TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama left no doubt it’s tops in the state.
Proving it’s the best team in the Southeastern Conference and perhaps the nation won’t be nearly so easy.
AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores to lead the second-ranked Crimson Tide to a 49-0 beatdown of rival Auburn on Saturday, the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years.
The Tide (10-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) clinched the Western Division title outright and a spot in the conference title game against No. 3 Georgia with the winner likely getting a BCS national championship shot.
To me, in all those games that I’ve been a part of, they are about as good as any game in the country other than the national championship game, Alabama coach Nick Saban said of the SEC title matchup.
Georgia will certainly present a tougher challenge than the Tide faced Saturday.
Auburn (3-9, 0-8) completed the worst season for any team within two years of winning an Associated Press national title in what might have been the last game for embattled coach Gene Chizik.
I’m not going to go into all of the job situation with any questions, Chizik said. This isn’t about me. I’ve got a locker room of guys that are here that are very disappointed. That’s my focus, I’m not going to entertain any of those questions. My focus is to be back in there with them.
No. 3 GEORGIA 42, GEORGIA TECH 10: In Athens, Ga., Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs, and the Bulldogs stayed right in the thick of the national championship race.
No. 5 OREGON 48, No. 16 OREGON STATE 24: In Corvallis, Ore., Kenjon Barner ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns despite leaving the game for a time with an injury and the Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) won the Civil War to keep alive their national championship hopes.
No. 6 FLORIDA 37, FLORIDA STATE 26: In Tallahassee, Fla., Mike Gillislee ran for two touchdowns and the Gators scored 24 straight points in the fourth quarter to keep their national title hopes alive.
No. 11 STANFORD 35, No. 15 UCLA 17: In Pasadena, Calif., Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Kevin Hogan passed for 160 yards and another score, and the Cardinal won the Pac-12 North title and a rematch with the Bruins in the conference championship game.
No. 14 OKLAHOMA 51, No. 22 OKLAHOMA STATE 48, OT: In Norman, Okla., Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns, and Brennan Clay scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to lift the Sooners in the Bedlam rivalry.
CONNECTICUT 23, No. 19 LOUISVILLE 20, 3 OT: In Louisville, Ky., Chad Christen’s 30-yard field goal in the third overtime gave the Huskies the upset.
PITTSBURGH 27, No. 21 RUTGERS 6: In Pittsburgh, Tino Sunseri passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his final home game as the Panthers overwhelmed the Scarlet Knights.
MISSISSIPPI 41, No. 25 MISSISSIPPI STATE 24: In Oxford, Miss., Bo Wallace threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns, Donte Moncrief caught three TD passes and Ole Miss pulled away.
No. 25 UTAH STATE 45, IDAHO 9: In Logan, Utah, Chuckie Keeton passed for two touchdowns, Kerwynn Williams rushed for 110 yards and senior Will Davis returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown as the Aggies secured their first outright conference title in 76 years.