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The year in review in the SEC

The year in review in the SEC

Listed here are all 14 SEC teams, split into divisions, with their current records in bold type and our preseason predictions in italic type. And for those who have forgotten TideFans.com’s preseason picks for college football’s inaugural final four playoff, our picks included Florida State in second, Alabama in third and Ohio State in fourth. The team we missed? Read on to find out.

Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

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Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is one of the most interesting teams in college football in 2014, if for no other reason that a team one play away from a possible shot at a national championship, returning a nucleus of top talent and poised for yet another title run, is actually a team in transition. A new offensive coordinator is in town, the quarterback position is completely up in the air and changes are expected on the defensive side of the ball to correct a downward trend, particularly in front seven performance.

OFFENSE

Alabama is now the employer of one Lane Kiffin, former Tennessee head coach, NCAA scofflaw and general spoiled brat. At least that’s what he’s been in the eyes of Alabama fans until now. These days, he’s the hopeful savior of Alabama’s balanced, but ground-oriented offensive attack built around the idea that beating an opponent into a bloody coma is the pinnacle of college football strategy. But the ultimate determiner of style may be decided by which quarterback wins the starting job.

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Saban, UA announce extension; Saban says will end career at Alabama

Alabama and head coach Nick Saban formally announced a contract extension Friday that will keep Saban in Tuscaloosa until the end of his career, the coach announced.

“This agreement allows us to continue to build on the tremendous success that we have enjoyed to this point, successes that have transcended the football field,” said Saban in a statement released by the school. “We are excited about the future and the University of Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career.”

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Tennessee preview: Vols improving, but they’ll need help to beat Alabama

If you allow yourself to think of the Alabama-Texas A&M game as an anomaly – whether tied to the late fumble that caused a 14-point swing, or to a defense that began changing personnel afterward and finally found the right mix – then the rest of this season begins to make sense. Tennessee, coming off a late upset of South Carolina, becomes just another middle-of-the-road SEC team that upset a slightly-more-than-middle-of-the-road opponent. The LSU game isn’t such a shocker – TideFans.com saw the Tigers as a 9-3 team in the preseason – and Alabama starts to look like the juggernaut people were expecting back in August. But the small margin of victory in College Station clouds the view.

As 4-3 Tennessee comes to town, given that the Volunteers are no less than Alabama’s second-biggest rival, there will always be the tendency to see the Vols for more than they might be at that particular point in time. But if you consider Alabama’s resume to this point and take a 5-minute span of the Texas A&M game for what it could have been, it gets easier to see another solid Bama victory.

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Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Tennessee

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Disclaimer: This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded. Seniors are in black, juniors previously on the team are in green, junior college transfers in their junior year are in purple, junior college transfers in their sophomore year are in […]

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 9

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 9

Well, that was ugly.

It’s been awhile since the Predictions Dept. had such a sorry week – 11 years, to be exact – as every SEC team other than Alabama suffered an upset loss (even though Missouri was ranked above Florida, most SEC observers thought the Gators were the better team).

Fortunately for Alabama fans, the Dept. hit the one game that truly mattered to them, as the Crimson Tide crushed Arkansas. As its reward, Alabama will get a Tennessee team that upset South Carolina last week. South Carolina, meanwhile, finds itself in the conference’s headline game this week, as a loss to Missouri would effectively end the chase for the SEC East.

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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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Which freshmen will play?

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Which freshmen will play?

Picking which freshmen will seeing time in 2013 even before fall camp opens is a risky endeavor, but here’s an early look at the 2012-2013 signing class and where we project them as the 2013 season unfolds.

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Thoughts as basketball ends, football begins

The arrival of spring football is always heralded in the state of Alabama as the start of football’s “third season,” following the actual schedule and the two months when recruiting feels like a competitive endeavor in and of itself.

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BCS preview: Alabama fighting both the Irish and history

Alabama has but one win in its history against Notre Dame, and that game – played in the middle of a regular season 20-something years ago against a bad Irish team – was cause for such momentous remembrance that Alabama LB Cornelius Bennett’s career was advanced several notches (and artist Daniel Moore’s career launched) as the result of a vicious sack of Irish QB Steve Beuerlein. For a program that prides itself on not rushing the field after wins or assigning too much importance to individual victories, most Alabama fans who were alive for that game can still tell you exactly where they were at several points in the afternoon.

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