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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

The 2015 SEC season kicks off this week, and the TideFans.com Predictions Dept. is looking for a better effort this year. The 2014 season was mediocre by past standards, but the road doesn’t get any easier, given the depth the SEC has managed to build, particularly in its West division. The highlights of the first week, outside of Alabama’s opening tilt against Wisconsin, is probably either Auburn’s opener against Louisville, or Arizona State’s visit to College Station to face Texas A&M.

Previews 2015: Florida Gators

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Previews 2015: Florida Gators

While most people believe it’s just a matter of time before Florida reascends to the top of the SEC East – with a recruiting advantage like the one UF possesses, it’s not an unreasonable expectation – the Gators are currently in a big hole of their own making. The Will Muschamp hire turned out to be a grave mistake for Jeremy Foley, and now he has turned from one former Nick Saban assistant to another: former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who arrives from Colorado State with the reputation of an offensive whiz and motivational mastermind. But he isn’t a top-flight recruiter, and the lack of player development under Muschamp will cause Florida some headaches in 2015.

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2015 Previews: Rating the Units

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2015 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.

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

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

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 things right in our 2014 report, there were still some areas of the landscape that were obscured by clouds as we looked down upon them. Perhaps in 2015, the view is getting clearer. Here’s a look at the emerging trends for SEC teams in 2015.

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MSU wrap-up: Tide coming together at the right time

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MSU wrap-up: Tide coming together at the right time

Given that top-ranked Mississippi State was an underdog in Saturday’s game, it would be incorrect to call this Alabama win an upset.

It would, however, be appropriate for college football’s new Playoff Committee to finally acknowledge what the oddsmakers were trying to tell them beforehand: Alabama is probably the best, most complete team in college football right now.

Oregon will probably claim its high-flying offense makes it the most dangerous; Florida State can point to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and its undefeated record and claim it’s the best team in the land. But Alabama is beginning to win games with defense, sort of an anachronism in today’s college football world, and as de rigueur as high-powered offenses are at the moment, a strong defense beats a strong offense most of time, as much as that might chafe those in an around the sport that have become addicted to points.

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Florida preview: Struggles with Kentucky belie Gators’ true talents

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Florida preview: Struggles with Kentucky belie Gators’ true talents

As the final few plays in Florida’s overtime win over Kentucky went by the boards, there were two schools of thought concerning the Gators. The first was that Will Muschamp needed to visit the nearest Laser Copy and start getting resumes ready; the second was that this Gators team, despite its struggles against Kentucky, still has enough talent to win any game on its schedule.

And, now that Florida refused to fold against Kentucky, you can add the adjective “resilient” to the mix.

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Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Florida

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Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Florida

The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 2

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 2

The only thing stopping the Predictions Dept. from a 10-win first week was the rain, which washed out the Florida-Idaho game. Upsets happen, but it’s hard to imagine Florida losing that game no matter the weather or any other circumstance. While Florida and Idaho decide what to do about a replacement game, the rest of the conference moves on to Week 2, which is highlighted by — if you can call it that — Missouri going on the road to face a Toledo team that is tougher than the average mid-major.

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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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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

Hugh Freeze, in addition to trying to rewrite the way offense is played in the SEC, is apparently trying to rewrite the punt. Freeze’s brain-lock – and a healthy dose of plain, old overrated-ness – conspired to give the Predictions Dept. its first loss in three weeks. This week’s slate of games is headlined by Florida visiting LSU, which will end one team’s hopes of reaching Atlanta, while Ole Miss’ season looks ready to go from mediocre to much worse as the Rebels host Texas A&M.

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