Sports Texas A&M does the unthinkable and leaves Alabama with no margin for error in title defense
How did Lane Kiffin wind up at Ole Miss? Start with Katy Perry
Lane Kiffin thought about Katy Perry, and the Alabama-Ole Miss game from 2014 that he was part of when considering the Rebels football job.Before Kiffin accepted the Ole Miss job in December 2019, he reflected on his three matchups against the Rebels as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.
Ever since its first year in the SEC, when Texas A&M stunned Alabama with an all-time performance by Johnny Manziel, the ensuing decade has looked like one long Nick Saban revenge plot.
Year after year, this game has been hyped to the hilt. And year after year, it has delivered nothing but Alabama’s ruthlessness.
But the weirdness of this college football season is turning all conventional wisdom on its head, and apparently nobody's safe. In a year when it appeared the Aggies had little-to-no chance to beat this No. 1-ranked Alabama team, what do they do?
Penn State Nittany Lions at Iowa Hawkeyes: Live stream, time, date, odds, how to watch
Penn State at Iowa might not be the college football headliner we anticipated in Week 6, but it is the second top-five clash of the season.There is no trophy associated with this rivalry, but these two have staged their fair share of memorable contests since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is Iowa’s 6-4 road victory in State College in 2004, possibly the best terrible game ever played.
They take the early lead, let it slip little by little, appear to be beaten and worn down by Alabama’s class and then make all the important plays at the end of the game for ashas ever been able to celebrate.
We got the sense a few weeks ago, perhaps, that Alabama wasn’t impenetrable — especially on the road — when it struggled at Florida. But this? How did this happen?
Texas A&M has been one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season. After last week’s loss to Mississippi State, which followed a loss to Arkansas, coach Jimbo Fisher’s new 10-year, $95 million contract was fodder for mockery.
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has a quarterback quandary on his hands. Or does he?
Lincoln Riley faces first QB dilemma - Spencer Rattler or Caleb Williams - of tenure defined by his ability to turn prospects into Heisman contenders.In the latest twist in an unpredictable rivalry, the Sooners' 55-48 win against Texas in the Red River Showdown was keyed by the true freshman, who threw for 212 yards and ran for another 88 with three touchdowns after replacing an ineffective Spencer Rattler.
Instead, the Aggies came out with a renewed purpose against Alabama, taking a 24-10 lead into halftime as the Crimson Tide struggled to protect quarterback Bryce Young against an all-out blitz.
Still, it was hard to envision Texas A&M actually winning this game at almost any point because it seemed inevitable that the Alabama switch would flip on. But the Crimson Tide weren’t able to ever get into that gear, even as they had stifled the Aggies for most of the second half.
Alabama’s punt block touchdown early in the third quarter was met with a kickoff return touchdown right away by Texas A&M to re-establish a 14-point lead. Then, Alabama had to settle for field goals after 9-play and 13-play drives that ended inside the 10-yard line.
HIGHS AND LOWS:
RED RIVER RALLY:
Winners and losers from Week 6: Oklahoma, Iowa, Ole Miss and a Michigan State RB come out on top
BYU drops its first game to fall out of College Football Playoff contention. North Carolina and Louisville continue to struggle.This year's Red River Showdown between No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 23 Texas packed a season of twists into four quarters. Keyed by a true freshman quarterback, the Sooners' 55-48 win sets up the distinct possibility these rivals meet again in December to decide the Big 12 championship.
In one sequence, Alabama had first-and-goal at the 4-yard line, threw the ball three straight times and couldn’t get it into the end zone. That’s how you let an inferior team hang around, and even when Alabama took a 38-31 lead with 5 minutes remaining, they had allowed a sense that the game was still up for grabs.
Zack Calzada took it, throwing a 25-yard touchdown strike with three minutes left to tie it, then coming right back despite getting slammed in the knee and driving 54 yards in eight plays to set up a 28-yard field goal as time expired.
Certainly Alabama can’t be counted out of the national championship race off just one loss. We’ve seen the Crimson Tide bounce back too many times, and as long as they get into the College Football Playoff they’ll have a chance.
But it certainly becomes more complicated now because so much of the SEC’s omnipresence this season hinged on the idea that Alabama and Georgia would both be unbeaten when they met in the SEC title game in early December.
Now — assuming Alabama even gets there — they’ll have a loss. Which means they almost certainly can’t lose to Georgia and still make the Playoff.
Opinion: Now, they're coming for you, Ed Orgeron, whose time at LSU is waning
Ed Orgeron is almost certainly going to join former Auburn coach Gene Chizik in getting fired just two years after winning the national title."We comin'," Orgeron shouted in his gravely Cajun accent when asked if that game had laid the groundwork for future glory. "We comin’ and we ain’t backin’ down.
At this point, Alabama might have bigger problems to sort out than the postseason math. Young is a terrific talent, but his inexperience showed in this game when the pocket wasn’t clean and he rushed throws.
Late in the game, when Alabama had a chance to drive down the field and win it, he made a couple poor throws that landed short.
Alabama outgained Texas A&M 522-379 in yards, but it never felt like the Crimson Tide could physically impose themselves whenever they wanted. And it all added up to the biggest win of Fisher’s tenure, even though it occurred in a season where it won’t actually help the Aggies climb the mountain in the SEC.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Will Sharks send impressive rookie William Eklund back to Swedish league? .
With three assists in four games, Eklund is showing flashes of potential and already demonstrating the value the Sharks got with a seventh overall selection. Yet Eklund was scratched Sunday for their first loss of the season against the Boston Bruins, allowing Alexander Barabanov to draw back into the lineup. Eklund’s spent the season playing on a line with Tomas Hertl and Rudolfs Balcers, but sits as a minus-3 with none of his points coming at even strength.