Alabama fans are no strangers to Pac-12 football. Just under three years ago, the Crimson Tide fans became Oregon Ducks followers overnight, even going so far as designing shirts to show their support.
On Saturday, Alabama fans were once again pulling for a Pac-12 team, but this one was playing the Ducks. Stanford brought the Tide back from the dead in the BCS national title race with a 17-14 win over Oregon in overtime.
Just an hour earlier, Kansas State was losing by three touchdowns to Baylor in a game that finished with the Wildcats losing 52-24. In one night, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams fell in upset losses, paving the way for the Tide to return to the national title game.
It is shaping up to be a historical matchup with Alabama and Notre Dame both in the lead to take the top spots in the coming BCS polls.
The potential Kansas State loss was obvious from the start of the game with Baylor. The Bears controlled the game from the opening kick, and there was no secret that the No. 1 team was falling in Waco, Texas.
Oregon was battling with Stanford early, but the Ducks held a 14-7 lead deep into the fourth quarter. The Oregon defense was unable to stop the Cardinal on a final push for the end zone, and a tying touchdown forced overtime.
Ducks kicker Alejandro Maldonado missed his 41-yard attempt in overtime and handed the Cardinal the game with the miss. After a fumble and recovery by Stanford, Jordan Williamson was able to knock home the game-winning score and shatter the BCS hopes of the Ducks.
This was an unexpected night in college football. Alabama was coming off of its first loss of the season to Texas A&M. The Aggies marched into Tuscaloosa and jumped out to an embarrassing 20-0 lead before the Tide were able to come back and make a charge in the fourth quarter.
Alabama was all but out of the BCS title talk less than seven days ago.
Now, with only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Crimson Tide find themselves back in the front of the national title discussion. A game against Auburn is left to finish the regular season, but that should be no issue for the Tide.
The SEC title game against Georgia in December will not be so easy. The Tide have shown secondary vulnerability the past few weeks and have had issues finding offensive consistency.
Saturday wasn't about the tests that remain for Alabama Crimson Tide fans, though; it was about the chance at another national title that just landed in their team's lap.
Rejoice, Bama Nation, your chance appears to be back in view. A tough road is ahead, but the BCS national title is back within reach.
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