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
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In the 1981 Cotton Bowl, the No. 9 ranked Crimson Tide manhandled No. 6 ranked Baylor, winning the game 30-2. The Bears had seven turnovers and produced only 158 yards of offense.

Paul Bryant’s last Cotton Bowl was in 1982. The opponent was again the Texas Longhorns, then coached by Fred Akers. The Longhorns no longer had a wishbone offense. Instead, they had a tailback that would go down as one of college football’s greatest, Earl Campbell. The defense-dominated game had only one score through three quarters, a touchdown pass by the Tide’s Walter Lewis. After a Peter Kim field goal, the Tide led 10-0.

Texas came back with two touchdowns, before strategically taking a safety, for the winning margin of 14-12.

The Crimson Tide did not return to the Cotton Bowl until 2006, with Mike Shula as its head coach. A late, game-winning field goal was enough for the Tide to prevail, beating Texas Tech (and Mike Leach), 13-10. The winning kick was an ugly 45-yarder that never got more than 15 feet high.

Alabama Football’s last Cotton Bowl was a 2016 CFB Playoff semi-final against Michigan State. After the Tide led by 31-0 at the end of three quarters, Nick Saban hit the brakes hard. The Spartans, to Saban’s dismay, gave up another touchdown, losing the game 38-0.

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The Crimson Tide’s Cotton Bowl record is 4-4 and every loss came against a team from the state of Texas. Three of the four wins did as well.