Alabama Football Sugar Bowl History and seven memorable games

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Football has played in 16 Sugar Bowls, with one being the 1992 National Championship Game. The Alabama Crimson Tide history goes back to Jan. 1, 1945, when the Duke Blue Devils beat the Crimson Tide 29-26.

One story about the 1945 Sugar Bowl is about the coach who wasn’t there. After the 1930 Alabama Football season, Wallace Wade abruptly left Tuscaloosa to become Duke’s head coach. After five seasons of building the Duke program, the Blue Devils were nationally ranked in the 1936 season and remained so through the 1941 season when Wade led Duke to a No. 2 national ranking.

Wade stepped away from football shortly after the 1942 Rose Bowl game. A veteran of WWI, Wade reenlisted for WWII. After serving his country in memorable combat, Wade returned as Duke’s head coach for the 1946 season and coached the Blue Devils through the 1950 season. Eddie Cameron was the Duke head coach in the 1945 Sugar Bowl.

The next Sugar Bowl for the Crimson Tide came in 1948 and was a 27-7 loss to Texas. When the Tide played in its third Sugar Bowl, Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant was the Tide head coach and he led his 1961 National Champion team to a 10-3 win over Arkansas.

Alabama Football Memorable Sugar Bowl No. 1 – Jan. 1, 1964

Two things stand out about the 1964 Sugar Bowl. Bryant left his star quarterback, Joe Namath in Tuscaloosa and it snowed in New Orleans. Namath was suspended for missing curfew. Technically, Bryant had kicked him off the team. Except for one, Crimson Tide assistants lobbied Bryant to lift the suspension. Assistant coach, Gene Stallings was the one. Bryant agreed with Stallings and Namath was told he could try out for the team in the spring.

It snowed the day before the game. On Game Day, it was bitterly cold at Tulane Stadium and snow was piled on the sidelines, leaving the field a partially frozen, muddy surface. Alabama won the defensive battle 12-7 over Ole Miss. Tim Davis made four field goals.