Alabama vs South Carolina 2010 looked to go like any other game. Although the Alabama vs South Carolina 2010 showdown went the Gamecocks’ way early, it could have easily been a mirage. After all, Arkansas went up early against the defending champions at home, yet could not handle the pressure. Once the Tide got a big break to start the second half, most probably figured, or feared, that they would roll again soon enough. Yet instead, the Alabama vs South Carolina battle was the first big BCS shakeup of the year, as the Gamecocks preserved a 35-21 upset.
The Gamecocks jumped out right away, as three Stephen Garcia touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes gave them a 21-3 lead. Mark Ingram, Greg McElory and the Tide were off to a far slower start, as they faced an even bigger deficit than in Fayetteville two weeks ago.
However, the game appeared to take a turning point for the Tide. The champs closed it to 21-9 at the half, despite missing an extra point. On the first play of the second half, Garcia bobbled a high snap, and inexplicably tossed the ball into his own end zone for a safety. With the lead down to 21-11, and with the Tide driving down the field, it looked like the same old story.
The Tide always find a way to pull these games out, while the Gamecocks have fallen short of making big statements over the years. But this time, the usual breaks did not happen. The Tide were only held to a field goal, and Garcia answered back by leading a drive to put the Gamecocks up 28-14.
At the start of the fourth, the Tide got a big bomb, as McElory threw a 51-yard touchdown to Darius Hanks. Yet the showdown would be controlled by the Gamecocks from then on. A one-handed, 45 yard reception by Alshon Jeffery led to the clinching touchdown, and to the first major upset of the season.
After five weeks of stability, the BCS picture finally looks chaotic – fittingly, just before the first BCS standings come out. The defending national champions are now knocked from the top of the polls, although how far down will be the big question tomorrow. Meanwhile, another question is how far the Gamecocks will climb, and whether they truly are an SEC leader now.
At long last, Steve Spurrier got his signature win in Columbia, as the Alabama vs South Carolina battle was the Gamecocks’ first win over a No. 1 team. If they win the SEC East, they could get another shot at the Tide, although Alabama is now behind Auburn and LSU in the SEC West.
Thanks to the upset, the 2010 rankings now have their first serious, non-Boise State related debate – who is No. 1 now? Ohio State will likely take over for now, but will Alabama be away from the top for long?
SI.com- “Alabama vs South Carolina – Recap”