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The year in review in the SEC

The year in review in the SEC

Listed here are all 14 SEC teams, split into divisions, with their current records in bold type and our preseason predictions in italic type. And for those who have forgotten TideFans.com’s preseason picks for college football’s inaugural final four playoff, our picks included Florida State in second, Alabama in third and Ohio State in fourth. The team we missed? Read on to find out.

MSU wrap-up: Tide coming together at the right time

Given that top-ranked Mississippi State was an underdog in Saturday’s game, it would be incorrect to call this Alabama win an upset.

It would, however, be appropriate for college football’s new Playoff Committee to finally acknowledge what the oddsmakers were trying to tell them beforehand: Alabama is probably the best, most complete team in college football right now.

Oregon will probably claim its high-flying offense makes it the most dangerous; Florida State can point to Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and its undefeated record and claim it’s the best team in the land. But Alabama is beginning to win games with defense, sort of an anachronism in today’s college football world, and as de rigueur as high-powered offenses are at the moment, a strong defense beats a strong offense most of time, as much as that might chafe those in an around the sport that have become addicted to points.

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Previews 2014: Alabama Crimson Tide

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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.

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From Polls to Playoff: A brief history of the evolution of how college football determines the national champion

2014 will see the first-ever formal playoff at the highest level of college football. Playoffs have been held for years among the lower divisions, but this will be the first time that the FBS (formerly Division I-A) presents a round of semi-final playoffs followed by a recognized championship game. Unlike other sports that have had playoffs almost from day one, college football has maintained a poll system, followed by a bowl system, and then a series of computer/human selections to determine the two most worthy adversaries in their post-season.

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Saban, UA announce extension; Saban says will end career at Alabama

Alabama and head coach Nick Saban formally announced a contract extension Friday that will keep Saban in Tuscaloosa until the end of his career, the coach announced.

“This agreement allows us to continue to build on the tremendous success that we have enjoyed to this point, successes that have transcended the football field,” said Saban in a statement released by the school. “We are excited about the future and the University of Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career.”

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2013 Fall Previews: Arkansas Razorbacks

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2013 Fall Previews: Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas fans would no doubt like to surgically excise any memory of the 2012 debacle from their brains. The season started with high hopes, then saw Bob Petrino fired as head coach after lying about an affair, and finished with John L. Smith’s complete self-destruction as (what turned out to be interim) head coach. Arkansas looked poorly prepared, completely unmotivated and athletically out-classed. Now it’s up to former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to return some semblance of competency to Fayetteville.

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