Tide Wins, Mark Ingram Loses: Alabama 26, Auburn 21

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To an extent, Alabama should be relieved just to win this one; Auburn led for 49 minutes of game time (and didn't trail until the last 1:24) and outgained the Tide 333-293. The national title hopes are still intact despite an unexpectedly difficult rivalry game, and any talk of how many fingers you need to count the Auburn winning streak are a distant memory after two consecutive Iron Bowl victories by Bama.

But at least one player in Crimson on Friday has something to be disappointed about: Mark Ingram's Heisman chances are over for this year. Right or wrong, voters for the award count what you do late in the season ahead of anything else; gaining 30 yards and being out of the game for almost all of the key drive on national television is probably enough to end Ingram's hopes, particularly after Colt McCoy's performance in an equally intense rivalry game Thursday night. "Over" might be a touch strong, but only an unlikely confluence of an Ingram-fueled victory over Florida and a McCoy disappointment in a Texas loss to Nebraska would be enough to give Ingram a chance, and only if no one else has a breakout game this weekend.

So now Alabama has only two trophies to worry about -- the SEC Championship and the crystal football -- though Ingram slowly walking off the field on his final play of the game could influence those if the running back is injured. Just because he didn't win the game Friday doesn't mean the Tide won't need him to win the more important game in one week.

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