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Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

TideFans.com doesn’t often make reference to betting lines, as that’s not our thing. But when Alabama opened up as roughly a two-touchdown favorite over Texas A&M, it got everyone’s attention in the sports media world.

Alabama, a team that had just scraped to a 14-13 victory over Arkansas, the SEC West’s presumptive worst team, was being made a two-touchdown favorite over a team that beat Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2012, carried the Crimson Tide to the wire in College Station in 2013, and has many of the same pieces returning from those teams in 2014. On the face, it doesn’t make sense.

SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 8

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 8

The Predictions Dept. fell below the 80-percent mark for the first time in the 2014 season, a season that has proven devilish to correctly predict. Last week was going just fine until the two Mississippi teams played their games, both of which went against our pregame outlook. This week, Alabama finds itself in the league’s most intriguing game, and since that will be covered in its own preview article, we look to Missouri-Florida or Kentucky-LSU in this space as the conference’s other games of the week.

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Arkansas Wrap-Up: Nice to get a win, but Bama has issues

It is the height of irony that the principal reason for Alabama scoring more points than Arkansas Saturday came as a result of a special teams play on the part of the Crimson Tide.

A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen have been crushing opponents’ field goal and extra-point formations all season long. And, for the second consecutive week, one of those plays gave Alabama the opportunity to win.

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Arkansas preview: Razorbacks smell blood in the water as Bama comes to town

Whether Arkansas actually follows through with doing the near-impossible this weekend, it won’t be for a lack of confidence that the impossible can be done.

In year two of Bret Bielema’s tenure in Fayetteville, Arkansas might not be one of the SEC’s best teams, but it’s not from a lack of believing. And with Alabama coming to town fresh off being made to look very mortal by Ole Miss, the Razorbacks will surely speak with a noticeably louder oink this week.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

Week 6 made it clear that this is not the SEC of old. Wins by Kentucky and Ole Miss upset the Prediction Dept.’s apple cart, and things will remain cloudy this week as more close contests are likely on the horizon.

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Ole Miss wrapup: If Alabama wants to be the best, it must play that way

There is little mystery as to why Alabama finds itself tonight a one-loss football team: It’s not playing well enough to be better than that.

Even if there was no controversy over the Tide’s second-quarter strip-and-score touchdown by Cyrus Jones, Alabama was having problems in this game and the future schedule will present many similar problems unless Alabama figures out how to play like their National Signing Day pedigrees suggest it can be done.

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Ole Miss preview: Bama will find out whether Rebels are for real

A quick glance at defensive statistics this season would seem to suggest that no, Ole Miss’ 2013 defensive improvement was not a mirage. The Rebels have put up impressive numbers through the first third of the 2014 season, and the confidence gained from their performance have given Ole Miss’ players a great deal of confidence heading into this game.

For Alabama, though, it’s just another verse to a familiar song, one sung by Ole Miss players and fans insistent that the current season will be different from those of the last 50 years. And while Ole Miss has a stout defense in 2014, to be sure, the Rebels’ offensive capabilities – particularly in the running game – simply haven’t been good enough to merit discussion of the Rebels-as-contenders subject.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

The Predictions Dept. would like to petition the SEC to remove Missouri from the conference for the remainder of the season. Three of our eight losses this year have come as a result of trying to accurately peg the Tigers one way or another. Missouri now finds itself atop of the SEC East heap as a result of its win over South Carolina, a win that, for all practical purposes, eliminates South Carolina from the divisional race – unless Missouri itself decides to let the Gamecocks back in it, of course, which would be fitting. This week’s top game involves Alabama, so in this space we’ll look at some of the SEC’s other offerings, topped by Florida-Tennessee in the East and Auburn-LSU in the West.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 5

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 5

So maybe Missouri really isn’t all that. There seems to be one SEC team each year that befuddles the Predictions Dept., and the Tigers seem destined to be that team in 2014. A loss to Indiana at home undid just about every good thing Missouri has done to this point in 2014, and now the slate of SEC games starts with a road trip to South Carolina, one of the biggest games of the week. In other action, Texas A&M is in the trap game of the week against Arkansas, while Tennessee tries to prove it’s for real in a matchup with old rival Georgia.

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Florida wrap-up: Tide’s growth, gameplan reason for success

The last time Alabama fans witnessed something so dumbfounding inside the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Josh Reed was involved and Nick Saban was wearing LSU colors.

That day – Nov. 3, 2001 to be exact – saw Reed catch 19 passes for 293 yards, and LSU quarterback Rohan Davey throw for 528 yards on 35 completions. After a time, the game itself almost became secondary to the Davey-to-Reed show, with fans of both teams essentially waiting to see what would happen next.

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