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.
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.