Last week while Georgia coach Mark Richt was coming up with clever things to say to the press, Saban was working on his game plan. While Knowshon was trying on his new black jersey, the 'Bama defense was watching film. In Athens on Saturday, it was pretty clear that the only thing that had been blacked out was UGA's offense.
Alabama jumped out to a 31-0 point half-time lead. While Georgia put a dent in that lead in the fourth quarter, the outcome was all but certain by then.
Alabama's much-maligned quarterback, John Parker Wilson, didn't do anything flashy, but he did go 13/16 for 205 yards and touchdown. He managed the game as well as any signal caller has for the Tide in recent memory. He was efficient, accurate, and didn't make bad decisions.
On the other side of the ball, Georgia's Stafford did not have his best game. While he ended up throwing for nearly 300 yards, he was continuously throwing the ball into tight spots -- double coverage, tightly-covered receivers with safety help, and worst of all, tightly-covered receivers in double coverage with safety help. In truth, Stafford is extremely lucky that he only threw one interception.
In the running game, the Heisman-hyped Knowshon Moreno managed a paltry 34 yards rushing while 3 different Alabama backs found the end zone on the ground.
At the end of the day, the only phase of the game that Georgia won was special teams. They recovered an onside kick, blocked a punt, and ran another one back for a touchdown. These plays are the reason that the final score ended up being 41-30 rather than 55-15.
It was a dominating and impressive win by Alabama.
Where do the teams go from here? SI.com's Andy Staples hints that this may be the end of Georgia's BCS title hopes. Which, if I may be frank, is nonsense. A one-loss, conference champion Georgia team could easily go on to the BCS title game. Who would go instead? USC? Penn State? The challenge, however, is winning the rest of the games. After a weekend of mostly lackluster SEC games, that feat is looking much more attainable.
There will be #1 votes in the polls on Monday for Saban's Tide, there will be talk of conference and national championship contention. There will be a collective glow around the fan base. By Tuesday that glow will be joy rather than alcohol. Probably. That said, like Georgia, the Tide has a long path ahead of them. Alabama simply cannot sustain injuries right now. Having an offensive lineman go down right now would turn what looks like a 10-win season into a battle for a respectable bowl game. The team is also extremely young, and a hallmark of young, talented players is winning games that they're not expected to and losing games that they're not expected to.
For everyone else, your best bet is to just avoid Alabama fans for a few weeks. No, really. As an Alabama alumnus myself, I'm the first to admit that, as a group, 'Bama fans had been fever-pitch obnoxious before Saturday's drubbing of a talented Georgia team and it's only going to get worse. After the decade that Tide faithful have endured, however, a little gloating is well-deserved.