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Alabama came into this game needing to send a strong message to the voters. Regardless of what people might tell you, Alabama is not a lock. History tells us that teams who do not play the last week before the final regular-season rankings, struggle.
SEC fans need to only look back to 2008 when the Georgia Bulldogs went into the final week before the final BCS rankings at No. 4 in the BCS poll, with the LSU Tigers at No. 7. Georgia was idle because they lost their division tiebreaker to Tennessee.
LSU, on the other hand, defeated Tennessee in the SEC championship game, 21-14. The No. 1 and No. 2 BCS teams lost. Instead of moving to No. 2, the Bulldogs were jumped over by the Tigers from seventh place.
The lesson is simple: The voters like conference champions and punish idle teams.
Oklahoma State currently sits second in the computer polls and are ahead of Alabama in four of the six polls. As a result, the Tide needed to leave a glaring message.
The message was 42-14 and out-gaining the Tigers 397-140 in total yards. They will not play next week but at least they were impressive today.