Alabama Football: Tide and Aggies rivalry that isn’t

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Some Alabama Football and Texas A&M History

1942 Cotton Bowl – After going 7-2 in 1940, Alabama was unranked going into the 1941 season. The Crimson Tide rose to No. 7 in the AP Poll, before a 7-0, November loss to Vanderbilt. The Cotton Bowl pitted No. 20 Alabama vs.No. 9 Texas A&M. Alabama won in truly remarkable fashion. From Cotton Bowl records,

"Alabama made only one first down, gained just 59 yards on the ground, 16 in the air, and punted 16 times. But, the Crimson Tide scored 29 points — and won! Seven Aggie interceptions and five lost fumbles made first downs unnecessary."

The Crimson Tide had an interception return for a touchdown, a 72-yard punt return touchdown, and two, less than 25-yard touchdown drives after recovering Aggie fumbles. Alabama Football won the 1942 Cotton Bowl, 29-21. At halftime, three players, including one Tide player enlisted in the Navy. After the 1941 season, college football was significantly impacted by World War II.

After winning the 1942 Cotton Bowl, the Crimson Tide finished 9-2. Decades later, in a difficult-to-justify decision, Alabama Football claimed a National Championship for the 1941 season. So it can be clumsily claimed the most unusual 1942 Cotton Bowl win, gave the Crimson Tide a championship. I have long believed the 1941 claim should have never been made and instead, a much stronger claim could have been for a 1945 Alabama Crimson Tide National Championship.