Dec 5, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide majorettes celebrate with the Alabama Crimson Tide mascot after the 2015 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Alabama won 29-15. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Football has a history of stories about great players, great moments, and great games. Here are thirty of the most exciting and most significant games in program history, in chronological order.
1922, Alabama vs. Pennsylvania – These Southern Boys Really Can Play!
After starting the 1922 season 2-2-1, Alabama Football traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 4 to take on the Penn Quakers. In the 1920s, the East was considered the best college football region in the country. Penn, along with Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, were the class of the game. Southern football was not respected, but Xen Scott and the Tide were looking to change that impression.
Alabama Football was a big underdog going into the game, having gone 0-2-1 in their last three games. Penn was coming off of a big win over Navy. Legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice famously predicted that Penn would easily beat the Tide, 21-0. Rice and the rest of the country were wrong, as Alabama used a late sack to secure a 9-7 victory over coach John Heisman’s Quakers.
Alabama’s quarterback Charles Bartlett led the drive that resulted in the only touchdown for the Tide and would later receive an All-American honorable mention. After defeating the Quakers, Alabama would return home the following week and cruise to a 47-3 win over the LSU Tigers. The Crimson Tide finished the 1922 season with a 6-3-1 record.
This game, three seasons before the famed Rose Bowl victory over Washington, was an early claim to the legitimacy of Southern football teams. A year earlier it hadn’t seemed possible that a team that finished in the middle of the Southern Conference could beat one of the great Eastern teams, but that’s exactly what the Tide did.
Next: 1926 Rose Bowl