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The Crimson Tide won big over Mississippi State, but they lost even bigger in the second quarter when Tagovailoa landed hard on his right knee under the weight of two Bulldog defenders.
The hit will cost him the rest of the season due to a dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture, a source told Aaron Suttles of The Athletic. The school confirmed his lengthy absence late on Saturday.
Bookmakers swiftly took their college football title odds off the board on Saturday, with some reinstalling Alabama on Sunday at a major discount. One book moved the Crimson Tide from 6-1 to 18-1 after Saturday's win, and another priced them at 30-1.
Alabama was listed at 10-1 at theScore Bet before Tagovailoa's injury, and the team was still a 2-1 co-favorite as recently as two weeks ago before losing to LSU last Saturday.
The reigning runners-up will now turn to redshirt sophomore Mac Jones, who nearly received the start on Saturday with Tagovailoa listed as a game-time decision. After Tagovailoa went down, Jones finished 7-for-11 passing for 94 yards in Saturday's win. He was also impressive during his lone start two weeks ago against Arkansas, going 18-for-22 passing for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
A star-studded receiving corps and talented defense will aid the former three-star prospect, though the injury bug nipped those two units on Saturday, too. Star receiver Henry Ruggs III left the game with bruised ribs, top defensive tackle Raekwon Davis sprained his ankle, and defensive lineman DJ Dale suffered a "twisted knee," according to the Montgomery Adviser.
Despite Alabama's odds taking a massive hit, the odds for title favorites LSU (2-1 to 9-4) and Ohio State (2-1 to 9-4) slightly lengthened following another strong performance from Clemson (7-2 to 11-4). Instead, the biggest beneficiaries were playoff bubble teams Georgia (14-1 to 8-1), Oklahoma (40-1 to 25-1), Utah (40-1 to 25-1), and Oregon (50-1 to 40-1).
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.