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From Polls to Playoff, Part 2: The System Breaks

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.

WVU wrap-up: Holes are easy to find in 2014 Tide

Nick Saban is known for making very salient, wise and perceptive statements, which is why many observers claim he would be just as at home running a multi-billion-dollar company as he would a football team.

Saban may have made his most apt comment yet in the postgame interview after the Crimson Tide defeated West Virginia 33-23: “It is what it is, and we are what we are.”

Perfectly stated.

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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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As kickoff nears, we’re still looking for a few things

For a college football fan, each week can bring with it incredible excitement, or anxiety. But there are two weeks more important than the rest – the last, and the first. The last week determines the national champion, which is what all 120-some-odd schools are (or at least, should be) gunning for. The first week is when everyone can finally put away the distractions of the off season, which are typically replete with arrests, suspensions and rumors, and start actually focusing on the games themselves.With kickoff just a day away, let’s get a final list together of the things we’re looking forward to seeing, or at least seeing the last of, as the off season winds down.

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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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Emmert is right to expect change

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Emmert is right to expect change

For about the last 30 years, which is about the time college football went from being a major sport to a really major sport, the NCAA’s governance has been spotty, capricious and devoid of logic. Student-athletes are still punished for things like washing their car with a hose attached to an athletic department-owned complex. Meanwhile, the NCAA’s investigative staff mishandles more major cases and potential major cases than it gets right.

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Battle raises eyebrows with choices for selection committee

When Bill Battle was hired to replace Mal Moore as athletic director, a column appeared in this space outlining some of the decisions that would immediately face him, and speculated what his choices would mean for his eventual legacy.

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Notes: Moore’s body of work stands among best of all time

In the end, time – and health issues brought about by the march of it – was Mal Moore’s inevitable enemy. In time, the nearly 60-year legacy of one of Alabama’s most faithful servants may come to be fully appreciated. Moore remains under a doctor’s care, in need of prayers and no longer Alabama’s athletic director. One of Moore’s former Alabama teammates, Bill Battle, has been tapped to replace him. Or, at least, succeed him.

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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 wrap-up: Alabama, not Notre Dame, wakes up the echoes of past domination

At some point in the next few weeks, after the confetti has been cleared from Sun Life Stadium and the mainstream media’s focus finally diverts from its much-preferred Notre Dame, the question will be asked whether this is the greatest era in Alabama football history.

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