When Oklahoma beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, it was only the ninth loss for Alabama since Nick Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa. In the past, beating Bama has provided a springboard to things like national title game appearances and the Heisman Trophy. Though the Beating Bama effect will be different for the Sooners, since they’re starting a new season, here’s a look at the last nine times the Tide was rolled, and what momentum the winning team gained from the win:
Jan. 2, 2014
Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31
What happened next: The Sooners’ on-field momentum from the stunning upset remains to be seen, but Oklahoma scored big-time in other, off-the-field areas. Bob Stoops’ staff spent the last month of the season taking advantage of their big recruiting boost from the Sugar Bowl. Also, $370 million in stadium upgrades are much easier to sell to the regents and potential donors coming off a victory over the two-time defending national champion. The Sooners are considered a favorite to reach the College Football Playoff and Trevor Knight is a darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate, all because of that night in New Orleans.
Nov. 30, 2013
Auburn 34, Alabama 28
What happened next: The Tigers rose to No. 2 in the final BCS Standings, earning a second trip to the national championship game in the past four seasons. With the upset, coach Gus Malzahn and Auburn sent a message to the SEC and the rest of college football — there is more than one elite program in the state of Alabama.
Nov. 10, 2012
Texas A&M 29, Alabama 24
What happened next: After his impressive performance against the Crimson Tide, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel went on to become the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. The Aggies earned a convincing 41-13 Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma and finished the season with an 11-2 record. Alabama recovered from the loss and — with the help of some upsets around the country — routed Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.
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