All game Nick Saban and Alabama had flirted with putting away upstart Auburn. Now it was the final instant of regulation on Saturday at Jordan-Hare, the entire country sat, leaning forward, staring at their television screens.
Surely, Nick Saban, patron saint of the process, had prepared for this moment.
Nick Saban prepares for every moment.
Article continues below ...
That’s the entire point of the process, nothing surprises him.
Saban couldn’t possibly be taking a chance, risking his dynasty on a harebrained special teams scheme of a 57-yard field goal. Not after the Crimson Tide’s Cade Foster had already missed three field goals. Not with a kicker named Adam Griffith, a redshirt freshman, a player he hadn’t trusted to attempt the first three kicks.
There was no way Alabama could lose this game, right?
Then God showed us he has a tremendous sense of humor.
God looked down at Auburn fans and thought, "You poor bastards, you put up with idiot Alabama fans all year around. They killed your trees. They say "Roll Tide," over and over again as they exit jail. You had Gene Chizik’s implosion last year. I’m going to reward y’all at long last. Tonight, I’m starting a frenzy all over the Yellowhammer State. Alabama’s not just missing this kick, Auburn’s winning the game with no time left on the clock."
And as the ball sailed through the air and no one breathed in the entire state of Alabama, it came up short and landed softly in Chris Davis’s arms.
And then this happened.
109 yards later there can be no doubt. Auburn 34, Alabama 28.
God is an Auburn Tiger.
Make no mistake, the Tigers are squarely in the middle of the national title race.
Of course, all Alabama needs to have happen to play for the national title is for Michigan State to beat Ohio State and the looming possibility of a sexual assault charge against Jameis Winston to derail Florida State.
Given Bama’s luck the past two seasons, that will probably happen.
Which would mean we’d have an Iron Bowl rematch in the Rose Bowl for the BCS title, provided Auburn gets a win in the SEC title game.
Would the state of Alabama survive?
I doubt it.
But for one night at least, Nick Saban’s process went bankrupt.