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

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.

Tide 2014: Coker needs a chance, not crushing pressure

When Alabama football officially gets cranked back up for fall practice, the Jacob Coker Watch will start approximately 1 millisecond afterward.

Unfortunately for Coker, the expectations for him, which are already high, will simply continue to snowball over the course of the summer. And if Coker doesn’t come right out of the gate looking like some combination of Joe Namath, Peyton Manning, Y.A. Tittle, an M1A1 Abrams tank and Secretariat, the fan backlash could be the biggest thing since … well, since the last second of the 2013 Auburn game. There is no meltdown like that of an angry Alabama fan.

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Spring analysis: Seven big questions facing the 2014 team

Typically, questions surrounding a Nick Saban-coached program in the spring have to do simply with new starters at positions vacated by seniors who have graduated or underclassmen headed to the NFL Draft.

But the 2014 Alabama team will have a more complex set of questions facing it than simply the shuffling of the depth chart. While position changes are a concern, some questions go much deeper than that.

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ne of college football’s greatest attributes is its pre-programmed turnover. At least every five years, teams are guaranteed to have a completely new starting lineup compared to the ones they fielded five years prior.

For Alabama, there will be 12 positions this season changing hands. But several other positions figure to be up for grabs as well.

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