The odds were already in Minnesota's favor.
The Crimson Tide bench just impulsively decided to tip the scales ... even more in Minnesota's favor.
For whatever the polls mean -- and at best, they're an opinionated but effective PR exercise -- the undefeated, 12th-ranked Golden Gophers didn't exactly need more of an edge, playing at home to undefeated, 24th-ranked Alabama.
Turns out they needed every edge they could get.
Alabama was already chopping into Minnesota's 14-point lead when matters started getting chippy.
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Merely winning a domestic title is but a modest objective for the mega-clubs. So the fact that Barcelona is already running away from chief rival Real Madrid and others in the La Liga race is not necessarily the reason ...
This will likely be the only time we'll ever see Andreas Athanasiou and Alex Ovechkin in the same sentence. But dude's matched the precocious Russian in at least one NHL category. Sending fans home really early when they were preparing ..
Although it can seem like Barcelona and Real Madrid clash every other week, they actually do take time to tolerate other clubs. Mainly because that's how league schedules work. Fans seemingly expect those two to prevail ..