Archives for posts with tag: Alabama

Just as the Third Saturday in October post did a few weeks ago, let’s take a look at games from five, ten, 20 and 30 years ago in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. All were Georgia victories.

Auburn leads the series 54-53-8, but Georgia enters as a 15-point favorite tomorrow night on the Plains seeking to tie the overall record. The Tigers have led the series since 1988.

2007: #10 Georgia 45, #17 Auburn 20 (Athens)

Knowshon Moreno runs away from Auburn defenders in 2007.

Known as the Blackout Game on the Georgia side, the Bulldogs wore black jerseys for the first time in the modern era and jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. But Auburn responded and took a 20-17 lead in the 3rd quarter. A 24-yard touchdown run by RB Knowshon Moreno put the Bulldogs back on top for good as they ran off 28 consecutive points to end the game.

Georgia finished #2 after the bowl games behind fellow conference member and national champion LSU. They wore black jerseys again in the Sugar Bowl defeating Hawaii. Meanwhile, Auburn defeated Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #15.

Georgia’s “black magic” came to a screeching halt in 2008 against Alabama and in 2009 against Florida as they wore black helmets for the first time.

2002: #7 Georgia 24, #24 Auburn 21 (Auburn)

Georgia clinched its first SEC Eastern Division championship with its comeback win on the Plains. QB David Greene hit WR Michael Johnson in the back of the end zone on 4th-and-15 for the game winner. The Bulldogs defeated Arkansas 30-3 in the SEC Championship Game to secure Georgia’s first SEC Championship in 20 years. The Bulldogs beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, finishing 13-1 and #3 in the polls.

Auburn defeated Penn State in the Capital One Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #14.

Legendary Georgia Bulldog announcer Larry Munson on the call:

 

1992: #12 Georgia 14, Auburn 10 (Auburn)

Ray Goff’s best Georgia team (10-2) beat Pat Dye’s last Auburn team (5-6) as Georgia defenders laid on the pile as time expired on Auburn’s offense at the 1-yard line. Nine years later in 2001, Auburn defeated Georgia 24-17 in Athens in very similar fashion as Auburn defenders did the same thing at the 1-yard line.

After Georgia’s win in 1992, the Bulldogs defeated Ohio State (with QB Kirk Herbstreit and RB Robert Smith — yes, today’s ESPN analysts) in the Citrus (Capital One) Bowl and finished #8. Auburn lost to #1 Alabama and didn’t go bowling.

Two videos here — the first includes an image of Goff directing his players to lay down and the second includes Georgia announcer Larry Munson’s “Old Lady Luck” call of the play:

 

 

1982: #1 Georgia 19, Auburn 14 (Auburn)

In the days before an SEC Championship Game, many Auburn-Georgia games decided the fate of one’s chances to claim the conference crown. Such was the case in 1982 as Georgia was seeking its third consecutive SEC championship and was the #1 team in the country. Auburn was 7-2 in Pat Dye’s second year and trending up.

Auburn QB Randy Campbell and RB Lionel “Little Train” James led a late Auburn drive that ended as Georgia broke up a 4th down pass in the end zone.

#2 Penn State (with QB Todd Blackledge — another ESPN analyst) defeated #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl 27-23 for the 1982 national championship. Meanwhile, Auburn beat Alabama for the first time in ten years as freshman RB Bo Jackson scored late, and the Tigers beat Boston College in the Tangerine Bowl to finish 9-3 and #14.

Another Larry Munson call and he looks back on the 1982 Auburn-Georgia game:

 

Mississippi State’s Will Clark won the Golden Spikes Award in 1985 as college baseball’s best player. He was a six-time All-Star in Major League Baseball.

When researching LSU-Mississippi State history, you’re just as likely to run across its baseball teams — on both sides — from the early 1980s through the 1990s as its football series even though the Tigers and Bulldogs have played on the gridiron 105 times.

Mississippi State’s football team hasn’t beaten LSU since 1999 and hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1991. However, the Bulldogs hadn’t been 7-0 since 1999 either and they accomplished that feat this year.

But they’ll face an angry Tiger squad, in the middle of the Bayou night, after last week’s last-minute loss to Alabama.¬†As ESPN reminded us so many times last week, Les Miles’ led teams have now only lost twice under the lights in Tiger Stadium — and both of those were to the #1 ranked team in the country (Florida ’09, Alabama ’12). State sits 20 spots below that lofty perch at #21, coming off blowout losses to Alabama and Texas A&M, and kickoff is 7 pm EST. Good luck, Bulldogs.

LSU has won 19 of its last 20 games against State.

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.

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.