Alabama opens up their SEC schedule today on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks. It is widely expected by college football experts to not be a very competitive game. The Gamecocks are without their starting quarterback and are outmatched talent wise on every level of the offense and defense.
Barring a miracle, the Tide will roll right into a 3-0 start while Carolina falls back to a losing record to 1-2. 2010 seems like so long ago to Gamecock fans. Which brings to mind, when was the last time the rest of the SEC found success against the Tide? We’ll go back and relive each game.
Arkansas: 24, No.22 Alabama: 23 (2 OT)
September 23, 2006 – Fayetteville, AR
It was the last year before Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa to revive the program. With the win Houston Nutt and the Razorbacks had defeated the Crimson Tide for 3 of the last 4 seasons. Hard to imagine that in present day.
The game was back and forth all night with 5 different lead changes. Neither team ever had more than a one possession lead. Darren McFadden ran all over the Alabama defense going for 112 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile it was Alabama’s passing offense that nearly won them the game. John Parker Wilson went for 243 yards and three touchdowns on 16/20 passing.
In the end it was the kicking game that wrote the end for the Tide. Funny how history seems to repeat itself. In regulation Leigh Tiffin missed a first half 33-yard field goal as well as a 30-yard field goal late in the 4th quarter. In the first overtime he also missed a 37-yarder that would have won the game.
In the second overtime the Tide scored first. But in typical Alabama kicker fashion, Tiffin capped off a horrendous day by missing the extra point. Arkansas would not make the same mistake once they tied the game, and it made the difference for the Hogs.
No.6 Auburn: 26 vs No.1 Alabama: 14
November 25, 2017 – Auburn, AL
It’s hard to remember this game without also remembering the massive contract Gus Malzahn received shortly after. In the span of 14 days Malzahn was the sensation of college football. A little over a month later reality hit again as they lost the SEC Championship game and then fell to Group of 5 leader UCF.
However the dominance on that November day is not something to be overlooked. The Auburn defense dominated the league’s top scoring offense for four quarters. Jalen Hurts looked lost all day, going 12/22 with 1 touchdown and a lost fumble.
Meanwhile the Auburn offense showed little troubles against the Tide. Jarrett Stidham went a clean 21/28 for 237 yards, and even runningback Kerryon Johnson was able to get a 3 yard touchdown pass in. He’d also cap off a nice day on the ground going for 104 yards and a touchdown.
By game’s end Malzahn and the Tigers were making a strong case for the CFP’s first two loss team. Had they managed a win against East Champion Georgia, it may have been a possibility. Regardless, the Iron Bowl returns to the same field this year with high hopes of similar excitement for Tigers fans.
No.4 Florida: 31 vs No.1 Alabama: 20
December 7th, 2008 – Atlanta, GA
Tim Tebow. That’s all you need to know. If you recall, this is the season Tim Tebow made a promise to the fans that no player in the entire country would play as hard as he would play for the rest of the season. He then proceeded to walk off the podium.
Alabama never really stood a chance after that infamous speech was made, frankly not many teams did. Tebow cut through the Alabama defense like butter, putting up 216 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. His 57 yards on the ground kept the Alabama defense off balance as it did most opponents during his college career.
It was a closely contested matchup for the first three quarters. By the fourth quarter however the Gators would pull away and calmly cruise into the BCS National Championship game. Outside of the 2017 Georgia over Auburn game, it is the last time the SEC East won the SEC Championship game.
No.22 Georgia: 26 vs No.16 Alabama: 23 (OT)
September 23, 2007 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Georgia never trailed during regulation. Alabama took the ball first in overtime and Leigh Tiffin put it through the uprights to take a 23-20 lead. When Matt Stafford got the ball however, it only took one play to Mikey Henderson to secure the win in Tuscaloosa.
At the time it marked the third straight game in the series that Mark Richt and the Bulldogs bested the Tide. This was the first time since early 1900’s that Georgia was able to put up more than two consecutive wins up against Alabama.
In what was Nick Saban’s first year he would end up winning the Independence Bowl at the end of the season to scrape of a 7-6 season. Georgia meanwhile enjoyed an 11-2 season, a Sugar Bowl win and a No.2 ranking finish to the season. Should Georgia win the SEC East again they’ll likely find Alabama at the end of the season with high hopes of replicating the 2007 season.
Kentucky: 40 vs Alabama: 34 (OT)
October 4, 1997 – Lexington, KY
For the first time in 75 years the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. ”This can’t be put into words,” Kentucky linebacker Bob Holmberg said. ”The state of Kentucky is on a high for the first time in 15 years. This is just unbelievable. We never quit. The coaches didn’t have to urge us on.”
It was just the second time in the series that Kentucky bested Alabama. Once again, Alabama kicking would be the weak link. Late in the fourth quarter Anwar Stewart would return a blocked field goal 68 yards to take a late 34-31. With eight seconds left to go in the game, Alabama’s kicker would come through to send the game to overtime.
After winning the coin toss and deciding to take the ball second, the Kentucky defense would hold strong. After a holding call on first down, Alabama was unable to overcome the distance being out of field goal range, ultimately fumbling at the 21 yard line.
On Kentucky’s turn Tim Couch would hit Craig Yeast for the game winner, defeating the Tide for the first time since 1922 and breaking their 30 game losing streak.
No.1 LSU: 9 vs No.2 Alabama: 6 (OT)
November 6, 2011 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Anyone else remember the most boring game featuring No.1 vs No.2? It’s been eight years and I still have PTSD from this horrific game. The defenses were the only highlight. Let’s review…
Neither team eclipsed 300 yards of offense. LSU even failed to get over 100 yards through the air. Alabama also failed to reach 100 yards on the ground. That was a combination of Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy that couldn’t even pull the offense over 100 yards.
Neither team reached the endzone. Even with an extra period. 60+ minutes without the ball crossing the opponents 20 led to a largely unexciting game outside of strong defensive performances.
In a trend that seems to haunt Alabama throughout their losses to SEC teams, the kicker was the difference in the game. 9 field goal attempts were made, only five were converted. Saban shuffled kickers in hopes of finding someone who could convert only resulting in a total of four missed field goals.
Drew Alleman was perfect on the day for LSU and his conversion in overtime ended up being the difference to seal the 9-6 win. The win was the first time Nick Saban had lost to a team in back to back games at Alabama. A 12-1 season finished with LSU falling to Alabama in a rematch in the BCS National Championship game that Tigers lost 21-0.
Mississippi State: 17 vs No.22 Alabama: 12
November 10, 2007 – Starkville, MS
Another first year loss for Nick Saban at Alabama occurred in Starkville. It marked the second year in a row the Bulldogs were able to best Alabama.
Former Alabama assistant Sylvester Croom was able to best the Tide in his only winning season as the Bulldogs head coach. He had a lot to say after the win.
“We’ve got bragging rights now,” said Croom, the Tuscaloosa, Ala., native said. “I don’t have to say anything, but if I want to I can.”
State couldn’t get anything going through the air but found success on the ground as Boobie Dixon went for 84 yards and a touchdown that made the difference. The Bulldogs were able to overcome a 9-0 deficit highlighted by a 100 yard pick 6 by Anthony Johnson with seconds left in the first half to mount the comeback
No.15 Ole Miss: 43 vs No.2 Alabama: 37
September 15, 2015 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Hugh Freeze would pull off the coveted back-to-back wins against Alabama for the first time in school history. No Bo, no problem. Transfer Chad Kelly was able to construct a seemingly easy win that would come down to the final few possessions of the game.
Ole Miss never trailed in their bid for the second win in a row against Saban’s Crimson Tide. Huge plays to Quincy Adeboyejo and Cody Core were the difference in a game that saw Alabama switch quarterbacks halfway through the game.
Jake Coker took over in the second half in an attempt to overcome a 17-10 first half deficit. It came up just short as the Rebels would manage to run off the final two minutes with some big defensive plays.
Ole Miss won the turnover battle 5-0 which proved to be the difference in the game. It was the second time in Saban’s Alabama career that a team was able to beat him in back to back games. The Rebels would go on to win the Sugar Bowl and post 10 wins for the first time since the Eli Manning days of 2003.
Missouri: 20 vs No.2 Alabama: 7
September 8, 1975 – Birmingham, AL
There was no television coverage for this one. At best you had to audibly follow along if you could tune your radio right. In the two seasons prior Alabama had gone 22-0 in the regular season. A Monday night in September would change all that.
Alabama eventually did go on to win the next 11 games of their regular season. They would finish 11-1 that season with a final ranking in the top 5. But Missouri still enjoyed a dominant performance in the opening game of the season. The Tigers pounced on the Tide early and rode a 20-0 lead into halftime, never looking back.
Bear Bryant had rarely been beaten like that. “They kicked the hell out of us. What more can I say? I think we were pretty fortunate not to be beaten worse. They beat us worse than the score indicates.”
“All in all, it was a good old sound country beating.” Missouri would finish the season just 6-5. But that day in September to open the year would be the highlight for the football program for years to come.
No.19 South Carolina: 35 vs No.1 Alabama: 21
October 9, 2010 – Columbia, SC
Steve Spurrier had those Gamecocks rolling. After losing his first two matchups, Spurrier was able to best the Tide in Williams-Brice Stadium. It is part of an active streak that has seen the Gamecocks win three of the last five.
It was also part of a 2010 season that saw the Carolina Athletics Program knock of the No.1 team in football, basketball and baseball. Columbia, South Carolina has rarely seen such kind of success.
Save for an early field goal, South Carolina dominated the game from start to finish. Alabama was able to close within a one possession game a couple times, but South Carolina never relinquished the lead after taking over in the first quarter.
Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery dominated on the offensive end, bolstered by quarterback Stephen Garcia who only threw three incomplete passes. South Carolina will be looking to continue their recent success in the showdown this weekend.
No.7 Tennessee: 16 vs Alabama: 13
October 16, 2006 – Knoxville, TN
If you look at the box score, Tennessee had no business winning this game. In Nick Saban’s first year he lost his first game against rival Tennessee and hasn’t looked back since.
The Tide held on to the lead for over 56 minutes of the game. Tennessee turned the ball over three times to Alabama’s zero. NFL great Arian Foster was held to just 34 yards on 11 carries. But it was his late fourth quarter goaline touchdown run that made all the difference and secured the win for the Volunteers.
A 9 play, 70 yard final drive for Tennessee solidified their 10th win in 12 games against Alabama. Tennessee would take a 9-3 season into an Outback Bowl loss to Penn State. Since that point Alabama has riden a 12 game winning streak against their rival that Tennessee keeps hoping to end.
No.15 Texas A&M: 29 vs No.1 Alabama: 24
November 10, 2012 – Tuscaloosa, AL
Enter Johnny Manziel. In Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies first season in the SEC they were able to knock off No.1 Alabama. Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns as well as run for 92 yards to keep the Crimson Tide defense off balance.
The Aggies took an early 20-0 lead and fought off a couple Alabama come back bids to secure the win. The Crimson Tide was once again victim of the turnover bug, giving the ball over three different times to the Aggies zero.
The Aggies would cap off their first season in the SEC with a Cotton Bowl win against No.12 Oklahoma and a 11-2 season. Early losses against Florida and LSU would keep them out of the SEC Championship game.
Johnny Manziel would win the Heisman Trophy Award that year. On the way he would become the first freshman to win the award. The Aggies are the most recent team to defeat Alabama at their own stadium since Ole Miss in 2015.
Vanderbilt: 30 vs Alabama: 21
September 29, 1984 – Tuscaloosa, AL
You’ll have to go all the way back to 1984 to find the last time the Commodores were able to best the Crimson Tide. It marked their first and only win against Alabama on the road.
Alabama took the lead early in the second half 13-9. From then on it was all Vanderbilt. The Commodores scored three unanswered touchdowns to seal the victory.
Sophomore Thomas Woods was a nightmare for the Tide defense that day. He totaled 183 yards with 116 on the ground and 68 receiving.
At the time it continued an undefeated season for Vanderbilt. They had knocked off Kansas State, Maryland and Kansas to start the season. The win in Tuscaloosa put them in the top 25 as well as in the conversation for the SEC Championship.
“From Our Haus to Yours”