Alabama's 45-21 victory Saturday over Georgia Southern wasn't the mismatch that some might have expected, and Alabama coach Nick Saban said afterward he was just glad to get it over.
The Crimson Tide led by only 10 points midway through the third quarter after Georgia Southern's Laron Scott returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
But Alabama put the game away in the fourth quarter and will now wait and see if it moves up to No. 2 when the latest polls come out Sunday. The biggest win of the weekend for the Crimson Tide might have been Oklahoma State's upset loss to Iowa State on Friday.
Alabama was No. 3 last week in the BCS standings and has a chance to move up to No. 2.
To stay in those top two spots, the Crimson Tide will probably need a better all-around performance next week at Auburn, because especially if Oregon beats USC later Saturday night, Alabama doesn't want to give the voters a reason to move the Ducks past the Crimson Tide.
Georgia Southern is a tough team to prepare for because it runs the triple option. Still, who would have ever predicted the Crimson Tide would give up 302 rushing yards to an FCS foe? Alabama was better defensively in the second half, but it still wasn't the Tide's sharpest performance.
They will need to be at their best the rest of the way if they're going to climb back into the national title picture.