Admit it, you/we have been waiting for LSU to test the Tide all season. It wasn't your grass-eating grandfather's Tigers with two losses, but they were good enough.
Good enough to reawaken Alabama, which reawakened the season. The Tide are still No. 1 with a bullet -- through the hearts of those who think this championship run has bled out.
I'll admit, I had my doubts going into this game. I thought we'd win, but GOOD GRIEF. When you see a performance like that, it becomes really difficult to not preemptively crown them. Gotta finish.
Also, I thought this was pretty funny:
Goodness, even Phil Knight had switched sides. Two days after seeing his Ducks' championship hopes die, the Nike CEO was on the sidelines Saturday decked out in Alabama gear.
WE WANT (to be) BAMA
But even as the wins mount, the vogue thing to do with this Alabama team is to talk about everything it’s not.
It’s not as talented as the three teams that won national championships under Saban in 2009, 2011 and 2012. It’s not as laden with veteran leadership as some of Saban’s past teams, and it’s not a team that has played a killer schedule.
Matter of fact, Florida State probably gets the nod as the most talented team in the country right now. Stanford might be the most proven, and Baylor the most entertaining.
Even acknowledging my homerism, I just don't see how anyone can say this. There's no doubt in my mind that top to bottom, this team is more talented than the '09 team. It should be obvious just from a numbers standpoint. Saban had two killer recruiting classes at that point. Now every level of the depth chart is composed of a dynamite recruiting class. And all the fanfare for FSU is starting to make me look forward to taking them on...
T.J. Yeldon doesn't have to raise his voice. There's a perpetually serious look about him during games, a rage that smolders from behind his face mask. His is a silent sense of purpose, a will that rarely bubbles into words. The throat-slashing gesture he used against Texas A&M earlier in the season underscores his quiet intensity.
Alabama's starting running back didn't make a sound after stomping on the throat of LSU on Saturday night. He didn't speak with the media after running for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-17 victory that kept the top-ranked Crimson Tide undefeated and on track for a berth in the BCS title game. And why should he? His play did all the talking -- his ability to read blocks, stop on a dime and change direction. He took the offense on his back when it mattered most.
Yeldon was fantastic last night. I was surprised by Drake not getting more carries, honestly, given the success he was having. I suspect the "not fumble" down on the goal line (when he hit the ground and the ball came out) may have spooked the coaching staff. Regardless of the reason, I don't know how anyone can have doubts about T.J. after that performance.
On Saturday night in Alabama's 38-17 win over LSU on Saturday night, it was Yeldon serving as the most valuable player on the best team in the country. Yeldon was not only the center of Alabama's offense, but he was also its best defender.
Yeldon rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Tide churn out drives of 78, 80, 79, 71 and 78 yards during the game. Touchdown drives that took a total of 25 minutes and 13 seconds off the clock.
Drives that kept the LSU offense off the field.
You can't overstate the importance of those drives. Just absolute body blows in a phone booth... er... sorry. Too much Jesse Palmer on my tv lately, I guess.
After the game, he was asked if LSU was still on the same level as Alabama.
"I believe so," he said. "You could look at the score and think one thing, but if you watched the game you would know that if we didn't turn the ball over and made some smarter decisions in the third and fourth quarters, it would be a ball game."
0-3 in the last three meetings. That is all.
Tana Patrick was once expected to eventually make plays like this. He was a U.S. Army All-American in high school, the No. 5 inside linebacker in the country by Rivals.com, and the No. 4 player in Alabama.
That was a long time ago. Patrick, a redshirt senior, has been a career reserve at Alabama but made one of the most significant plays Saturday night against LSU.
Patrick's strip of LSU fullback J.C. Copeland as he headed toward the end zone prevented an early touchdown. What could have been a 14-3 deficit early for Alabama instead was just a 7-3 game.
Massive play by Tana. It's great to see a guy get his moment in the sun. I know his career path has been far from what he had envisioned, but he'll always that fantastic play.
Beckham and Landry, who entered Saturday's game with nearly 1,900 combined yards and 16 touchdowns, caught just three passes for 32 yards in a second half that was completely dominated by the Crimson Tide. The same openings they exploited in the first half -- starting with Landry's 45-yard catch on the Tigers' fifth play from scrimmage -- weren't there because cornerbacks Deion Belue and Cyrus Jones were simply playing better.
Landry and Beckham combined to finish with eight catches for 132 yards in their second-least productive game of the season. It marked just the second time in the past 11 games in which they didn't score at least one touchdown.
The fake wasn't originally called, but Alabama had to burn a timeout because Landon Collins wasn't on the field.
"We said if they put their defense back in there, we're going to run it," Saban said. "It was fourth-and-2 and I felt like we didn't want to give them the ball back. It was a big play in the game."
Nick Saban after the LSU game
Rammer Jammer after the LSU game