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Next Year’s Draft Haul Could Eclipse 2017 Numbers

Next Year’s Draft Haul Could Eclipse 2017 Numbers

Alabama wrapped up the 2017 NFL Draft in impressive fashion, as 10 Crimson Tide players found new homes. An 11th, wide receiver Gehrig Dieter, quickly signed a free-agent contract within an hour of the draft’s close.

By the time the 2018 class is in the books, the 2017 class could look rather ho-hum in comparison.

Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

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Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

Alabama mostly met expectations this year, in regards to what kind of team it put on the field. In respect to what it accomplished, Alabama probably exceeded expectations. TideFans.com projected Alabama to capture the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff (behind No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 Oklahoma and ahead of No. 4 Clemson), but with a regular-season loss to LSU in the mix. When LSU overreacted to an early losses to Wisconsin and Auburn, though, and fired Les Miles, the chances of LSU beating Alabama mostly evaporated.

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Clemson wrap-up: Tide loses a heartbreaker on 2 controversial TDs

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Clemson wrap-up: Tide loses a heartbreaker on 2 controversial TDs

Alabama’s bid to win a second straight national championship fell short thanks to a combination of injuries, a lack of depth on its defensive line that finally came to a head and the struggles of a true freshman quarterback who seemed to run out of gas a bit down the season’s stretch.

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Clemson preview: Tigers look for revenge, Tide looks for continuity

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Clemson preview: Tigers look for revenge, Tide looks for continuity

The same dynamic exists this year as last: Clemson will use a talented dual-threat quarterback to trigger an offense that has its roots in spread football and tinted by pro-set alterations, while Alabama will base from a multiple, pro-style attack that has been dabbling with the spread.

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Washington recap: Ugly win sends Bama to title game

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Washington recap: Ugly win sends Bama to title game

Alabama will get the winner of Ohio State-Clemson next, which will provide someone a rematch opportunity. If Clemson is the opponent, Alabama will need to figure out how to get better production in the passing game. The Tigers are not nearly as easy to shut down offensively as was Washington, thanks to Deshaun Watson’s higher-quality skill set.

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Washington preview: Huskies’ offense could turn up the pressure on Bama

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Washington preview: Huskies’ offense could turn up the pressure on Bama

Despite taking off the better part of the month, Alabama comes into this game still beaten up from the SEC gauntlet, with two key defensive starters out and several other important team cogs gimped in varying degrees. It would surprise few people outside the circle of Alabama diehards if the Crimson Tide got a tougher game from the Huskies than it was expecting.

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Auburn preview: Tiger defense will keep AU in it

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Auburn preview: Tiger defense will keep AU in it

Depending on how deep one’s crimson blood runs, news Monday that initial Las Vegas lines were coalescing around an 18-point spread in Alabama’s favor could either be considered easy money, or a sucker’s bet.

Analysis of the two teams suggests the latter, especially if Alabama’s earlier game against LSU this season is any indication. Alabama and Auburn will meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium – where Alabama has been effective lately, but not historically, against Auburn – but the key issue is not the venue, but the strength of an Auburn defensive line that is a clear step above the LSU line that gave Alabama fits earlier this month.

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MSU preview: Suddenly, Bulldogs have everyone’s attention

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MSU preview: Suddenly, Bulldogs have everyone’s attention

Alabama opened as a four-touchdown favorite in this game, and with the kickoff at 11 a.m., Mississippi State is hamstrung even further as the road team. Still, Texas A&M was ranked No. 4 in the country, and the Bulldogs slayed them. Alabama can’t treat this game as part one of a two-part walkover leading up to its game against Auburn.

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LSU wrap-up: Alabama goes back to its future to beat Tigers

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LSU wrap-up: Alabama goes back to its future to beat Tigers

Since Nick Saban took over at Alabama, most of the other 13 SEC teams have, at one time or another, suffered the sensation of Saban’s boot squarely in their butt. Only one of those teams has more of less been able to keep such an occurrence (and thus, a blowout loss to the Tide) at bay – LSU, Saban’s former home.

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LSU preview: Tide must quell rejuvenated Tigers’ emotions

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LSU preview: Tide must quell rejuvenated Tigers’ emotions

As the schedule enters November, LSU finds itself under an interim head coach, Ed Orgeron, a different offensive identity, a new quarterback and right in the thick of the race for the SEC West. In fact, if LSU beats Alabama Saturday, the Tigers control their own destiny in the West and would go to Atlanta if they won out.

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