|Alabama Crimson Tide football|
|Athletic director||Greg Byrne|
|Head coach||Nick Saban |
15th season, 165-23 (.878)
|Field surface||Natural grass|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Past conferences||Southern Conference (1921-1932)|
|Bowl record||44–26–3 (.623)|
|Playoff appearances||6 (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020)|
|Claimed national titles||18 (1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020)|
|Unclaimed national titles||4 (1945, 1966, 1975, 1977)|
|Conference titles||32 (Southern: 4; SEC: 28)|
|Rivalries||Auburn (rivalry) |
Mississippi State (rivalry)
Ole Miss (rivalry)
|Colors||Crimson and white|
|Fight song||Yea Alabama|
|Marching band||Million Dollar Band|
The Alabama Crimson Tide football program represents the University of Alabama (variously Alabama, UA, or Bama) in the sport of American football. The team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team's head coach is Nick Saban, who has led the Tide to six national championships over his tenure. The Crimson Tide is among the most storied and decorated football programs in NCAA history. Since beginning play in 1892, the program claims 18 national championships, including 13 wire-service (AP or Coaches) national titles in the poll-era, and five other titles before the poll-era. From 1958 to 1982, the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who won six national titles with the program. Despite numerous 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. In 2015, Derrick Henry became the university's second Heisman winner. In 2020, DeVonta Smith became the third winner of the award.
Alabama has 929 official victories[a][b] in NCAA Division I (an additional 21 victories were vacated, and eight victories and one tie were forfeited), has won 32 conference championships (4 Southern Conference and 28 SEC championships), and has made an NCAA-record 73 postseason bowl appearances. Other NCAA records include 24 winning streaks of ten games or more and 20 seasons with a 10-0 start. The program has 35 seasons with ten wins or more (plus one vacated) and has 44[b] bowl victories, both NCAA records. Alabama has completed eleven undefeated seasons, ten of which were perfect seasons. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC West Division with 15 division titles and 13 appearances in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama holds a winning record against every current and former SEC school. The Associated Press (AP) ranks Alabama 4th in all-time final AP Poll appearances, with 57 through the 2019 season.
Alabama plays its home games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, located on the campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. With a capacity of 101,821, Bryant-Denny is the 8th largest non-racing stadium in the world and the seventh largest stadium in the United States.
Alabama has had 28 head coaches since organized football began in 1892. Adopting the nickname "Crimson Tide" after the 1907 season, 12 coaches have led the Crimson Tide in postseason bowl games: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Harold D. "Red" Drew, Bear Bryant, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Shula, Joe Kines, and Nick Saban. Eight of those coaches also won conference championships: Wade, Thomas, Drew, Bryant, Curry, Stallings, DuBose, and Saban. During their tenures, Wade, Thomas, Bryant, Stallings, and Saban all won national championships with the Crimson Tide.
Of the 27 different head coaches who have led the Crimson Tide, Wade, Thomas, Bryant, and Stallings have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The head coach is Nick Saban, who was hired in January 2007.
National championships in NCAA FBS college football are debated as the NCAA does not officially award the championship. Despite not naming an official National Champion, the NCAA provides lists of championships awarded by organizations it recognizes. 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."
Since World War II, Alabama claims only national championships awarded by the final AP Poll or the final Coaches' Poll. This policy is consistent with other FBS football programs with numerous national title claims, including Notre Dame, USC, and Oklahoma. All national championships claimed by the University of Alabama were published in nationally syndicated newspapers and magazines, and each of the national championship selectors, and are cited in the Official 2010 NCAA FBS Record Book. In addition to the championships claimed by the university, the NCAA has listed Alabama as receiving a championship for the 1945, 1966, 1975, and 1977 college football seasons.
In Alabama's 1982 media guide, the last for Coach Bryant, 1934 is listed as the only national championship before Coach Bryant in a footnote about the school's SEC history. In the 1980s, Alabama's Sports Information Director Wayne Atcheson started recognizing five pre-Bryant national championship teams (1925, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1941) by adding them 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" to compete with the other claimants. Atcheson maintains that the titles are the school's rightful claims. Four of the five championships claimed in the Media Guide come before the AP poll was introduced in 1936. Many schools claim national championships from pre-1936 because there was no contemporary or nationally recognized authoritative source before that year.
The University of Alabama 2009 Official Football Media Guide says Alabama had 12 national championships prior to winning the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. The 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020 titles bring the total number of national championships claimed by Alabama to 18. Thirteen of Alabama's national championships were awarded by the wire-services (AP, Coaches' Poll) or by winning the BCS National Championship Game.
In January 2013, CNN suggested that Alabama might be college football's new dynasty, and in May 2013, Athlon Sports ranked Alabama's ongoing dynasty as the fourth-best since 1934, behind Oklahoma (1948-58), Miami (1986-92), and Nebraska (1993-97).
|1925||Wallace Wade||Various||10-0||W Rose Bowl|
|1926||9-0-1||T Rose Bowl|
|1930||10-0||W Rose Bowl|
|1934||Frank Thomas||10-0||W Rose Bowl|
|1941||Houlgate Poll||9-2||W Cotton Bowl Classic|
|1961||Paul "Bear" Bryant||AP, Coaches'||11-0||W Sugar Bowl|
|1964||10-1||L Orange Bowl|
|1965||AP||9-1-1||W Orange Bowl|
|1973||Coaches'||11-1||L Sugar Bowl|
|1978||AP||11-1||W Sugar Bowl|
|1979||AP, Coaches'||12-0||W Sugar Bowl|
|1992||Gene Stallings||13-0||W Sugar Bowl|
|2009||Nick Saban||AP, Coaches', BCS||14-0||W BCS National Championship Game|
|2011||12-1||W BCS National Championship Game|
|2012||13-1||W BCS National Championship Game|
|2015||AP, Coaches', CFP||14-1||W Cotton Bowl Classic |
W College Football Playoff National Championship
|2017||13-1||W Sugar Bowl |
W College Football Playoff National Championship
|2020||13-0||W Rose Bowl |
W College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama has won a total of 32 conference championships; this includes four Southern Conference and 28 SEC Championships. Alabama captured its four Southern Conference titles in 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1930. Alabama captured the first SEC title in 1933 and has won a total of 28 SEC Championships (1933, 1934, 1937, 1945, 1953, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1999, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020). The school has won more SEC football titles than any other school, including nine since the conference split into separate divisions and added the Championship Game in 1992. Alabama is the only school to win an SEC Championship in every decade since the conference was founded in 1933.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall record||Conference record|
|1961+||Paul "Bear" Bryant||11-0||7-0|
The SEC has been split into two divisions since the 1992 season. Alabama competes in the SEC West. Alabama has won or shared 15 division titles, and has posted an 9-4 record in the SEC Championship Game as of 2020 .
|Season||Division||Opponent||SEC CG result|
|1992||SEC West||Florida||W 28-21|
|2013+||N/A lost tiebreaker to Auburn|
|2017+||N/A lost tiebreaker to Auburn|
Every year, several publications release lists of 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 (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (TSN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF). Alabama has had 144 players honored 167 times as first team All-Americans (80 consensus) in its history, including 19 players honored twice and two players (Cornelius Bennett and Woodrow Lowe) who were honored three times as a First Team All-American.
The most recent All-Americans from Alabama came after the 2020 season, when Landon Dickerson, Najee Harris, Mac Jones, Alex Leatherwood, DeVonta Smith and Patrick Surtain II were each named First Team All-America by various selectors.
In 1951, the College Football Hall of Fame opened in South Bend, Indiana. Since then, Alabama has had 20 players and four former coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame. Alabama had two members inducted into the inaugural 1951 class--Don Hutson and Frank Thomas.
|Name||Time at Alabama||Position||Inducted|
|Johnny Mack Brown||1923-1925||HB||1957|
|Paul "Bear" Bryant||1958-1982||Head coach||1986|
|Harry Gilmer||1944-1947||QB, DB||1993|
|Lee Roy Jordan||1960-1962||LB||1983|
|Gene Stallings||1990-1996||Head coach||2010|
|Frank Thomas||1931-1946||Head coach||1951|
|Wallace Wade||1923-1930||Head coach||1955|
On December 12, 2009, Mark Ingram became Alabama's first Heisman Trophy winner. In the closest race ever, he edged out Stanford running back Toby Gerhart by 28 points. Other notable finishes for an Alabama player occurred in 1993, when David Palmer finished 3rd in the Heisman voting and when AJ McCarron finished as runner-up for the 2013 season. Derrick Henry became Alabama's second Heisman trophy winner on December 12, 2015. Tua Tagovailoa finished runner-up for the 2018 season as well. For the 2020 season, Alabama became the second program in college football history to have three players finish in the top five. DeVonta Smith became Alabama's third Heisman winner with Mac Jones finishing third and Najee Harris fifth.
Top 5 finishes for Alabama players:
|1962||Lee Roy Jordan||LB||4th|
Starting in 1994, the Southeastern Conference has annually honored one former football player from each of the SEC member schools as an "SEC Legend". The following former Crimson Tide football players have been honored as SEC Legends.
The main rivalry of the Crimson Tide is against its in-state rival, Auburn University; considered one of the top sporting rivalries in the US. The Alabama-Auburn game has come to be known as the Iron Bowl. The outcome of the game generally determines "bragging rights" in the state of Alabama until the following contest. 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 was victorious in the first ever Iron Bowl, 32-22. The series was suspended after the 1907 contest, due to violence and financial complications. In 1944, Auburn suggested to reopen the series, though the Board of Trustees at Alabama rejected. The series was resumed in 1948, with Alabama crushing the Tigers 55-0, which is still the largest margin of victory in the series. In the following contest, Auburn shocked Alabama with a 14-13 victory, which is credited with helping revive the series.
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 won the most recent meeting 42-13 in Tuscaloosa and leads the series at 47-37-1 through the 2020 season.
Despite the heated in-state rivalry with Auburn, Bear Bryant was more adamant about defeating his rivals to the north, the Tennessee Volunteers. 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 been played on the third Saturday only five times between 1995 and 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, losing only 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 Crimson Tide as Robert Neyland began challenging Alabama for their perennial spot on top of the conference standings. 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.
Between 1971 and 1981, Alabama held an 11-game winning streak over the Volunteers and, between 1986 and 1994, a nine-game unbeaten streak. However, following Alabama's streak, Tennessee responded with a seven-game winning streak from 1995 to 2001. Currently, Alabama has the longest winning streak at 14, dating back to 2007. Alabama won the most recent meeting 48-17 in Knoxville, and leads the series 58-37-8 through the 2020 season.
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. The teams did not regularly meet until the mid-1960s during Alabama's dominance of the SEC. Between 1971 and 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". The Crimson Tide lost the first "Saban Bowl" in 2007, won the 2008 and 2009 meetings only to lose in Baton Rouge in 2010.
In 2011, the teams played as the consensus No.1 and No.2 ranked teams in the polls with LSU winning 9-6 in overtime. They played each other again for the BCS National Championship with Alabama winning 21-0 to secure its 14th National Championship. Alabama won the most recent meeting 55-17 in Baton Rouge, and leads the series 54-26-5 through the 2020 season.
Alabama's most played rival is Mississippi State. The rivalry has been called the "Battle for Highway 82", with the schools only 90 miles apart. Alabama won the most recent meeting 41-0 in Tuscaloosa, and leads the series 83-18-3 through the 2020 season.
Alabama also maintains a rivalry with the Ole Miss Rebels. Alabama won the most recent meeting 63-48 in Oxford, and leads the series 52-10-2 through the 2020 season. Ole Miss won back-to-back games in 2014-2015 with their first win in Tuscaloosa since 1988 to give rivalry a boost.
Alabama has a rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs. Alabama has 41 wins in the series while the Bulldogs have 25 wins. Alabama won the most recent meeting 41-24 in Tuscaloosa and leads the series 41-25-4 through the 2020 season.
Alabama has a rivalry with the Florida Gators, which was largely developed with the start of the SEC Championship Game. Alabama has 26 wins in the series while the Gators have 14 wins. The most recent game played between them, the 2020 SEC Championship Game, saw Alabama defeat Florida 52-46.
In recent years, Alabama has developed what some consider to be a rivalry with the Clemson Tigers. In the build-up to the 2018 Sugar Bowl, players and coaches from both teams referred to the series as a "respectful" rivalry. There are numerous connections between the two programs. Clemson's top three winningest head coaches, Frank Howard, Dabo Swinney, and Danny Ford, all played at Alabama, as did Clemson coaches Hootie Ingram and Charley Pell. The teams first played each other in 1900. The series escalated into a rivalry when the teams met in the College Football Playoff in the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. Clemson won the most recent meeting 44-16 in 2019 , while Alabama leads the series 14-5.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were at one time considered Alabama's arch rival. During the suspension of the Iron Bowl between 1907 and 1948, Georgia Tech (then a member of the SEC) emerged as the most intense game on Alabama's schedule. The teams played many significant games, especially in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A heated feud developed between Bear Bryant and Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Dodd following a controversial hit in the 1961 game, a 10-0 Alabama victory. Dodd cited this feud as the primary impetus for Georgia Tech leaving the SEC three years later. The two teams have met 52 times, making Georgia Tech Alabama's most played among current non-conference opponents. Alabama leads the series 28-21-3; Georgia Tech won the last meeting in 1984. Alabama's fight song, "Yea Alabama", mentions Georgia Tech with the line "Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave."
There have been many historic games between Alabama and Penn State. The two teams met five times during the tenure of Bear Bryant, including in the 1979 Sugar Bowl, which determined the national championship for the 1978 season. The games usually have national implications--seven of the 15 meetings between the two schools have featured both teams ranked in the top ten--and eight of the meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. The most recent game was in 2011, with Alabama winning 27-11. It was the final loss for long-time Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. Alabama leads the series 10-5.
|Mississippi State||83||18||3||.813||Won 13||1896|
|Ole Miss||52||10||2||.828||Won 5||1894|
|South Carolina||13||3||0||.813||Won 1||1937|
|Texas A&M||11||2||0||.846||Won 8||1942|
|2011||BCS National Championship Game||LSU||W 21-0|
|2012||BCS National Championship Game||Notre Dame||W 42-14|
|2013||Sugar Bowl||Oklahoma||L 31-45|
|2014||Sugar Bowl||Ohio State||L 35-42|
|2015||Cotton Bowl||Michigan State||W 38-0|
|CFP National Championship||Clemson||W 45-40|
|2016||Peach Bowl||Washington||W 24-7|
|CFP National Championship||Clemson||L 31-35|
|2017||Sugar Bowl||Clemson||W 24-6|
|CFP National Championship||Georgia||W 26-23|
|2018||Orange Bowl||Oklahoma||W 45-34|
|CFP National Championship||Clemson||L 16-44|
|2019||Citrus Bowl||Michigan||W 35-16|
|2020||Rose Bowl||Notre Dame||W 31-14|
|CFP National Championship||Ohio State||W 52-24|
|Inducted||Player||Seasons||NFL Team(s)||Years with NFL Team(s)|
|1963||Don Hutson||1932-1934||Green Bay Packers||1935-1945|
|1977||Bart Starr||1952-1955||Green Bay Packers||1956-1971|
|1985||Joe Namath||1962-1964||New York Jets||1965-1976|
|Los Angeles Rams||1977|
|1991||John Hannah||1970-1972||New England Patriots||1973-1985|
|1998||Dwight Stephenson||1977-1979||Miami Dolphins||1980-1987|
|1999||Ozzie Newsome||1974-1977||Cleveland Browns||1978-1990|
|2009||Derrick Thomas||1985-1988||Kansas City Chiefs||1989-1999|
|2016||Ken Stabler||1964-1967||Oakland Raiders||1970-1979|
|New Orleans Saints||1982-1984|
During the football season, the Crimson Tide Sports Network (CTSN) broadcasts multiple shows on gameday for most sports. The network includes more than 60 radio stations across the country. Radio stations WFFN-FM, WTSK-AM as a backup, broadcast all home games in the Tuscaloosa area.
Football radio broadcasts begin three hours prior to the game's designated kickoff time with Chris Stewart and Tyler Watts in Around the SEC. The radio broadcast then moves to the Crimson Tide Tailgate Party hosted by Tom Roberts. Immediately following the end of the game, the Fifth Quarter Show begins as host Eli Gold talks to coaches and players and gives game statistics. For the 2008 season, former Alabama players and personalities were brought on to provide guest commentary for each broadcast.
Stewart and Watts also provide play-by-play and color commentary respectively for CTSN pay-per-view television broadcasts.
Former radio staff:
Alabama plays Tennessee as a permanent non-division opponent annually and rotates around the East division among the other six schools.
|vs Tennessee||at Tennessee||vs Tennessee||at Tennessee||vs Tennessee|
|at Florida||vs Vanderbilt||at Kentucky||vs South Carolina||at Missouri|
Announced schedules as of April 26, 2020.
|vs. Miami||Utah State||Central Michigan||Western Kentucky||at Florida State||at West Virginia||West Virginia||Ohio State||at Notre Dame||at Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||at Oklahoma||Oklahoma||at Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|Southern Miss||at Texas||Texas||South Florida||Louisiana-Monroe||South Florida||at Ohio State||at Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Notre Dame||at Boston College||Arizona||at Arizona||Boston College|
|New Mexico State||Louisiana-Monroe||at South Florida||at Wisconsin||Wisconsin||Florida State|