The popularity contest has already resulted in $15,000 being allocated to the University's general scholarship fund, $5,000 for each selection. Whether Roman Harper's fumble-causing hit against Tennessee fullback Cory Anderson is the fourth such award for Alabama this season will be announced at halftime of Thursday night's Virginia Tech-Boston College game.
Tyrone Prothro's miraculous catch at the end of the first half was indeed game-changing, and was the Tide's first winner of the vote this season. The following week at South Carolina Keith Brown caught a pass early that was deemed game-changing. Brown's catch and 46-yard run for a touchdown cued 30 unanswered points after the Gamecocks tied the game at seven. A Brodie Croyle-to-Prothro touchdown on Bama's first offensive play against Florida was the third winner of the award.
Harper's hit on Anderson is more deserving than the others. With less than six minutes to play, as Anderson ambled a screen pass inside the 5-yard line to put Tennessee on the verge of a game-winning score, instead gave Alabama the ball with five minutes to play and set up a Tide drive and game winner by Jamie Christensen.
There's still a month of regular season to play (in other words-an eternity), but Thursday night's Va. Tech-Boston College game will interest the Crimson Tide for other reason, too. Virginia Tech is one of four undefeated teams ahead of Alabama in all of the major polls as well as the BCS rankings, along with Southern Cal, Texas and Georgia. Alabama could theoretically meet Georgia in the SEC championship game, but would have to pass the other three teams in the rankings without a head-to-head meeting.
Tide Head Coach Mike Shula said Thursday night that he wouldn't be paying any special attention to the game, other than seeing part of the it on the television at Wings restaurant as he does his coaches show every Thursday night.