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Spring practice: 10 positions, 10 questions

Spring practice: 10 positions, 10 questions

Alabama’s first spring practice is in the books. Given the way the 2018 season ended, there will probably be greater fan scrutiny on 2019 spring practices than in recent years.

Here’s our look at 10 key positions headed into spring, which could see more shuffling of personnel than expected given the turnover in position assistant jobs and the new perspective first-year assistants might bring to their evaluations.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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LSU wrap-up: Bama dominates in every way in thrashing of Tigers

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LSU wrap-up: Bama dominates in every way in thrashing of Tigers

Alabama came into this game with no question marks on offense. It displayed no question marks on defense in this game, either. As long as kickers aren’t involved, this looks like a team without a weakness.

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Arkansas wrap-up: Bama wins big, but leaves for home with lots to fix

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Arkansas wrap-up: Bama wins big, but leaves for home with lots to fix

One of the great challenges of watching the 2018 Alabama football team play is convincing people that when the offense, directed by Tua Tagovailoa, is capable of scoring points at will, there remain significant areas of concern that could affect Bama’s march back to the college football title game.

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Louisiana Preview: Ragin’ Cajuns are revamping, but not yet winning

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Louisiana Preview: Ragin’ Cajuns are revamping, but not yet winning

We’re going to analyze this game as we always do, but we’re not going to spend a terribly large amount of time on doing so, because it’s almost superfluous. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 1-2, with a win over Grambling in its opener, and then two disappointing losses. Mississippi State poleaxed Louisiana in Week 2, and then Coastal Carolina eeked out a 2-point win last week. A bowl bid looks unlikely. Louisiana will not win this game.

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Arkansas State Wrap-up: Bama Wins Big, But Questions Remain

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Arkansas State Wrap-up: Bama Wins Big, But Questions Remain

One of the challenges of evaluating Alabama wins in Weeks 2 and 3 during Nick Saban’s tenure is the tendency to oversell shortcomings that appear to pop up during those two games. For whatever reason, Alabama frequently looks like a good-but-not-great team in those weeks after beating good non-conference teams in the opener.

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Previews 2018: Alabama Crimson Tide

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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.

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Georgia wrap-up: Saban’s courage to make a tough call nets him a sixth title

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Georgia wrap-up: Saban’s courage to make a tough call nets him a sixth title

If coaches are granted that kind of freedom after just one title, imagine the length of leash there is for Nick Saban, now winner of six titles. For the second time in his coaching career, he now finds himself in the rarefied air once inhabited by Paul “Bear” Bryant, the first time of course being when he took the job in Tuscaloosa in the first place.

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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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