|C.J. Mosely and Vinnie Sunseri celebrate more defensive dominance. (US Presswire)|
ALABAMA WON: That final score makes it look as though this was only a 27-point victory for the Crimson Tide, but I assure you it never really felt that close. Alabama made it clear from the opening kick that it was going to dominate this game and that's exactly what it did. By the time the first quarter ended Alabama had a 21-0 lead and it would extend it to 31-0 before Michigan finally got on the board a couple minutes before halftime.
T.J. Yeldon let the world know he'd be the next great Alabama running back by rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries in his first college game. Other than Yeldon, the Tide would spread their 428 yards of offense around and use their defense to smother Michigan en route to an easy win.
WHY ALABAMA WON: Oh that defense. There were questions about how Alabama would handle a player as dynamic as Michigan's Denard Robinson and the Alabama defense answered that question the same way it answers every question. By smothering it. Robinson rushed only 10 times for 27 yards. As a team Michigan rushed for 68 yards on 29 carries. If you make Michigan a one-dimensional offense, and that offense is a passing team, then you are going to win more times than not. Yes, Denard Robinson is dynamic, but so are the eleven men playing defense for Alabama.
WHEN ALABAMA WON: When the Tide went 61 yards in nine plays for its first score, manhandling the Michigan defense along the way, you had the feeling this could be a long night for the Wolverines. A few minutes later when the Tide went 67 yards in three plays to make it 14-0 you knew it would be.
WHAT ALABAMA WON: Alabama didn't really win anything that it's not supposed to, but at least now it can move on without people wondering if this team was capable of living up to the performance of last year's national championship team. It can, folks. It might even win the SEC this time too.
WHAT MICHIGAN LOST: This was an incredibly tough test to start a season, I don't care what kind of success you had in 2011. Yes, Michigan lost a chance to show the world that its program was close to returning to the level it was once at by being blown out, but the goal of a Rose Bowl is still in play.
THAT WAS CRAZY: With his team ahead 31-7 at halftime and dominating the entire half, Nick Saban told sideline reporter Heather Cox that his Crimson Tide "could play better." Ever the perfectionist that Nick Saban.