HURT: Citrus Bowl was beginning of Alabama’s way back to its standard

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“Most people think a 10-2 record is a good thing. That’s not our standard,” — Nick Saban  Let’s get that out of the way first, before any sort of analysis of Alabama’s 35-16 Citrus Bowl victory over Michigan, or its...

CECIL HURT: Let’s talk CFP team selections

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We’ve now determined that four is not the magic number. Neither is three, despite what Schoolhouse Rock taught us. Eight seems like far too many, six would include some pesky byes. Two might work but when we had two,...

CECIL HURT: Next eight days will tell us more about Alabama in the spring

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The final Tuscaloosa football practice of 2019 is over. The Alabama Crimson Tide is set to enjoy a rare holiday and depart for Orlando on the day after Christmas. The next time Nick Saban convenes a practice in this...

Early returns: SEC basketball not bad but not as strong so far

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  There is a week or so of non-conference basketball remaining before the Southeastern Conference shifts into league play but bowl games are likely to dominant the headlines for the next several days. So it’s as good a time as...

CECIL HURT: Not the worst Alabama sports season, but certainly not the best

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Many years ago, Esquire Magazine’s December issue was devoted to “Dubious Awards of the Year” and the current year — let’s say 1982 — would be proclaimed “The 29th Annual Worst Year Ever!” In most years, that was a sort...

CECIL HURT: SEC teams other than LSU turn the page

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The 2019 SEC season ended on Saturday with LSU as a deserving champion and Ole Miss as a bit of a headline-grabber. The SEC Championship Game had no drama. Ed Orgeron, Joe Burrow and Company pummeled Georgia and completed a...

CECIL HURT: Alabama fan guide for Championship Weekend

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For the first time in several college football seasons, Championship Weekend is here and Alabama doesn’t have a dog in the hunt. That doesn’t mean the Crimson Tide can’t be the cat in the tree, keeping an eye on the...

CECIL HURT: Alabama mistakes, some Auburn magic and the road ahead

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AUBURN Play the entire 2019 movie backward. See if you can find the point that led to the end — yes, there is a bowl game left but Saturday was the effective end of the standard season to which Alabama aspires. ...

CECIL HURT: Alabama needed this game to catch its breath

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There’s a long list of reasons not to like seeing major college football powers play teams from the Football Championship Sub-Division (FCS) — the matches are inherently unequal because of different scholarship numbers, the games are rarely competitive unless...

CECIL HURT: A story that was too short, with the bitterest ending

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There is no clear way to remove the sheer tragedy of the situation from the analysis. Alabama did not issue an immediate medical report, but several sources indicated a hip dislocation and fracture, an injury that would require far...
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