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  • Kevin Scarbinsky

State of the Tide dynasty: Far from dead but Death Valley will check its pulse

The conversation is always the same.


Us: You have got to be, without doubt, the worst pirate we've ever heard of.


Mike Leach: But you have heard of me.


Us: Yes, every single year, fainting at the sight of the Tide.


Of course, Leach is not a pirate. Nor is he an offensive genius. His Air Raid finds no purchase here. He barely qualifies as a football coach when he stands across the field from the commander of the genre, Nick Saban.


As it happens, reports of Alabama football's demise turned out to be greatly exaggerated, per usual. No need to fire Bill O'Brien or Pete Golding into the sun after all. One week after losing one game by one play against the best Tennessee team in ages, Saban and his organization found themselves in no danger of letting lightning strike twice.


The distinction of the 2007 Alabama team, Saban's first, as the last to lose consecutive regular-season games remains intact.


Alabama 30, Mississippi State 6 was as dull and devoid of drama as Tennessee 52, Alabama 49 was dripping with it. How utterly uninteresting was the competition by the time the fourth quarter arrived? ESPN went the adorable pet route to try to hold the audience's attention by welcoming State's live bulldog mascot to the broadcast booth.


Kirk Herbstreit had more trouble keeping the stout and sturdy Bully aloft than Bryce Young and Will Anderson did in keeping State down. Alabama's 15th straight victory in the series was the opposite of heavy lifting. ...


Read the rest of Kevin's reflection as his attention quickly turns from the soft landing that is Mississippi State to the hard road that awaits Alabama at surging LSU. Only in The Lede.


On the bright side, Mississippi State scored its first TD in three meetings with Alabama under Mike Leach.