By Brett Beaird
Could lightning strike in two consecutive years after Alabama lost a late-season game?
Alabama lost to Texas A&M, 29-24, on Nov. 10, 2012, and fell out of the top spot in the BCS standings. Kansas State became the new No. 1 and Stanford rose to No. 2.
One week later, Notre Dame and Alabama would be the primary beneficiaries of “upset Saturday”.
The dominoes began to fall as Baylor routed No. 1 Kansas State, 52-24. The Bears came into the game 4-5 overall and only 1-5 in Big 12 play. However, Baylor gained 580 yards on Kansas State’s vaunted defense and lost three turnovers as quarterback Collin Klein saw his Heisman chances vanish.
The next upset happened on the West Coast. Oregon entered the game against Stanford averaging 54.8 points per game, tops in the nation. However, the Ducks could only manage 14 points against an inspired Cardinal defense. Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson hit a 37-yard field goal in overtime and Oregon’s BCS National Championships hopes ended.
The same weekend, Notre Dame and Alabama routed their opponents as the Irish shut out Wake Forest, 38-0, and Alabama cruised by Western Carolina, 49-0, allowing the Irish to rise to No. 1 and Alabama to No. 2.
Alabama beat Auburn, 49-0, in the last regular-season game and then held on to beat Georgia, 32-28, in the SEC Championship. The Irish beat USC, 22-13, in their final regular-season game, setting up the BCS National Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.