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Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) takes a hit from Mississippi State linebacker DeAndre Ward. The top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide played host to the Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday in an SEC West battle at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. (Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

OK, Alabama football fans, here's a question for you: Is this year's Crimson Tide the best team ever in the AP poll era?

Possibly, according to Neil Paine's research at

The Tide is 12-0 and a heavy favorite against Florida in this weekend's Southeastern Conference championship game. The playoffs await after that.

Paine's research (and the Elo rating system he uses) claims that the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers hold a slim lead over this year's Tide team for the top spot. But that could change, obviously, should Alabama roll through Florida and the playoff field. "By the slimmest of margins, Alabama is still No. 2 all-time behind Nebraska. But if the Crimson Tide wins the SEC championship by at least 11 points, it would also break the record for the highest peak Elo rating of any team since 1936," Paine writes.

-- Phillip Tutor