Alabama claimed the top spot in the initial BCS standings for the first time in school history.
With Alabama holding down the No. 1 spot in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls for a majority of the season, it's no surprise that the Tide earned the top spot in the initial BCS rankings released tonight.
The Crimson Tide—whose 0.9761 BCS average is nearly seven percentage points better than No. 2 Florida—have been dominant, winning their six games this season by an average of 33 points per contest.
With the distinction of being deemed the top team in the country by the BCS, Nick Saban’s club once again controls its own destiny in the race to play for the national title.
What else should Tide fans know about their club’s spot in the BCS?
Here is everything you need to know in this complete breakdown of Alabama’s place in the initial BCS rankings.
Alabama has run through a schedule that has not been as tough as it appeared to be, and it's been done with relative ease.
It is hard to find fault or flaws with this edition of the Crimson Tide, especially considering that they have led every game by at least 20 points at halftime.
The Tide's 33-14 win over Ole Miss has been the game where the team has struggled the most, but the Rebels were never a serious threat to pull the upset.
With Michigan and Arkansas both ranked in the preseason Top 10, Alabama was supposed to get two tough tests within the first three weeks.
Considering that Western Kentucky is 5-1 and played hard in its 35-0 loss to the Tide in Week 2, the Hilltoppers could be the toughest opponent Alabama has played.
However, taking into account the buildup to the season-opening matchup against preseason Big Ten favorite Michigan, Alabama’s 41-14 demolition of the Wolverines has been the team’s most impressive victory this season.
The Tide claimed the No. 1 spot thanks to an efficient and balanced offense led by quarterback A.J. McCarron and a defense that ranks among the top five nationally in the four major defensive categories.
After coming in at No. 2 in the initial BCS standings in three of the last four seasons, 2012 marks the first time that Alabama has earned the top spot in BCS era.
Considering how dominant the Tide have looked thus far, pundits across the nation have pegged Saban’s club as the best team in the country since its season-opening destruction of Michigan.
The only team that comes close to challenging the Tide’s body of work to date is No. 3 Oregon.
However, the defending national champions have been more consistent than the Ducks, and they deserve the distinction of being dubbed the top-ranked squad to this point.
Alabama is entering the meat of its SEC schedule beginning with this weekend’s trip to Knoxville to face rival Tennessee.
One week later, a potential matchup of unbeatens could take place in Bryant-Denny Stadium when Mississippi State visits Tuscaloosa.
Here is the rest of Alabama’s 2012 schedule.
Oct. 20 at Tennessee
Oct. 27 Mississippi State
Nov. 3 at LSU
Nov. 10 Texas A&M
Nov. 17 Western Carolina
Nov. 24 Auburn
If the Tide is able to win the SEC West, they would also play in the SEC title game against the Eastern Division champions on Dec. 1 in Atlanta.
While the aforementioned game with the Bulldogs will be a test, the battle with rival LSU in three weeks is clearly the Tide’s most daunting task remaining on their slate.
As the Tigers proved with this weekend’s win over No. 3 South Carolina, they are extremely tough to defeat in a night game in Death Valley.
Although Les Miles’ club is not the same juggernaut it was a year ago, they are still capable of rising up and knocking off the Tide in what should be another slugfest between two of the sport’s premier heavyweights.
Despite a roster that has its fair share of younger contributors, Alabama has the benefit of relying on a small group of upperclassmen that has been through the wars in the SEC and knows what it takes to win a national title.
McCarron has been the steadying force for the offense, while seniors like Damion Square, Nico Johnson and Robert Lester have provided leadership on the defensive side of the ball.
Plus, with Saban at the controls, this team has remained even-keeled and machine-like this season, and there is no reason to believe that will change moving forward.
With Alabama now officially sitting in the pole position in the BCS, the Tide is in control of their own destiny in the SEC and the national title race.
As they proved last season, a loss would not officially eliminate them from consideration for the BCS title game—although it is highly unlikely we see history repeat itself if that scenario plays out again this season.
Alabama has yet to be challenged this season, but that will likely change with matchups against Mississippi State and LSU plus the potential showdown with an SEC East power in the conference title game.
However, when you combine the way Alabama has played with its championship experience, it would almost be a bigger shock if the Tide did not make it to the BCS title game for the third time in the last four seasons.
This team has everything in place to run the table, and I believe that the Tide will keep rolling all the way to Miami for the right to defend their national title.
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