In what might have been the best executed and conceived Alabama game plan since the 1999 SEC Championship Game, Alabama mauled Tennessee 41-17; Nick Saban made a definitive statement that he understands the importance of winning over rivals.

But the bigger statement than even the game, was Alabama’s willingness to suspend players before a big game for potential violations. It was the failure to act swiftly that began Alabama’s decades of misery. Not this time. The administration and coaches made clear they want to win the right way.

Isn’t that the real statement from today? That Nick Saban is going to win the right way?

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He’s going to hold everyone accountable in the program. Whether it is a coach (I wouldn’t have wanted to be Applewhite or Pendry on the receiving end of the yelling for wasting a timeout prior to halftime), whether it is a player or anyone—things are going to be done the right way.

It has been years since a fan could have this type of confidence about the on-the-field or off-the-field leadership.

I’ll get a game wrap-up poster later. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day. I’ll say that’s one great thing about an 11:30 a.m. kickoff—more time to celebrate AFTER the game.

Here is the game wrap