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Previews 2018: Alabama Crimson Tide

Previews 2018: Alabama Crimson Tide

The 2018 team needs to completely rebuild the back seven of the defense, but it’s a testament to Saban’s recruiting that despite having just two starters returning among the linebackers and defensive backs, every unit rates as “Very Good” with the potential to be much more than that. Offensively, Alabama must decide who it is and who it wants to be, as not only is there a full-blown quarterback controversy afoot, but also a significant change in offensive coordinator leadership.

Spring preview: For once, identity will be determined by who wins certain jobs

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Spring preview: For once, identity will be determined by who wins certain jobs

Alabama has multiple dichotomies in play. There is the quarterback battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, a contrast of styles between a quarterback ideally suited for a pro spread passing game and one suited for a spread-option style attack. There is new offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, whose background promises more success the more misdirection and spread elements are inplay, but then there’s new QB coach Dan Enos, who made his bones largely on the back of more traditional sets with play-action and a quarterback under center.

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Vanderbilt wrap-up: Alabama wishes they could all go like this

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Vanderbilt wrap-up: Alabama wishes they could all go like this

By the early stages of the second quarter, it was clear Vanderbilt wasn’t ready for Alabama’s prime time.

By the early stages of the fourth quarter, it was clear Vanderbilt either wasn’t ready for FBS-level football at all, or that Alabama truly is operating on a different plane of existence.

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Vanderbilt preview: Commodores sailing confidently after 3-0 start

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Vanderbilt preview: Commodores sailing confidently after 3-0 start

Until now, most of Vanderbilt’s big wins the last few years have come over transitional programs – either teams in the process of moving from one tier to another in terms of prestige and respect, or larger programs undergoing great change (see: Georgia, 2016). The most impressive wins of Derek Mason’s “good era” at Vandy are Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee in 2016.

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Colorado State wrap-up: Alabama won, but it didn’t impress

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Colorado State wrap-up: Alabama won, but it didn’t impress

As time ran down on Alabama’s 41-23 win over Colorado State, Nick Saban ordered his first team re-inserted into the game to run the clock out. It was a curious decision, but not accidental. Nothing Nick Saban does is accidental.

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A-Day Review: Not much has changed in 10 years

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A-Day Review: Not much has changed in 10 years

Saturday’s A-Day spring contest, the 10th of Nick Saban’s Bama career, was as much a time for reflection as it was an opportunity to look forward to the 2016 season.

Alabama didn’t pack out Bryant-Denny Stadium, but it did appear to reverse a trend of declining attendance, solidly packing the 60,000-seat lower bowl, most of the west upper decks, and scattering enough fans through the remaining three decks to lead the school to announce attendance at 76,212 – which may have been even a conservative estimate.

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Recruiting: Alabama’s 2016 class goes the blue-collar route

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Recruiting: Alabama’s 2016 class goes the blue-collar route

Alabama signed seven players who ranked a perfect 10.0 on TideFans.com/NARCAS’s 10-point scale, down from 11 a year ago. Alabama’s 25 signees averaged a rating of 9.79, a bit off last year’s 9.86, which tied for the highest-measured Alabama class in school history, along with the 2012 class. Alabama was able to maintain a high ranking nationally, relative to other top classes, in part due to the lack of concentration of the top available players at any one school.

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