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.
Nov. 5, 2011
LSU 9, Alabama 6, OT
What happened next: LSU went unbeaten through the regular season and won the SEC championship. Alabama didn’t lose again and worked its way back up the BCS Standings to set up a rematch with the Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game, which the Crimson Tide won 21-0.
Nov. 26, 2010
Auburn 28, Alabama 27
What happened next: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy and became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Tigers won the 2010 SEC and national championships, beating Oregon 22-19 in the BCS title game.
Nov. 6, 2010
LSU 24, Alabama 21
What happened next: LSU finished the season with an 11-2 record and ranked No. 8 in both polls after beating Texas A&M 41-24 in the Cotton Bowl.
Oct. 9, 2010
S. Carolina 35, Alabama 21
What happened next: The Gamecocks finished with a 5-3 SEC record, which that year was good enough to win a weak East Division. Auburn routed South Carolina 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game, and the Gamecocks lost the Chik-Fil-A Bowl to Florida State to finish the season at 9-5.
Jan. 2, 2009
Utah 31, Alabama 17
What happened next: Both Utah coordinators moved on to take bigger and better jobs after the Sugar Bowl upset. The Utes went 10-3 the next season, finishing 6-2 in Mountain West Conference play and ranked No. 18 in the final polls after beating California in the Poinsettia Bowl. Two years later, Utah joined the Pac-12 Conference.
Dec. 6, 2008
Florida 31, Alabama 20
What happened next: This SEC title game essentially served as a national semifinal, with both teams being ranked in the top three. Tim Tebow and Florida went on to beat Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS National Championship Game, and Tebow — who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy — was again a Heisman finalist, ultimately losing to the Sooners’ Sam Bradford.