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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.

Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

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Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

TideFans.com doesn’t often make reference to betting lines, as that’s not our thing. But when Alabama opened up as roughly a two-touchdown favorite over Texas A&M, it got everyone’s attention in the sports media world.

Alabama, a team that had just scraped to a 14-13 victory over Arkansas, the SEC West’s presumptive worst team, was being made a two-touchdown favorite over a team that beat Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2012, carried the Crimson Tide to the wire in College Station in 2013, and has many of the same pieces returning from those teams in 2014. On the face, it doesn’t make sense.

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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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USM preview: Woeful Golden Eagles can’t recapture past magic

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USM preview: Woeful Golden Eagles can’t recapture past magic

There was a time when Southern Miss was a better yearly opponent for Alabama than some SEC teams.

A couple of Alabama-Southern Miss games are noteworthy, for all the wrong reasons. There was the Reggie Collier-led upset of one of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s last Alabama teams. And then there was the 21-0 loss to USM in 2000 that should have been the impetus for firing Mike DuBose.

This Southern Miss team, though, is nothing like those teams.

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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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Previews 2014: Ole Miss Rebels

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Previews 2014: Ole Miss Rebels

Ole Miss has become the media darling team of the SEC West, as some media members searched for any reason they could find not to pick either Alabama, LSU or Auburn to win the division. The Rebels make some sense as a potential party-crasher, thanks to a veteran starting quarterback, some star power scattered here and there on the roster, improving depth and a defense that got a lot saltier in Hugh Freeze’s second season. But the lack of overall depth and concern over the offensive line could doom Ole Miss’ chances out of the gate.

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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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Ole Miss wrap-up: Bama’s win was no surprise, but defensive dominance was

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Ole Miss wrap-up: Bama’s win was no surprise, but defensive dominance was

If Ole Miss players were correct in the assertion that the Rebel wide receivers were better than the receivers of Texas A&M, then Eddie Jackson is the greatest defensive back in the history of college football.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

Welcome back to our weekly SEC previews, our chance to take a humorous (but usually thoughtful) look at what’s going on around the SEC. Last year was a decent showing for the Predictions Dept., not the best we’ve ever done but certainly not the worst, either. We look forward to bringing you our insights and lighthearted humor again in 2013.

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Rating the Units

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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.

Continue reading …
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