By Brett Beaird
Alabama fans were distraught leaving Bryant-Denny stadium the night of Nov. 6, 2011. LSU outplayed Alabama and escaped with a 9-6 win in overtime.
Even the most ardent Alabama fan did not believe the Crimson Tide could recover from an assured significant fall in the BCS poll. However, the BCS poll only dropped Alabama to fourth, giving the Crimson Tide a glimmer of hope to rebound before the final BCS poll.
One week later, in one of the most amazing strings of upsets in BCS history, Alabama and LSU appeared on a collision course for the BCS National Championship game.
The dominoes began to fall Friday night as Iowa State stunned Oklahoma State, unbeaten and ranked second in the BCS standings, in double overtime, 37-31. Also hurting the Cowboys' chances to get back to a higher ranking was Oklahoma’s surprise loss to Baylor on Saturday night.
One hour later, USC would deliver the final blow to the top-ranked teams, shocking No. 4 Oregon, 38-35.
No. 1-ranked LSU then had to beat Arkansas and Georgia in the SEC title game Dec. 3. Alabama had to beat arch-rival Auburn. Both teams accomplished what they had to do and LSU-Alabama II played out in the Mercedes Superdome with the Tide winning 21-0.
When the polls were revealed Sunday night, Oklahoma State fell from second to fourth in the BCS polls. Oklahoma slipped from fifth to ninth in the standings. Oregon, fell from fourth to 10th in the standings.
Upset Saturday put the SEC in control of its destiny again. LSU remained No. 1 with a perfect BCS average of 1.000, followed by No. 2 Alabama (.9491) and No. 3 Arkansas (.8985). Virginia Tech was No. 5 (.7842) and Stanford settled at No. 6 (.7711).
In 2011, seven Top-5 teams lost, beginning with Week 4. Many fans remember the Oklahoma State loss to Iowa State that set up the Alabama-LSU rematch. However, the rest of the Top 5, Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, and Oregon all managed to lose as well.