New No. 1 Alabama looked like a machine in its 41-14 dismantling of Michigan in the Cowboys Classic, and No. 3 LSU handled North Texas by the same score in Baton Rouge, La.
This begs the question, are the two SEC monsters on a collision course to another "Game of the Century" on Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge?
Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Alabama certainly didn't appear fazed by the loss of six starters on defense. The Crimson Tide defense held a Michigan offense that averaged 405 yards per game in 2011 to just 269 on Saturday night, and proved the cliche that head coach Nick Saban doesn't just rebuild, he reloads.
LSU, meanwhile, jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the Mean Green, despite quarterback Zach Mettenberger missing one touchdown drive after being rocked by North Texas cornerback Hilbert Jackson.
The Tigers cruised down the stretch, and the final score isn't indicative of how dominating the Tigers were.
Mettenberger didn't have to stretch the field often, with running backs Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue both topping the century mark on the ground, but he had five completions for more than 15 yards.
That number will only increase as teams focus on the run.
With that said, it's a bit presumptive to write Nov. 3 down in ink after the first week of the season, but I'd consider writing it in pencil.
With apologies to USC and its No. 2 ranking, it's clear that these two teams are still a step above the rest of the pack in college football on Week 1. But there are still rocky waters for both of the SEC's juggernauts to navigate before we can even consider their matchup on Nov. 3 as the next incarnation of the "Game of the Century."
Alabama has to travel to Arkansas in two weeks and visit a suddenly dangerous Tennessee team in Knoxville on Oct. 20. Both of those offenses are capable of giving the Crimson Tide fits. In Arkansas' case, getting the Crimson Tide early in the season when some of the new starters are still settling in will be even more beneficial.
LSU has to run the gauntlet of at Florida, vs. South Carolina and at Texas A&M before taking a break the week before hosting Alabama. That's not easy for any team to navigate, regardless of its talent level.
Alabama and LSU both look like monsters again in 2012, and the first Saturday in November certainly looks like it could be the biggest day of the regular season for the second straight season. But let's not put the cart before the horse.
The SEC isn't just a two-team conference, even though the best two teams in the country current wear the SEC patch on their uniforms.
Let's let some of those teams give the Tide and the Tigers their best shots before we anoint the Alabama vs. LSU regular season matchup as a 2012 de facto national semifinal.
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