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2014 Previews: South Carolina Gamecocks

2014 Previews: South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina has been knocking on the door of national relevance for years, but Steve Spurrier hasn’t been quite able to get over the last couple of hurdles. Despite a growing talent base in the state, there has been too much competition for the Gamecocks to effectively lock down their backyard and challenge the SEC’s best teams. Time is running out for Spurrier, and this team, despite having plenty of talent, looks again to be just a bit short of matching up to Alabama or LSU.

2014 Previews: Kentucky Wildcats

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2014 Previews: Kentucky Wildcats

Mark Stoops’ first year in Lexington did not go smoothly. The decision to force the Wildcats into a no-huddle offense proved to be a bad move, and the defense couldn’t dig Stoops out of his miscalculation. Fortunately, Stoops has put the Wildcats on a better track recruiting-wise, but he’s still having to populate several positions that went unattended under Joker Phillips’ regime.

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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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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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Auburn preview: Alabama finds unexpected roadblock on way to another title

There’s really no other way to say it – Alabama didn’t see this coming.

Few people thought Auburn would be as bad as it was in 2012, but the number of people who expected the Tigers to be 10-1 and just on the outside of a BCS Championship Game matchup probably wouldn’t be enough to fill a taxicab. And that’s including Lee County residents.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 12

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 12

The Florida-Vanderbilt game was bad for the Predictions Dept., but it was even worse for Florida head coach Will Muschamp. Muschamp has taken up an unexpected residency on the SEC’s hot seat, and is perhaps the only coach there at the moment – although Mark Richt and Dan Mullen are threatening to make him scoot over a bit. This week’s slate of games is headlined by the Auburn-Georgia battle, which will all but eliminate one of the two teams from its respective divisional race.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 9

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 9

Well, that was ugly.

It’s been awhile since the Predictions Dept. had such a sorry week – 11 years, to be exact – as every SEC team other than Alabama suffered an upset loss (even though Missouri was ranked above Florida, most SEC observers thought the Gators were the better team).

Fortunately for Alabama fans, the Dept. hit the one game that truly mattered to them, as the Crimson Tide crushed Arkansas. As its reward, Alabama will get a Tennessee team that upset South Carolina last week. South Carolina, meanwhile, finds itself in the conference’s headline game this week, as a loss to Missouri would effectively end the chase for the SEC East.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 6

A second consecutive undefeated week gets the Predictions Dept. up to the 90-percent line, so now the onus is on us to keep up the good work. This week, Ole Miss looks to bounce back against Auburn, while Missouri gets its first intra-conference action. Overall, the slate of games is not particularly strong, but there are several opportunities for second-tier teams to make a statement.

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2013 Fall Previews: Florida Gators

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2013 Fall Previews: Florida Gators

The Gators did a good job of sneaking up on the rest of the SEC in 2012. They’ll sneak up on no one this season. Florida successfully made the transition back to a pro-style team from the spread-option attack of Urban Meyer’s staff, in part by getting back to tough, fundamental football. The 2013 Florida team will have to rebuild its defense and find playmakers on offense now that several important, long-time veterans have moved on to the NFL. Florida will need to lean on its defense, especially early in the year.

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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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