(Editor’s notice: That is the 12th in a chain of 15 tales highlighting the 150 largest moments within the historical past of school soccer within the state of Alabama).
The historical past of school soccer within the state of Alabama doesn’t somewhat return 150 years, however we’ve definitely had our moments within the 13 many years since our universities first shaped groups within the 1890s.
As faculty soccer celebrates its 150th anniversary this yr, we’re counting down the best moments within the game’s historical past in Alabama. No longer most of these moments came about inside our borders, however all of them concerned our groups.
Each Friday this season, we’ll proceed counting down the best video games, coaches, avid gamers, performs and controversies involving our groups. Here’s the 12th 10:
Bernard Troncale/Birmingham Information report
40. Antonio Langham’s pick-6 wins first SEC championship recreation (1992)
It’s tricky to believe it now, however in 1992, the SEC championship recreation was once thought to be a significant — and in all probability pointless — gamble for the league. Including an additional recreation between the common season and the bowls may prohibit SEC groups’ possibilities of enjoying for a countrywide championship, critics stated on the time. Nonetheless, the SEC plowed forward with its championship recreation concept, splitting the league into East and West divisions when Arkansas and South Carolina joined up for the 1992 season. Alabama breezed to an 11-Zero document and gained the West, whilst Florida took the East at 8-3. Thus, just a Red Tide victory within the SEC championship recreation would give the league a shot at a countrywide name. The Gators made everybody worried, tying the sport 21-21 and taking ownership of the ball past due within the fourth quarter at Legion Box in Birmingham. However Alabama cornerback Antonio Langham rendered any worries moot by means of intercepting a Shane Matthews move and returning it 27 yards for a landing with 3:16 final. The Red Tide hung on for the victory and went directly to win the nationwide name by means of beating Miami within the Sugar Bowl. And although it moved to Atlanta two years later, the SEC championship recreation was once right here to stick.
Invoice Starling/Press-Sign in report
39. Alabama beats Texas for Saban’s first name (2010)
Alabama had many false “they’re again” moments between 1992 and 2009, however in any case were given to the soccer promised land once more in Nick Saban’s 3rd season in Tuscaloosa. The Red Tide rolled throughout the common season at 12-0, tacking on a 26-21 comeback victory over Auburn within the common season finale. That arrange a showdown with reigning nationwide champion Florida for the SEC name, and Alabama rolled over the top-ranked Gators 32-13 to succeed in the BCS nationwide championship recreation in opposition to fellow unbeaten Texas. The sport additionally marked the Red Tide’s go back to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., the place it had no longer performed since 1946. The Longhorns took an early 6-Zero lead, however Alabama knocked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy out of the sport within the first quarter. Sparked by means of an interception go back for a landing by means of defensive finish Marcell Dareus, the Red Tide led 24-6 on the part. Texas rallied with a couple of touchdowns to chop the result in 3 issues, however a sacked and compelled fumble by means of Eryk Anders arrange the landing that put the sport away with 2:01 final. Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and freshman Trent Richardson every ran for 2 touchdowns in a 37-21 victory that made Alabama nationwide champions for the primary time in 17 years and gave the Tide its most effective undefeated season to this point beneath Saban.
Photograph courtesy of Paul W. Bryant Museum
38. The Holt-Graning Affair (1961)
Probably the most extra notorious incidents in faculty soccer historical past came about at Birmingham’s Legion Box on Nov. 18, 1961, an afternoon Alabama beat Georgia Tech 10-Zero on its strategy to a countrywide championship. Alabama linebacker Darwin Holt was once blockading on a punt when he leveled a forearm into the face of Georgia Tech’s Chick Graning, a play that was once both competitive however blank or downright grimy, relying for your standpoint. What isn’t in dispute is that Holt was once no longer penalized at the play, and that Graning suffered accidents — together with a number of facial fractures and damaged enamel — serious sufficient to land him within the clinic. The undersized Holt was once some of the leaders of Alabama’s mythical 1961 protection, which gave up most effective 25 issues all season. He was once additionally one in every of Paul “Undergo” Bryant’s favourite avid gamers, and the Alabama trainer staunchly defended him. The Holt-Graning affair resulted in a renewed outcry in opposition to brutality within the game, infected by means of a Saturday Night time Publish article by means of Furman Bisher entitled “Faculty Soccer is Going Berserk.” Georgia Tech trainer Bobby Dodd decried the “hard-nosed” taste of soccer taught by means of Bryant and others, and it broken his dating with Bryant to this sort of level it was once thought to be a part of the rationale the Yellow Jackets left the SEC a couple of years later. Holt visited Graning within the clinic and apologized for injuring him, however has at all times maintained that the play was once a prison one.
Harry How/Getty Photographs
37. Florida State edges Auburn for nationwide name (2014)
Auburn’s magical experience throughout the 2013 soccer season ended within the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, Calif., with a 34-31 loss to Florida State in what grew to become out to be the general BCS nationwide championship recreation. In Gus Malzahn’s first season as head trainer, the Tigers had shocked Georgia and Alabama with last-minute comeback wins after which thrashed Missouri within the SEC championship recreation to say the No. 2 spot within the ultimate scores with a 12-1 document. Florida State, led by means of Heisman Trophy winner and Alabama local Jameis Winston at quarterback, was once unbeaten at 13-Zero and had averaged 53 issues consistent with recreation. Auburn jumped out to a 21-Three lead, and held a 21-13 benefit ahead of a wild fourth quarter that noticed 3 lead adjustments within the ultimate 5 mins. Tre Mason’s 37-yard landing run gave the Tigers a 31-27 lead with 3:12, however Winston led the Seminoles on a 7-play, 80-yard force for the win. With 13 seconds left, he hit a jumping Kelvin Benjamin after all zone for a two-yard landing to position FSU up for just right. Winston was once named the sport’s MVP after throwing for 237 yards and two touchdowns. The next season, faculty soccer went to a four-team playoff device to come to a decision its FBS nationwide champion.
Dave Martin/Related Press
36. Tuberville’s thumb, plus one (2007)
The longest Auburn profitable streak in Iron Bowl historical past comprised six years and 4 Alabama head coaches. Tommy Tuberville led the Tigers to 6 consecutive victories over the Red Tide from 2002-07, video games determined by means of a complete of 47 issues. Auburn pulled off a 17-7 dissatisfied of a Dennis Franchione-coached Alabama crew in Tuscaloosa 2002, then gained 4 directly video games over Mike Shula by means of ratings of 28-23, 21-13, 28-18 and 22-15 (alas, Mike Value by no means were given to train in an Iron Bowl, or any recreation, for that topic, for the Red Tide). The 5th directly Auburn victory was once “one for the thumb,” as Tuberville walked off the sector in Tuscaloosa with 5 arms held aloft. Shula was once fired on the finish of the 2006 season, and Nick Saban got here aboard with the Red Tide the next January. Auburn gained 17-10 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2007, inflicting the at all times instigating Tuberville to run off the sector with six arms within the air. Because it grew to become out, the following yr marked the top of the road for Auburn’s Iron Bowl streak and for Tuberville as smartly. Alabama gained 36-Zero at Bryant-Denny Stadium to finish Auburn’s season at 5-7. Tuberville resigned beneath power a short while later.
Chris Trotman/AL.com report picture
35. Mark Ingram wins Alabama’s first Heisman (2009)
In spite of all its on-field good fortune through the years, Alabama one way or the other made it till the top of the primary decade of the 21st century with out one in every of its avid gamers taking house the tip person award in faculty soccer. That in any case modified in 2009, when sophomore working again Mark Ingram become the Red Tide’s first Heisman Trophy winner. Ingram started the season with 150 yards in opposition to Virginia Tech, then added 140 vs. Kentucky, 172 in opposition to Ole Pass over, 249 vs. South Carolina, 144 in opposition to LSU and 149 vs. Mississippi State. He was once held in take a look at with simply 30 yards vs. Auburn, however posted 113 yards and 3 touchdowns in an SEC championship recreation victory over top-ranked Florida. That recreation was once sufficient to position Ingram excessive, however slightly. He gained within the closest Heisman vote ever, besting Stanford working again Toby Gearhart by means of a trifling 28 issues and 5 first-place votes. Ingram’s Heisman acceptance speech was once some of the maximum memorable in historical past, alternatively, as he broke down in tears on the podium. After serving to Alabama to the nationwide championship that January, Ingram returned for his junior season in 2010. He didn’t repeat as Heisman winner, although, suffering via an harm plagued season and failing to complete within the peak 10 of the balloting.
Anthony Camerano/AP picture
34. Pat Sullivan wins Auburn’s first Heisman (1971)
Auburn’s Pat Sullivan become the primary Heisman Trophy winner from the state of Alabama and simply the fourth in historical past from an SEC college when he bested a trio of working backs — Cornell’s Ed Marinaro, Oklahoma’s Greg Pruitt and Alabama’s Johnny Musso — for school soccer’s peak person award in 1971. The senior from Birmingham threw for two,262 yards and 21 touchdowns that season, together with 248 yards and 4 landing passes — two of them to Terry Beasley — in a 35-20 win over unbeaten Georgia. He had additionally helped the Tigers to a 9-Zero document and No. Five nationwide rating on the time the Heisman winner was once introduced, which was once on Thanksgiving night time — and two days ahead of the Iron Bowl — that yr. In consequence, Sullivan was once not able to shuttle to New York for the Heisman presentation, as an alternative staring at the announcement on tv along with his spouse and younger daughter (the winner was once printed on ABC throughout halftime of the Georgia-Georgia Tech recreation). Sullivan’s Tigers misplaced 31-7 to Alabama within the Iron Bowl that Saturday, and 40-22 to Oklahoma within the Sugar Bowl to complete 9-2. Sullivan went directly to play in short within the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons ahead of going into training, together with stints as quarterbacks trainer at Auburn and UAB and as head trainer at TCU and Samford.
Birmingham Information report picture
33. The unbeaten Iron Bowl (1971)
Best as soon as within the trendy historical past of the Iron Bowl have each Alabama and Auburn entered the sport unbeaten and untied. That was once the case on Nov. 27, 1971, when the No. Three Red Tide (10-0) squared off in opposition to No. Five Auburn (9-0) at Legion Box in Birmingham. The Tigers have been led by means of newly topped Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan, whilst the Red Tide countered with a wishbone assault spearheaded by means of All-The usa halfback Johnny Musso. In spite of the build-up, the sport grew to become out to be no longer a lot of a competition. Alabama rolled to a 31-7 victory at the back of 167 yards and two touchdowns from Musso and two extra TD runs by means of quarterback Terry Davis. The Red Tide additionally held Sullivan to simply 121 yards passing, intercepting him two times. Auburn’s most effective ranking of the day got here on a halfback move by means of Terry Unger, who hit Terry Beasley for a 31-yard ranking in the second one quarter. As a crew, Auburn controlled simply 178 yards of offense and 7 first downs. Alabama went on to stand top-ranked Nebraska within the Orange Bowl, however misplaced by means of an similarly decisive 38-6 ranking. Auburn went to the Sugar Bowl and fell to Oklahoma 40-22. The Red Tide and Tigers have met as unbeatens only one time since, when 10-Zero Alabama beat 9-0-1 Auburn 21-14 in 1994. However with neither crew critically in search of a countrywide championship that season (Nebraska and Penn State have been each unbeaten and ranked forward of Alabama lots of the yr, whilst Auburn was once ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions), it didn’t lift just about as a lot cachet because the Iron Bowl from 23 years previous.
Haywood Paravicini/Birmingham Information report
32. Punt Bama Punt (1972)
A yr after essentially the most high-stakes Iron Bowl in historical past got here some of the recreation’s maximum incredible finishes, a recreation perpetually after referred to as “Punt Bama Punt.” No. 2 Alabama, already topped SEC champions, ruled a lot of the day, and carried a 16-Zero lead into the fourth quarter over once-beaten and No. Nine ranked Auburn. The Tigers in any case were given at the scoreboard on Gardner Jett’s 42-yard subject objective with 9:15 final, and the Red Tide sought to expire the clock. That’s when all hell broke unfastened. Auburn’s Invoice Newton blocked a punt by means of Alabama’s Greg Gantt, with David Langner scooping the ball up and returning it for a 25-yard landing to chop the result in 16-10 with 5:30 to play. The Red Tide once more couldn’t transfer the soccer, and once more coated as much as punt. Once more, Newton blocked Gantt’s kick, and — amazingly — once more Langner returned it for a landing to tie the sport with 1:34 to play. Jett’s additional level made Auburn a 17-16 winner, regardless of the Tigers gaining simply 80 yards of offense within the recreation (the ever present Langner additionally intercepted Alabama’s ultimate move to seal the win). Auburn went on to overcome Colorado 24-Three to cap a 9-2 season. Its nationwide championship hopes dashed, Alabama misplaced 17-13 to Texas within the Cotton Bowl.
Joe Songer/Birmingham Information report
31. George Teague strips nationwide name from Miami (1993)
The best play in faculty soccer that didn’t rely came about halfway throughout the 3rd quarter of the 1993 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, with Alabama main top-ranked Miami 27-6. Red Tide defensive again George Teague ran down Hurricanes receiver Lamar Thomas from at the back of, no longer most effective preventing what gave the impression of a certain 89-yard landing, but in addition stripping the ball away and in short returning it within the different route. The fantastic person effort by means of Teague was once nullified as a result of an Alabama defender had coated up offsides at the play, nevertheless it pressured the Hurricanes to just accept the penalty. Extra importantly, it broke Miami’s will and Alabama cruised to a 34-13 victory. The win capped a 13-Zero season for Gene Stallings’ Red Tide, which was once topped nationwide champions for the primary time in 13 years and for first time within the post-Paul “Undergo” Bryant generation. Alabama did it with protection that yr, a mythical unit that led the rustic in a large number of statistical classes — together with permitting simply 55 yards speeding consistent with recreation. Alabama entered the Sugar Bowl as a double-digit level underdog to protecting nationwide champion Miami, which talked a just right recreation main as much as kickoff however was once most commonly silent thereafter. Teague additionally had an interception go back for a landing within the recreation, although teammate Derrick Lassic was once named MVP after speeding for 135 yards and two ratings.
Tom Self/Birmingham Information
Learn earlier portions of this countdown
Phase 1: 150-141
Phase 2: 140-131
Phase 3: 130-121
Phase 4: 120-111
Phase 5: 110-101
Phase 6: 91-100
Phase 7: 81-90
Phase 8: 71-80
Phase 9: 61-70
Phase 10: 51-60
Phase 11: 41-50
Neil Brake/Birmingham Information report
Closing time table:
Nov. 22: Phase 13 (21-30)
Nov. 29: Phase 14 (11-20)
Dec. 6: Phase 15 (1-10)