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2014 Previews: Vanderbilt Commodores

2014 Previews: Vanderbilt Commodores

In addition to losing head coach James Franklin to Penn State, the Commodores lose more production from its 2013 team than does any team in the conference. Only nine starters return, the team is changing both offensive and defensive schemes, and head coach Derek Mason has never run a program before. Vanderbilt still has a good nucleus, thanks to Franklin’s inspired recruiting, but it would surprise no one if the Commodores missed the postseason.

2014 Previews: Tennessee Volunteers

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2014 Previews: Tennessee Volunteers

If win-loss records were determined by bravado and bull hockey, Tennessee’s Butch Jones would have a team in the national title game every year. Jones has done a good job selling the illusion of improvement, but the Vols had better hope he can continue to recruit well – because success in the present day isn’t coming. Tennessee might have the league’s worst offensive and defensive lines simultaneously, certainly a first for this program and maybe the first for any SEC program not named Vanderbilt. Aside from a few bright spots at receiver and an above-average linebacker corps, Tennessee doesn’t have much. Hitting .500 this season would be a major accomplishment.

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2014 Previews: Missouri Tigers

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2014 Previews: Missouri Tigers

Missouri was by far the biggest overachiever in the SEC in 2013, when good quarterback play, a solid running game and the emergence of three receivers helped the Tigers win the SEC East and likely save Gary Pinkel’s job in the process. But 2014 will bring change – the quarterback, running back and all three of the team’s top wide receivers are gone, and Missouri is beginning to deal with talent deficiencies on defense.

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Previews 2014: Florida Gators

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Previews 2014: Florida Gators

Will Muschamp is fighting for his coaching life at Florida. If the Gators aren’t significantly more competitive than they’ve been the last three years, this will be the end of the line for the animated Muschamp. Unfortunately for him, if the Gators finish at the predicted 7-5 with losses to Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State, it probably won’t be enough. On top of that, this team is dealing with massive turnover and uncertainty at several key positions.

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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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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 15

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 15

We haven’t been big believers in Missouri the last two weeks, picking them to lose against both Ole Miss and Texas A&M (and being wrong both times). This will be the third straight week of no-confidence votes. Auburn’s biggest challenge will be not about what Missouri can deliver, but rather the inevitable emotional letdown that follows the Tigers’ literally last-second win over Alabama.

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2013 Fall Previews: Kentucky Wildcats

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2013 Fall Previews: Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky is breaking in a new head coach in 2013, Mark Stoops. The high-energy Stoops has never been a head coach before, but if he gets early results on the field like he has in recruiting, he’ll endear himself to the Wildcat faithful quickly. Kentucky has almost no offensive talent at the moment, and the defense has problems the further away from the line of scrimmage one moves. This won’t be a quick turnaround in Lexington, but Stoops has to start somewhere.

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SEC previews and predictions: Week 4

This week, Alabama and Arkansas headline the conference slate, but there are plenty of other key matchups to hold fans’ interest.

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SEC previews and predictions: Week 1

In Week 1, LSU and Oregon highlight the game schedule, with Georgia and Boise State not far behind. Most teams are facing weak sisters, however.

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Previews 2011: Vanderbilt Commodores

New head coach James Franklin will attempt to set the Dores back on the track 2009 coach Bobby Johnson had them on prior to his abrupt retirement last summer. But it will be an uphill battle.

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