The Alabama Crimson Tide were forced to sit at home and watch Championship Week after losing the Iron Bowl in dramatic fashion to the Auburn Tigers. At No. 4 in the BCS standings, they needed quite a bit of help if they hoped to get back into the BCS National Championship to play for their third straight national title and fourth in five years. At the end of the day, however, they weren’t able to move up enough in the final BCS standings before bowl selections are made and are just outside the title game at No. 3.
Nick Saban appeared to have the Tide well on their way to another BCS National Championship. They were firmly entrenched at No. 1 for the entire season before the Iron Bowl where they lost on the last play of the game following a missed field goal. That loss knocked them out of the SEC title game as the Tide sat idle while Auburn went on to win the conference title over the Missouri Tigers. For Alabama to get back into the BCS National Championship, they needed absolute chaos at the top of the BCS standings with both the Florida State Seminoles and Ohio State Buckeyes suffering upsets in their respective conference title games.
The Buckeyes did their part, falling short against the Michigan State Spartans, but FSU dominated in the ACC title game to finish the season 13-0 and firmly entrenched at No. 1 in the BCS standings. That OSU loss opened the door for Auburn and Alabama to slide up one spot in this week’s BCS standings, leaving the Tide one spot short of getting to Pasadena to defend their national title. Alabama will now be in line for a bid to the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners when the bowl games are announced but the team will not be in the bowl they were expecting for the first time in three seasons.
It isn’t often that an 11-1 season is seen as a disappointment, but when that one loss keeps the two-time defending national champs from a third straight appearance in the BCS National Championship, expect some long faces in Tuscaloosa tonight.