Auburn’s fall, Crimson Tide’s rise rule 2008

What a year. What other point can be made about 2008?
It had everything from Alabama’s improbable quest for a 13th national title to Auburn’s shocking crash and burn (although Gene Chizik may have stopped some of the hemorrhaging with the excellent choice of Gus Malzahn as his offensive coordinator). It was chock full of headlines, surprises and farewells. For many, a year to cherish. For others, a year to forget.

The following items are some of the most noteworthy developments of the past 52 weeks:
–Biggest story: Bama is back … How many times has that phrase been uttered over the years? This time, it was legit with one of the most unexpected and rewarding Alabama football seasons in a generation and a five-week stay at No. 1 in the polls.

–Most unforgettable moment: Alabama crushes Auburn 36-0 … Six years of frustration finally ends and the Tide Nation erupted when Alabama backup Greg McElroy hit Marquis Maze for a 34-yard touchdown with just over two minutes remaining for the final exclamation point. You could hear “Rammer Jammer” all the way back in Birmingham. The look on Tommy Tuberville’s face (who entered the stadium waving seven fingers in the air) was priceless to Alabama fans.