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Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

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.

From Polls to Playoff: A brief history of the evolution of how college football determines the national champion

2014 will see the first-ever formal playoff at the highest level of college football. Playoffs have been held for years among the lower divisions, but this will be the first time that the FBS (formerly Division I-A) presents a round of semi-final playoffs followed by a recognized championship game. Unlike other sports that have had playoffs almost from day one, college football has maintained a poll system, followed by a bowl system, and then a series of computer/human selections to determine the two most worthy adversaries in their post-season.

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Texas, Auburn find they’re still living in an Alabama world

Florida State closed out the BCS era Monday night with a 34-31 victory over Auburn, claiming the last crystal trophy that will be handed out under the current postseason rules.

But even though the Seminoles have 365 days to enjoy their place on the college football throne, one of the first questions raised on ESPN’s postgame show was whether Alabama had passed the mantle of most-targeted program over to FSU permanently.

ESPN contributor Paul Finebaum – who has never met a football topic he wouldn’t use to troll Alabama fans – answered with a firm “yes,” surprising exactly no one. If only that were true.

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With Mack Brown retiring, coaching sweepstakes will accelerate

Mack Brown is set to retire from the University of Texas by week’s end, ESPN reported Tuesday, an act that would set into motion one of the most high-stakes versions of the college coaching carousel seen in recent years.

TideFans.com and other outlets reported last week that Alabama and Nick Saban were close on a contract extension that would raise Saban’s annual salary to more than $6 million per year and lock him up through the end of his coaching career. But over the weekend, a flurry of media reports out of Texas had Saban being courted heavily by the Longhorns, despite Texas officials denying the claims.

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Will Alabama finally surpass the “Golden Age” Dynasty of Coach Bryant?

In the sixties and seventies, Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant established a “dynasty” at Alabama that made them the team of those decades. He ended his 25 year career at Alabama with six national titles.

But is Nick Saban about to establish his own dynasty and what are the chances that it could surpass those of the legendary “Bear” Bryant’s best decades?

You decide…

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BCS recap: Alabama’s win leaves no doubt about what a champion is

For a month, Alabama waited silently. The players and coaches waited while media members cried about an injustice done to Oklahoma State or Stanford, or that defense-driven football games were boring, or that the SEC wasn’t what football really was due to its NFL-like commitment to defense over sandlot offense. For a month, basically, Alabama had to endure a bunch of crybabies bawling because their milk wasn’t sweet enough.

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