The Crimson Tide face another stern challenge Saturday when they host the undefeated Ole Miss Rebels. Television coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Alabama has started the year with a relatively run-of-the-mill 3-0 start -- convincing wins against Virginia Tech and Colorado State sandwich a seven-point victory over Texas A&M that was more comfortable than the final score indicates. The Tide have seen a strong early return from quarterback A.J. McCarron, and it was their offense that carried them to victory over the Aggies (while the defense allowed just 16 points in the other two games combined). The Tide will have to contend with an improving Ole Miss defense, but the Alabama fans remain hopeful in their team's chances.
Next up to challenge the two-time reigning champions? No. 21 Ole Miss, who have looked excellent under Hugh Freeze in 2013. Off to a 3-0 start, the Rebels won their opener in a conference road game at Vanderbilt before dominating victories over Southeast Missouri State and Texas. Rebel fans say Ole Miss needs to win first downs, limit turnovers, and control the tempo of the game in order to pull off the upset.
Rankings and records: Alabama is the top-ranked team in the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. Ole Miss is ranked No. 21 in both polls. Both teams are 3-0, with a 1-0 record in conference play. Officially, the Tide lead the all-time series, 46-9-2, and have won the last six matchups in a row.
Vegas: Alabama is a 15-point favorite. The over/under is 55.5 points. OddsShark has more.
Weather: A high of 85, mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain.
Three names to know
T.J. Yeldon. The Alabama running back has looked fairly unstoppable so far, and is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Vinnie Sunseri. An absolute force in the Alabama secondary, he had a huge interception for a touchdown return against Texas A&M and has imposed his will this season.
Jeff Scott. One of the most explosive playmakers in the country, Ole Miss's running back is averaging almost 10 yards per carry and has three total touchdowns.
Two things at stake
Ole Miss is one of four ranked teams in the SEC West Division, and a win would suggest the Rebels are there to stay in the top tier.
For Alabama, a win would set up an easy stretch of the schedule before a tough contest against LSU in November.
How to witness
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Online streaming: WatchESPN