TUSCALOOSA — TUSCALOOSA — Whiskey bottles, plastic cups and anything else the fans sitting in the Ole Miss student section could get their hands on were flying onto the playing surface.
One female Rebels fan even threw her red high-heel shoes onto the field at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium.
What was the ruckus about?
Alabama 27. Ole Miss 24.
Oh yeah. The game also ended with a controversial call that cost Ole Miss a shot at the win.
Hotty toddy. Gosh almighty.
What was this? This was Ole Miss-Alabama in 2007.
It wasn’t one of the Rebels’ finer moments. That loss eventually led to the firing of former Ole Miss football coach Ed Orgeron.
The events that followed for Alabama weren’t much better.
In coach Nick Saban’s first year, the Crimson Tide followed with wins over Tennessee and Houston before closing out the regular season with a five-game losing skid that included embarrassing losses to Louisiana-Monroe and Mississippi State.
So that win in Oxford, Miss., turned out to be huge. Alabama’s wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee that season allowed the Crimson Tide to become bowl eligible, setting up an eventual victory over Colorado in the Independence Bowl.
But back to the Ole Miss game. Its finish was one of the most interesting moments of Saban’s first season at Alabama.
Trailing by three late in the fourth quarter, Ole Miss quarterback Seth Adams completed what appeared to be a 41-yard pass to Shay Hodge on fourth down. That play would’ve put the Rebels on the 4-yard line.
Emphasis on would’ve.
As Hodge ran down the visiting sideline, Saban was screaming that the Ole Miss receiver had stepped out of bounds before catching the ball. After a five-minute review, the Southeastern Conference officials working the game overturned the call, giving Alabama the football.