October 3, 2010 12:43:00 AM
Just call it sort''em out Saturday.
With five games matching ranked teams and conference play now in full swing, the first weekend of October was bound to give the national championship race a good shake.
In the day''s two biggest games, the higher ranked teams came away with impressive victories.
No. 1 Alabama dominated No. 7 Florida 31-6, handing the Gators their second-most lopsided loss during coach Urban Meyer''s six seasons.
Mark Ingram scored two touchdowns, C.J. Mosley returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown for the Crimson Tide.
Round 2 this season between the last two national champions could come in Atlanta at the SEC title game. Alabama (5-0, 2-0) certainly looked like a team on its way to another championship season.
In front of 101,821 at a blaring Bryant-Denny Stadium, coach Nick Saban''s Tide rolled to a 24-0 lead in the second quarter, behind Ingram''s two short TD runs and a defense that was buzzing around the ball.
After the Gators (4-1, 2-1) chipped it down to 24-6, Mosley picked off a short pass in the middle of the field by a hurried John Brantley, racing to the end zone for a score that all but wrapped up Alabama''s 19th straight victory with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
Ingram ran for 47 yards on 12 carries, Greg McElroy threw for 84 yards and receiver Marquis Maze threw a touchdown pass to Michael Williams out of the wildcat.
No. 12 LSU needed a big dose of good fortune to beat Tennessee 16-14. LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC) was confused on third-and-goal from the 1 and allowed the clock to run nearly to zero before a mishandled snap seemingly ended the game. Officials ruled the Volunteers (2-3, 0-2) had 13 players on the field when the ball was snapped. Stevan Ridley then bulled into the end zone from a yard out for the wild win.