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The Road to 15 continues, a look at Alabama’s remaining schedule


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A look at Bama’s remaining schedule...

A look at Bama’s remaining schedule...
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Thus far, the juggernaut that is the Alabama Crimson Tide football team is looking every bit the part of the No. 1-squad in the nation. More to the point, it is now looking more and more like coach Nick Saban’s monsters should have scheduled the Miami Dolphins or Cleveland Browns of the NFL instead of such cupcakes as Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky (although the Hilltoppers of WKU did beat the Kentucky this season, that is more of a black mark on the Wildcats than anything).

At this point, the schedule cannot hurry up and play itself out quickly enough for ‘Bama fans.

Before the games, let’s take a look at some of the numbers, shall we?

Bama trounced Western Kentucky in Week 2 to the tune of 35-0 in what had been expected to be a blowout. Led by running back Eddie Lacy’s three scores in a mere 12 carries, Alabama’s Week 3, 52-0 lambasting of Arkansas has come to be known as the Great Hog Slaughter of 2012. That’s always fun, of course, and a Week 4, 40-7 win over Florida Atlantic saw the Tide roll the program’s shutout streak to an amazing 192 minutes and 25 seconds.

FAU’s late score ended the program’s bid at three-straight shutouts since Bear Bryant’s unbeaten 1966 squad.

Although the streak had to end, if the sheer dominance doesn’t put a smile on your face (not to mention some bragging rights around the office) then you had better head on over to Bryant-Denny Stadium and start drinking beers and barbequing with 100,00-plus ‘Bama brethren and get in the action.

If the numbers do make you smile – and who isn’t happy with a 5-0 mark? – but at the same time perhaps a little anxious, or maybe a little restless for the remainder of the season, fear not.

Simply look ahead at the remainder of the schedule, shake off that bye week rust, and break into a grin.

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Time to welcome the "Third Tigers"

Time to welcome the "Third Tigers"
Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

Fully rested and nicely healed-up, Alabama will once again put its legendary talent and depth to the test when it heads over to Columbia, Missouri to take on SEC newcomers, the Mizzou Tigers.

Yes, they are the third Tigers to enter the conference after LSU and Auburn, and yes, they may possibly be the least talented of the trifecta – although Auburn could give them a run for their money in terms of futility, another fun tidbit to the 2012 season that should make ‘Bama Nation happy.

Injury-prone starting quarterback James Franklin looked a lot like the multi-dimensional weapon that had been advertised through his team’s first three games, all wins, before running into the wall that is the modern SEC schedule. Mizzou has gone 0-3 in their new conference, receiving rude welcomes from Georgia, South Carolina and even Vanderbilt most recently.

Despite not allowing Vanderbilt to gain a first down until late in the second quarter, the "Third Tigers" (as they shall henceforth be termed, why not?) still managed to lose 19-15, with Mr. Franklin missing most of the contest with a knee issue. This after missing the Georgia contest with a shoulder problem.

After facing the Crimson Tide, poor Franklin and Co. are going to wish they had just chilled out and run up the score in the shootout-crazy conference that is the Big 12.

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The beef of the SEC schedule

The beef of the SEC schedule
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

After heading to Missouri to hopefully hand the "Third Tigers" their fourth SEC loss in as many tries, up next is Tennessee, No. 19 Mississippi State, No. 9 LSU and No. 22 Texas A&M.

First of all, yes, Mississippi State is still ranked. Just one more thing to make the Big Ten feel embarrassed. Mississippi State is ranked. Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin, we’d look in your direction if we weren’t having so much fun at No. 1 ourselves.

But I digress.

Tennessee has lost a few games, but it is no slouch, nor is coach Derek Dooley’s team unfamiliar with the big stage.

Performing in the second half of those games? That’s a different story altogether, especially after blowing a halftime lead to Florida at home and giving up 51 points at Georgia in losing both SEC contests.

Should the Tide come out of the Mizzou, Mississippi State (I just really like spelling out M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I in my head before typing it out) and Tennessee unscathed, a presumably really ticked-off LSU hosts ‘Bama in a rematch of last season’s BCS National Championship game.

LSU was exposed at Florida, only scoring two field goals and giving up 112 second-half rushing yards to Gators running back Mike Gillislee in UF’s 14-6 victory. That by no means should make anyone in ‘Bama Nation feel comfortable.

But it should make them feel good. Who likes seeing Les Miles winning games? Not this guy.

After that grudge match (by then LSU may have suffered another defeat or three) Nick Saban should be licking his chops to put redshirt freshman sensation Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M back into his place. After losing to Florida in his first game as a collegian, 20-17, Manziel has been a superstar, putting up straight stupid numbers, including a school-record 453 passing yards in the program’s first SEC win – yes, it was against Arkansas, admittedly.

All-in-all, looks like quite a bit of must-see TV, wouldn’t you agree?

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The Iron Bowl is back

The Iron Bowl is back
Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

After taking on a ranked opponent over three straight weeks, the Tide’s regular season winds on down with home dates against the great state of Western Carolina and the third set of Tigers on their SEC schedule.

Seriously, should the NCAA just hand over school’s naming rights to Nike and just see what happens? Unique mainstays like 'Crimson Tide' or 'Gators' could stay, but all these 'Tigers'? Oh my!

The Tide finishes out the regular season against the Auburn Tigers, and depending on how badly ‘Bama beats down their in-state rivals will probably dictate whether or not Auburn coach Gene Chizik keeps his job.

But that’s not all folks…

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SEC Championship, anyone?

SEC Championship, anyone?
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

SEC Championship game, anyone? If Alabama takes care of Alabama we will all be storming "Hotlanta" come the first weekend in December.

Roll Tide Roll. Road to 15.

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Keep Rollin’ >> Alabama’s top five areas of improvement, nitpicking the Tide

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