Take a look at my weekly “Inside Alabama” beat column from today’s printed editions. Buy one.
TUSCALOOSA — Just surreal.
That was the feel of 10:29 Saturday night in a typically relaxed Tuscaloosa night spot. Oregon kicker Alejandro Maldonado had just knuckleballed the No. 4 Ducks out of BCS contention. The shank added yet another baffling plot twist into Alabama’s quiet climb back into the hunt.
And The Alcove went nuts. It was a scene repeated around the city for the second straight night.
Iowa State’s stunning upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State jarred the Tide back in line for a rematch with LSU in New Orleans. Then lame-duck USC and No. 25 Baylor completely changed the tone of this column. The Trojans upset No. 4 Oregon, and the Bears delivered a kill shot to Oklahoma’s hope. All that made things simple … well, for now.
Before the late-night drama, this space was going to state the need for style points in Alabama’s Iron Bowl trip to Auburn. Forget that.
It’s now a knockout game, not a beauty pageant. Win and you’re in.
Who needs to change the postseason structure now? This week was a playoff with spontaneity.
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