Alabama Crimson Tide Must Play for Pride in BCS Bowl Game

By Tim Letcher
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

The Alabama Crimson Tide saw their hopes of a third straight BCS National Championship go by the wayside on Saturday night, as the Auburn Tigers pulled the stunning upset of the nation’s top-ranked team in the Iron Bowl.

Tide fans will say that their team still has a chance to win the national championship, and technically they do, but it’s a true longshot. Alabama would probably losses from two of three teams: the Florida State Seminoles, the Ohio State Buckeyes and/or Auburn. While anything is possible, it doesn’t look good for the Tide. Plus, if Auburn loses to the Missouri Tigers, Gary Pinkel and his team would probably jump Alabama in the BCS standings.

That leaves Alabama waiting for a call to see if they can get into another BCS bowl game. That’s the likely scenario for Nick Saban and his team at this point. A potential Orange Bowl matchup against the Clemson Tigers could be in the works, depending on how the upcoming weekend plays out.

The last time Alabama faced this scenario, losing the final game before its bowl game, the result was not pretty. A disinterested Alabama team faced the Utah Utes in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, and was soundly beaten. Utah scored the first 21 points of the game, and by the time ‘Bama woke up, it was too late, as they lost 31-17 in New Orleans.

This year’s team could be on a similar path. How interested will the Tide be in playing in a bowl game if they are not playing for a national title? Saban will hope that A.J. McCarron and company will play for pride, but that remains to be seen.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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