If you want a perfect example of the Python Strategy that Alabama likes to employ, just look at the Mississippi State game. After scoring 24 straight points in the first half, the Tide allowed the entire third quarter to pass without scoring. And after pouring on 14 points early in the fourth quarter, Alabama let up for the remainder of the game, enough time for Mississippi State to put a face-saving touchdown on the board.
In other words, a relatively unremarkable Alabama game. AJ McCarron put in his usual efficient performance, going 16-of-23 for 208 yards and two touchdowns. The Alabama ground game churned out 179 yards on 40 carries, and the defense held Mississippi State to 256 yards -- the first time all year that the Western Division Bulldogs didn't have at least 350 yards of total offense.
And while the game ends whatever dreams Mississippi State had of a truly magical season, it helps to bring into focus what the Bulldogs are: A very good team that's almost certainly not going to win the SEC West. But one that will battle Texas A&M next week for the title of third best team in the SEC West, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.