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

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.

SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 3

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 3

A soft schedule in Week 2 helped the Predictions Dept. ride to an undefeated record, although South Carolina at least attempted to make it interesting in its close win over East Carolina. This week, the Gamecocks are again part of the most intriguing conference matchup, as they fight for their SEC East lives in a matchup with Georgia, while Tennessee will get a chance to put its money where its mouth is, as the Volunteers face Oklahoma.

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Previews 2014: Arkansas Razorbacks

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Previews 2014: Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas runs a smash-mouth, I-formation attack that puts a premium on running the football. It’s old-school, and definitely against the grain as far as trends go, but a pro-style attack only really works when a team has the talent to execute. Arkansas doesn’t. The Razorbacks are bereft of a competent passing game, and Bielema’s staff looked more than a little overwhelmed during its first season in the SEC.

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2014 Previews: Rating the Units

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2014 Previews: Rating the Units

While college football might be a numbers game to some, putting objective numbers down to predict a team’s chances in the upcoming season can be a challenge – some say impossible.

The system we present to you tries to do the impossible. What follows is a ranking of every position group of every team in the SEC, and we try to make the results as objective as we can.

Via a process that first went to press nine years ago, TideFans/NARCAS expanded its rating system beyond the simple six-class system employed in the past. In all 14 SEC previews, you’ll notice eight unit divisions – quarterbacks (QB), running backs (RB), wide receivers and tight ends (WR), offensive line (OL), defensive line (DL), linebackers (LB), defensive backs (DB) and kickers, punters, return men and coverage units (ST, for special teams).

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2014 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2014

For the past 16 years, TideFans.com has broken out its crystal ball to select who we thought would be likely to win such awards as SEC Coach of the Year, or which coach would find themselves on the hotseat.

Change is needed from time to time, and this article – we’ll call it our 2014 Emerging Trends analysis – will serve to replace the venerable crystal ball, which has been dropped, cracked and cloudied too many times to be useful anymore.

Instead, each SEC team will get its time under the microscope, and we’ll attempt to offer some insight behind the numbers that will come in future articles as we head towards the start of the regular season.

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Arkansas wrap-up: While rest of the SEC turns upside-down, Alabama takes care of business

There was a point Saturday where Alabama fans probably felt afraid to check the score of any SEC football game, including their own.

But while the rest of the SEC was preoccupied with doing exactly the opposite of what was expected of them, Alabama played strictly according to script. The Crimson Tide mauled an overmatched Arkansas team that was as lacking in confidence as it was any kind of ability.

The 52-0 beating Alabama administered, however, came with a price. Vinnie Sunseri, the emotional glue of the Crimson Tide defense, appeared to suffer a significant knee injury on kickoff coverage. Starting cornerback Bradley Sylve, who had quietly solidified the position opposite Deion Belue, left with a high ankle sprain, the kind of injury that can either heal overnight or hang around for a month.

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Arkansas preview: Razorbacks in transition, Alabama looking for domination

For Alabama fans who appreciate nostalgia, they’ll get plenty of it when Arkansas comes to town this week.

Why? Because they’ll swear Danny Ford was back in Fayetteville.

Bret Bielema took over the Arkansas program this spring after John L. Smith was mercifully let go after a season that could justifiably be called the most disappointing – relative to expectations – in the history of Arkansas football. The Razorbacks were coming off a string of high-scoring seasons under Bob Petrino, and the program was threatening to punch into the elite of the SEC West.

And then Bob Petrino got in a motorcycle accident, got caught lying about an affair and was relieved of his duties as the Razorback head coach. The coach of the Hogs had been thrown off his Hog and was found to have been acting like a pig.

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Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Arkansas

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This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

A second consecutive undefeated week gets the Predictions Dept. up to the 90-percent line, so now the onus is on us to keep up the good work. This week, Ole Miss looks to bounce back against Auburn, while Missouri gets its first intra-conference action. Overall, the slate of games is not particularly strong, but there are several opportunities for second-tier teams to make a statement.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 4

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 4

The Predictions Dept. started to shake off the rust in Week 3, missing only the Ole Miss-Texas game. While national pundits on ESPN ponder the future of Texas head coach Mack Brown, TideFans.com turns its attention back to the SEC. This week, while Alabama gets a breather of sorts, SEC fans will largely get a breather as well, as the top games are Auburn-LSU and Tennessee-Florida, simply due to the history of the two series.

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