Alabama Football: Tide’s Cotton Bowl history goes way back

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Well known to Alabama Football fans is the Crimson Tide’s Rose Bowl history. Over the decades that followed the Crimson Tide’s Rose Bowl games in the 1920s and 1930s, the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl became the Tide’s prominent post-season games.

The Cotton Bowl and the Crimson Tide go back to the 1941 season. Started in 1937, the Cotton Bowl is not the oldest bowl game staged in the state of Texas. That distinction belongs to the Sun Bowl that began the same year the Sugar and Orange Bowls were established, in 1935.

Until 2010 the Cotton Bowl was played at the site of the State Fair of Texas. The bowl was held in the Fair Park Stadium, but the bowl’s success caused the stadium to be renamed the Cotton Bowl Stadium. Since 2010, the game has been played at AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Crimson Tide’s first Cotton Bowl was Jan. 1, 1942. In between the Tide’s last game of the regular season in late November and the Cotton Bowl, the United States had gone to war. The game and enlisting were both on the minds of Crimson Tide players.

For that era, the Tide had a good passing attack. The opposing Texas A&M Aggies had a better one, but turnovers throttled the Aggies. Check out this game summary.

"The game turned into a defensive slugfest with both offenses doing their best to give the game away. Texas A&M tallied no less than seven interceptions and five lost fumbles. Alabama converted just a single first down, punted no less than sixteen times and gave up 81 yards in penalties. The Aggies outrushed Alabama 115 to 59 and outpassed the Crimson Tide 194 to 16."

Yes, the paragraph does not have a typo. The Tide passed for 16 yards and won easily. The 20-degree temperature was a factor, but the favored Aggies were outmatched. Had Crimson Tide coach, Frank Thomas not made liberal use of subs, the final score of 29-21 would not have been close.