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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 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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SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

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SECCG wrap-up: Bama keeps destroying one-dimensional teams

Alabama’s resounding victory over Florida on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game did several things: It extended Alabama’s win streak to 25 games, its SEC championship strength to 3 years and ended any speculation of what the College Football Playoff committee might do in the event the Crimson Tide lost this game.

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SECCG preview: Hobbled Gators are living on a prayer offensively

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SECCG preview: Hobbled Gators are living on a prayer offensively

There is a lot of familiarity between these two teams, thanks mostly to Florida hiring former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain as head coach, who subsequently attracted former Bama staffers Doug Nussmeier, Geoff Collins and Chris Rumph. The end result is that Alabama will have a hard time surprising Florida, and with the Gators’ defense a tough customer, expect this one to be close at least until the final quarter. Alabama will need to force Florida to make mistakes in order to avoid a low-scoring stalemate.

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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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UTC preview: Mocs a quality FCS team, but no match for Bama

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UTC preview: Mocs a quality FCS team, but no match for Bama

Chattanooga is 8-2 and a respected offensive and defensive force in Division-IAA’s Southern Conference, and serve as a decent analog for Week 13 opponent Auburn. This is a talented offensive team with good balance, good coaching and the desire to make a name for itself.

But Alabama is the top-ranked team in the country for a reason. The talent differential between these two teams is mighty. Here’s a preview of what to expect when Chattanooga comes to town Saturday night to face the Crimson Tide.

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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 preview: Bama will see a familiar face in battle for SEC West

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Texas A&M preview: Bama will see a familiar face in battle for SEC West

If this turns out to be yet another national championship year for Alabama, fans and sportswriters alike have a game they like to play: Find the one or two teams Alabama will struggle with on its way to the playoffs. Texas A&M is playing better than anyone left on Alabama’s schedule, and while LSU is more talented (and perhaps Auburn is as well), the Aggies seem to have jelled behind new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, and the leadership of Knight.

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