No. 1 Alabama was able to sleepwalk through its 20-7 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday without dire consequences.
Opponents in the near future probably won't be as forgiving.
The Crimson Tide (10-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) had a tepid offensive showing against the Bulldogs, with 383 total yards and an uncharacteristic four turnovers. Alabama still escaped with a relatively easy victory, but coach Nick Saban said the game was a reminder that his team isn't invincible.
Now the two-week hype begins for one of the most anticipated Iron Bowls in years. Alabama has one more game in the interim — against FCS-level Chattanooga on Saturday — and it will give the Tide a chance to clean up its performance in advance of the Nov. 30 showdown with Auburn (10-1, 6-1).