What happens after an unranked team beats No. 1?

    Bill Connelly is a staff writer for ESPN.com.

An Alabama football loss under any circumstances is a noteworthy occasion. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide had lost only seven times in the past seven years heading into Saturday night’s game against Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M Aggies and hadn’t tasted defeat at all since a November 2019 loss at Auburn.

Saturday’s 41-38 defeat in College Station was even more rare. It was Saban’s first loss to a former assistant, and it was Bama’s first loss to an unranked opponent since 2007, Saban’s first year in charge. A&M had begun the year fifth in the polls, but back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State knocked the Aggies to “others receiving votes” status. Thanks to a stunning performance from A&M quarterback Zach Calzada and a wobbly 28-yard game winner from kicker Seth Small, A&M took down mighty Bama all the same.

This was the first time since 2008 that a No. 1 team lost to an unranked foe as a favorite of 15 or more points. It happened four times in the first five years of the 1980s but had happened only six times since. To get a feel for what might happen to both A&M and Bama moving forward, let’s take a walk through history and see how things played out in those previous 10 instances.

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