Alabama Football: 30 Greatest Games in Crimson Tide History

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Andrew Zow of the Alabama Crimson Tide /

Alabama Football Greatest Game

1999 SEC Championship  – Florida

Gene Stallings was 70-16-1 as the Crimson Tide head coach, with a National Championship. Individuals within the University, with enough power to make Stallings want to walk away, got what they wanted after the 1996 season. Some Alabama football insiders think Bill Oliver believed he would become the next Crimson Tide coach. He wasn’t, perhaps because of his earlier exit from Tuscaloosa to coach at Auburn.

Instead of Oliver, another Crimson Tide assistant, Mike Dubose took over. Dubose’s only four seasons as a college head coach were at his alma mater. As a former player for Paul Bryant, Dubose provided a connection Tide power brokers believed was essential. No one continued to believe that after the four Dubose years led the Tide to a 24-23 record.

Back then, head Coaches were almost never fired after one season, Dubose probably should have been. His first Tide team in 1997, was 4-7, including a loss to Louisiana Tech. The record improved to 7-5 in 1998, but the season ended in an embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech in the Music City Bowl. In the bitter cold and sometimes lacing sleet, the Hokies manhandled a listless Tide team.

In the 1999 season, the Tide again lost to Louisiana Tech. The team was improved and had only one other regular-season loss to Tennessee. Making the 1999 SEC Championship game was a tremendous turnaround from the 1998 season.

The Crimson Tide upset the Florida Gators in the regular season, ending a Gators 30-game, home winning streak. Shaun Alexander led the Tide’s overtime win with 113 yards rushing and 94 receiving yards.

Despite the earlier upset, the Gators were favored in the SEC Championship game. The Crimson Tide defense was sensational, holding Steve Spurrier’s ‘Fun-n-Gun’ to only six first downs. Until that day in December, none of Spurrier’s Florida teams had ever failed to convert any third downs in a game.

The Gators scored first. It was not until almost four minutes of the second quarter for the Tide’s first score, a field goal, trimming the Florida lead to 7-3. The Crimson Tide led 12-7 by halftime and 15-7 at the end of three quarters, as the Gators hung tough. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a field goal turned the game into a blowout.

Freddie Milons was the offensive star for the Crimson Tide, along with a defense that intercepted four Florida passes.

Final Score – Alabama Crimson Tide 34 – Florida Gators 7