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Previews 2015: Tennessee Volunteers

Previews 2015: Tennessee Volunteers

Between a heavy concentration of returning starters, improved recruiting and some of the best offensive skill talent in the conference, Tennessee is hoping it can finally lift itself out of the doldrums it’s been in for at least the last eight seasons. Roughly from the time Nick Saban arrived at Alabama, Tennessee has been irrelevant in the SEC. The 2015 Volunteer team is still not perfect; the offensive line, while experienced, wasn’t good in 2014, the defense has some holes up the middle and the book is still out on Butch Jones as both an x’s-and-o’s coach and a program leader. But things are looking up.

2015 Previews: Rating the Units

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2015 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.

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2015 Previews: SEC Standings and Top 25

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2015 Previews: SEC Standings and Top 25

SEC & Top 25 Rankings for 2015

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2015 Previews: TideFans.com/NARCAS Preseason All-SEC Team

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2015 Previews: TideFans.com/NARCAS Preseason All-SEC Team

Preseason 2015 All-SEC team for each position on Offense and Defense

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2015 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2015

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2015 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2015

Last year, TideFans.com rolled out its first truly new preseason feature in years, the Emerging Trends analysis. It was an attempt to take a view from 30,000 feet of the SEC landscape and open a discussion on both the short- and long-term futures of each team.

While we got most things right in our 2014 report, there were still some areas of the landscape that were obscured by clouds as we looked down upon them. Perhaps in 2015, the view is getting clearer. Here’s a look at the emerging trends for SEC teams in 2015.

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Tennessee wrap-up: Sims’ statement drive ices game for Crimson Tide

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Tennessee wrap-up: Sims’ statement drive ices game for Crimson Tide

While Ole Miss was blinking in the spotlight – a function of not having been in the spotlight in 40-plus years – Alabama proved against Tennessee that the bigger the moment gets, the bigger the Crimson Tide usually plays.

It won’t go down as the signature win of the season – Alabama will have to work hard to top the 59-0 pasting of Texas A&M last week, although LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn remain on the schedule – but Blake Sims probably had the signature drive. Up 27-17 in the third quarter and badly needing a score to put Alabama three scores ahead again, Sims led Alabama to four third-down conversions before Derrick Henry polished off the Volunteers with a long touchdown run.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 7

Week 6 made it clear that this is not the SEC of old. Wins by Kentucky and Ole Miss upset the Prediction Dept.’s apple cart, and things will remain cloudy this week as more close contests are likely on the horizon.

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 3

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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 3

A soft schedule in Week 2 helped the Predictions Dept. ride to an undefeated record, although South Carolina at least attempted to make it interesting in its close win over East Carolina. This week, the Gamecocks are again part of the most intriguing conference matchup, as they fight for their SEC East lives in a matchup with Georgia, while Tennessee will get a chance to put its money where its mouth is, as the Volunteers face Oklahoma.

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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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2014 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2014

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2014 Previews: Who’s up, who’s down heading into 2014

For the past 16 years, TideFans.com has broken out its crystal ball to select who we thought would be likely to win such awards as SEC Coach of the Year, or which coach would find themselves on the hotseat.

Change is needed from time to time, and this article – we’ll call it our 2014 Emerging Trends analysis – will serve to replace the venerable crystal ball, which has been dropped, cracked and cloudied too many times to be useful anymore.

Instead, each SEC team will get its time under the microscope, and we’ll attempt to offer some insight behind the numbers that will come in future articles as we head towards the start of the regular season.

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