Alabama has much more to offer in college football, aside from the two major universities.
There's no such thing any more as cupcake victories when teams from a major conference face schools inside this state that are in the lower tier of conference programs.
Troy University proved it could for one night stay on the same field with an apparent elite team in the SEC such as Louisiana State University.
The Trojans left Tiger Stadium Saturday evening, putting away LSU's 49-game home winning streak vs. non SEC schools in a 24-21 stunner. The last time the Tigers lost to a non conference power was also from this state. That would be the UAB Blazers who defeated them in 2000.
Troy, South Alabama, Jacksonville State and UAB do share something. All have gone on the road to an SEC campus and created a buzz for their program in getting an upset not many gave them a chance to. LSU (twice), Mississippi State and Ole Miss have been the victims to this ambush by the unknowns.
Troy was a three-touchdown underdog to LSU. The Trojans faced the Tigers under the lights in Baton Rouge, along with it being LSU's homecoming.
Something things go different when you look closely at the game of college football.
Besides the Troy victory, Alabama and Auburn reminded their neighbors from the Magnolia State, how brutal they can play if you don't come ready to go four quarters with the Crimson Tide and Tigers.
Not sure how many people stayed up well after 11:00 p.m. to see Alabama's 66-3 pasting of Ole Miss. That was the worst defeat the Tide has delivered on an SEC team since the same score was registered in 1979 by Bear Bryant's group at Vanderbilt.
A so-called close game to take place on the plains with Auburn and Mississippi State never panned out. Auburn took a 21-10 halftime lead and ran roughshod over the Bulldogs in the second half for a 49-10 whipping.
State has been outscored 80-13 in two consecutive SEC setbacks after many thought the Bulldogs would be a Western Division contender following a 37-7 blasting of LSU.
State needs to go back to the drawing board.
Getting back to LSU, many thought the dismissal of Les Miles in the midst of the 2016 season would be beneficiary. LSU has not climbed much higher on the mountain with Ed Orgeron taking over. His promises of a solid team that will do more than run the ball is an afterthought.
The Tigers are 9-4 through 13 games with Orgeron, a winning percentage of under .700. Three of the losses have been inside Tiger Stadium with two of them happening during the so-called magical time of darkness.
Orgeron immediately said after the Troy loss, they were not looking ahead. Florida is next up for the Tigers in a game that is so unpredictable on who will actually come out when it is done.
Troy just happens to be the best team in the Sun Belt Conference at the present time. The Trojans are no patsy. LSU can attest to that now. The only loss for Troy was in the opener at Boise State 24-13. We all know the legacy of Boise State.
The Trojans are a team in a low tier conference that plays with no fear in visiting the SEC and gets rewarded like Saturday night, for simply outplaying Orgeron's cast of Tigers.
Now that October is here, the spirit of some of the SEC programs is fading. Tennessee is breaking apart with Butch Jones on life support, the Ole Miss situation as far as playing is gone flat, Arkansas is not yet raising its level to compete in the West Division, Missouri is a complete inferior squad.
Texas A&M is hanging on, but Alabama is next up for the Aggies. How does Kevin Sumlin create an opportunity for his team to stay on the field, the way Alabama is rolling right now for Nick Saban?
The next team in this state that is not a member of the SEC, goes to an SEC school in late November. That's UAB when the Blazers invade the Swamp to meet Florida.
Anything is possible as of the current time with Florida not healthy, winning by close margins and UAB in its first year back after a 2-year absence with the attitude of everything to gain and nothing to lose.
That includes more than a huge paycheck the Blazers will receive from Florida for accepting an invitation to come to Gainesville.
Troy can celebrate for a few days before getting back on the field preparing for the next game. The Trojans are idle until October 11 when they meet South Alabama at Larry Blakney Field in a Sun Belt game that will be nationally televised by ESPN.
For one night, the entire nation will see how football is played by two schools from this state that are not named the University of Alabama and Auburn University.
Photo of Troy vs. LSU, courtesy of USA Today.