Now, it's out of Alabama's hands.
The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide has not only lost that aura of invincibility that seemed to surround Nick Saban's team through eight games and the final two minutes against LSU, but lost control of its fate in the national title derby. No. 9 Texas A&M made sure of that with Johnny Manziel's dazzling performance and a goal line stand in Saturday's 29-24 upset.
Bama fell three spots from its nearly season-long perch atop the rankings and now must hope for some sort of shakeup among No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Kansas State and No. 3 Notre Dame.
The word of the night from Saban was ''recommit.'' But the Tide had issues that seldom crept up against lesser competition, including third-down stops and catching Manziel.