The Norman Transcript

National Sports

November 5, 2012

Tide is No. 1, but aura takes hit

NORMAN — The toughest tests of the season were passed, and Alabama and Oregon are still perfect.

The Crimson Tide’s aura of invincibility was the only thing lost.

A thrilling Saturday produced some great games but no upsets and few changes among the highest ranked teams in The Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday.

Those fortunate enough to be able to keep track of multiple games got the chance to compare and contrast the contenders, and maybe a sense about how they would stack up against each other.

Alabama, which scored late to beat LSU 21-17, is No. 1 for the 10th straight week in the AP poll. Oregon beat Southern California 62-51 and is No. 2 for the seventh consecutive week.

Kansas State remains at No. 3 after beating Oklahoma State 44-30, and Notre Dame stays at No. 4 after rallying to beat Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime.

The BCS standings came out later Sunday, and Oregon took advantage of Notre Dame’s struggles by passing the Fighting Irish and moving into third place, behind Alabama and Kansas State. Thanks to the Ducks’ back-loaded schedule, a BCS title game between Oregon and Alabama seems to be the most likely scenario if all the unbeaten keep winning.

Saturday’s showdowns in the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 were played at the same time and for a while presented an almost comical contrast of styles.

While the Ducks and Trojans were trading scores on almost every possession, the Tide and Tigers were banging heads and plodding along.

By halftime, Oregon led USC 34-24 in a game that was clearly far from being decided. SEC fans scoffed at the lack of defense.

Meanwhile, in Baton Rouge, La., Alabama held a 14-3 lead at half that had to seem insurmountable to even LSU fans. The Tigers had run their string of touchdown-less quarters against the Tide to 10. Fans tired of SEC superiority scoffed at the lack of offense.

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