During the BCS Era, there seems to be talk every year of teams needing style points to move up in the standings. This usually involves blowing out an opponent to make a victory look even better. Some teams have subscribed to this method, scoring early and often against an overmatched opponent. However, some of those teams seem to come up short when they face a tougher opponent in a big game.
Then, there is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban and his team have never been big believers in style points. Saban thinks the biggest impression you can make on voters each week is to win. And win they do. The two-time defending national champions take a business-like attitude into each game, and they almost never accumulate style points.
Such was the case once again on Saturday night as Alabama beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 20-7 in Starkville. It was certainly not the best game that Alabama has played this season, but they went on the road, in the conference, inside the division and won.
A.J. McCarron, perhaps the poster boy for the anti-style points sentiment, was good enough on Saturday night for the Tide. He threw a pair of touchdowns, but also had a pair of interceptions. But he won.
T.J. Yeldon had a big game on the ground, with 160 yards rushing, but he did not score a touchdown. It didn’t matter, because Yeldon helped the Tide control the game and the clock.
The constant through Alabama’s string of success has been its defense, which was stellar again on Saturday. The Tide allowed just 197 yards of total offense in the game, and Mississippi State’s only touchdown came on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
Like its coach, Alabama does what it needs to do to win, and the formula is obviously working for them.
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.