ESPN recently polled several writers and FBS coaches on what they were excited to see at the start of the 2018 college football season and GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit gushed over Alabama's potential in a new-look offense.

The nation's preseason No. 1 and defending national champion transitions to first-year OC Mike Locksley's philosophy with a yet-to-be-decided quarterback battle on his hands approaching fall camp.

"I'm most looking forward to see how dominant Alabama will be with Tua (Tagovailoa) at quarterback," Herbstreit said. "Bama has never had this kind of QB, and he — along with their typical outstanding defense and special teams — will make this Bama team maybe the best Saban has had yet!"

Oddsmakers love Tagovailoa as a Heisman threat this season, tagging him as one of the frontrunners at the position.

Alabama ranked 29th nationally in total offense last season (444.1 YPG) and 15th in scoring (37.1 PPG) — the Crimson Tide's highest totals in three seasons. And that was with a struggling passing game down the stretch and in the College Football Playoff prior to Hurts' benching at halftime of the national championship game.

247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons shares a similar opinion with Herbstreit and was high on Tagovailoa coming out of high school as the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2017 class. 

"This is potentially the best offense that Nick Saban has had because of that, because Tua is such a dynamic passer, because the wide receivers and those freshmen,” Simmons said during a recent appearance on Finebaum. “(New receivers coach) Josh Gattis has really come in as a wide receiver doctor, who can really coach those guys up from a technique standpoint. I think that unlocks that ability.

"The running back crops is crazy good. I think this is the best offense Nick Saban has had. I think it will be a unique year because that’s going to be the featured unit of this team. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen that. Tua is the key to that to really unlock how good that offense can be.”

It's important for Alabama to utilize Jalen Hurts, even if he's not the guy at quarterback, Simmons says.

“I think Jalen Hurts is a baller, and I think that he’s the type of guy that it makes sense to me for Alabama to find ways to use both of them regularly throughout the year," Simmons said. "It’s just hard for me to envision a scenario where Tua is not the starter, particularly given all of the weapons that they’ve got right now at wide receiver, at the offensive skill spots.

"I just think he can facilitate those and distribute the ball better than Jalen Hurts can, and the spring game was a great opportunity to prove me wrong. He just didn’t.”