There are a few teams capable of giving No. 1 Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC) a decent contest in the SEC. Texas A&M and LSU were two, and Auburn may be another. As was put on display on Saturday afternoon, Mississippi State (4-6, 2-4 SEC) was not anywhere close to being up to the task, even a week after upsetting Texas A&M. Alabama moved a little bit closer to the SEC West Division championship with a decisive 51-3 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts continued to have the kind of game that merits at least a little bit of Heisman Trophy consideration by passing for 347 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 100 yards and another touchdown in the win. This was the first 300-yard passing game and three-touchdown game for Hurts through the air. ArDarius Stewart was on the receiving end of three of those touchdown passes, with 156 yards in the box score. Alabama’s defense was once again dominant as well. Mississippi State didn’t manage to put three points on the board until after Alabama had a 30-0 lead at halftime.
Alabama won’t have a bye week next week, but they might as well. TheCrimson Tide will host FCS Chattanooga for the typical late-season cupcake mismatch that is common among SEC schools. The game will serve as nothing more than a final tune-up for the Iron Bowl matchup with Auburn the following week. If Auburn wins on the road against Georgia this afternoon, the Iron Bowl will determine the champion of the SEC West and send the winner to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama will have the SEC West wrapped up today if Auburn should happen to lose at Georgia.
Mississippi State is now walking on thin ice when it comes to bowl eligibility.Dan Mullen needs to win both of his remaining games, against Arkansas at home and at Ole Miss, to meet the six-win bowl minimum. It is a possibility Ole Miss may be in a win-or-stay-home situation in the regular season finale as well.