TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- OK, so the question has to be asked: Can anyone stop Alabama?
Some of you might laugh at such a question, but after a sloppy offensive showing marked by questionable offensive calls by the all-knowing Lane Kiffin turned into utter domination of No. 6 Texas A&M on Saturday, we have to seriously consider if there is a team left in college football that can stop Alabama ... that's not named Alabama.
With how inept Alabama looked the closer it got to A&M's end zone in the first half, this felt like the perfect time to pounce. The Aggies even went ahead 14-13 right after intermission -- the first time Alabama relinquished a lead all season -- before turning around and letting the Crimson Tide march 77 yards on 14 plays. The Aggies helped Alabama with a foolish roughing-the-passer penalty by Shaan Washington, but Alabama just rolled from there, with six plays of 5 yards or more before Calvin Ridley's 4-yard, go-ahead touchdown catch to make it 20-14.
After that, the rust flaked away, and Alabama just continued to pummel the Aggies into submission on a cool afternoon which turned into evening inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. One felt that if the Aggies were going to stop the monster that is Alabama, that would have been the drive on which to do it, because Alabama went on to score touchdowns on two of its next three possessions to put this one away and finish off a 33-14 victory.
The defense, led by beastly defensive end Jonathan Allen -- who constantly sliced through A&M's offensive line like a knife through warm butter and extended Alabama's nonoffensive touchdown streak to 10 games -- did its part with its own And1 mixtape of ferocious hits and two scintillating takeaways. It held an A&M team that hit at least 200 yards in every half this season to fewer than 300 total yards and registered five sacks against dual-threat QB Trevor Knight.
But in the defense's shadow was quarterback Jalen Hurts finally showing us his true freshman side, with overthrows, underthrows and the pure confusion he showed on some plays. There was Kiffin calling six consecutive passing plays on Alabama's first drive of the third quarter before wising up with a run game which produced 42 yards on seven of the drive's final nine plays. The warning signs were everywhere, and still, Alabama prevailed in dominant fashion because this team is built to win even when its quarterback reverts to freshman form and the playcalling is crippling.
Hey, listen, no one's perfect. While Alabama's record remains pristine, the Tide truck transporting this dominant football team has a couple of blemishes and makes a few funny noises on some wide turns. But all it needs is a couple of slaps on the hood and it's back to chugging up hills with ease.
And unfortunately for Alabama's next remaining opponents -- hey, LSU -- the Tide gets a bye week now to regroup, heal and tidy things up. According to ESPN's Football Power Index, Alabama currently has a 52 percent chance to win out, which sounds disrespectful to a team that played this well Saturday without actually playing its best against arguably the best team it'll see in the SEC all season.
So Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan, Washington and Louisville, maybe you're America's only hopes. However, we won't fault you if you aren't.