Alabama Football: 10 memorable Crimson Tide season-openers

Wilbur Jackson - Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Wilbur Jackson - Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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In honor of the first Game Day of the 2022 Alabama Football season, let’s look back at 10 memorable Alabama Crimson Tide season openers.

Beginning research for this post, I guessed there would be many more than 10 games to be considered memorable. Instead, there were only a few beyond 10, largely because the norm before Nick Saban was to schedule easy openers.

The games are listed chronologically, rather than any kind of ‘best’ ranking.

No. 1 – Alabama Football vs. Marion (1922) and Delta State (1951)

The game against Marion is included for accuracy, not because it might have been considered memorable. Alabama had little more than an exhibition game against Marion, which was not a college-level team. The Crimson Tide won 110-0. The memorable No. 1 is the opening season win over Delta State by a score of 89-0. It is the Crimson Tide’s largest margin of victory in an opener over a ‘real’ team.

No. 2 – Alabama at Southern Cal (1938)

The Crimson Tide had won the Rose Bowl, three seasons earlier in Frank Thomas’ fourth season as head coach. In the 1937 season, the Tide went back to the Rose Bowl and lost to California, 13-0. So ten months later, going back to Los Angeles to play Southern Cal, was a big deal. The Tide won 19-7. USC finished the season ranked No. 7.

No. 3 – Alabama at Georgia (1965)

We may not want to remember them but losses can be memorable. The Crimson Tide’s 1965 opener certainly. Alabama was coming off a shared National Championship in 1964, its second in four seasons. A late score gave Georgia the win. See the winning play below.

If called correctly by the officials, the play would have been blown dead after a short gain. The pass receiver on the flea flicker play had his knee down when he made the lateral to a teammate.

Alabama won the 1965 National Championship anyway.