The Crimson Tide. It is a name that college football fans keep synonymous with Elite.
A name that rings through the generations of football fans. A name that represents more than just the football team for a university in western Alabama. It is what millions of fans identify with, something they are born into.
It represents a link back home for many displaced Tide fans. The Tide are more, and will forever be more to those people, in ways other fans just couldn't understand.
The following performances are all of a different nature. Some were flat out superb performances where a player seemed to single handedly win a game, and some are important ones, where one player may have saved the season.
Bear Bryant once said you never really know a player until you see how he plays against Tennessee.
In 1966, Alabama came into Tennessee as the two-time defending champions. It was wet, it was cold, it was the third Saturday in October.
After an atrocious first half by the Tide, "The Bear" came into the locker room, looked around at his team and said "Boys, we got 'em right where we want 'em."
In the second half Kenny "The Snake" Stabler came out and put on a clinic.
At the end of the third "The Snake" took it in himself, then a two-point conversion closed it to 10-8.
With nine minutes to go, Stabler and the Tide put together a drive that will forever be remembered by Alabama fans.
The Snake didn't have any doubt as the Tide drove to withing field goal range to hit one, and take the lead 11-10. It is said that on that drive Stabler was cool, calm, and collected, remarking how "Fun" it was.
That drive on that rainy day in Tennessee was one of the most important in Tide history, in a season that no one will forget.
Once a Fullback for Southern Mississippi, Ray Perkins put on a show against Nebraska. A heavy underdog in that Orange Bowl, Bear Bryant's "quick little boys" devastated Nebraska.
Minus the members of the line, who were the unsung heroes of the day, Ray Perkins was the biggest contributor to the game. Nine catches, two touchdowns, 159 yards, and an Orange Bowl record. Not bad for a fullback.
The Iron Bowl. The most heated rivalry in sports.The biggest stage in the State of Alabama became the Shaun Alexander show in 1999.
Down 14-6 at the half on the Plains, Alexander put on a clinic by scoring three touchdowns in the second half. His day included 182 yards on 33 carries as the Tide won 28-17.
You'll be hard pressed to find such a great offensive performance by a player in a losing effort.
The 1969 Iron Bowl may be one overlooked when it comes to Alabama greatness, but that day produced the greatest offensive day any Alabama player has ever had.
Hunter connected on 30 of his 55 passes, for a mind-boggling 484 yards, to finish the day with 457 yards of total offense (he rushed for -27)
Scott would be higher on this list, if Auburn wouldn't have won 49-26.
Shaun Alexander came into Alabama as a highly touted freshman, being named Kentucky's "Mr. Football" and scoring 110 TDs in high school.
Shaun showed football fans across America why he was so coveted on a fall day in Baton Rouge in 1996.
In the second, it was a 17-yard TD run. In the third there were two, coming in the middle and end of the quarter.
In the fourth Shaun added another and it was the icing on the cake as he finished the day with a mind-blowing 291 yards and four touchdowns.... and he was just a freshman.
"The Strip." That phrase lives in the head of Tide fans as what may very well be one of the greatest plays in their history.
Miami was favored in the 1993 National Title game, a game that featured Miami Heisman QB Gino Torretta vs. the SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide.
Following some incendiary remarks by the Miami head coach, Alabama and Gene Stalling went out to prove the man wrong, but no one's performance was more memorable that night than George Teague's.
A pick to put Alabama up by 21 was all nice and well for the DB, but no Tide fan will ever forget "The Strip."
What a lot of people forget though is that the strip never really happened, as it was taken back on a penalty, but whoever saw it may have seen the greatest single defensive effort in Alabama football history.
For "The Strip" and his pick-six, Teague earns the fifth place on this list.
What Kevin Jackson accomplished on Sept. 30, 1995, has been done four times in 'Bama football, so I just went with the most recent.
A 31-0 Bama whoopin' of Georgia was easy. Of course, so is any game where your safety has three picks.
That's what 'Bama safety Kevin Jackson accomplished that September day in '95 and 'Bama had a field day against the Bulldogs.
The victory was Alabama's last in Athens until last season's 41-30 beating of the Bulldogs.
A milestone. An unfathomable one at that. Five touchdowns in a football game is amazing. Two in the first quarter, one in the third, and two in the second sealed this Crimson tide record for Beard.
"Wow, I'm not even believing it, I
think once I get home and watch this game, or see it on ESPN,
I'll probably believe it then," said Beard.
The fact that this was achieved against a ranked rival makes it all that much better.
The 1966 Orange Bowl was expected to be a rout. Not many people gave the Tide a chance against the "Giants" of Nebraska.
But "The Bear's" quick, little boys were up to the task, and god knows Bear Bryant was dangerous as an underdog.
The Alabama O-Line out-blocked, out-ran, and out-maneuvered the beastly Cornhusker line all night, leading to a 39-28 victory for the Tide on their way to the National title.
Of course, Steve Sloan did connect all night with Ray Perkins who is also on this list, but "The Bear" himself had to personally congratulate his O-Line in engineering the monumental upset.
He was more of a military drill sergeant than a coach. He was larger than life.
No one has made more of an impact on a football franchise than Paul W. "Bear" Bryant made on the University of Alabama.
Taking them out of the cellar and leading them to six titles, "The Bear" ran his team like a boot camp. "Bryant Hall," where the football players stayed, was referred to as a "barracks" by players and fans.
It was this toughness that strengthened "The Bears" teams, with which he compiled a 232-46-9 record with them in his tenure.
Paul Bryant pushed his teams to the edge, much further than his players thought they could ever go, until they learned to just accept the best in life, and in this way he did more with less than any coach has done.
Paul Bryant made the single biggest individual impact on Alabama football.
Did I mention the man also had a hand in desegregating the South?