Duke preview: Offensive turnover will limit Blue Devils’ upset chances

As word broke Tuesday that Alabama would basically be without its running back group for the first half of Saturday's game against the Duke Blue Devils, there was concern that David Cutcliffe's band of upset specialists might be able to do the impossible against the best team in college football.

Projected Depth Chart for Alabama vs. Duke

Disclaimer: This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and...
© Adam Hagy

SEC Preview and Predictions: Week 1

We got a head start on our Week 1 previews for 2019 thanks to the Florida Gators, who came very close to our predicted score of 27-23 over Miami, eventually winning 24-20 in a sloppy game. What follows is the rest of the SEC's first week, which is mostly a snoozefest compared to some recent seasons.
Jul 17, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Matt Luke addresses the media during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Previews 2019: Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas A&M

Ole Miss: If Matt Luke hadn't pulled a solid recruiting class out of his hat, we'd be talking about the long-term, impending hibernation of the Black Bear program. Miss State: The schedule isn't terrible, but there is quality near the top of it and if the Bulldogs are slow to advance with new players, it could be a long season; TAMU: Somehow, with this defense, Texas A&M is being picked by some analysts to upset Alabama and LSU and win the SEC West. We're not sure where that kind of logic is coming from
Jul 17, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris addresses the media during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Previews 2019: Arkansas, Auburn and LSU

Arkansas: Now the question is the same for Morris as it was for Bielema, Houston Nutt and countless others at Arkansas: Can he recruit well enough to be competitive in the cutthroat SEC West? Auburn: Basically, the fate of the 2019 Auburn Tigers comes down to the quarterback. LSU: With the exception of Alabama, no team in the SEC West looks better than this one, or at least not more complete.
Jul 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Barry Odom speaks to the media from the main stage during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Previews 2019: Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt

As usual, Missouri has a lot of talent in some places and not nearly enough in others; Much of the Gamecocks' immediate future rides on the right shoulder of Jake Bentley, but he'll need to get more consistent if South Carolina wants to contend; There may not be a more dire and desperate situation than the one at Tennessee. Once one of the SEC's bedrock powers, the Volunteers have fallen into a consistent state of being an also-ran; The Commodores have made a habit of punching above their weight, and they'll need to do it again to avoid a losing season.
Jul 17, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen addresses the media during SEC football media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Previews 2019: Florida, Georgia and Kentucky

The Gators are still learning how to be Gators again after several years of wandering in the wilderness; Georgia continues to get better thanks to Smart's recruiting prowess, but at some point, results are going to matter; This is a rebuilding year, and unfortunately for Kentucky, the Wildcats didn't bring in enough blue-chip playmakers in February to counter the losses to graduation and the NFL.
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban during the spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

Previews 2019: Alabama Crimson Tide

It's a new day for Alabama – somewhat. Nick Saban has brought back one-time, one-game offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to oversee what many believe will be a return to the offense of 2017, based more in power and vertical passing than last year's RPO-heavy, spread-forward attack. The RPOs will still be here, and so will the spread elements and the option elements, but Alabama football's identity is tough defense and a downhill running game. It wasn't lost on Saban that Clemson took the physical fight to Alabama in the College Football Championship – and won.
Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Fans hold an SEC banner in the SEC championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Previews 2019: Rating the Units

As the number of expert (and not-so-expert) opinions available on the internet has exploded over the past 20 years, what has been lacking in many of those prognostications is objective data of any sort. While ranking the strength of all position units at this point in the preseason demands some degree of subjective judgment, TideFans.com continues to do its best to add some hard numbers to the mix.
Jan 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney congratulates Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban following the 45-40 victory in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

TideFans.com/NARCAS Top 25 and SEC Rankings

Clemson: There's no longer a question about the program; now it's just a matter of replacing pieces; Alabama: The offense will be dynamic; the defense is rebuilding. We're still not sure what this team is.

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