Alabama Football: Few teams have winning record against Crimson Tide

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The list of schools with winning records against Alabama football is short. Checking out the full history yields some surprising results.

Only 12 current FBS college football programs have a winning record against Alabama football. Five of those twelve teams hold an upper hand over the Crimson Tide based on a single game.

Among those 12 teams, Rice University has the most impressive undefeated record against the Crimson Tide. The Rice Owls beat the Tide three consecutive seasons 1954-1956. The 1954, 28-6 win by Rice was in the Cotton Bowl.

UCF (2000), Northern Illinois (2003), Minnesota (2004), Oklahoma State (2006) and Utah (2009 Sugar Bowl) are the teams with 1-0 records against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Not counting the three games versus Rice and the five losses to five teams above, the team having inflicted the highest percentage of defeats on Alabama football is Texas. In eight games against the Longhorns from 1902-2010, the Crimson Tide has one win and one tie. The one win was, of course, Jan. 7, 2010 for the 2009, BCS Championship.

Percentage-wise, Boston College comes next in futility for the Tide. The teams played in 1943 and 1946 and again in 1983 and 1984. The Crimson Tide gained just one win in the four games, in the 1943 Orange Bowl. The 1984 opening-game loss is long remembered by many Alabama football fans. Kerry Goode was sensational. In little more than a half of football, he compiled 297 yards and three touchdowns. Then he blew out his knee. After a long recovery, his blazing speed did not return. He was still a good back. He could have been one of the all-time greats. Today, be battles ALS.

Next up in programs with historical domination of the Tide is Notre Dame. In seven meetings, the Tide achieved only two wins. Two of the five losses cost the Crimson Tide national championships. That is why the beat-down for the 2012 National Championship was especially sweet for Alabama football fans. As sweet as it was, it did not fully settle old scores.

UCLA is next in our list, beating the Crimson Tide in 2000 and 2001. The lone Tide win against the Bruins was in the 1976 Liberty Bowl.

The Tide has done slighter better in winning percentage against TCU. The Horned Frogs have won three of five games versus the Tide. TCU won in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The Tide won in 1974 and 1975.

The last of the ‘upper-hand’ cadre of Alabama foes is the University of Oklahoma. The Sooners have won three of the six games played. The Tide has won two, including last season’s CFB Playoff semi-final. One game ended in a tie.

The data in this post comes from two outstanding sources: and Chris Stassen, who also credits James Howell. These are the experts on college football historical scores. Don’t expect Wikipedia to always be correct.

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One loss not in our list was to Cumberland College in 1903. The Tide lost 44-0. The Cumberland win was one of three games, won in four days, by the school. The losers, besides the Crimson Tide, were LSU and Tulane.

Many college football fans also remember Cumberland for its 222-0 loss to Georgia Tech in 1916. Reportedly, the Georgia Tech coach, John Heisman (yes, that Heisman) cautioned his players to be alert because there was no telling what Cumberland had planned for the second half. At halftime, the Yellow Jackets lead was triple digits.