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

Auburn preview: Alabama gets its toughest test where it least wants to see it

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Auburn preview: Alabama gets its toughest test where it least wants to see it

If there has been one thing regarding SEC football that seems out of place in this era of Nick Saban’s domination at Alabama, it’s been that Auburn has not only survived in Alabama’s shadow, but thrived.

Auburn has won a national title (2010), played for it a second time (2013), and if Auburn beats Alabama this week and Georgia a second time in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers seem all but assured of representing the SEC as a two-loss hopeful in this year’s final four.

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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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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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Texas A&M wrap-up: Win holds some positives, but only if Alabama learns from the negatives

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Texas A&M wrap-up: Win holds some positives, but only if Alabama learns from the negatives

Alabama football is about competing for national championships, not just having solid seasons. For teams that aspire to the level of “good,” a win like Alabama’s 27-19 triumph over Texas A&M would be something to brag about.
For Alabama, this was a step backward, maybe more.

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2017 Previews: Alabama Crimson Tide

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2017 Previews: Alabama Crimson Tide

Defeated in the College Football National Championship Game in January, Alabama suddenly finds itself in uncharted territory: trying to avenge a loss in a trophy contest. It doesn’t happen often in Tuscaloosa. If the 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide intends to exact revenge for its defeat, it will have to do so with serious depth questions on the defensive line, an unknown quantity at placekicker, and an offensive line that has been erratic and perhaps even underachieving for several years.

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Post-mortem: Bama ended up mostly meeting expectations

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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.

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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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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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