10 Significant Games in Alabama Football History: 2000-Present

Christopher WoodleyContributor IIIFebruary 13, 2012

10 Significant Games in Alabama Football History: 2000-Present

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    There have been memorable games in Alabama football history. From last-second touchdowns to goal-line stands, these moments will never be forgotten.

    However, there have also been significant games. These contests can be considered significant for several reasons, including end of winning streaks, record-breaking performances, milestone events on and off the field, and more.

    This series is focused on the most significant games in Alabama football history by each decade. While not all games are Crimson Tide victories, the contests are significant for events that occurred before, during and after the game.

    Finally, this is not a Top 10 list. Rather, the games and events are listed chronologically from the beginning of the decade. Enjoy recalling or learning about the significance of one of the greatest teams in college football history, the Alabama Crimson Tide.  

    Note: The decade of the 2000s also includes games from 2010 and 2011.  

Nov. 4, 2000: Baton Rouge Blues

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    Warm-Ups

    With a 3-5 record, Alabama faced LSU in Baton Rouge one week after an embarrassing homecoming loss to Central Florida. LSU was 5-3 in Nick Saban's first year as Tigers head coach.  



    The Game

    Alabama led 21-20 early in the fourth quarter. However, LSU scored 10 consecutive points to take a 30-21 lead with 5:49 remaining. Freddie Milons caught a touchdown pass with seven seconds remaining, but it was not enough as LSU held on for a 30-28 victory.



    Significance

    For nearly 30 years, Tiger Stadium was not an intimidating place for Alabama. The Crimson Tide had won 14 straight in Baton Rouge since 1971. This was LSU's first win over Alabama at Tiger Stadium since a 20-15 win on Nov. 8, 1969.

     

    Aftermath

    Alabama continued its losing ways on the road with a 29-7 loss the following week at Mississippi State.

     

    Extra Point

    This loss guaranteed Alabama's second losing season in four years and only their third since 1984. 

Nov. 18, 2000: First Time Since 1901

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    Warm-Ups

    An Iron Bowl win over Auburn would be the only way to salvage Alabama's dismal 2000 season. With a losing season already guaranteed with a 3-7 record, the Crimson Tide was looking for their third straight win over Auburn.

     

    The Game

    Alabama only gained 135 yards of total offense while Damon Duval's three field goals were enough to lift Auburn to a 9-0 victory.

     

    Significance

    For the first time since 1901, the game was played in Tuscaloosa. Ever since 2000, the Iron Bowl has been a home-and-home series.   



    Aftermath


    While this was the first Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium, it was head coach Mike DuBose's last game. He finished his tumultuous career at Alabama with a 24-23 record. This game also turned out to be Auburn's final victory of the season. The Tigers lost to Florida in the SEC Championship Game followed by a Citrus Bowl loss to Michigan.  



    Extra Point

    Alabama suffered its first Iron Bowl shutout since a 10-0 loss on Nov. 27, 1987.

Aug. 30, 2003: The End of an Era

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    Warm-Ups

    Head Coach Mike Shula was set for his first game as Crimson Tide head coach against South Florida at Legion Field. Alabama was 10-3 in 2002, however, a difficult offseason ensued, which included the disgraceful resignation by newly hired head coach Mike Price. 

     

    The Game

    Alabama and South Florida were tied at 17 at halftime. But the Crimson Tide outscored the Bulls, 33-0, in the second half en route to a 40-17 victory. Shaud Williams finished with three touchdowns.

     

    Significance

    This would be the final game Alabama would play at Birmingham's Legion Field. The Crimson Tide played some of their biggest regular season games at Legion Field, but Alabama had not played more than two games in Birmingham since 1998.

     

    Extra Point

    From 1927 to 2003, Alabama was 160-52-12 (.741) at Legion Field.

Aug. 30, 2008: We're Back

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    Warm-Ups

    After a 7-6 record in head coach Nick Saban's first season in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was ranked 24th heading into their 2008 season opener against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Clemson was ranked ninth and coming off a 9-4 record in 2007.

     

    The Game

    Playing at the Georgia Dome, Alabama jumped out to a 23-3 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a convincing 34-10 victory. Quarterback John Parker Wilson tossed two touchdown passes, while the Crimson Tide defense held Clemson to zero rushing yards.

     

    Significance

    Even though Alabama knocked off No. 20 in Tennessee in 2007, this was Saban's first significant win with the Crimson Tide. It was a victory that announced to the rest of the college football world that Alabama was back and ready to compete for a national championship again. 

     

    Aftermath

    The Clemson victory was the start of 12 consecutive wins and a No. 1 ranking by early November.   

     

    Extra Point

    Alabama's victory over Clemson was the Crimson Tide's first win over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 5 Florida in 2005.

Nov. 8, 2008: No. 1 Again

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    Warm-Ups 

    For the first time since 1980, Alabama was ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. The Crimson Tide entered the game 9-0 following a 35-0 homecoming victory over Arkansas State. LSU was ranked 15th with a 6-2 record.  

     

    The Game

    Deadlocked at 21, LSU received the ball first in overtime. Rashad Johnson collected his third interception of the game to give Alabama the chance for the win. Two plays after a 23-yard reception to Julio Jones, quarterback John Parker Wilson snuck into the end zone from the 1-yard line for Alabama's 27-21 victory. 

     

    Significance

    This was Alabama's first game as the No. 1 team in the country since Nov. 1, 1980. That afternoon, the Crimson Tide lost, 6-3, to Mississippi State and Alabama would not reach the top of the AP rankings again for 28 years.

     

    Aftermath

    After its close call in Baton Rouge, Alabama defeated Mississippi State and Auburn before the SEC Championship Game matchup against No. 2 Florida.  

     

    Extra Point

     Alabama's victory over LSU clinched the Crimson Tide's first SEC West Division title since 1999.

Nov. 29, 2008: Ending a Losing Streak

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    Warm-Ups

    Alabama had the opportunity to complete its first undefeated regular season since 1994. The only team standing in the way of the No. 1 Crimson Tide was Auburn. The Tigers looked to salvage a disappointing 5-6 season with an Iron Bowl victory.

     

    The Game

    Leading 10-0 at halftime, Alabama exploded for 19 third quarter points as the Crimson Tide shut out the Tigers, 36-0. Glen Coffee finished with 144 yards rushing and a touchdown.

     

    Significance

    Alabama ended a six-game losing streak to Auburn that dated back to 2002. It was also the first time the Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers in Tuscaloosa.  

     

    Aftermath

    Alabama was 12-0 and No. 1 entering the SEC Championship Game against No. 2 Florida. The Gators handed the Crimson Tide their first loss of the season with a 31-20 win. The season ended with a 31-17 loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

     

    Extra Point

    Alabama's 36-0 win over Auburn was the largest margin of victory by either team since the Crimson Tide's 38-0 win in 1962. It was also Alabama's first Iron Bowl shutout since a 17-0 win in 1992.

Oct. 24, 2009: Cody's Blocks

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    Warm-Ups

    Alabama had blown an opportunity to play in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game after losing to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. After starting the season at No. 5, Alabama returned to the No. 1 ranking in 2009 after a 20-6 win over No. 22 South Carolina on Oct. 17. One week later, the Crimson Tide put their No. 1 ranking and 7-0 record on the line against 3-3 Tennessee.

     

    The Game

    It appeared Alabama's national championship hopes would fade away as Tennessee place kicker Daniel Lincoln lined up for a potential game-winning 45-yard field goal. But Terrence Cody broke through the line to block the kick and preserve Alabama's 12-10 victory. Cody had blocked a 44-yard field goal earlier in the fourth quarter.

     

    Significance

    Along with the 30-28 win over Kentucky earlier in the season, this was Alabama's closest game of the year. A loss to a struggling Tennessee team may have cost the Crimson Tide a chance to play for the national championship.

     

    Aftermath

    Alabama won its final four games of the regular season before knocking off No. 1 Florida in the SEC Championship Game.

     

    Extra Point

    This game marked the first time Alabama was held without an offensive touchdown since a 17-12 loss to Mississippi State on Nov. 10, 2007.

Dec. 5, 2009: Revenge

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    Warm-Ups

    Alabama was undefeated and ranked No. 2 leading into the 2009 SEC Championship Game. They faced a challenge against top-ranked Florida, who was looking to return to the BCS Championship Game for the second consecutive season. In the 2008 SEC Championship Game, No. 2 Florida topped No. 1 Alabama, 31-20.

    The Game

    Alabama broke open a close game at halftime with a pair of second half touchdowns en route to a 32-13 victory. Mark Ingram rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns, yet quarterback Greg McElroy earned game MVP honors after passing for 239 yards and a touchdown.

    Significance

    Alabama advanced to their first BCS Championship Game and prepared to play in their first national title game since 1992.

    Aftermath

    After knocking off Florida in the SEC Championship Game, Alabama moved up to No. 1 as they faced No. 2 Texas in the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena, Calif. The Crimson Tide's 37-21 victory clinched Alabama's 13th national championship.

    Extra Point

    Alabama totaled 490 yards of total offense on Florida, which had the No. 1 defense in college football throughout the season.

Jan. 7, 2010: Simply the Best

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    Warm-Ups

    For the first time since 1992, No. 1 Alabama played for the national championship at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The Tide's opponent in the BCS National Championship Game was No. 2 Texas. The Longhorns were attempting to win their second national championship in five years. Alabama entered the game 0-7-1 all-time against Texas.   

     

    The Game

    Alabama fell behind 6-0 after the first quarter, but responded with 24 second quarter points. After Texas cut the Crimson Tide lead to 24-21 midway through the fourth quarter, Alabama scored two late touchdowns to clinch the national championship with a 37-21 triumph.

     

    Significance

    Alabama won their 13th national championship and first since 1992. 

     

    Aftermath

    Following their national championship season in 2009, No. 1 Alabama opened the 2010 season with five straight wins. The Crimson Tide eventually finished 10-3, including a Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State.

     

    Extra Point

    Alabama's 13th national championship occurred 84 years after their first Rose Bowl appearance. The Crimson Tide defeated heavily favored Washington, 20-19, in the 1926 Rose Bowl.

Jan. 9, 2012: Revenge Part II

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    Warm-Ups

    On Nov. 5, 2011, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama played in front of more than 101,000 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. LSU won a field goal fest, 9-6, in overtime. Alabama won its final three games, and thanks to a loss by No. 2 Oklahoma State, the Crimson Tide earned a chance for redemption in the BCS title game against the Tigers in New Orleans.

     

    The Game

    Similar to the regular season meeting, the only points through the first three quarters were five Alabama field goals. The Crimson Tide built a 15-0 lead before Trent Richardson's fourth quarter touchdown run as Alabama completed a 21-0 victory. The Crimson Tide defense limited LSU to 92 yards of total offense.  

     

    Significance

    Alabama won its 14th national championship and second in three years.

     

    Aftermath

    Let's just say it's safe to say that Alabama and LSU will once again be in the national championship hunt during the 2012 season.

     

    Extra Point

    Alabama's 21-0 win was not only the first shutout in a BCS championship game, but the first shutout in any BCS bowl game since its inception for the 1998 season.