"I know without a doubt there's not another team in the country (that can beat us), and that includes USC and Oklahoma,'' Auburn tailback Carnell "Cadillac'' Williams said. "We know how good we are and we know where we should be.

"I play for Auburn, of course. I'm kind of biased.''

Tuberville tried to smooth another criticism.

"We didn't have an easy schedule,'' Tuberville said. "I'm tired of hearing people say that we had an easy schedule.''

The Tigers indeed did have a formidable schedule, and then The Citadel replaced Bowling Green and Louisiana-Monroe replaced Georgia Tech.

Alabama is a shell of a team. Its offense is horrid.

Such things tend to happen when you're down to your third-string quarterback nursing an injured left shoulder; a third-string fullback, who is backed up by a walk-on; an exhausted second-string tailback, whose backup carried once and fumbled once a week ago; and your third-string tight end.

"My gosh, we're running out of string,'' Tide media relations director Larry White surmised.

And the Tigers' string might not stretch to No. 2.

"People will look at tonight and say, `They struggled.' But most of the people who vote haven't been to this game before,'' Tuberville said.

Now I've been to the game and, guess what? The Tigers struggled.

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