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SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

SEC Previews and Predictions: Week 1

The 2015 SEC season kicks off this week, and the TideFans.com Predictions Dept. is looking for a better effort this year. The 2014 season was mediocre by past standards, but the road doesn’t get any easier, given the depth the SEC has managed to build, particularly in its West division. The highlights of the first week, outside of Alabama’s opening tilt against Wisconsin, is probably either Auburn’s opener against Louisville, or Arizona State’s visit to College Station to face Texas A&M.

Previews 2015: Texas A&M Aggies

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Previews 2015: Texas A&M Aggies

How far the Aggies go in 2015 will be determined by how quickly new defensive coordinator John Chavis can right the ship. The Aggies have never lacked for offense since joining the SEC, but their built-for-the-Big-12 defense just can’t cut it. In addition to Chavis, head coach Kevin Sumlin finally seems to be getting serious about allocating assets to the defensive side of the ball. The Aggies might also find themselves better on offense simply by getting rid of Kenny Hill, who had become a distraction there. Texas A&M will put up a ton of points, but can the Aggies keep opposing offenses from doing the same?

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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 preview: Vols still struggling, but look to give Alabama a fight

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Tennessee preview: Vols still struggling, but look to give Alabama a fight

During Alabama’s 2009 title run, the Crimson Tide hosted an outmanned, outgunned and thoroughly mediocre Tennessee Volunteer team for what most people expected to be a blowout win.

Four quarters later, Alabama had to rely on two blocked field goals from Terrence Cody in order to advance past Tennessee – a Tennessee team coached by current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.

In the years since, Alabama has usually defeated Tennessee by a wide margin in the end. In very few of those cases, however, did Alabama dominate from start to finish. Establishing large, early leads and putting the game to bed early is a concept not often found in this series.

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Texas A&M wrap-up: Seriously, where did this come from?

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Texas A&M wrap-up: Seriously, where did this come from?

Saturday’s win over Texas A&M didn’t just set an Alabama record for most points scored in a quarter (35, in the second frame). It also set a TideFans.com record for most incorrect game preview of all time.

That second record was set both in the objective realm and the subjective realm. Objectively, the pregame pick of Texas A&M 27-24 was off by a total of 62 points (Alabama was underscored by 35; A&M was overscored by 27). Subjectively, the game played out almost precisely the opposite of the way it was foreseen.

And that’s the reason that suddenly, Alabama can get excited about its season once again – provided it can harness whatever fount of emotion it tapped into against the Aggies.

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Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

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Texas A&M preview: Vegas may have this one wrong

TideFans.com doesn’t often make reference to betting lines, as that’s not our thing. But when Alabama opened up as roughly a two-touchdown favorite over Texas A&M, it got everyone’s attention in the sports media world.

Alabama, a team that had just scraped to a 14-13 victory over Arkansas, the SEC West’s presumptive worst team, was being made a two-touchdown favorite over a team that beat Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2012, carried the Crimson Tide to the wire in College Station in 2013, and has many of the same pieces returning from those teams in 2014. On the face, it doesn’t make sense.

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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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