Connelly: Alabama’s D, how worried should we be?

    Bill Connelly is a staff writer for

It is the ultimate sign of the times in college football: the survive-and-advance shootout. From 2000 through 2010, no top-five team won a game while allowing 600-plus yards, as the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide did against the Ole Miss Rebels last weekend. Since 2011, though, it’s happened 12 times. While this used to be a guarantee of impending doom, it now might simply be one of the hurdles you have to clear on your way to a national championship.

Oct. 29, 2011: No. 3 Oklahoma State 59, Baylor 24

What happened: The best Oklahoma State team ever moved to 8-0 by bending and bending but not breaking until the game was out of hand. Baylor’s Robert Griffin III threw for 425 yards, but OSU forced five turnovers and stopped the Bears twice on fourth-and-1. Incredibly, OSU held a 49-3 lead after three quarters despite a yardage margin of only plus-60 yards.

What happened next:

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