The Alabama Crimson Tide cleared another hurdle en route to a third straight BCS National Championship on Saturday night. The Tide beat its Southeastern Conference Western Division rival, the LSU Tigers, 38-17 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama got a strong defensive effort in the game, holding LSU to 293 yards, including only 52 yards on the ground.
The Tide offense began clicking in the second half to blow the game open. Quarterback A.J. McCarron led the Tide with three touchdown passes, and running back T.J. Yeldon added two scores on the ground.
Despite a nice win on Saturday, the Tide are not out of the woods yet. Three regular season games remain, and, if things go well, an SEC Championship Game would also be on the slate. Alabama visits the Mississippi State Bulldogs next week, followed by a home game against Chattanooga and a trip to the Plains to visit the Auburn Tigers for the Iron Bowl.
Should Alabama get through that stretch, they would likely face the Missouri Tigers or the South Carolina Gamecocks in the SEC Championship Game. That means Alabama could face two more Top 10 teams (Auburn and Missouri) before the bowl season.
Some experts have said that the Tide’s 2013 schedule has been weak, but if they can get past Auburn and Missouri or South Carolina, Alabama would have beaten five teams that have been ranked this season, including four teams that have made an appearance in the Top 10.
Getting past LSU on Saturday was a big step for Alabama, but they face a number of challenges down the stretch before they may get a chance for a third straight national title.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.