Their story: Alabama Crimson Tide Football was established in 1892. They are 6th all time in winning percentage (.709), one spot behind Ohio. They are called the Crimson Tide, and yet their logo depicts an elephant. The former was coined during an Alabama - Auburn game in 1907, a combination of they're original nicknames, the Crimson White (like calling us the Maize and Blue) and Thin Red Line. Mix that in with a clay filled mud bowl game against their biggest rival, and you've got yourself a nickname...and it stuck. The elephant comes from a press account of a game that inspired a drunk fan to yell out that "the elephants are coming" referring to the overgrown inbreds that comprised the 'Bama of the 1930's.
Some History: Alabama has a similar football history to Michigan, though they've been chasing the ghost of Bear much longer than we've been chasing the ghost of Bo. They peaked in the 70's, and while they've had a few more bad seasons than Michigan since then, they've also had a few more amazing ones. But it all averages out, and though they haven't quite redefined towing the line the way we have, they're in our ballpark as far as maintaining historical significance by not losing more than 3-4 games in a season. They did bottom out before the arrival of Nick Satan, er, I mean Saban, and the textbook scandal forced them to vacate the 21 wins they had earned between 2005-2007. Since then they've been hot, losing only six games in the last four years.
Some Comparisons: Decade by decade, Michigan and Alabama's wins and win %:
- 1970's: 'Bama: 103-16-1 (.862) - Blue: 96-16-3 (.847)
- 1980's: 'Bama 85-33-2 (.717) - Blue: 90-29-2 (.752)
- 1990's: 'Bama 83-40 (.674) - Blue: 93-26-3 (.774)
- 2000's: 'Bama 58-48 (.547) - Blue: 81-43 (.653)
- 2010's: 'Bama 22-4 (.846) - Blue: 18-8 (.692)
Returning Starters: Alabama returns 7 offensive and 4 defensive starters.
Stat-tastic: The Crimson Tide defense was #1 against the run AND #1 against the pass...so obviously #1 in total defense. Oh, and that's nationally. They allowed 8.15 ppg on average for the season, and they play in the SEC. In their first 10 games of last season, none of their opponents scored more than 14 points, and those opponents included Arkansas, LSU, and Florida.