A season of constant uncertainty and slippery footing has featured one constant: Even when head coach Nick Saban is in quarantine, Alabama is still Alabama.
The Crimson Tide have gone on a take-no-prisoners romp through their all-SEC schedule, winning each of their first eight games by at least 15 points and five games by at least 28 points. They took some solid shots from former Saban defensive coordinator Kirby Smart's Georgia in the first half but outscored the Bulldogs 21-0 in the second half. Alabama's defense was blitzed by former Saban offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's Ole Miss but put the game away with a 21-6 fourth quarter. The Rebels' performance opened a series of questions about the Crimson Tide's defense, but the Tide have allowed just 33 points in their past nine halves of football.
Alabama is now comfortably first in offensive SP+ and up to ninth on defense. Following a 42-13 destruction of Auburn, the Crimson Tide have entered lofty territory. Their overall SP+ rating of +31.7 adjusted points per game (meaning they're assumed to be 31.7 points better than the average FBS team in 2020) has reached the 99.5th percentile, a lofty space that the Tide have entered only once before. We'll come back to that.