ALL CLEAR UNTIL NOVEMBER. Now that Alabama has survived its latest meeting with Johnny Manziel, and for coach Nick Saban's sake it will be the last time he'll ever have to worry about Johnny Football, the Crimson Tide are set to settle into an accommodating slice of schedule as the No. 1 team in the country.
The Tide remained top ranked in The Associated Press college football poll Sunday after a wild 49-42 victory against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Alabama received all but one of the 60 first-place votes from the media panel and the rest of the top five was unchanged this week, with Oregon, Clemson, Ohio State and Stanford. The Ducks got a first-place vote.
Texas A&M slipped four spots to No. 10.
The Tide return home to play former offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and his Colorado State team on Saturday in the first of six games in six weeks - five at home - in which Alabama will be a heavy favorite.
After dealing with the Rams (1-2) from the Mountain West, No. 21 Mississippi comes to Tuscaloosa to face the Tide. The Rebels run an up-tempo offense similar to Texas A&M, but quarterback Bo Wallace is no Manziel. Still, Ole Miss looks like the Tide's biggest challenge over the next month and a half.
After that for the Tide, it's Georgia State to get some work for the third string, a road trip to Kentucky and home games against Tennessee and Arkansas.
Then the Tide gets a week off before No. 6 LSU comes to Tuscaloosa.
So, yes, another college football season spent waiting for Alabama to play LSU.