A coaching friend texted me Saturday night during the Alabama-LSU game and asked me to describe in one word the 2018 edition of the Crimson Tide.

I came up with a dozen words, but in the end the words extraordinary, domineering and superior came to the top of the list. The Tide has more 5-star players by far than any other team and one of the game’s best college coaches ever.  That is an unbeatable combination.

Since I have been following college football, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Miami, USC and Notre Dame have dominated the college game at some point as Alabama is doing today. Those winning teams were not well liked outside their fan base. The Tide is a well-oiled machine, and their win at Baton Rouge was a statement that they are the best. Georgia won the SEC Eastern Division and will be the next test for Alabama in Atlanta on December 1.

Mississippi State’s Homecoming wins over La. Tech Saturday assured the Bulldogs of a school record nine consecutive post-season bowl appearances. Nick Fitzgerald ran for 127 yards and also passed for 243 yards and four scores in the win. This week,  No. 18 MSU (6-3) will travel to Alabama. Last year, MSU gave the Tide fits before falling, 31-24, in the final minutes.  The Tide is a 27-point favorite in this Saturday's CBS National TV game at 2:30 p.m. USM (4-4) came up with four turnovers in downing Marshall to keep their dim bowl hopes alive. USM has to win two of the next three games to go bowling. The Golden Eagles also got a steady performance from freshman quarterback Tate Whatley, who was subbing for Jack Abraham in the win over Marshall. This week USM will see a road date at Legion Field against UAB (8-1).

Ole Miss (5-4) had a fourth-period meltdown against South Carolina Saturday. The Rebels did get some good news in that the NCAA lifted some of their sanctions. The bad news is that they did not lift the bowl ban for this season. Ole Miss is a 12-point underdog to Texas A&M this Saturday in an 11 a.m. contest.

Congratulations to former USM quarterback Nick Mullens. He led San Francisco to a 34-3 win over Oakland in his first NFL start.  Mullens threw three TD passes, as he was 16-of-22 for 262 yards. He will probably be under center against the New York Giants in the 49ers' next action.  Mullens played at USM from 2013-2016 and left the program as the all-time leader in passing and touchdowns. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2017.





Odds & Ends

The New Orleans Saints (7-1) won their seventh straight game as they outscored the L.A. Rams, 45-35. It was the Rams' first loss of the season.

The junior college state football championship is set with Jones (8-1) hosting East Mississippi (9-0) this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Ellisville.

Delta State (1-8) will host Mississippi College (3-6) this Saturday at 2 p.m. as both teams close the 2018 season.

Interim Jackson State coach John Hendrick led the Tigers to a 34-28 win over Prairie View this week.

Alcorn could host the SWAC championship game if they win the Eastern Division. The title game is usually played in Birmingham at Legion Field, but UAB may host the C-USA championship game on December 1, so the game will be relocated.

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Central Florida are the only undefeated teams in Division I football, and every Division I team has at least one win. 

Two college football coaches were fired this week,  Maryland head coach D. J. Durkin and Kansas head coach David Beaty. Former LSU coach Les Miles is on the short list at Kansas.

Dale McKee, a resident of Waynesboro, has covered Mississippi sports for more than 46 years. He writes a weekly sports column. You can contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com