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From Polls to Playoff, Part 2: The System Breaks

From Polls to Playoff, Part 2: The System Breaks

Beginning in 1936, the Associated Press ranked the nation’s top twenty football teams and awarded a national championship at the end of the regular season. Although bowl games (usually somewhere between five and seven) existed in these early days, the bowls were not taken into account when determining the national champion. There were several reasons the bowls were not included, including maintaining the amateur emphasis of college football, the fact the bowls were exhibitions, and the fact that most schools or conferences attempted to share the wealth by forbidding teams from attending the same bowl game in consecutive years.

Auburn wrap-up: Another miracle finish, because Alabama couldn’t finish

There will be no such breakdown today, because aside from a scattered few individual players, Alabama didn’t play like it wanted to win the game, and didn’t coach like it, either.

Placekicker Cade Foster, who had enjoyed a brilliant senior season after three iffy ones, crumbled in this game. There is no other way to say it. But Alabama coaches took him out either one kick too soon or a kick or two too late – and given how Alabama was playing, it might not have mattered anyway. Had this game hit overtime, would anyone have seriously expected Alabama to have won it then?

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BCS wrap-up: Alabama, not Notre Dame, wakes up the echoes of past domination

At some point in the next few weeks, after the confetti has been cleared from Sun Life Stadium and the mainstream media’s focus finally diverts from its much-preferred Notre Dame, the question will be asked whether this is the greatest era in Alabama football history.

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