Alabama vs. Tennessee: The Crimson Tide Finally Wake Up and Put Old Smokey Down

Damon YoungCorrespondent IIOctober 23, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22:  Kenny Bell #7 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers with Marquis Maze #4 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Worried. Uneasy. Distraught.

While no Alabama fan will admit to those feelings, in the very least there had to be an overwhelming sense of annoyance that the Tennessee Volunteers, 30-point underdogs mind you, somehow managed a way to be locked 6-6 with Alabama at the half.

At no point did this game feel like the outcome was in question.

That may sound a bit presumptuous, but it really did feel that it was only a matter of time before the Crimson Tide rose from their slumber and did what it needed to do.

After watching LSU slaughter Auburn 45-10, the Tide nation wanted their team to keep step and they eventually did.

It's the second time this season that a team from Tennessee has hung tough with Alabama for 30 minutes. And for the second time, Alabama came out and extinguished that tiny flame of hope with decisive scoring drives and defensive dominance.

Just discussing the Tennessee game feels like a colossal waste of time with November 5th looming.

The most notable thing for me was that Trent Richardson's 100-yard game streak was snapped at six, keeping him tied with Alabama great Shaun Alexander.

You might think his performance against the Vols dented his Heisman hopes some, but with Russell Wilson stumbling in East Lansing, it doesn't appear to matter.

Factor in that with a big game against LSU, and Richardson could make himself the front runner.

As for other Tide performers, hats off to A.J. McCarron. He had his 152 straight passes-without-an-interception streak snapped, but he charged back in the second half and torched the Volunteers secondary for a career day.

Finally it appears that McCarron has located the touch on the deep ball that has so tantalizingly eluded him this season.

It was a funky game to say the least but, staying true to form, Alabama finished the contest in the same dominating fashion that they have executed in their previous seven wins.

Alabama has a knack for erasing first-half melancholy by snuffing out their opponents in the last 30 minutes like a hired assassin.

Lack of focus? Maybe. Looking ahead? Perhaps.

Thankfully, now to look ahead means to look squarely in the eyes of the LSU Tigers.

They are the next game.

The epic match that seemed disturbingly far off is now only two excruciating weeks away.

You might as well tell the college football world to take Halloween weekend off.

Why bother?

College football's Super Bowl is coming to Tuscaloosa.

Let the over-analyzing begin.