Seminoles on BCS fast track after Week 4

Updated: September 23, 2012, 1:33 PM ET
By Travis Haney

At the season's quarter pole, and after two consecutive Saturday night shakeups, what have we learned about the national championship picture and the storylines we touched on leading into the fall?

Some have panned out, just as expected; others have been complete surprises. Here are my takeaways from Week 4.

1. Alabama is good. Really good.

You simply cannot begin this discussion with any other team than the defending champs.

We knew in August that the Tide would again be solid, despite replacing nearly a dozen starters on both sides of the ball. But this level of domination, regardless of the competition, has been remarkable.

The defense went from the third quarter of the opener against Michigan to the fourth quarter Saturday against Florida Atlantic without giving up a point, a span of more than 12 quarters -- more specifically, 205 minutes, 25 seconds.

Right now, there's Bama and everyone else. That includes LSU, which was shaky on the road Saturday at Auburn. There's still plenty of time, though, for steam to build before the teams' Nov. 3 meeting in Baton Rouge.