Alabama Football: 30 Greatest Games in Crimson Tide History

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 31
Alabama Crimson Tide
Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacob /

Alabama Football Greatest Game

January 1, 1926 – Rose Bowl vs. Washington

In books written about this game, it has been called the greatest Alabama football victory. To an extent that might be true, because it was about more than one team or even one college program. In a Deep South still struggling to recover from the Civil War and Reconstruction, spirits needed lifting.

Sports have long been able to do that, transcending the boundaries and barriers shared by all. In the Deep South, there was lingering resentment. Those most-southern of Southerners were fed up with being deemed inferior to people living outside the South. And they were tired of old claims the only great football teams came from the Northeast, the Midwest and the Far West.

Wallace Wade took his 1925 team west after the Rose Bowl’s first couple of choices declined. Not that the 1925 Crimson Tide had not been impressive. Wade’s Southern Conference team was 10-0. The Tide had surrendered seven points all season while scoring 267 points.

The national press, particularly the western press were unimpressed. The Huskies were also undefeated, with one blemish, a 6-6 tie at Nebraska.

The Huskies were led by All-American halfback, George ‘Wildcat’ Wilson. Wilson was known for punishing opponents at every opportunity.

The smaller Crimson Tide fought back throughout the first half with Wilson and Washington winning more of the encounters. Late in the second quarter, gang-tackling knocked Wilson out of the game.

The Crimson Tide trailed 12-0 at halftime. In the locker room, Wade is said to have challenged the manhood of his players. With Wilson out in the third quarter, a fired-up Crimson Tide rolled to a 20-12 lead as the fourth quarter began.

Wildcat Wilson returned and came close to leading the Huskies back to victory. A few fourth-quarter plays made the difference.

Johnny Mack Brown, caught two touchdown passes, one thrown by Pooley Hubert. Hubert also scored a rushing touchdown.

While a couple of other teams claimed a 1925 National Championship, the NCAA recognizes a sole Champion for the ’25 season, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Final Score – Alabama Crimson Tide 20 – Washington Huskies 19