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Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

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.

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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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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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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Texas A&M recap: Questionable game plan helps sink Aggies, but Bama loses big as well

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Texas A&M recap: Questionable game plan helps sink Aggies, but Bama loses big as well

The end result is a Texas A&M team that came into this game against Alabama among the top 10 teams in the country in rushing, and mediocre in passing. Compared to recent Aggie teams, this kind of theoretical switcheroo was as unforeseen as a deer standing on the right-of-way of a Wilcox County highway after dark.

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Arkansas wrap-up: Composure in short supply as Bama piles up the points

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Arkansas wrap-up: Composure in short supply as Bama piles up the points

Alabama’s offense did a solid job against Arkansas, but not a superlative one. Any turnover total greater than zero is too many, and Alabama recorded three of them. But true freshman QB Jalen Hurts continued his ascension to stardom, and the Crimson Tide put together a solid running game even without Joshua Jacobs, who suffered some kind of hand or elbow injury early in the first quarter.

But defensively, Alabama lost its composure, and as a result, Arkansas QB Austin Allen played pitch-and-catch with his receivers despite spending as much time picking himself off the ground as he did actually throwing the football.

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KSU wrap-up: Bama beats the heat, Golden Flashes in 48-0 rout

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KSU wrap-up: Bama beats the heat, Golden Flashes in 48-0 rout

Alabama defeated a poor KSU team 48-0, running up a 41-0 halftime score before having mercy on Nick Saban’s alma mater. Alabama played four quarterbacks and several walk-ons made the participation chart, including a couple that made career debuts. But early in the game, Alabama had a harder time escaping the attention of team doctors than it did the Kent State defense’s grasp.

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Ole Miss recap: Nothing normal about Bama’s big win in Oxford

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Ole Miss recap: Nothing normal about Bama’s big win in Oxford

On a day when the list of people needing medical treatment for cramps probably included SEC replay official John Bible, Alabama snatched victory from the jaws of defeat before nearly handing it back.

For whatever reason, Ole Miss can struggle against teams much lesser than Alabama, but when the Crimson Tide comes to town (or when Ole Miss visits Tuscaloosa), the Rebels seem to be the one team in America that doesn’t wilt like yesterday’s daylily.

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Previews 2016: Alabama Crimson Tide

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Previews 2016: Alabama Crimson Tide

Defending national champions once again, Alabama looks even better on paper heading into 2016 than it did before the 2015 season started. But like last year, Alabama must replace key cogs in the machine, most notably quarterback, along with the core of its defense. Attrition that was heavy even by Alabama standards could play a factor in the team’s season outlook.

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