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Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is one of the most interesting teams in college football in 2014, if for no other reason that a team one play away from a possible shot at a national championship, returning a nucleus of top talent and poised for yet another title run, is actually a team in transition. A new offensive coordinator is in town, the quarterback position is completely up in the air and changes are expected on the defensive side of the ball to correct a downward trend, particularly in front seven performance.

OFFENSE

Alabama is now the employer of one Lane Kiffin, former Tennessee head coach, NCAA scofflaw and general spoiled brat. At least that’s what he’s been in the eyes of Alabama fans until now. These days, he’s the hopeful savior of Alabama’s balanced, but ground-oriented offensive attack built around the idea that beating an opponent into a bloody coma is the pinnacle of college football strategy. But the ultimate determiner of style may be decided by which quarterback wins the starting job.

Kiffin hired as Alabama offensive coordinator

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Kiffin hired as Alabama offensive coordinator

Alabama hired former Southern Cal and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin as its new offensive coordinator Friday, quickly filling the vacancy left when Doug Nussmeier left Alabama for the same job at Michigan.

“We are excited to have Lane join our staff,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban in a statement released by the university. “He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at the University of Alabama.”

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With Mack Brown retiring, coaching sweepstakes will accelerate

Mack Brown is set to retire from the University of Texas by week’s end, ESPN reported Tuesday, an act that would set into motion one of the most high-stakes versions of the college coaching carousel seen in recent years.

TideFans.com and other outlets reported last week that Alabama and Nick Saban were close on a contract extension that would raise Saban’s annual salary to more than $6 million per year and lock him up through the end of his coaching career. But over the weekend, a flurry of media reports out of Texas had Saban being courted heavily by the Longhorns, despite Texas officials denying the claims.

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Thoughts as basketball ends, football begins

The arrival of spring football is always heralded in the state of Alabama as the start of football’s “third season,” following the actual schedule and the two months when recruiting feels like a competitive endeavor in and of itself.

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Duranko’s Digest: Notre Dame – Alabama Preview (from UHND.com)

One Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan’s pregame analysis of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama.

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