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2015 Previews: Rating the Units

  By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief 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 […]

2015 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2015

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By Jess Nicholas TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief Last year, TideFans.com rolled out its first truly new preseason feature in years, the Emerging Trends analysis. It was an attempt to take a view from 30,000 feet of the SEC landscape and open a discussion on both the short- and long-term futures of each team. While we got most […]

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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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From Polls to Playoff, Part 2: The System Breaks

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From Polls to Playoff, Part 2: The System Breaks

Beginning in 1936, the Associated Press ranked the nation’s top twenty football teams and awarded a national championship at the end of the regular season. Although bowl games (usually somewhere between five and seven) existed in these early days, the bowls were not taken into account when determining the national champion. There were several reasons the bowls were not included, including maintaining the amateur emphasis of college football, the fact the bowls were exhibitions, and the fact that most schools or conferences attempted to share the wealth by forbidding teams from attending the same bowl game in consecutive years.

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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

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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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Bowl update: OU matchup a highlight, but not the only UA priority

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Bowl update: OU matchup a highlight, but not the only UA priority

Alabama will face Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, bowl officials announced Sunday. But for many Alabama fans, the Oklahoma game is only the second- or third-most important consideration of the bowl season.

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Auburn wrap-up: Another miracle finish, because Alabama couldn’t finish

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Auburn wrap-up: Another miracle finish, because Alabama couldn’t finish

There will be no such breakdown today, because aside from a scattered few individual players, Alabama didn’t play like it wanted to win the game, and didn’t coach like it, either.

Placekicker Cade Foster, who had enjoyed a brilliant senior season after three iffy ones, crumbled in this game. There is no other way to say it. But Alabama coaches took him out either one kick too soon or a kick or two too late – and given how Alabama was playing, it might not have mattered anyway. Had this game hit overtime, would anyone have seriously expected Alabama to have won it then?

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Auburn preview: Alabama finds unexpected roadblock on way to another title

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Auburn preview: Alabama finds unexpected roadblock on way to another title

There’s really no other way to say it – Alabama didn’t see this coming.

Few people thought Auburn would be as bad as it was in 2012, but the number of people who expected the Tigers to be 10-1 and just on the outside of a BCS Championship Game matchup probably wouldn’t be enough to fill a taxicab. And that’s including Lee County residents.

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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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