It was supposed to be the weekend of the Iowa Hawkeyes. And it was… until the Alabama Crimson Tide, ranked #1 in the country, fell at the hands of the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station on Saturday evening. The Aggies ran out to a 17-7 lead after one and then led 24-10 at the half before the Tide roared back to lead 38-31 with five minutes remaining. That would have been all-she-wrote for most teams, but the Aggies came back and tied the game at 38 with three minutes on the clock as Zach Calzada found Ainias Smith from 25 yards out. They then would get the ball back again, driving down the field to allow Seth Small to make a 28-yard field goal with time expiring to win it 41-38.
The defeat is the first the Tide has had against an unranked foe in 100 games and is the first time that head coach Nick Saban has fallen to a former assistant of his (Jimbo Fisher being the winner this time around). This means there will be a new #1, and that’s likely to be the Georgia Bulldogs, ranked #2 heading into the weekend, after they dominated, again, #18 Auburn 34-10. Another huge game took place in the Big Ten, and it deserves a lot of attention as well. The aforementioned Hawkeyes, #3, we’re hosting the #4 Penn State Nittany Lions and it was not going very well for them. Down 17-3 early in the second quarter and 20-10 midway through the third, it did not look like it was going to be their day. But an injury to quarterback Sean Clifford on Penn State helped them change their fortunes, and they scored 13 unanswered points in the last 17 minutes to win 23-20 and bolster their College Football Playoff hopes in the process. The dagger came with under 6:30 to go as Spencer Petras found Nico Ragiani from 44 yards out. Iowa’s defense, one of the best in the nation, forced four turnovers, and that difference ultimately showed in the outcome. In another huge comeback, the #6 Oklahoma Sooners downed #21 Texas 55-48 in the Red River shootout. The Sooners trailed 38-20 at the half, but they turned it around and will have boosted the Big 12’s hopes of a CFP berth as a result. #17 Ole Miss won an SEC shootout as well, defeating #13 Arkansas 52-51 when the Hogs went for a two-point conversion with no time left. The last ranked team to lose on the day was #10 BYU. They lost 26-17 to Boise State, ending their hopes of last-four contention.