Archives for category: Alabama

Bryant with two players at Texas A&M

The tie between Alabama and SEC newcomer Texas A&M is obvious to anyone who’s studied the history of college football — Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Alabama graduate served as A&M’s head coach from 1954 to 1957 before heading home to Tuscaloosa in 1958. ESPN highlighted Bryant’s beginning at A&M with its movie “The Junction Boys,” which featured his first training camp with the Aggies in Junction, Texas.

While Bryant stands out as the obvious link between the two schools, there are other ones like Gene Stallings and Jackie Sherrill who each had a significant impact in the SEC as well as at A&M. Stallings played for Bryant at A&M in the mid-1950s and won Alabama’s first national championship in 1992 since Bryant’s retirement and passing ten years earlier. Sherrill is an Alabama graduate who also coached under Bryant and won three SWC championships as A&M’s head coach in the mid-1980s.

Stallings coached under Bryant at A&M.

Even Dennis Franchione represents a tie as he coached the Tide from 2001 to 2002 and left for the same position at A&M in 2003.

Paul Bryant Jr. hosted a reception last night at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa honoring 30 former Aggies players who played for his father in the mid-1950s.

They’ve only met four times on the field, but ‘Bama’s and A&M’s histories run deep.

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Will Saturday night look like this?

Alabama and LSU meet for the third time in 11 months on Saturday night. That’s something Florida and Florida State did two times over in the mid 1990s, and New Orleans hosted each postseason match-up: 1995 Sugar Bowl (Florida-Florida State); 1997 Sugar Bowl/National Championship (Florida-Florida State); and 2012 BCS National Championship (Alabama-LSU).

Florida won both “rubber matches” in the mid 1990s — both in Gainesville in ’95 and ’97. Each of those games between the Gators and Seminoles were top 10 match-ups just as today’s Alabama and LSU match-ups. In ’97, #10 Florida upset #1 Florida State to derail the Seminoles’ national championship hopes. That game is still considered by some Gator fans as the “Greatest Game Ever Played in the Swamp.”

Or will Saturday night look more like this?

LSU is 2-9-1 all-time against the AP #1, including last year’s win in Tuscaloosa. However, the Tigers are 0-2 against the Tide in Baton Rouge when Alabama is the AP #1, losing 3-0 in 1979 and 27-21 in overtime in 2008.

And if this series couldn’t get any closer, Alabama leads the past 30 meetings 15-14-1.

As the calendar closes in on Halloween and the final month of the season in November, the SEC’s named rivalries began to kickoff. The Third Saturday in October, The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry and The Iron Bowl are all part of SEC lore. For these rivalries, we’ll take a look back at the games five, 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

Today — the third Saturday in October — marks the annual Alabama-Tennessee battle. Since the 1992 divisional split, this rivalry has only been played on the actual third Saturday in October six times.

2007: Alabama 41, #20 Tennessee 17 (Tuscaloosa)

In Nick Saban’s first game against Tennessee as Alabama’s head coach, he opened with a recovered onside kick that led to 3-0 lead for the Crimson Tide. They wouldn’t look back and never trailed #20 Tennessee, eventually hammering the Vols in the 2nd half for a 41-17 win. In Philip Fulmer’s final season at Tennessee in 2008, a number of Vols fans sold their home tickets to Tide fans signifying their displeasure with the Vols’ direction. Tennessee hasn’t beaten Saban and Alabama since.

2007 Statistics:

Leading Passer (yards) — Ala. QB John Parker Wilson (32/46 for 363 yds., 3 TDs, 0 INTs)

Leading Rusher — Ala. RB Terry Grant (26 carries for 104 yds., 1 TD)

Leading Receiver — Ala. WR D.J. Hall (13 catches for 185 yds., 2 TDs)

 

2002: #19 Alabama 34, #16 Tennessee 14 (Knoxville)

The 2002 version of the Alabama Crimson Tide lost only two games, and on its way to double-digit victories, it snapped Tennessee’s seven-game winning streak in the rivalry. The 1995-2001 stretch is the Volunteers longest streak in the series. Alabama holds an 11-game mark and is currently on a five-game streak.

The series’ famous “Victory Cigars” were surely lit up in Tuscaloosa after this one.

The video is blurry, but Ron Franklin is on the call (Courtesy of RedElephantStampede). He was SEC Saturday Night, and you wish he still was.

 

 

Alabama QB Jay Barker escapes the Tennessee rush.

1992: #4 Alabama 17, #13 Tennessee 10 (Knoxville)

Alabama would go on to win the 1992 National Championship after defeating Tennessee 17-10. The Tide jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the 2nd quarter, but gave the Vols an opportunity to tie the game in the 4th quarter with a fumble at the Tennessee 48-yard-line with 1:30 left. However, Tennessee QB Heath Shuler threw an interception to end the threat.

 

1982: Tennessee 35, #2 Alabama 28 (Knoxville)

Like the 2002 version of this rivalry, the 1982 game ended a team’s longest streak. Alabama had won 11 straight against the Vols, but Tennessee knocked them off to start a four-game streak of its own from 1982-1985. Vols WR and world-class sprinter Willie Gault, who would later star for the Chicago Bears, struck early in this one.

Long-time Tennessee radio voice John Ward on call (Courtesy of YankeeFanInTenn):

 

The Tide and Tigers met in the 1968 Gator Bowl.

Here’s a surprising stat. Missouri actually leads the all-time series with Alabama 2-1 — one of the few programs in America to do so. Dan Devine’s Tigers were victorious in the 1968 Gator Bowl 35-10 over Bear Bryant’s Tide and Missouri won the second meeting in 1975 in Alabama 20-7. The Tide returned the favor in 1978, winning in Missouri 38-20.

Alabama is a three touchdown favorite to even the series tomorrow afternoon in what should be termed the Don James Bowl as both Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel are former James players and assistants at Kent State. Could someone sneak a Golden Flashes trophy down to Columbia?

Will the blue hats ever show up in Alabama?

The lone win for Ole Miss over the Crimson Tide in the state of Alabama came in Tuscaloosa in 1988 to break an 0-23-1 streak. Since then the Rebels have lost 10 consecutive games to the Tide in Alabama for the mark to fall to a horrendous 1-33-1. The tie came in Birmingham in 1933.

Alabama hasn’t lost to Ole Miss since Manning and former head coach David Cutcliffe were in control in Oxford almost a decade ago.

Ole Miss hasn’t defeated Alabama at all since Eli Manning was under center in 2003, putting Alabama’s current winning streak over the Rebels at 8 games. Its longest streak in the series is 12.

As new Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze tries to change the culture around his football program, he can forget about winning in Alabama tomorrow night against the top-ranked team in the country.

Alabama 52, Arkansas 0

SB Nation: Near-Perfect: Alabama’s Weaknesses Are Few and Far Between

Sports Illustrated: Arkansas Loses More Than a Game in Humiliating Defeat to Alabama

Florida 37, Tennessee 20

Yahoo! Sports: Strong Finishes Lead to Fast Start for Florida

Sports Illustrated: Tenn. Loses Leading Tackler Randolph to Torn ACL


Texas 66, Ole Miss 31

Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Defensive Changes Afoot After Ole Miss’ Blowout Loss to Texas

1964 Arkansas Razorbacks: Players included future Arkansas head coach Ken Hatfield, future Miami Hurricanes and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson, and future Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Bowl games were rewards for successful seasons and they didn’t play a role in crowning a national champion. That is until after the controversy following the 1964 regular season and 1965 bowl games. Top-ranked Alabama (AP and UPI polls) and #2 Arkansas finished their regular seasons undefeated and untied, both at 10-0-0. The Crimson Tide were the SEC champions, while the Razorbacks were the old SWC champions and relegated to the Cotton Bowl. Under the Sugar Bowl’s “no repeat” rule at the time, Alabama played in the Orange Bowl because the Cotton Bowl, in November, invited Nebraska to play the SWC champion.

1965 Orange Bowl: Texas LB Tommy Nobis, future Atlanta Falcon, met Alabama QB Joe Namath, future New York Jet, at the goal line on 4th and goal to preserve the Texas victory. However, Namath claims he stood up in the end zone.

The AP and UPI (coaches) polls awarded Alabama the 1964 national championship pre-bowls as was the standard since the polls were in existence. However on New Year’s Day 1965, the Crimson Tide lost to #5 Texas 21-17 in Miami, while Arkansas defeated #6 Nebraska 10-7 in Dallas. The Football Writers Association of America awarded the 1964 national championship to Arkansas post-bowls and controversy was fueled.

In response, the AP Poll — in a trial run — crowned its national champion after the bowls following the 1965 regular season. The practice was made official 3 years later for the 1968 regular season. The UPI Poll followed suit in 1974.

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Alabama and Arkansas also met in the 1962 and 1980 Sugar Bowls, signifying the first and last national championships head coach Bear Bryant won at Alabama as the Crimson Tide won the 1962 Sugar Bowl 10-3 and the 1980 Sugar Bowl 24-9, defeating Frank Broyles and Lou Holtz respectively.

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Alabama holds a 15-7 record over Arkansas and has won 5 consecutive games in the series. However, according to the NCAA, the Crimson Tide vacated wins in 2005 and 2007 over the Razorbacks for athletes improperly receiving textbooks and playing in the games. Alabama was also forced to forfeit its 1993 win over Arkansas due to former defensive back Antonio Langham’s inappropriate contact with an agent and his participation in the game. The difference between vacated wins and forfeited games is that vacated games are wiped clean, while forfeited games are awarded to the opposing team. For these reasons, the series record might be portrayed differently than what’s been played out on the field.