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SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

Alabama’s resounding victory over Florida on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game did several things: It extended Alabama’s win streak to 25 games, its SEC championship strength to 3 years and ended any speculation of what the College Football Playoff committee might do in the event the Crimson Tide lost this game.

MSU preview: Bama, Spartans both looking to bury old demons

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MSU preview: Bama, Spartans both looking to bury old demons

For this year’s playoff opener, Alabama has drawn Michigan State, coached by former Nick Saban cohort Mark Dantonio. The last time Alabama saw Michigan State, the Crimson Tide put a shellacking on the Spartans, 49-7, in what was essentially a meaningless Citrus Bowl. The game came at the end of the 2010 season, arguably the most frustrating season in Alabama history, thanks to the Cam Newton-led Auburn Tigers winning that school’s second national championship over Oregon.

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Auburn wrap-up: Bama starts with Kick Five, ends with ‘Tractor’ pull

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Auburn wrap-up: Bama starts with Kick Five, ends with ‘Tractor’ pull

By the time Derrick Henry strolled into the end zone to keep his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown alive, the 80th meeting of Alabama and Auburn was already decided.

Auburn knew it, Alabama knew it, the fans knew it, the rest of the college football world knew it. But Henry was going to leave one final image in the minds of those who will vote on the Heisman Trophy next month.

Henry broke several school and Alabama-Auburn game records Saturday evening, the most impressive being a record of endurance: Henry carried 46 times for 271 yards and a touchdown. Some teams don’t get 46 snaps in a game.

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MSU Preview: Bulldogs again make Bama’s post-LSU life uncomfortable

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MSU Preview: Bulldogs again make Bama’s post-LSU life uncomfortable

Alabama has made an art form lately out of losing a regular-season game, then finding some way to get back into the national title discussion. But the one thing Alabama has failed to do on several occasions over the past few years is shut down a hot quarterback – particularly one that is mobile and who can improvise on the fly.

Mississippi State’s Prescott is perhaps at the top of the list of quarterbacks who can do such. He has amassed 2,351 yards passing and has thrown 18 touchdowns to only 1 interception. He is the team’s leading rusher, gaining almost twice as many yards as the guy in second place, who happens to start at tailback. He has leadership skills that are simply overflowing. And he led a furious near-comeback against Alabama last year in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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The year in review in the SEC

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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.

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SECCG wrap-up: Tigers can’t play spoiler to Bama’s storybook run

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SECCG wrap-up: Tigers can’t play spoiler to Bama’s storybook run

This may not be the most dominating Alabama team in the school’s long, multi-championship history. But it is one of the most likable.

Every time Nick Saban talks about the 2014 edition of the Crimson Tide, his genuine affection for the team comes flooding out. Unlike the 2013 team, which suffered from leadership-related short circuits on both sides of the ball, the 2014 Alabama team is a strange combination of lunchpail mentality with the quick-strike ability of a coiled rattlesnake. The offense is led by the country’s unlikeliest elite quarterback, who is built like a sawed-off fireplug, runs like a whippet and has an uncanny knack for rising to the occasion.

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MSU wrap-up: Tide coming together at the right time

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MSU wrap-up: Tide coming together at the right time

Given that top-ranked Mississippi State was an underdog in Saturday’s game, it would be incorrect to call this Alabama win an upset.

It would, however, be appropriate for college football’s new Playoff Committee to finally acknowledge what the oddsmakers were trying to tell them beforehand: Alabama is probably the best, most complete team in college football right now.

Oregon will probably claim its high-flying offense makes it the most dangerous; Florida State can point to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and its undefeated record and claim it’s the best team in the land. But Alabama is beginning to win games with defense, sort of an anachronism in today’s college football world, and as de rigueur as high-powered offenses are at the moment, a strong defense beats a strong offense most of time, as much as that might chafe those in an around the sport that have become addicted to points.

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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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Sugar Bowl preview: Tide must ignore waves of disappointment to beat Sooners

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Sugar Bowl preview: Tide must ignore waves of disappointment to beat Sooners

The 2008 Crimson Tide team opened the season with 12 straight victories, only to lose a potential national title shot at the hands of Florida and quarterback Tim Tebow in the SEC Championship Game. While Alabama was admittedly ahead of schedule in even getting to the game in the first place, the loss was still a bitter pill and served as motivation for the entire 2009 year. Highlights of the 2009 SEC Championship Game, for instance, make their appearance in Alabama’s pregame video under the headline “Redemption.”

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Sources say Saban, Bama are close on contract

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Sources say Saban, Bama are close on contract

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source told TideFans.com that Alabama and Saban have agreed in principle to terms on a deal. The contract would be for multiple years and would include a raise from his current deal, which pays him around $5.5 million annually. While exact figures were not yet known, the raise was described as “significant” and is all but certain to make Saban the first college football coach earning more than $6 million per year.

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