The Alabama Crimson Tide took care of business on Saturday, beating Chattanooga 49-0 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. While the win was a mere formality, it was the final step in setting up next week’s Iron Bowl matchup against the Auburn Tigers.
The Tide could not be blamed for looking ahead to next week, with such a large game looming and while facing an FCS opponent. It showed at times during the Chattanooga win, as the Tide were not as sharp as they have been at times this season. Alabama led only 7-0 after the first quarter before getting things going. Alabama’s talent level allowed them to bring less than their best and still win.
Now, Alabama can begin its focus on arch rival Auburn. The game, which is Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, holds many implications. The winner will claim the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division, as well as a bid in the SEC Championship Game. Should Alabama or Auburn win that game, they would definitely make the BCS Championship Game (if it’s Alabama) or have a really good shot at making it (if it’s Auburn).
There have been many great players and many great teams in the histories of Alabama and Auburn football, but there may never have been an Iron Bowl that will mean as much as the game on Saturday. These are the last two schools to win BCS National titles (Auburn in 2010 and Alabama in 2011 and 2012), and the winner of this year’s contest could be on the way to adding another trophy to the case.
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.