TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback John Brantley #12 of the Florida Gators falls to the ground after being pressured by the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
It was so efficient you might think Alabama hated football, and wanted less of it by turning a potentially competitive game into a suffocated and forgone conclusion. They might have hated it if they hated boredom. The only thing of any real consequence that happened in the second half was John Brantley getting the shit knocked out of him scrambling unsuccessfully for the first down marker. They might have hated it because those who excel at what they do hate easy things because they are boring and a waste of time.
This was both easy and boring.
Alabama looked at the Florida threat and barely broke a sweat Saturday night. I still have people who are telling me that Alabama can’t go 12-0 for the third straight consecutive regular season? So I’ll ask you: Who is going to beat this team? Nobody in college football is playing with as much talent, power, coaching, and attitude as the Crimson Tide right now. Again, look at the Alabama schedule and tell me who is going to beat them? Auburn is a candidate but that game is in Tuscaloosa.
"We’ve still got a lot of room to improve," Alabama safety Mark Barron said. "We didn’t play a perfect game. We played closer to the way we wanted to play, but it wasn’t perfect for us."
The Tide offense didn't score again. Its second-half mix on first-down plays was different. The Tide ran seven times and threw once. One of the runs was an 11-yard gain by McElroy when a pass was called on Alabama's first possession of the third quarter.
"The second half, we probably didn't play offense like we wanted to," Saban said. "We ended up on the field quite a bit defensively. Maybe we shut it down a little too early in the game."
Maybe not. Alabama led 24-3 at halftime against a team that it might meet again in the SEC championship game. Closing the playbook made sense.
The stars of this game were almost all on defense. Theodore's C.J. Mosley looked like he was back playing against Alma Bryant the way he was flying around the field and even scored a touchdown on his first interception. Courtney Upshaw had the best game for an Alabama defender since Marcell Dareus in last year's BCS national championship game. And Dareus finally played like the disruptive force he was expected to be this season.
The conventional wisdom was that Alabama would have to be beaten before the defense got some experience and settled down. But now the Crimson Tide is 5-0, and it's hard to image its remaining opponents seeing any relief.