FSU To Alabama: Keep Up

If you had one too many drinks at brunch and missed the first few minutes of FSU-NC State or Alabama-Tennessee, you missed all there was to see. Neither game was supposed to be close, but consider that Jameis Winston had 229 yards passing and three touchdowns at the end of the first quarter. The 'Noles went up 35-0, added another score in the second quarter, then put their feet up satisfied that late-game style points were unnecessary with a 42-0 lead at halftime.

That was true, but not by much considering the one team ahead of them in the BCS rankings, the almighty Alabama Crimson Tide, did virtually the same thing to the upstart Tennessee Vols. They went up 21-0 in the first quarter, but needed two scores in the second, including an 89-yard pick-six with 12 seconds left in the first half, to match FSU's first quarter output. 

As the commentator for the FSU game surmised, the question isn't whether Oregon is better than FSU for the No. 2 spot, but whether Alabama, or anyone, can slow down Winston and the 'Noles. 

Of course, the Ducks will have something to add to that conversation when they face UCLA tonight, but they'll need a huge victory to surpass FSU, let alone the Tide. 

Both teams finished with nearly identical scores, with the Tide closing out UT 45-10 as FSU finshed off the Wolfpack 48-17, slowing considerably following the first quarter onslaught. The main difference between the two is the same difference between Alabama and whoever they faced in the National Championship game recently: Pace.

The Tide refuse to adapt to the new era of quick-strike offenses, much to their success. Alabama's first option is the running game, opting to eat clock and force offenses to rush against their superior defense. That was their MO today, racking up 204 yards on the ground. T.J. Yeldon, next in line to the NFL out of the Alabama running back factory, finished off three drives with touchdowns.

Yeldon and tag-team partner Kenyan Drake will be the most important factors in a potential championship duel against FSU (or Oregon), should they beat LSU next week, Auburn in the Iron Bowl and win the SEC Championship. 

Though the BCS Trophy is surely getting bored in the state of Alabama, their style of play is the only one that has a chance of stopping the Winston express train.

If the Tide can't finish off their schedule without a loss, Winston seems destined to take a first-class ticket from the Heisman Trophy ceremony straight to the Pasadena to reclaim FSU's former glory.