TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama had mixed a little bit of everything into the season, from fast starts and strong finishes to blown leads and loads of drama.
But Nick Saban's first Crimson Tide team hadn't done this: Fashion a dominant, drama-free victory like Saturday's 41-17 win over rival Tennessee.
In fact, it was the first time No. 22 'Bama had managed such an impressive win over a Southeastern Conference power since a 31-3
upset of Florida in 2005.
It vaulted the Tide back into the national rankings heading into an open date and set the stage for a showdown with Saban's former team, No. 3 LSU, in two weeks.
Saban says he wanted to win for the players and fans, showing them what the team was capable of doing.
That means a passing game that produced big plays along with an effective short game that helped John Parker Wilson and receiver DJ Hall have career games.
It meant shutting out the league's top passing team in the second half and withstanding the Volunteers' best rallies.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)