It couldn't happen again.
And then it did.
And really, it wasn't all that different than a year ago, when, essentially twelve months removed from the very same weekend, home standing Iowa State knocked off heavily favored Oklahoma State and home standing Oregon spit the bit against Southern California.
Really, though, IT COULDN'T HAPPEN AGAIN.
And then IT DID.
A Baylor defense that had been run on more than a treadmill at a country club gym, rose up and stole the show, taking out K-State's title hopes and Collin Klein's Heisman hopes in one swoop.
Meanwhile, in Eugene, the Stanford defense took away those UPS truck-wide running lanes that Chip Kelly's quarterbacks and running backs had grown accustomed to, allowing for a grinding Cardinal offense to stay the course in the process.
In effect, the Cardinal gave the Ducks what might prove to have been its lone dose of SEC-style football this season. In watching the Cardinal stick to the plan, it became clear to me: Stanford is not Alabama West. Not this year. If anything, Alabama needs to be Stanford East in the coming weeks.
What isn't like last year is the path the Crimson Tide will travel between now and Dec. 1. Barring a team-wide breakout of the Ebola virus this week, UA will play on Conference Championship Saturday this time around.
From that standpoint, it will be more like 2009, when Alabama headed into that year's Auburn game with conference and national title hopes on the line. And like 2009, there will likely be an opponent waiting in Atlanta who wants the same the thing as the Crimson Tide.
For now, though, there are games to play against in-state rivals. You don't think Auburn and Georgia Tech would love to do what Baylor and Stanford did last night?
Within a five-hour window, Alabama and Georgia benefited from an amazing amount of help. From this point forward, the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs, expected to rank No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, behind Notre Dame in the next BCS rankings, need only be concerned with themselves. For a select few college football teams in late November, there's no better feeling.
The above commentary earlier appeared in TRips Three Questions Revisited
Already have an account? Sign In