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Clemson preview: On paper, this should be a defensive showcase

Mercer preview: Wounded Alabama hopes for a Mercer-ful respite before Auburn game

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Mercer preview: Wounded Alabama hopes for a Mercer-ful respite before Auburn game

Mercer, a school whose program lay dormant from 1942 to 2013, is a Southern Conference member of the former Division-IAA, now called FCS. The Bears are 5-5 in 2017, put a small scare into Auburn earlier in the year, and lost by just 1 point to Wofford, which now sits at 9-1 and leads the Southern Conference standings.

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MSU wrap-up: Hurts cementing legacy as a clutch QB

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MSU wrap-up: Hurts cementing legacy as a clutch QB

Alabama’s Jalen Hurts accounted for nearly 100 total yards on his own in the fourth quarter (and the total would have been more than 100, if college football didn’t take sack yardage down from rushing totals), led two touchdown drives and another drive that ended when Andy Pappanastos’ field goal attempt bounced off the left upright. More or less, Hurts did the same thing to Mississippi State that he did to Clemson in last year’s national championship game, except this time the defense held the opposition out of the end zone in the end.

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MSU preview: Bulldogs can be explosive, but can also self-destruct

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MSU preview: Bulldogs can be explosive, but can also self-destruct

Prior to Mississippi State’s 34-23 win over UMass last week, the Bulldogs hadn’t played a single game this year that didn’t end in a blowout.

The Bulldogs had six wins, the closest margin of which was 21 points in a thumping of Texas A&M. The Bulldogs also had two losses, which came by 28 and 39 points.

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LSU wrap-up: Bama’s victory may have been of the Pyrrhic variety

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LSU wrap-up: Bama’s victory may have been of the Pyrrhic variety

This game was war. It began with paratroopers jumping into Bryant-Denny Stadium to deliver the game ball. By the time the game got to the fourth quarter, Alabama was looking to dig trenches and hunker down.

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LSU Preview: Tigers hoping emotion will carry them against Tide

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LSU Preview: Tigers hoping emotion will carry them against Tide

For the most part, SEC fans have somewhat neglected the LSU Tiger team this season, choosing to focus on Alabama, Georgia, Auburn to a lesser extent, and the coaching carousel next.

Lost is actual discussion of how good LSU is. And there’s a reason for that: the hiring of Ed Orgeron as its head coach, first on an interim basis in 2016 and since as a permanent replacement for the erstwhile popular-yet-kooky Les Miles.

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Tennessee preview: It’s been a rocky year for UT, and not likely to get better this week

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Tennessee preview: It’s been a rocky year for UT, and not likely to get better this week

Somewhere this week, there’s a Tennessee fan wondering how Alabama is still in business – and also wondering why his own team barely is.

One of the perhaps-apocryphal stories of Alabama’s long walk through the woods circa 1993-2007 was that then-Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer told former Alabama RB Santonio Beard that Alabama “would be out of business in two years.”

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Arkansas preview: Hogs lack the horses to hang with Bama

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Arkansas preview: Hogs lack the horses to hang with Bama

Texas A&M had enough raw talent, moxie and sense of duty and loyalty to the head coach to make life interesting for Alabama last week.

Arkansas does not. Or, at least, it shouldn’t.

There’s not an easy way to talk about mismatches that occur within the borders of the conference without sounding condescending, but a cursory look at where certain teams fall in the five-year rolling average for recruiting rankings tells the story. In Texas A&M’s case, the Aggies have been in the top third of SEC classes most of those years. For Arkansas, getting out of the bottom third even one out of five times has be

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Ole Miss preview: Time for Alabama to figure this Rebel team out

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Ole Miss preview: Time for Alabama to figure this Rebel team out

Despite a victory over Ole Miss last year in Oxford, Nick Saban still uses the qualifier “two of the last three games” when discussing the Rebels and their ability to wreak havoc in games against Alabama.

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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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