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Previews 2016: Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt

Previews 2016: Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt

Missouri s is a team with an anemic offense and a defense that must always overachieve… South Carolina is a team in crisis … Questions remain about the Vols’ Butch Jones’ coaching ability and the ability of QB Joshua Dobbs … Vandy’s Mason likely won’t be around to coach the team in 2017 and beyond.

Rating the 2016 SEC recruiting classes

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Rating the 2016 SEC recruiting classes

The addition of Jamar King at the last moment brought Alabama up to a rating of “Excellent” in the “Needs Filled” category; otherwise, it would have been hard to rank the Crimson Tide No. 1 in the country overall over Florida State. Alabama, over the past few years, has finished with at least one position group’s worth of signees somewhere to be called best-in-class; in 2016, Alabama did it for at least one position group and maybe as many as three. Alabama got the nation’s best linebacker haul, picking up three 10.0-rated prospects on Signing Day: Ben Davis, Lyndell Wilson and Terrell Hall. But Alabama also was in the running for best OL class, headed by Jonah Williams

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Smart to UGA may affect Bama’s succession plan

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Smart to UGA may affect Bama’s succession plan

Operating from the assumption that all successful businesses invest time in developing a succession plan, the hiring of Kirby Smart at Georgia made a royal foul-up of what was most likely Alabama’s end game regarding Nick Saban’s eventual retirement.

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Auburn wrap-up: Bama starts with Kick Five, ends with ‘Tractor’ pull

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Auburn wrap-up: Bama starts with Kick Five, ends with ‘Tractor’ pull

By the time Derrick Henry strolled into the end zone to keep his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown alive, the 80th meeting of Alabama and Auburn was already decided.

Auburn knew it, Alabama knew it, the fans knew it, the rest of the college football world knew it. But Henry was going to leave one final image in the minds of those who will vote on the Heisman Trophy next month.

Henry broke several school and Alabama-Auburn game records Saturday evening, the most impressive being a record of endurance: Henry carried 46 times for 271 yards and a touchdown. Some teams don’t get 46 snaps in a game.

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Previews 2015: Florida Gators

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Previews 2015: Florida Gators

While most people believe it’s just a matter of time before Florida reascends to the top of the SEC East – with a recruiting advantage like the one UF possesses, it’s not an unreasonable expectation – the Gators are currently in a big hole of their own making. The Will Muschamp hire turned out to be a grave mistake for Jeremy Foley, and now he has turned from one former Nick Saban assistant to another: former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who arrives from Colorado State with the reputation of an offensive whiz and motivational mastermind. But he isn’t a top-flight recruiter, and the lack of player development under Muschamp will cause Florida some headaches in 2015.

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Previews 2015: Auburn Tigers

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Previews 2015: Auburn Tigers

Auburn is probably the most puzzling team in the SEC heading into 2015. The Tigers return only 11 starters as a whole and are rebuilding the defense, but at the same time, several pundits have Auburn as a darkhorse national championship contender. What one thinks of Auburn basically breaks down to what one thinks of Gus Malzahn and his ability to continue to innovate on offense. Purely from an analytical standpoint, Auburn has very good overall talent, but there are pockets of weakness here and there. Auburn’s schedule could swing wildly, from as low as 7-5 to as many as 10 or 11 wins.

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Florida wrap-up: Tide’s growth, gameplan reason for success

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Florida wrap-up: Tide’s growth, gameplan reason for success

The last time Alabama fans witnessed something so dumbfounding inside the confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Josh Reed was involved and Nick Saban was wearing LSU colors.

That day – Nov. 3, 2001 to be exact – saw Reed catch 19 passes for 293 yards, and LSU quarterback Rohan Davey throw for 528 yards on 35 completions. After a time, the game itself almost became secondary to the Davey-to-Reed show, with fans of both teams essentially waiting to see what would happen next.

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Florida preview: Struggles with Kentucky belie Gators’ true talents

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Florida preview: Struggles with Kentucky belie Gators’ true talents

As the final few plays in Florida’s overtime win over Kentucky went by the boards, there were two schools of thought concerning the Gators. The first was that Will Muschamp needed to visit the nearest Laser Copy and start getting resumes ready; the second was that this Gators team, despite its struggles against Kentucky, still has enough talent to win any game on its schedule.

And, now that Florida refused to fold against Kentucky, you can add the adjective “resilient” to the mix.

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Previews 2014: Florida Gators

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Previews 2014: Florida Gators

Will Muschamp is fighting for his coaching life at Florida. If the Gators aren’t significantly more competitive than they’ve been the last three years, this will be the end of the line for the animated Muschamp. Unfortunately for him, if the Gators finish at the predicted 7-5 with losses to Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State, it probably won’t be enough. On top of that, this team is dealing with massive turnover and uncertainty at several key positions.

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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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