Alabama Crimson Tide football: Wikis


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Alabama Crimson Tide football
First season 1892
Athletic director Mal Moore
Head coach Nick Saban
3rd year, 33–8  (.805)
Home stadium Bryant-Denny Stadium
Stadium capacity 92,012
Stadium surface Natural grass
Location Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Conference Southeastern
Division West
All-time record 813–316–43 (.712)
Postseason bowl record 32[b]–22–3
Claimed national titles 13[1][2]
Conference titles 26 (22 SEC)
Heisman winners 1
Consensus All-Americans 44[3][4]
Current uniform
Colors Crimson and White            
Fight song Yea Alabama
Mascot Elephant (Big Al)
Marching band Million Dollar Band
Rivals Auburn Tigers
Tennessee Volunteers
LSU Tigers

The Alabama Crimson Tide football program is a college football team that represents the University of Alabama (variously Alabama, UA, or 'Bama). The team currently competes in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision[5] as a member of the Southeastern Conference. The Crimson Tide is one of the most storied and decorated programs in NCAA history. Since beginning play in 1892, the program has claimed 13 national championships,[1][2][6] and is tied with Notre Dame with eight consensus wire (AP or Coaches) national titles.[7] From 1958 to 1982, the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who won six national championships with the program.[2] Despite multiple national and conference championships, it was not until 2009 that an Alabama player received a Heisman Trophy, when running back Mark Ingram became the university's first winner.[8]

Alabama has amassed the sixth-most victories in Division I with 813,[a][b] for a sixth-best .712 winning percentage. Alabama has won 26 conference championships (four Southern Conference and 22 SEC championships) and has made an NCAA-record 57 postseason bowl appearances. Other NCAA records include 22 10-game win streaks, and 17 seasons with a 10-0 start. The program is tied with the Oklahoma Sooners with 30 10–win seasons,[9][10] and tied with the USC Trojans with 32 bowl victories.[b][11] The Crimson Tide leads the SEC West Division with seven division titles and seven appearances in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama holds a winning record against every current and former SEC school.[12] The Associated Press (AP) currently ranks Alabama 5th in all-time final AP Poll appearances, with 47.[13]

Alabama currently plays their home games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, located on the campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[14] With a capacity of 92,012 in 2009, Bryant-Denny is the 17th largest stadium in the world and the seventh largest on-campus stadium in the United States.



Head coaching history

Alabama has had 28 head coaches since organized football began in 1892. Adopting the nickname of the Crimson Tide after the 1907 season, the team has played more than 1,100 games in their 114 seasons. In that time, 12 coaches have led the Crimson Tide in postseason bowl games: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Harold Drew, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Shula, Joe Kines, and Nick Saban.[1] Eight of those coaches also won conference championships: Wade, Thomas, Drew, Bryant, Curry, Stallings, DuBose, and Saban.[1] During their tenures, Wade, Thomas, Bryant, Stallings, and Saban all won national championships with the Crimson Tide.[1]

Of the 27 different head coaches who have led the Crimson Tide, Wade,[15] Thomas[16] and Bryant[17] have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The current head coach is Nick Saban, who was hired in January 2007.[18]

Early history (1892–1921)

The Alabama football team in 1892. Among those labeled are head coach Beaumont (5), Bankhead (9), Little (10), and Graves (15).
Alabama in the early 1900s

University of Alabama law student William G. Little learned how to play American football while attending prep school in Andover, Massachusetts and began teaching the sport to fellow Alabama students in early 1892.[19] Later in the year, the school formed an official team of 19 players, with Little as captain and E. B. Beaumont as head coach.[20] Among those also on the team were William B. Bankhead, future U.S. Speaker of the House, and Bibb Graves, future governor of Alabama.[21] The team was referred to as the "Cadets", the "Crimson White", or simply as "the varsity".[20][22]

On November 11, 1882, the team played its first game at a baseball park in Birmingham, Alabama, winning 56–0 against a team composed of players from local Birmingham-area high schools.[20] The team played only one game during the 1897 and 1898 seasons because of a ban restricting student athletes from traveling away from campus.[19] The team resumed play in 1899 after the ban was lifted due to fan and student outcry.[19] Following the 1907 season, the team adopted the "Crimson Tide" nickname.[22] The school did not field a team in 1918 because of World War I, but resumed play once again in 1919.[19]

Rise to prominence (1922–1957)

Shortly after the end of the 1922 season in which he led Alabama in the victory over Penn, head coach Xen C. Scott died of cancer, and Brown University alum Wallace Wade was hired as the new head coach. Intent on building a dynasty after Wade led the team to the Rose Bowl win over Washington, the team's first national championship, and "the game that changed the South."[23] Athletics director George Denny took advantage of the team's newfound popularity and began advertising the University of Alabama in metropolitan New York City newspapers. Students, football players and fans alike from the Northeast began enrolling at Alabama at such a rate that by 1930, over one-third of the student body was from out-of-state.[24] Wade led the Crimson Tide to two more national titles before taking the head coaching position at Duke in 1931.[25]

Frank Thomas, a former quarterback for a Notre Dame squad led by Knute Rockne, was hired to replace Wade. Thomas led the team to continued success and two more national championships before health issues forced him to retire after a 14–year tenure as head coach of the program, which did not field a team in 1943 because of World War II. Among the players that Thomas coached were Harry Gilmer, Don Hutson, and Paul "Bear" Bryant.

Harold "Red" Drew followed Thomas as head coach and led the team to a 54–28–7 record over the next eight seasons, though never winning a national championship. Drew's successor, J.B. "Ears" Whitworth, led the Crimson Tide to its worst three-year stretch in school history, posting a 4–24–2 record before being fired following the 1957 season.

Paul "Bear" Bryant era (1958–1982)

Paul William "Bear" Bryant came to the Crimson Tide program in December 1957, after leaving his head coaching position at Texas A&M.[26] On December 8, five days after leaving A&M, Bryant was asked why he left for Alabama. Bryant replied, "Mama called, and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running."[27] Bryant entered an Alabama program which had not had a winning record in four seasons. However, in his first season, Bryant led Alabama to a 5–4–1 record—one more win than Alabama had in the previous three seasons.[28][29] In his fourth season, Bryant led the Crimson Tide to their sixth national championship which included Bryant's first bowl victory with Alabama.[2] Between 1961 to 1966, Alabama went 60-5-1, which included three national championships, four Southeastern Conference Championships, two undefeated seasons, and six bowl berths.[30]

Between 1970–1979, the Crimson Tide was one of the most dominant teams in college football. During the decade the program won eight conference titles and three national championships.[2]. The very first game of the decade was notable, as the team was thoroughly defeated by the USC Trojans in Birmingham 42–21. The game that is generally credited as the catalyst to end segregation in college football.[31] The following season, John Mitchell, an African-American transfer from Eastern Arizona Junior College, played in the rematch, a game that Alabama won 17–10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In that game, Mitchell became the first black player to start for the Tide.

Bryant's final game as head coach of Alabama came in the 1982 Liberty Bowl.[32][33] Bryant's retirement made the Liberty Bowl one of the most covered games that season as many news stations and newspapers sent reporters to cover the game.[34][35] Alabama was earned a 21–15 victory over Illinois.[36]

During his tenure at Alabama, Bryant led Alabama to a 232–46–9 record. His achievements included six national championships,[2] 13 Southeastern Conference titles, and 11 bowl victories. In his 25 seasons, he led the Crimson Tide to 24 consecutive bowl appearances. At the time of his retirement, Bryant had recorded an NCAA record 323 wins.[37]

Bryant once said if he retired that he would "probably croak in a week" and said, "I imagine I'd go straight to the graveyard."[38][39] Four weeks after coaching his final game, Bear Bryant died of a heart attack on January 26, 1983.[40]

Perkins-Curry era (1983–1989)

Former New York Giants head coach Ray Perkins replaced Bryant, under whom he played for in the early 1960s.[41] In his first season head coach, Alabama finished the regular season at 7–4, just as it had done in the previous year. In the Sun Bowl, Alabama upset the #5-ranked SMU Mustangs 28–7.[42] His second season was far less successful, as Alabama endured their first losing season in 28 years with a 5–6 record, failing to qualify for a bowl game.[43] In 1985, the team fared much better than the previous season, finishing with a 9–2–1 record. Following a dramatic victory over Auburn, the Tide went on to defeat Southern Cal 28–3 in the Aloha Bowl.[44] The 1986 season, Alabama went 10–3 as they defeated Notre Dame for the first time in school history, and ended a losing streak versus rival Tennessee. In the season finale in the Sun Bowl, Alabama won 28–6 over the Washington Huskies.[45] Perkins accumulated a 32–15–1 record during his tenure before deciding to leave for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[46]

Perkins was succeeded by his former Baltimore Colts teammate and Georgia Tech head coach Bill Curry. Curry led the Tide to three winning seasons, including three straight victories over Joe Paterno and Penn State and a 10–0 start to the 1989 season. However, tensions within the athletic department and three straight losses against arch-rival Auburn led Curry to resign so that he could go on to become head coach for Kentucky.[47]

Gene Stallings era (1990–1996)

Alabama once again sought someone with ties to Bryant by hiring Gene Stallings, who had been recently removed as head coach of the Phoenix Cardinals.[48] Stallings had been a member of the infamous Junction Boys, a group of players who were trained under Bryant during his stay at Texas A&M.[49] In his first season, the Tide lost their first three games, but rebounded to finish off the season with a 7–5 record. In his first bowl game, Alabama lost to Louisville in a 34–7 rout.[50] The following season proved to be much more successful as Alabama finished with an 11–1 record. After a 35–0 blowout loss to the Florida Gators, the team finished off the regular season with nine consecutive victories, before defeating Colorado 30–25 in the Blockbuster Bowl.[51]

In just his third season as head coach, Alabama was unbeaten in the regular season, and recorded three shutout victories en route to the inaugural SEC Championship Game. Alabama was able to avoid an upset with a late interception by Antonio Langham, who returned it for a touchdown to secure a 28–21 victory.[52] With the win, Alabama was invited to the 1993 Sugar Bowl to face the unbeaten Miami Hurricanes, who entered with a 29-game winning streak and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in Gino Torretta. Despite Miami being favored by 8 points, the Crimson Tide's defense proved to be too much as the Tide routed Miami 34–13,[53] allowing them to claim their 12th national championship[54]—the first since the Bryant era.[55]

The Crimson Tide were forced to forfeit eight victories and one tie in games which were participated in by senior cornerback Antonio Langham during the 9–3–1 1993 season. It was discovered before Alabama's bowl game that year that Langham had violated NCAA rules by signing with an agent after the previous season.[56] Alabama was in contention for another national title in 1994 before losing the SEC Championship Game to Florida. Though going 8–3 in 1995, Alabama was not allowed to play in a bowl game, due to a probationary stipulation resulting from the Langham incident.[56] Stallings led the team to a 10–3 record and a victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl during the 1996 season before retiring.[57]

DuBose-Franchione-Shula era (1997–2006)

Alabama (in crimson jerseys) defeated Arkansas 24–13, en route to a 10–2 record in 2005.

Following Gene Stallings's retirement in 1996, defensive coordinator Mike DuBose was promoted to the head coaching position.[58][59] In his third season, DuBose won the SEC Championship.[60] With the success, Alabama began their 2000 season as high as #3 in some polls. The expectations went unfulfilled as the Tide slumped to a 3–8 record. Following the season, DuBose was replaced by an up-and-coming coach from TCU, Dennis Franchione.[61]

Franchione led Alabama to two winning seasons in 2001 and 2002, with a combined 17–8 record. Late in the 2002 season, rumors began to surface about Franchione expressing desire to leave Alabama for other coaching jobs, including Big 12 schools Kansas and Texas A&M.[62][63] On December 5, 2002, Franchione was formally introduced as the head coach at Texas A&M.[64]

On December 18, 2002, Alabama announced that Washington State head coach Mike Price would be the next coach for the Crimson Tide program.[65][66] However, in May 2003, Price was removed from his position as the head coach, following a scandal.[67][68][69] Less than a week later, Alabama hired Mike Shula, a former Alabama quarterback and then-quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins.[70] Alabama had reportedly been searching mainly for former Alabama players.[71]

With the difficult offseason, the Shula-led Crimson Tide finished 4–9 in 2003. Bama's 2004 team finished the regular season with a 6–6 record and made their first bowl appearance in three seasons.[72] It was also the first season the team began playing all their home games exclusively at Bryant-Denny Stadium. In previous years, the Tide had played many of their biggest home games at Legion Field in Birmingham. During the offseason, Alabama once again was able to gain a "full" recruiting class, following a probation by the NCAA which occurred in 2001 resulting from recruiting violations that occurred during Dubose's tenure. In Shula's third season, Alabama rolled to a 10–2 record, ending with a 13–10 victory in the 2006 Cotton Bowl. However, the following season, Alabama struggled to find consistency. The team ended with a 6–7 overall record, losing every road game of the season. Shula was terminated as head coach of the program,[73][74] having been the only head coach at Alabama to lose four consecutive games to Auburn.[75]

Nick Saban era (2007–present)

On January 7, 2010, Alabama defeated Texas 37–21 for the BCS National Championship.

On January 3, 2007, Nick Saban left the NFL's Miami Dolphins and accepted an offer worth US$32 million guaranteed for eight years to be the next Crimson Tide head coach.[18][76] In his first season, Saban led the Crimson Tide to a 7–6 record. A promising 6-2 start gave way to ending the regular season with four straight losses including an upset loss to Louisiana-Monroe.[77] The team rebounded in its final game, defeating Colorado in the Independence Bowl.

Alabama greatly improved in the following season, becoming the first SEC football team in history to post a 12–0 regular season record (followed by both Florida and Alabama in 2009) and climbing to its first #1 ranking in 16 years, before finishing with back-to-back losses in the SEC Championship Game[78] and the Sugar Bowl.[79]

In 2009, Nick Saban led Alabama to its second consecutive undefeated regular season (12–0), and added an SEC Championship Game victory over #1 ranked Florida Gators to improve to 13-0.[80] On January 7, 2010, Alabama beat Texas 37–21 in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, finishing the season 14-0 and winning Alabama its 13th national championship.[81] Saban's record at Alabama is 33–8.


Conference Year Overall Record Coach
Southern 1924 8–1–0 Wallace Wade
1925 10–0–0
1926 9–0–1
1930 10–0–0
Southeastern 1933 7–1–1 Frank Thomas
1934 10–0–0
1937 9–1–0
1941^ 9–2–0
1945 10–0–0
1953 6–3–3 Harold Drew
1961 11–0–0 Bear Bryant
1964 10–1–0
1965 9–1–1
1966 11–0–0
1971 11–1–0
1972 10–2–0
1973 11–1–0
1974 11–1–0
1975 11–1–0
1977 11–1–0
1978 11–1–0
1979 12–0–0
1981 9–2–1
1989 10–2–0 Bill Curry
1992 13–0–0 Gene Stallings
1999 10–3 Mike DuBose
2009 14–0 Nick Saban

Bold indicates national championship.
Denotes co-championship.
^ Did not win conference championship.
‡First year of SEC Championship Game.

National championships

National championships in NCAA FBS college football are debated. Despite not naming an official National Champion, the NCAA provides lists of championships awarded by organizations it recognizes.[6][82] According to the official NCAA 2009 Division I Football Records Book, "During the last 138 years, there have been more than 30 selectors of national champions using polls, historical research and mathematical rating systems. Beginning in 1936, the Associated Press began the best-known and most widely circulated poll of sportswriters and broadcasters. Before 1936, national champions were determined by historical research and retroactive ratings and polls. [...] The criteria for being included in this historical list of poll selectors is that the poll be national in scope, either through distribution in newspaper, television, radio and/or computer online."[83]

The University of Alabama 2009 Official Football Media Guide states that Alabama had 12 national championships prior to winning the 2010 BCS National Championship.[84] The 2009 title brings the total number of national championships claimed by Alabama to 13. In addition to the championships claimed by the university, the NCAA lists Alabama as receiving a championship for the 1945, 1966, 1975, and 1977 college football seasons.[6][82] However, those championships are not claimed by Alabama. Eight of Alabama's national championships were awarded by the wire-services (AP and Coaches' Poll) since their inception.[6][82]

In 1988, then-Alabama Sports Information Director Wayne Atcheson added five national championship teams (1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941) -- recognized prior to the modern era -- to the University's Football Media Guide. According to Atcheson, he made the effort in the context of disputed titles being claimed by other schools, and "to make Alabama football look the best it could look." Though the claim was made in the spirit of competition with other claimants, Atcheson maintains that the titles he included are the school's rightful claims.[85]

National championship seasons

  • 1926 — The 1926 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Wallace Wade, completed the regular season 9–0–0, winning the Southern Conference championship. Alabama was then invited to play Stanford in the January 1, 1927 Rose Bowl. Coach Wade's team tied the Indians 7–7 to finish the season 9–0–1. The outstanding player of the game was Fred Pickhard.[86] The 1926 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation,[87] retroactively.
  • 1930 — The 1930 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Wallace Wade, completed the regular season 9–0–0, winning the Southern Conference championship. Alabama was then invited to play Washington State in the January 1, 1931 Rose Bowl. Coach Wade's team defeated the Cougars 24–0 to finish the season 10–0–0. The outstanding player of the game was John Campbell.[86] The 1930 Alabama football team tied with Notre Dame as national champions in the Davis poll.[87]
  • 1934 — The 1934 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Frank Thomas, completed the regular season 9–0–0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. Alabama was then invited to play Stanford in the January 1, 1935 Rose Bowl. Coach Thomas' team defeated the Indians 29–13 to finish the season 10–0–0. The outstanding player of the game was Millard "Dixie" Howell.[86] The 1934 Alabama football team was selected national champions by Dunkel, Williamson and Football Thesaurus.[87] The University of Alabama honored Ben McLeod, Jr., the 95–year–old former backup End of the 1934 team at the September 6, 2008 Alabama–Tulane game.[88]
  • 1964 — The 1964 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Bear Bryant, completed the regular season 10–0–0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. Alabama was led by quarterback Joe Namath. Alabama was then invited to play the Texas Longhorns in the January 1, 1965 Orange Bowl. Coach Bryant's team lost to the Longhorns 21–17 to finish the season 10–1–0. The outstanding player of the game was Joe Namath.[86] The 1964 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the AP and Coaches' Polls prior to bowl games.[87] Because of the controversy with Alabama being selected over undefeated Arkansas, the AP Poll decided to wait until after the bowl games to select their champion in the 1965 season.
  • 1965 — The 1965 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Bear Bryant, completed the regular season 8–1–1, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. The Tide lost to Georgia and tied Tennessee during the regular season. Alabama was then invited to play Nebraska in the January 1, 1966 Orange Bowl. Coach Bryant's team defeated the Cornhuskers 39–28 to finish the season 9–1–1. The outstanding player of the game was Steve Sloan.[86] The 1965 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the AP Poll.[87]
  • 1973 — The 1973 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Bear Bryant, completed the regular season 11–0–0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. Alabama was then invited to play Notre Dame in the December 31, 1973 Sugar Bowl. Coach Bryant's team lost to the Fighting Irish 24–23 to finish the season 11–1–0. The 1973 Alabama football team was selected national champions in the final Coaches' Poll prior to the bowl games.[87] Because of the controversy after the bowl loss, the Coaches' Poll began selecting their champion after the bowl games starting in 1974.
  • 1978 — The 1978 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Bear Bryant, completed the regular season 10–1–0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. The Tide defeated #10–ranked Nebraska 20–3, and defeated #11–ranked Missouri 38–20, and lost to Southern Cal during the regular season. Alabama was then invited to play #1–ranked Penn State in the January 1, 1979 Sugar Bowl. Coach Bryant's team defeated the Nittany Lions 14–7 to finish the season 11–1–0. The outstanding player of the game was linebacker Barry Krauss.[86] The 1978 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the AP Poll.[87]
  • 1979 — The 1979 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Bear Bryant, completed the regular season 11–0–0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship. The Tide defeated #18–ranked Tennessee 27–17, and defeated #14–ranked Auburn University 25–18 during the regular season. Alabama was then invited to play #6–ranked Arkansas in the January 1, 1980 Sugar Bowl. Coach Bryant's team defeated the Razorbacks 24–9 to finish the season 12–0–0. The outstanding player of the game was running back Major Ogilvie.[86] The 1979 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the AP and Coaches' Polls.[87]
  • 1992 — The 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide football team, coached by Gene Stallings, completed the regular season 11–0–0. They then defeated #12–ranked Florida in the inaugural SEC Championship Game, defeating the Gators 28–21; the win gave Alabama its 20th SEC title and a record of 12–0–0. Alabama was then invited to play #1–ranked Miami, led by Heisman trophy winner Gino Torretta, in the January 1, 1993 Sugar Bowl. Coach Stallings' team defeated the Hurricanes 34–13 to finish the season 13–0–0. The outstanding player of the game was Derrick Lassic.[86] The 1992 Alabama football team was selected national champions by the AP and Coaches' Polls.[87]

Conference championships

Alabama has won a total of 26 conference championships, this includes 4 Southern Conference and 22 SEC Championships. Alabama captured its 4 Southern Conference titles in 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1930. Alabama captured the first SEC title in 1933 and has won a total of 22 SEC Championships (1933, 1934, 1937, 1945, 1953, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1999, and 2009). The school has won more SEC football titles than any other school, with three coming since the conference split into separate divisions and added a Championship Game. Alabama is the only SEC school to win an SEC Championship in every decade since the conference was founded in 1933.

Individual award winners

First team All-Americans

Terrence Cody was named an All-American for both 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Every year, several publications release lists of the their ideal "team." The athletes on these lists are referred to as All-Americans. The NCAA recognizes five All-American lists. They are the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Alabama has had 97 players honored 113 times as first team All-Americans (44 consensus)[3][4] in its history, including 12 players honored twice and two players (Cornelius Bennett and Woodrow Lowe) who were honored three times.[91]

Following the end of the 2009 regular season, an NCAA-record[92] six Alabama players were honored as first team All-Americans.[93][94][95][96][97]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

In 1951, the College Football Hall of Fame opened in South Bend, Indiana. Since then, Alabama has had 17 players and three former coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame.[98][99] Alabama had two members inducted into the inaugural 1951 class—Don Hutson and Frank Thomas.[100] With the 20 inductees,[101] Alabama currently ranks 9th overall with total inductees.

Name Time at Alabama Position Year Inducted
Cornelius Bennett 1983–86 LB 2005
Johnny Mack Brown 1925–25 HB 1957
Paul Bryant 1933–35
Head coach
Johnny Cain 1930–32 FB 1973
Harry Gilmer 1944–47 QB, DB 1993
John Hannah 1970–72 OG 1999
Frank Howard 1928–30 OG 1989
Dixie Howell 1932–34 HB 1970
Pooley Hubert 1922–25 QB 1964
Don Hutson 1932–34 E 1951
Name Time at Alabama Position Year Inducted
Lee Roy Jordan 1960–62 LB 1983
Woodrow Lowe 1972–75 LB 2009
Vaughn Mancha 1944–47 C 1990
Johnny Musso 1969–71 HB 2000
Billy Neighbors 1959–61 T 2003
Ozzie Newsome 1974–77 SE 1994
Fred Sington 1928–30 T 1955
Riley Smith 1934–35 QB 1985
Frank Thomas 1931–46 Head coach 1951
Wallace Wade 1923–30 Head coach 1955
Don Whitmire 1941–42 T 1956

Heisman Trophy

On December 12, 2009, Mark Ingram became Alabama's first Heisman Trophy winner.[8] In the closest race ever, he edged out Stanford running back Toby Gerhart by 28 points.[8] The previous best finish for an Alabama player occurred in 1993, when David Palmer finished 3rd in the Heisman voting,[102] finishing more than 2,000 points behind runaway winner Charlie Ward.[103]

Year Name Position Finish
1937 Joe Kilgrow RB 5th
1945 Harry Gilmer RB 5th
1947 Harry Gilmer RB 5th
1961 Pat Trammell QB 5th
1962 Lee Roy Jordan LB 4th
1971 Johnny Musso RB 5th
1972 Terry Davis QB 5th
1993 David Palmer WR 3rd
1994 Jay Barker QB 5th
2009 Mark Ingram RB 1st



The main rival of the Crimson Tide is against in-state rivals, Auburn University. The rivalry is considered to be one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports.[104][105] The outcome of the game generally determines "bragging rights" in the state of Alabama until the following contest. Due to the intensity of the rivalry, many families, marriages, and other groups are split over their respective teams. The game may also have implications as to which team will represent the SEC Western Division in the SEC Championship Game. On February 22, 1893, at Lakeview Park in Birmingham, Auburn were victorious in the first ever Iron Bowl, 32–22. The series was suspended after the 1907 contest, due to violence and financial complications.[106] In 1944, Auburn suggested to reopen the series, though the Board of Trustees at Alabama rejected. However, the series was finally resumed in 1948—Alabama crushing the Tigers 55–0, which is still the largest margin of victory in the series.[107][108] In the following contest, Auburn shocked Alabama with a 14–13 victory, which is credited with helping revive the series.[109] For many years, the contest was held at Legion Field in Birmingham, before the teams began alternating between Bryant-Denny Stadium, in Tuscaloosa, and Jordan Hare Stadium, in Auburn. Alabama currently leads the series at 40–33–1;[12] In their most recent meeting, Alabama defeated Auburn 26-21. The victory was Alabama's first over the Tigers at Jordan-Hare since 2001 and gave Alabama a two-game winning streak over Auburn.


Despite the heated in-state rivalry with Auburn, Bear Bryant was more adamant about defeating his rivals to the north, the Tennessee Volunteers.[110] The series is named the Third Saturday in October, the traditional calendar date on which the game was played. Despite the name, the game has only been played on the third Saturday five times between 1995–2007. The first game between the two sides was played in 1901 in Birmingham, ending in a 6–6 tie. From 1902 to 1913, Alabama dominated the series, only losing once, and never allowing a touchdown by the Volunteers. Beginning in 1928, the rivalry was first played on its traditional date and began to be a challenge for the Tide as Robert Neyland began challenging Alabama for their perennial spot on top of the conference standings.[111] In the 1950s, Jim Goostree, the head trainer for Alabama, began another tradition as he began handing out cigars following a victory over the Volunteers.[112]

Between 1971–1981, Alabama held an eleven-game winning streak over the Volunteers and, between 1986–1994, a nine-game unbeaten streak. However, following Alabama's streak, Tennessee responded with a seven-game winning streak from 1995–2001. Alabama has won the last three meetings, and leads the series 47–38–7.[12]


A rivalry within the SEC Western Division occurs yearly between Alabama and the LSU Tigers. Starting in 1895, the Tigers were victorious 12-6 in the first meeting.[12] The teams did not regularly meet until the mid-1960s, during Alabama's dominance of the SEC. Between 1971–1981, the Crimson Tide won 11 consecutive times. In the 1969 game, LSU defeated Alabama 20–15 in Baton Rouge. Alabama did not lose again in Baton Rouge until 2000.

In 2007, the meeting was more heated following Alabama's hiring of head coach Nick Saban, who previously coached at LSU. With the hiring, many media outlets dubbed the 2007 meeting as the "Saban Bowl".[113][114][115] The Crimson Tide lost the first "Saban Bowl" in 2007, but has won the last two meetings. Alabama leads the head-to-head series at 45–23–5.[12]


NCAA sanctions

In August 1995, the NCAA Infractions Committee claimed four violations of NCAA rules by the Alabama football program. Alabama cornerback Antonio Langham signed with a sports agent and applied to enter the NFL draft in January 1993. Alabama's football program was placed on probation, suffered scholarship limitations, a one year post-season ban (1995), and forfeiture of eight wins and one tie from the 9-3-1 1993 season.

During the 2000 season, an assistant football coach in Memphis, Tennessee claimed that an Alabama booster had paid him $50,000 to encourage one of his players to sign with the Crimson Tide.[116] Following the NCAA investigation, Alabama received a probation from 2002 to 2006, a two-year post-season ban (2002 and 2003), and scholarship reductions.[117] A secret witness was later revealed to be Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer.[118][119]

On June 11, 2009, Alabama was sanctioned for textbook-related infractions involving 16 of 19 sports, including football. They were forced to vacate 21 wins and were put on three years probation, ending in June 2012.[120] The university stated "none of the textbooks or materials was used for profit or to get items not related to academics, and that the athletes involved who still have eligibility remaining have had to pay restitution."[121] Alabama is appealing the NCAA ruling.

Mike Price incident

In April 2003, multiple news reports claimed that recently-hired Alabama head coach Mike Price spent several hundred dollars at a strip club in Pensacola, Florida, and that a woman ordered about $1,000 of room service, charged to Price's hotel bill, which was paid for by the University of Alabama. Coach Price was dismissed for behavior unbecoming a representative of the University of Alabama.[69] Following a Sports Illustrated article, which elaborated on the incident, Price sued the magazine for defamation,[122][123] and sued the University, claiming wrongful termination.[124] The lawsuit against the Alabama was dismissed and the lawsuit against Sports Illustrated was settled out of court.[125]


Eli Gold, current play-by-play commentator

During the football season, the Crimson Tide Sports Network broadcasts multiple shows on gameday for most sports. The network includes more than sixty radio stations across the country. Radio stations WFFN-FM, WTSK-AM as a backup, broadcast all home games in the Tuscaloosa area.[126]

Football radio broadcasts begin three hours prior to the game's designated kickoff time with Chris Stewart and Tyler Watts in Around the SEC.[127] The radio broadcast then moves to the Crimson Tide Tailgate Party hosted by Tom Roberts.[127] Immediately following the end of the game, the Fifth Quarter Show begins as host Eli Gold talks to coaches and players, as well as giving game statistics.[127] For the 2008 season, former Alabama players and personalities were brought on to provide guest commentary for each broadcast.[128]

Current personalities:[129]

  • Eli Gold – play-by-play
  • Phil Savage – color analyst
  • Tom Roberts – director of broadcasting
  • Barry Krauss – sideline reporter
  • Tom Stipe, Butch Owens, Brian Roberts – producers
  • Chris Stewart – pre- and post-game show host
  • Tyler Watts – pre- and post-game show co-host

Stewart and Watts also provide play-by-play and color commentary respectively for CTSN pay-per-view television broadcasts.

Former personalities:

  • Bert Bank, founder of the Alabama Football Network, producer emeritus
  • John Forney, play-by-play
  • Jerry Duncan, sideline reporter
  • Paul Kennedy, play-by-play
  • Doug Layton, color analyst
  • Ken Stabler, color analyst[130][131]


2009 schedule

2010 schedule

See also


  1. ^ NCAA forfeited Alabama's eight regular season victories and one tie in 1993.[132]
  2. ^ Pending appeal, NCAA vacated 21 victories, including the 2005 Cotton Bowl Classic, during the 2005-2007 seasons.


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Further reading

  • Barnhart, Tony; Keith Jackson (2000). Southern Fried Football: The History, Passion, and Glory of the Great Southern Game. Triumph Books. ISBN 1600780938. 
  • Davis, Terry (1999). Roll Tide: The Alabama Crimson Tide Story. Creative Education. ISBN 0886829755. 
  • Forney, John (1993). Talk of the Tide: an oral history of Alabama football since 1920. Crane Hill Publishers. ISBN 1881548031. 
  • Gold, Eli (2005). Crimson Nation. Thomas Nelson Incorporated. ISBN 1401601901. 
  • Groom, Winston (2000). The Crimson Tide - An Illustrated History. The University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0817310517. 
  • Langford, George (1974). The Crimson Tide: Alabama Football. H. Regnery Co. ISBN 0809283638. 
  • Sharpe, Wilton (2007). Crimson Tide Madness: Great Eras in Alabama Football. Cumberland House Publishing. ISBN 1581825803. 
  • Townsend, Steve (2003). Tales from 1978-79 Alabama Football: A Time of Champions. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582614253. 
  • Walsh, Christopher J. (2005). Crimson Storm Surge: Alabama Football Then and Now. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 1589792793. 
  • Wells, Lawrence (2000). Football Powers of the South. Sports Yearbook Company. ISBN 0916242277. 
  • Athlon Sports; Mike Shula (2006). Alabama Football: The Greatest Games, Players, Coaches, and Teams in the Glorious Tradition of Crimson Tide Football. Triumph Books. ISBN 1572438800. 
  • The Tuscaloosa News; Mike Bynum, Associated Press (2003). Greatest Moments in Alabama Crimson Tide Football History. Distributors. ISBN 1928846653. 

External links


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