A quick glance at the stat line will show that Alabama quarterback Blake Sims had a respectable night with 22-of-36 passes completed against Ohio State for 237 yards and two touchdowns. There’s just one problem: Sims also threw three interceptions, including a pick-six by Steve Miller and a game-ending pick by Tyvis Powell, sending the Crimson Tide home for the season with a 42-35.
And so, one of the wildest days in college football has come to an end. Everyone who wanted the College Football Playoff format walked away from Thursday giddy with delight after a chaotic frenzy of New Year’s bowl games. As wild as the Cotton Bowl was with Michigan State‘s come-from-behind win over Baylor, there were so many other highlights.
If you aren’t a fan of Jameis Winston, chances are you enjoyed watching the Florida State quarterback’s live humiliation on national television. However, he wasn’t the only quarterback to see his stock take a hit on New Year’s Day. No doubt Winston will get the press for his big meltdown against Oregon, but Sims couldn’t come through when his Crimson Tide needed him the most.
Miller’s pick-six turned out to be the difference-maker as Ohio State rallied from a huge deficit to earn a date with the Ducks in the National Championship game on Jan. 12. It was one of three picks that cost Alabama a chance to hang another national title banner in its stadium.
Sims is a senior and no doubt will head to the NFL, where some team may take a chance on him. However, these games often shape a player’s career. Winston might do well to return to Florida State now after Thursday’s big disappointment, but Sims doesn’t have that shot. The last game of Sims’ college football career turned out to be a dud in the end. For Alabama fans, it will likely be a case of “what have you done for me lately?” They won’t remember the great season Sims put up.
Fair or not, they will remember the interceptions.