Archives for posts with tag: SWC

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.

Adidas has designed an all-white uniform for Mississippi State.

In remembrance of the 2000 Independence Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas A&M that saw a snow storm cover Shreveport, La. and the Bulldogs defeat the Aggies 43-41 in overtime, #15 State is wearing all-white uniforms in Saturday’s game against #16 A&M. The two meet for the first time as division rivals in Starkville, and State will replace its end zone #HailState Twitter hash tag with #SnowBowl12.

Jackie Sherrill led State to the 2000 Independence Bowl win over A&M, a program he coached from 1982 to 1988. Both programs were levied with NCAA sanctions during and after Sherrill’s tenures. His 74 wins at State are the most in the program’s history for a head coach as he finished 74-76-2 from 1991 to 2003 and won the 1998 SEC Western division title.

Sherrill finished 52-28-1 at A&M and won three consecutive Southwest Conference championships from 1985 to 1987.

The 2000 Independence Bowl aka The Snow Bowl:

 

Arkansas leads the overall series with Texas A&M 41-24-3, meeting many times as members of the defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) and starting the series in 1903. The first two games between the Razorbacks and Aggies as SEC members will be played on campus, beginning tomorrow at A&M’s Kyle Field and in Fayetteville in 2013. The series, which has recently been called the Southwest Classic and played in the new Cowboys Stadium, will return to Dallas in 2014 through 2024.

A different version of the “Southwest Champions” playing in the “Cotton Bowl.”

Arkansas has won all three contests since the rivalry was renewed in 2009. However, the first-year Aggies have a big opportunity to wrestle away a win from the 1-3 Razorbacks tomorrow.

#5 Ole Miss lost to #3 Texas 12-7 in the 1962 Cotton Bowl

Texas is making its first trip to Oxford, Miss., this Saturday at 9:15 pm EDT. The Longhorns hold a 5-0 overall record against Ole Miss, winning three in Austin, Texas, and two in bowl games — the 1962 Cotton Bowl and the 1966 Bluebonnet Bowl.

The 1962 Cotton Bowl saw 3rd-ranked Texas, the SWC champion led by head coach Darrell Royal, defeat the 5th-ranked Rebels 12-7. It was Ole Miss’, led by head coach Johnny Vaught, first loss in a bowl game since 1955 and the Longhorns’ first bowl win since 1953. Texas finished the 1961 regular season behind #1 Alabama and #2 Ohio State.

The two programs also met in the 1966 Bluebonnet Bowl

Ole Miss and Texas met again after the 1966 regular season in Houston’s Bluebonnet Bowl in December with the Longhorns winning 19-0. The Bluebonnet Bowl existed from 1959-1987 with many participants coming from the Southwest and Southeast regions. Originally played at Rice Stadium, it moved to Astrodome in later years.

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.

—–

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.

—–

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.

Jack Crowe and John L. Smith meet before this year’s Jacksonville State/Arkansas game (Credit: Mark Wagner)

Jack Crowe has been the head coach at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., since 2000, compiling a record of 81-52 with three Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championships and three trips to the NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) playoffs. The 65-year-old Crowe was born in Birmingham, Ala., and has deep roots in the SEC. He was the head coach at Arkansas (1990-1992) when the Razorbacks entered the conference with South Carolina in 1992.

Crowe at Arkansas’ first SEC Media Days in 1992

However, Crowe coached only one game for Arkansas as an SEC member, resigning after the Razorbacks dropped their 1992 opener to The Citadel, a I-AA football program. He recorded an overall mark of 9-15 at Arkansas, finishing 8th in the old Southwest Conference (SWC) in 1990 and T-2nd in 1991, losing to Georgia in the Independence Bowl. Arkansas athletic director and former head football coach Frank Broyles was known for feuding with his coaches, and a Crowe and Broyles feud led to Crowe’s resignation.

Joe Kines, Arkansas’ defensive coordinator and another coach with deep ties to the SEC (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia), served out 1992 as Arkansas’ interim head coach, finishing the season at 3-7-1 and 3-4-1 in conference. Kines’ Razorbacks defeated fellow newcomer South Carolina 45-7 in his first game as interim head coach and finished the season by defeating LSU 30-6 in their first meeting since the 1966 Cotton Bowl. Kines stayed on as new head coach Danny Ford’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 1993 and 1994.

Crowe had SEC ties long before Arkansas’ entrance in 1992, serving as Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 1982-1985 under head coach Pat Dye. He then, ironically, served under Danny Ford as Clemson’s offensive coordinator from 1986-1988 before leaving for Arkansas in 1989 to serve as offensive coordinator under Arkansas head coach Ken Hatfield.

And in “As the Coaching World Turns,” Hatfield, who won SWC championships in 1988 and 1989, left his alma mater Arkansas also after alleged feuds with Broyles. Hatfield accepted the head coaching position at Clemson without visiting Clemson’s campus, replacing Ford in 1990.

Got all of that? Hatfield replaced Ford, who eventually took over Hatfield’s former position.

Meanwhile, Crowe took the Jacksonville State head coaching job, an FCS (I-AA) position, in 2000 after a stint as Baylor’s offensive coordinator and that’s where he remains today. Two years ago, Crowe experienced the other side of his 1992 defeat to The Citadel as Jacksonville State opened the 2010 season with a 49-48 overtime victory over Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.┬áThe coaching world truly comes full circle.

Arkansas, with another interim head coach in John L. Smith, defeated Crowe’s Jacksonville State 49-24 to open the 2012 season before losing to Louisiana-Monroe last week.