As Auburn’s Tigers celebrated their Iron Bowl win Saturday, Alabama’s players trudged off knowing that they had made history — and not the good kind.
The 48-45 loss to the Tigers meant that, for the first time in the six seasons in which college football has used a four-team format to determine its champion, ‘Bama is out in the cold. And the Crimson Tide lost its second regular season game, something that hasn’t happened since 2010.
The Iron Bowl was a wildly entertaining game, unless you happen to be an Alabama fan, parent, coach, player or, especially, the team’s sophomore kicker. Joseph Bulovas had the tying kick on his toe Saturday and clanked a 30-yard attempt that would have tied the score off the left upright with 2 minutes left.
As far from ordinary as the result was in the Nick Saban era, Bulovas’ reaction to it was even more unusual. He wrote a letter of apology to Tide fans.
“After reflecting on the game, I just wanted to express my apologies to the entire Crimson Tide nation,” Bulovas wrote on Twitter. “Nobody was more disappointed than myself. Regardless of the circumstances, that is a kick I should make in my sleep and nobody is as big of a critic as I am of myself. To the fans, my coaches, and my teammates; I promise you will never see a guy work as hard as I will for the entirety of my career because I owe that to all of you.”
Bulovas was 6 of 6 on extra points and made a 40-yard field goal. He was 8 of 11 on field goal attempts, taking the job after Will Reichard was injured.
If it’s any comfort — and it obviously isn’t — Saban’s teams at Alabama have missed 101 field goal tries since he became coach in 2007. That’s eight more than any other NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision team, according to ESPN.