TUSCALOOSA — Nick Saban only said he'd like students to stick around for all four quarters of Alabama's game against Tennessee on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The coach didn't promise to keep them awake, though.
Following a week where there might've been just as much talk concerning who is — or isn't — in the stands than about one of the Southeastern Conference's deepest rivalries, the “red team” put the stadium to sleep with its latest dominant performance, a 45-10 shellacking.
Call them what you will — the Vols went with the aforementioned moniker leading up to the matchup — but the Tide, in all phases of the game, were simply too much for a Tennessee team that came in hot off an upset of South Carolina.
Cross-referencing common opponents might be for the birds, but it's also pretty entertaining — even if only to us media folk. For what it's worth, top-ranked Alabama yielded 10 points while putting up 45 on Tennessee, not quite as flashy, but arguably as comparable to No. 2 Oregon's 59-14 outing versus the Vols.
The Tide now have two weeks to gear up for a much-hyped SEC West showdown with LSU. As long as the same cast of characters that starred in Saturday's taming of Tennessee — AJ McCarron, Kevin Norwood, Amari Cooper, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Landon Collins, Deion Belue, A'Shawn Robinson, Christion Jones and others all played supporting roles — I'm inclined to believe Alabama can take it to the Tigers, too.
Sure, LSU is on a whole different level than the Vols, but so too have the Tide ever since they escaped College Station with a close win. If Ole Miss is capable of stumping Les Miles and the Tigers, it only makes sense that Alabama can do the same, especially considering Saban will have two weeks to work his wizardry in the film room.
So will it be boil, boil, toil and trouble in the form of a blowout for LSU?
Then it'll be a knock-down, drag-out throwdown to the bitter end?
I wouldn't go that far, either.
Instead, expect at least a 10- to 14-point ballgame ultimately ending in the Tide's favor, just enough to keep the students in their seats for a full 60 minutes.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.