Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Tops Texas Tech in Cotton Bowl


Alabama won the Cotton Bowl on Monday on a last-second field goal by Jamie Christensen, beating Texas Tech 13-10.

Shaking off a miss from 39 yards and a block from 38, Christensen barely made a low, spinning line drive from a career-best 45 yards as time expired, giving No. 13 Alabama the win over No. 18 Texas Tech.

The entire stadium went silent as Christensen's kick headed toward the bottom left corner of the goalpost. When the official immediately under it threw up his arms to signal the kick was good, one teammate lifted Christensen into the air and a wild celebration began.

It was a bizarre scene _ the Crimson Tide circling the field looking for people to hug, while everyone on the Red Raiders' side of the field was so stunned they weren't moving.

This was the first time in the 70-year history of the Cotton Bowl that the game was decided by a last-second field goal. The only other time the winning points were scored as time ran out was in 1979, when an ill Joe Montana threw a tying touchdown pass and then the extra point gave Notre Dame a 35-34 victory over Houston.

Christensen won two other games this season, on a 31-yarder with no time left in a 13-10 win over Mississippi and on a 34-yarder with 13 seconds for a 6-3 win over Tennessee the following week. That made him the first player in school history to kick game-winners in consecutive weeks, and this one _ so ugly it was beautiful _ certainly deserves a spot in Tide lore, too.

Playing its record-stretching 53rd bowl game, Alabama added to another mark by winning for the 30th time. This one made the Tide 10-2, marking the 28th time they've hit double digits, extending yet another record.

This one is very meaningful to coach Mike Shula and especially the senior class that broke in under Dennis Franchione and went through the Mike Price mess. The win also should make for a more comfortable offseason because it ends a two-game losing streak that began when Alabama was 9-0 and ranked No. 4.