pool of candidates is a bit larger. Blake Sims wound up winning the job last year over Florida State transfer Jacob Coker, but Coker is in a mix this time around with Alec Morris, Cooper Bateman, David Cornwell and Blake Barnett.

Morris, Bateman and Cornwell were not considered viable candidates for the starting role this time a year ago, while Barnett is a true freshman.

"It does make it difficult with five quarterbacks," Kiffin said earlier this month in a news conference, "but the other way to look at it is that if you eliminate one or two, you might be eliminating the wrong guy.