A rolling tide, a cresting wave: Bryant-Denny will never be the same

Sometime close to the moment I snapped this picture a thought occurred to me. There will never be this many people at an Iron Bowl again. Next year’s game is in Auburn, where the stadium capacity is around 87,000. By the time it returns to Tuscaloosa, Bryant-Denny will be in the middle of a renovation that will add more bells and whistles and expensive hangouts for those with the cash and inclination to enjoy such.
Nov 24, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) scrambles up the field against Auburn Tigers defensive back Noah Igbinoghene (4) during the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn wrap-up: Necessary or not, Bama makes its statement

Auburn's strategy was obviously to survive the Alabama first-half storm, keep the game close, then do something heroic in the second half. Such a strategy, though, oversamples early-season results and fails to account for the Alabama of the recent. Alabama may have started the year running up huge numbers and then sitting on the leads, which led to some artificial second-half statistics that implied the Tide couldn't play after the half. These days? Ask LSU. Ask The Citadel. And now, ask Auburn.

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Jan 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Jarrett Stidham (8) throws a pass against the Central Florida Knights in the first quarter in the 2018 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn preview: Tigers will be tough, but upset chances are low

Auburn has a solid quarterback, but not one that would threaten to take over a game against a secondary many believe to be elite. The game isn't in Auburn, where weirdness is born, fertilized and cultivated into something so bizarre it begins to appear as if it should have been scripted by William S. Burroughs. And Alabama, most certainly, doesn't have an explosiveness problem. The Tide has been as combustible as a sack of nitroglycerin in 2018.
Nov 3, 2018; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban yells at Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) after having to call a time out during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Auburn

This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.
Jul 19, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn talks to the media during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Preview and Predictions: Week 13

This week, it's Rivalry Week, featuring much-harder calls up and down the list. Alabama-Auburn is obviously the biggest, but LSU-Texas A&M has some potential and even Georgia-Georgia Tech isn't an automatic.
Nov 17, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Anfernee Jennings (33) against Citadel Bulldogs running back Brandon Rainey (16) during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The Citadel wrap-up: Yeah, it’s a win, but …

We've seen this movie before. Alabama schedules a triple-option team in the Week 12 slot, gives up a bunch of rushing yards, gets the TV talking heads all atwitter about sudden vulnerability against the run, and then Nick Saban has what he needs to motivate his defense for the Auburn game the following week.
Nov 3, 2018; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban yells at Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) after having to call a time out during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Citadel preview: Tide’s goals are to limit injuries, exposure

Games against teams like The Citadel have become a necessary evil in top-level college football. Top teams can't play challenging games every week, because football is an emotional sport at the college level, the repercussions of a loss are too severe, and sometimes, the starters just need a break.
Nov 10, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Osirus Mitchell (87) gets body slammed by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Patrick Surtain II (2) and linebacker Mack Wilson (30) during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. The Citadel

his is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.
SEC Helmet - Photo: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Preview and Predictions: Week 12

Kentucky going back to being Kentucky cost the Predictions Dept. a perfect record in Week 11. This week, it's mostly a bunch of freebies, with some B-level SEC games mixed in. Most of the big-dog games will wait for Week 13.

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