Alabama Crimson Tide football under Nick Saban

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Alabama Crimson Tide football under Nick Saban
Nick Saban in 2009 (cropped).jpg
Athletic directorMal Moore (2007–2013)
Bill Battle (2013–2017)
Greg Byrne (2017– )
Head coachNick Saban
13 season, 155–22 (.876)
StadiumBryant–Denny Stadium
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionWestern Division
Bowl record11–5 (.688)
Claimed nat'l titles5 (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017)
Conference titles6
Division titles7
Heisman winners2
Consensus All-Americans35

Alabama Crimson Tide football under Nick Saban covers the history of the Alabama Crimson Tide football program since Nick Saban was hired as head coach in 2007. Alabama plays as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and is a member of the West Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Tide plays its home games at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Their overall official record under Saban is 150-22[a] (.872) (155–22 on the field), 14 bowl game appearances with ten victories, seven SEC West titles, six SEC championships, and five national championships. Since 2008, Saban's teams have spent all or part of each season ranked No. 1 in national polls.

On January 3, 2007, Nick Saban officially accepted the head coaching position with the Crimson Tide. In 2018, the team experienced many highs and lows, losing the National Championship to No. 2 Clemson. In 2008, Saban led them to their first undefeated regular season since 1994, but they lost the SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl. In 2009, Saban led Alabama to a perfect 14–0 and their first BCS National Championship, and to their first overall national championship since 1992. After a relatively disappointing 10–3 2010 season, Saban led the Tide to back-to-back BCS National Championships in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.[1] The 2013 team won their first eleven games but failed to capture a third consecutive national championship, losing the last two. Saban's 2014team won the SEC West and SEC championships, then lost to Ohio State in the inaugural College Football Playoff's semi-final round at the Sugar Bowl, finishing 12-2. Saban won his fourth championship at Alabama in 2015 and his fifth at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017.

Many players who competed at Alabama during Saban's tenure have also been recognized for their on-field accomplishments. Mark Ingram Jr. in 2009 and Derrick Henry in 2015 became Alabama's first and second Heisman Trophy winners. 52 players have been recognized as First Team All-Americans, 35 by consensus or unanimously. Additionally, 87 former Crimson Tide players have been drafted into the National Football League, 29 as first-round selections.



After four seasons as head coach in which he compiled an overall record of 26[b]–23 (.531) on November 26, 2006, Mike Shula was fired as head coach of the Crimson Tide.[2][3] At the time of his firing, athletic director Mal Moore promoted defensive coordinator Joe Kines into the roll of interim head coach for the Independence Bowl and that the search for a permanent replacement would begin immediately.[2][3] At that time several current coaches were rumored to be in consideration for the position at Alabama, with Steve Spurrier of South Carolina and Saban of the Miami Dolphins thought to be the preferred candidates.[2][4] On November 27, Saban publicly stated he had not been contacted by Alabama and that he had no interest in leaving the Dolphins to become the head coach of the Crimson Tide.[5]

In early December, Moore made a preliminary offer to Saban's agent Jimmy Sexton to coach at Alabama for $5 million per season for seven years with a $7 million signing bonus.[6] At that time Saban also stated he had not personally interviewed at Alabama and told his players that he was not leaving.[6] After West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez turned down an offer to coach the Crimson Tide, speculation again focused on Saban. As the rumors persisted that he was prepared to take the Alabama job, on December 21 Saban stated "I guess I have to say it, I'm not going to be the Alabama coach" in an effort to stop the Alabama rumors.[7] After the Dolphins season ended, it was speculated again that Alabama was to offer their head coaching position to Saban.[8] On January 3, 2007, Saban officially resigned from the Dolphins and became the head coach of the Crimson Tide.[9] At that time he signed an eight-year contract worth a guaranteed $32 million to coach Alabama.[10]

First season[edit]

American football players line up in a goal line formation on an American football field surrounded by crowded stands.
Alabama attempts a two-point conversion in their 24–10 victory at Vanderbilt on September 8, 2007.

After his hiring, Saban worked to hire his first staff and complete his first recruiting class with the Crimson Tide. His staff did not include any of Shula's former staff, and Kevin Steele was hired as defensive coordinator and Major Applewhite as offensive coordinator.[11][12] On February 7, he landed his first recruiting class that was highly ranked by the major recruiting services in spite of having just over a month to complete it.[13] Anticipation for his first season continued to build through his first spring practices, and reached its peak when an overflow crowd of 92,138 attended the A-Day spring game on April 21.[14]

In Saban's debut as head coach, the Crimson Tide defeated Western Carolina for his first win at Alabama.[15] They followed that victory with his first road win at Vanderbilt and his first win over a ranked opponent against No. 16 Arkansas for a 3–0 record to open the season.[16][17] They entered the polls at the No. 16 position, but then lost in overtime at home against Georgia and in the River City Showdown at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to Florida State.[18][19] Alabama rebounded with three consecutive wins over Houston on homecoming, at Ole Miss and at home over Tennessee.[20]

Prior to their game against the Vols, Antoine Caldwell, Marlon Davis, Glen Coffee, Marquis Johnson and Chris Rogers were suspended as a result of violating NCAA rules.[21] The violation was a result of a failure in the distribution system of textbooks that was deemed to be an improper benefits as defined by the NCAA.[22][23] After the NCAA reviewed the case, in June 2009 they determined all players who received the improper benefits to be retroactively ineligible.[22][23] As part of their penalty, the NCAA forced Alabama to vacate football victories that dated back to the 2005 season through the first five games of the 2007 season.[22][23]

After their victory over Tennessee, the Crimson Tide lost their four remaining regular season games. Against his former team LSU, the Crimson Tide lost to the eventual national champions in what was dubbed "the Saban Bowl".[24] They followed that with a loss at Mississippi State and against Louisiana–Monroe in one of the bigger upsets of the 2007 season.[25] After their sixth consecutive loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Alabama closed the season with a victory over Colorado in the Independence Bowl and finished the season with a winning record at 7-6 in Saban's first season.[26][27]

2008 season[edit]

American football players in play midfield.
Alabama lines up on defense during their 34–10, season opening victory against Clemson at the Georgia Dome.

Looking to improve on their 7–6 record from the previous season, Alabama signed the top recruiting class as determined by a wide variety of selectors.[28][29] The class featured many players who were later drafted into the NFL and formed the foundation for their championship run from 2009 through 2012.[29] Players from the class included future first round draft picks Marcell Dareus, Julio Jones, Mark Barron, Dont'a Hightower, and Mark Ingram.[29] The Crimson Tide then completed spring practice with another large A-Day crowd before the season started later in the fall.[30]

The Crimson Tide opened the season ranked No. 24, and they defeated No. 9 Clemson in the inaugural Chick-fil-A College Kickoff to open the season.[31] They followed the victory with home wins over Tulane and WKU and won on the road over Arkansas before a much-hyped game at Georgia.[32][33] Ranked No. 8 and playing against the No. 3 Bulldogs in what was deemed a "blackout" game by Georgia head coach Mark Richt, the Crimson Tide took a 31–0 halftime lead en route to a 41–30 upset victory.[34][35] After their win, the Crimson Tide moved into the No. 2 ranking and then defeated Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arkansas State on homecoming to extend their record to 9–0.[36]

After No. 1 Texas lost to Texas Tech, the Crimson Tide achieved their first regular season No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll since the 1980 season and their first ever No. 1 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) ranking prior to their game at LSU.[37] In what was Saban's first game at Tiger Stadium since he resigned as LSU's coach after their 2004 season, the Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers 27–21 in overtime.[38] The victory over LSU also allowed the Crimson Tide to clinch the SEC West Division championship, and earned a spot in the SEC Championship Game.[38] Alabama then closed with wins over Mississippi State and Auburn, that ended their six-game losing streak in the Iron Bowl, and finished the regular season undefeated 12–0.[39] Although favored, a two touchdown rally led by Florida's Tim Tebow in the fourth quarter resulted in the Crimson Tide failing to capture the SEC championship and instead of playing for a national championship, they accepted an invitation to play in the Sugar Bowl.[40] Against an undefeated Utah team, Alabama was upset 31–17 and finished the season with an overall record of 12–2.[41]

First national championship[edit]

American football players in formation at the 50-yard line on a green field.
Alabama defeated Texas for the first time in school history 37–21 for the BCS national championship.

Although they reached their first BCS game since the 1999 season, Alabama looked improve for the 2009 season after they closed 2008 on a two-game losing streak after a 12–0 start to the year. Again, the Crimson Tide secured one of the top ranked recruiting classes for the third consecutive season in February 2009.[42] Just as in the previous year, the 2009 class included many players who played significant roles in their championship run. These players included first round NFL draft picks James Carpenter, Dre Kirkpatrick, Trent Richardson, D. J. Fluker, and Chance Warmack in addition to Eddie Lacy and AJ McCarron.[43] In the annual A-Day game, the Crimson team defeated the White team by a score of 14–7 before 84,050 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium.[44]

For the second year in a row, Alabama opened the season at Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Against Virginia Tech, the Crimson Tide trailed at halftime, but an 18-point rally in the fourth quarter gave Alabama the 34–24 win.[45] After consecutive wins over non-conference Florida International and North Texas, the Crimson Tide defeated Arkansas 35–7 to open conference play at Bryant–Denny Stadium.[46] Alabama next went on a two-game road trip, defeated both Kentucky and Ole Miss and extended their record to 6–0.[47]

The Crimson Tide then returned home where they played South Carolina on homecoming. Against the Gamecocks, Mark Ingram had a career-high with 246 rushing yards and entered the Heisman Trophy conversation as he led Alabama to a 20–6 victory.[48] In their next game, a pair of Terrence Cody blocked field goals, one of which came as time expired, preserved a 12–10 win over rival Tennessee.[49] With a berth in the SEC Championship Game on the line, the Crimson Tide clinched the West division championship with a 24–15 victory LSU in their next game.[50] Alabama then closed the season with wins over Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Auburn and completed their second consecutive, undefeated regular season.[51]

In the SEC Championship Game, Alabama faced East division champion Florida for the second season in a row in a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup. With both the conference championship and a berth in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game on the line, the Crimson Tide defeated the Gators 32–13 and won the SEC for the first time since 1999.[52] At the conclusion of the regular season, Mark Ingram won the first Heisman Trophy in Alabama history with the closest margin of victory in the history of the award over Toby Gerhart.[53] The Crimson Tide then closed the season with a 37–21 victory over Texas to finish a perfect 14-0 and recorded their first national championship since the 1992 season and their thirteenth overall in the history of the program.[54]

2010 season[edit]

A holder receives the snap with the kicker preparing to kick the ball.
Jeremy Shelley made two field goals in Alabama's 30–10 win over Mississippi State.

As the defending national champions, Alabama entered the 2010 season as the favorite to repeat and win their second national championship in as many years.[55] After again signing a highly rated recruiting class, the Crimson Tide opened the season in the No. 1 position in the polls.[55] Alabama then won their first five games over San Jose State, Penn State, Duke, Arkansas, and Florida and retained their unanimous No. 1 ranking.[56] However, in their sixth game, the Crimson Tide lost their first regular season game since the 2007 season when they were upset at South Carolina 35–21.[57]

They rebounded the next week with a 23–10 win over Ole Miss on homecoming and at Tennessee by a margin of 41–10 before their top ten matchup at LSU.[58] Against the Tigers, a late Stevan Ridley touchdown run set up by a 23-yard DeAngelo Peterson run on a fourth-down play gave LSU the upset victory and effectively ended the opportunity for an Alabama repeat of the national championship.[59] The Crimson Tide then defeated Mississippi State and Georgia State prior to their season finale against Auburn. With the No. 2 Tigers still in the national championship picture, Auburn overcame a 24–0 deficit and won 28–27 in what was the largest comeback in Iron Bowl history.[60] Alabama then closed the season with a 49–7 victory over Michigan State, Saban's former two-time employer, in the Capital One Bowl and finished with an overall record of 10–3.[61]

Second national championship[edit]

American football players prior to running a play.
The Alabama offense lines up against the LSU defense in their 9–6 overtime loss.

After a disappointing 2010 season in which they opened the year as a national title favorite and ended with three losses, the Crimson Tide looked to regain their championship form for the 2011 campaign. After again signing one of the top recruiting classes in the country, and going through spring practice, tragedy struck Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, when an EF4 rated tornado devastated the city.[62] The tornado resulted in the deaths of 43 people in the city, including the girlfriend of Crimson Tide long snapper Carson Tinker, and the team later would dedicate their season to both the victims and survivors of the storm.[62]

The Crimson Tide opened the season with a 48–7 victory over Saban's alma mater, Kent State and then traveled to Beaver Stadium and defeated Penn State 27–11 in what would be Joe Paterno's final meeting vs. the Crimson Tide (he was fired November 9, 2011 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, then died January 22, 2012).[63] After a 41–0 shutout over North Texas, Alabama opened conference play with a 38–14 victory over Arkansas.[64] After they defeated Florida 38–10 at Gainesville, the Crimson Tide shutout Vanderbilt 34–0, and defeated both Ole Miss and Tennessee to set up a "Game of the Century" against LSU.[65][66]

Against the Tigers, neither team scored a touchdown and LSU won by a final score of 9–6 in overtime.[67] With the loss, Alabama dropped into the No. 3 BCS position prior to their game against Mississippi State. However, they regained the No. 2 ranking in all the polls after Oklahoma State was upset by Iowa State, and they defeated the Bulldogs at Starkville.[68][69] Alabama then closed the regular season with wins over both Georgia Southern and Auburn and finished in second place in the West division behind LSU.[70]

After the Tigers won the SEC Championship Game, a rematch against the Crimson Tide became the likely pairing for the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. Alabama qualified for the BCS National Championship Game after they received a final BCS score of .942, just slightly ahead of Oklahoma State's BCS score of .933.[71] In their rematch against LSU at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the Crimson Tide shutout the SEC champion Tigers 21–0 and captured Alabama's second BCS championship and 14th overall national championship.[72]

Third national championship[edit]

American football players during a play.
The Alabama defense in motion during their 49–0 victory over Auburn.

After they captured their second national championship in three years, Alabama again signed one of the nation's top recruiting classes in February 2012.[73] After they completed spring practice in April, the Crimson Tide entered the season with a No. 2 ranking and as a favorite to repeat as national champions.[74] Alabama opened the season with a 41–14 victory over Michigan in the Cowboys Classic.[75] After their win over the Wolverines, the Crimson Tide moved into the No. 1 ranking prior to their game against WKU that they won 35–0 in their home opener.[76] The next week, Alabama posted their second consecutive shutout with their 52–0 win at Arkansas to open conference play.[77] The Crimson Tide then returned to Tuscaloosa and defeated Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss prior to their first win over Missouri as conference foes at Faurot Field.[78]

Next Alabama defeated rival Tennessee 44–13 at Neyland Stadium and followed that with a 38–7 win over then undefeated and No. 13 ranked Mississippi State.[79] The Crimson Tide then defeated LSU at Tiger Stadium 21–17 when AJ McCarron threw a screen pass to T. J. Yeldon that he took 28 yards for the game-winning touchdown within the final minute of play.[80] However, the next week, Alabama suffered their only loss of the season when Texas A&M upset the Tide 29–24 in Tuscaloosa.[81]

After their loss to the Aggies, Alabama dropped into the No. 4 ranking for their 49–0 win over Western Carolina.[82] In the evening after their win over the Catamounts, Alabama moved back into the No. 2 position as a result of upset losses for both Kansas State and Oregon.[83] Alabama then closed the regular season with a 49–0 win over Auburn and captured the SEC West division title to play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.[84] In the championship game, Alabama escaped with a 32–28 win after the Bulldogs were stopped inside the Crimson Tide's five-yard line as time expired and captured the SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame.[85] In the BCS Championship Game, the Tide defeated the Irish 42–14 and captured their third national championship in four years and the schools 15th overall football championship.[1]

2013 season[edit]

American football players in motion during a play.
AJ McCarron takes a snap for the White team at the 2013 A-Day Game.

As the two-time defending national champions, Alabama entered the 2013 season as the favorite to repeat and win their third consecutive national championship and their fourth in five years.[86][87] After again signing a highly rated recruiting class, the Crimson Tide opened the season in the No. 1 position in the polls.[86][87] Alabama then won their first eleven games and retained their unanimous No. 1 ranking throughout.[88] The Crimson Tide opened the season with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta.[89] After their first bye week Alabama traveled to Kyle Field where they defeated Texas A&M in a 49–42 shootout that saw the Aggies have the best offensive day against a Crimson Tide defense in the history of the program.[90]

The defense responded after the A&M game and did not allow a touchdown over the next 14-quarters in victories over Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State and Kentucky.[91] After the touchdown-free streak ended, started a three-game homestand that saw Alabama shutout Arkansas and defeat both Tennessee and LSU in back-to-back rivalry games.[92][93][94] They next defeated Mississippi State and Chattanooga that set up a top five matchup against Auburn.

In the Iron Bowl, Alabama kicker Adam Griffith attempted and missed a 57-yard field goal attempt as time expired in regulation. In what was since dubbed "The Kick Six", Chris Davis returned the missed field goal 109 yards (officially, 100 yards; unlike the NFL, the NCAA only counts return yardage from goal line to goal line) for the game-winning score with no time left on the clock to clinch a 34–28 Auburn victory.[95] As the loss also cost the Crimson Tide an opportunity to play for both the SEC and national championships, they were selected to play in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. In the game, Alabama was defeated by Oklahoma 45–31 and closed the season with an overall record of 11–2.[96]

2014 season[edit]

Alabama entered the 2014 season ranked #3 in the polls. The Crimson Tide rolled off four straight victories before losing to Ole Miss 17-23. Their loss to Ole Miss dropped them down to #7 in the rankings. However, Alabama rebounded by winning eight straight games, including victories against #14 LSU, #1 Mississippi State, and #15 Auburn in the Iron Bowl. They then defeated #14 Missouri in the SEC Championship 42–13 and earned a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff, where they lost to the eventual national champion Ohio State 35-42.

Fourth national championship[edit]

Alabama started the 2015 season with a win against 20th ranked Wisconsin. Alabama would start 2-0 but would lose their next game against Ole Miss 43-37. Following the loss the Crimson Tide would go in to win the next twelve games including the 2015 Cotton Bowl Playoff Semifinal 38-0 over Michigan State and winning the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship over undefeated Clemson 45-40 to claim Alabama's sixteenth National Championship and Saban's fourth national championship at the Capstone.

2016 season[edit]

Alabama entered the 2016 season ranked number #1 in the polls. The reigning national champions began 2016 with a resounding 52-6 win over #9 USC in Arlington, Texas, led by true freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts. In what was the first meeting between the Tide and the Trojans since 1985, Blake Barnett started the game, but was soon replaced by Hurts, who would then go on to be the starting QB for the season. Hurts was the first true freshman QB to start for the Crimson Tide since 1984. For the first time since 2009, Alabama would go undefeated all the way through the SEC Championship Game. Alabama crushed Florida 54–16 to win their third consecutive SEC Title. This made the Tide the first three-peat SEC Champion since the Florida Gators won four in a row from 1993–1996. It also marked the first three peat for Alabama since the late 1970s when Alabama won SEC Championships from 1977–1979. The Tide would once again go on to the Playoffs where they would defeat the Washington Huskies 24-7 in the Peach Bowl to advance to their second consecutive College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Tampa, Florida. In the first-ever national title game rematch, Alabama would fall to Clemson, 35-31. In the closing seconds of the game, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson found Hunter Renfrow for a two-yard touchdown pass to give Clemson the win and their first national championship since 1981. The loss ended Alabama's 26 game winning streak, the second-longest in program history. It marked the first time Nick Saban had ever lost in a national championship game.

Fifth national championship[edit]

Alabama entered the 2017 season ranked No. 1 in the polls once again. The season began with the Tide defeating No. 3 Florida State 24–7 in the Chick Fila Kick off Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Alabama would then go on to win their next ten games, heading into the Iron Bowl undefeated and still ranked number 1. However, the regular season was not without its issues. The Tide lost several key defensive players to injury throughout the season. There were some impressive blow outs, but also some very close games against Texas A&M, LSU, and Mississippi State. With the SEC West on the line, the Tide would fall to Auburn, 26–14 in a game that saw the worst performance by an Alabama team since the Mike Shula era. However, the season was not over for the Tide by a long shot. Auburn would go on to the SEC Championship Game, where they would face Georgia in a rematch. The Bulldogs would prevail the second time around, crushing the tigers 28–7. This led to the playoff selection committee selecting both Alabama and Georgia for the playoffs. Alabama was selected to face Clemson in the Sugar Bowl Playoff Semifinal. In a rematch of the previous season's College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the Tide would prevail, blowing out Clemson 24–6. Georgia's 54–48 overtime win over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Playoff semifinal set up an all-SEC National Championship Game where the Tide would win its 17th national championship by defeating Georgia 26–23 in overtime. With Alabama trailing 13–0 at halftime, a change was made at quarterback with freshman Tua Tagovailoa replacing a struggling Jalen Hurts. Tagavailoa went 14 of 24 passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver, DeVonta Smith in overtime. The 2017 national title was the sixth for head coach Nick Saban, and his fifth at the Capstone. This accomplishment tied coach Saban with iconic Alabama head coach, Paul W. Bryant, who also won six national titles in his storied career.

2018 Season[edit]

Alabama entered the 2018 season as the reigning national champions and ranked No. 1 in the nation once again. Alabama opened the season with a dominating win over Louisville, 51–14 in the Camping World Kickoff in Orlando, Florida. Tua Tagovailoa had won the starting QB job in the off season over two year starter, Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa turned in several stellar performances as Alabama rolled to their 2nd undefeated regular season in three years. Alabama would score 50-plus points in eight of their games. Alabama also set three records during the season. They became the first ever SEC team to score 50-plus points in three consecutive games. Also, when Alabama shut out LSU 29–0 and Mississippi State 24–0, it marked the first time in history that an SEC team had shut out two consecutive conference opponents. As well, Alabama become the first team since Yale in 1888 to outscore each of their first twelve opponents by 20 or more points. Alabama avenged their only loss of the 2017 season with a decisive 31 point win over arch rival Auburn, 52–21 in Tuscaloosa. Tagovailoa completed 25 of 32 passes and threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns in the Tide's Iron Bowl win. He also had a TD himself, running one in early in the game, bringing the total to 6, an Iron Bowl record. The following week, Alabama would meet Georgia in the 2018 SEC Championship Game, a rematch of the 2017 CFP National Championship Game. In a mirror image of the previous season's National Championship Game, Alabama's backup QB (this time Jalen Hurts) came in and engineered a dramatic comeback. Tagovailoa had been injured in the fourth quarter, and it was Hurts who led Alabama to a 35–28 victory. This was the school's 27th SEC Championship and it sent Alabama to the playoffs once again where they would defeat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl Playoff Semifinal, 45–34. The Cotton Bowl was the site of the other Playoff Semifinal, where Clemson would defeat Notre Dame 30–3 to set up a fourth consecutive Alabama-Clemson meeting in the postseason. This time, Clemson would win handily, routing Alabama 44–16 in the CFP National Championship Game in Santa Clara, California. It was the worst loss of the Saban era and the worst loss for the program since 2003, when LSU defeated Alabama 27–3.



The Iron Bowl is the name given to Alabama's annual game against the in-state Auburn University Tigers. Through the 2018 season, Saban has compiled an overall record of eight wins and four losses (8–4) against the Tigers.[97] After the Crimson Tide lost 17–10 in his first Iron Bowl, Alabama shutout Auburn in the 2008 game 36–0.[39] Their win in that game ended a six-game losing streak against the Tigers, was the largest margin of victory in the Iron Bowl since the 1962 season and was the first all-time Iron Bowl win for the Crimson Tide at Tuscaloosa.[39] The next year, Auburn took a 14–0 first quarter lead, but Alabama eventually won 26–21 after Greg McElroy threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Roy Upchurch with just under 2:00 left in the game.[51] The next year, Alabama surrendered a 24-point lead and lost to the eventual national champions 28–27 in what was the largest comeback in Iron Bowl history.[60] The Crimson Tide rebounded from that loss and did not allow the Tigers' to score an offensive touchdown in either the 2011 or 2012 edition of the Iron Bowl.[70][84] In 2013, both teams came into the game ranked in the top five and Auburn won, 34–28, in what has since been dubbed "the kick six", after Chris Davis returned a missed Adam Griffith field goal 109 yards for the game-winning score with no time left on the clock.[95] The 2014 Iron Bowl saw the highest-scoring game in history between the two rivals, as Alabama came behind from a 12-point deficit and defeated Auburn 55–44. Alabama would defeat Auburn in 2015 by a score of 29-13 in Auburn.It was Bama's first trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium since the "kick-six" game. However, the result would be different as Adam Griffith hit five field goals, accounting for 15 of Alabama's 29 points.In 2016, Alabama true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts overcame two first half interceptions with a stellar 2nd half performance as Alabama topped Auburn 30–12 in Tuscaloosa. The 2016 win marked the first time Alabama had defeated Auburn three consecutive years since 1990–1992. Alabama would fall to Auburn in 2017, 26–14 in the Tide's only loss of the season. It marked the first time since 1969 that the tigers had defeated the Tide by a margin of more than ten points. Alabama would avenge the 2017 loss, rolling over Auburn, 52–21 in Tuscaloosa in 2018. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had an Iron Bowl record six total touchdowns, throwing for five and one rushing touchdown. The Alabama sophomore would finish the game 25 of 32, passing for 324 yards. [98]


The Third Saturday in October is the name given to Alabama's annual game against the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Through the 2018 season, Saban has compiled an overall record of twelve wins and zero losses (12–0) against the Volunteers.[99] In the period between the 1995 and 2006 seasons prior to the arrival of Saban, the Volunteers were 10–2 against the Crimson Tide.[100] Since Saban has been Alabama's head coach, they have outscored Tennessee 396 to 126 in their eleven victories (average score 36 to 11).[100] The only games the Crimson Tide did not win by at least two touchdowns came in the 2009 game when Terrence Cody blocked a field goal as time expired and preserved the 12–10 Alabama victory and in 2015 when the tide won 19–14 due to a game clinching fumble recovered by A'shawn Robinson. 2016 and 2017 saw blowout wins of 49–10 and 45–7 for the Tide over the Volunteers. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was hired as the Tennessee head coach.[49][100] In 2018, Alabama again routed Tennessee by a final of 58–21 scoring the most points ever by one team in the series. It broke the previous record set back in 1986, when Alabama had scored 56.


Louisiana State University (LSU) and Alabama first met on the field in 1895 and continuously since 1964.[101] However, the annual game against the Tigers was not considered a rivalry until Saban (a former LSU head coach) was hired in the same capacity at Alabama for 2007 season.[102] Through the 2019 regular season, Saban has compiled an overall record of ten wins and four losses (10–4) against the Tigers at Alabama (Saban's first Michigan State team lost to LSU in the 1995 Independence Bowl).[101] After a 41–34 loss in their first matchup, Alabama won at Baton Rouge in overtime 27–21 in 2008.[38][103] After the Tigers upset the Crimson Tide 24–21 in 2010, they again were victorious the following season 9–6 in a No. 1 versus No. 2 "Game of the Century" during the regular season.[59][67] They met again in a rematch for the 2011 national championship in the BCS National Championship Game where Alabama won 21–0 in the rematch for the national championship.[72] The Crimson Tide won their second straight in the series in 2012 after they defeated LSU 21–17 when AJ McCarron threw a 28-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to T. J. Yeldon in the final two minutes of the game.[80] In 2013, Alabama turned a 17–17 tie in the third quarter into a 38-17 rout behind a 372-yard rushing effort, including 133 yards and two touchdowns from T. J. Yeldon.[104] At Baton Rouge in 2014, Blake Sims drove Alabama 55 yards in the final 50 seconds of regulation for a tying field goal, and then threw a 6-yard touchdown to DeAndrew White in overtime to lead the Tide to a 20–13 win over the Tigers. In 2015, Alabama won handily against an undefeated LSU team, 30-16 in Tuscaloosa. Bama had 250 rushing yards and A'shawn Robinson blocked one of LSU's extra points in spectacular fashion. In 2016, the game was scoreless going into the fourth quarter. However, true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts ran 21 yards for a touchdown. That put Alabama up 7–0, and the Tide never looked back as they would shut out LSU 10–0 in Baton Rouge. In 2017, Alabama would defeat LSU 24–10 in Tuscaloosa, marking the seventh consecutive win over the Tigers.[105] The streak was extended to eight on November 3, 2018, when the #1 Crimson Tide blanked the #3 Tigers 29-0 in Baton Rouge. On November 9, 2019, The AP #1 (CFP #2) Tigers defeated the AP #2 (CFP #3) Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa by a final score of 46-41, ending Saban's eight-game winning streak over LSU. [106]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
2007 Alabama 7–6[a] 1–4[a] T–3rd (Western) W Independence
2008 Alabama 12–2 8–0 1st (Western) L Sugar 6 6
2009 Alabama 14–0 8–0 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2010 Alabama 10–3 5–3 4th (Western) W Capital One 11 10
2011 Alabama 12–1 7–1 2nd (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2012 Alabama 13–1 7–1 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2013 Alabama 11–2 7–1 T–1st (Western) L Sugar 8 7
2014 Alabama 12–2 7–1 1st (Western) L Sugar 4 4
2015 Alabama 14–1 7–1 1st (Western) W Cotton, W CFP NCG 1 1
2016 Alabama 14–1 8–0 1st (Western) W Peach, L CFP NCG 2 2
2017 Alabama 13–1 7–1 T–1st (Western) W Sugar, W CFP NCG 1 1
2018 Alabama 14–1 8–0 1st (Western) W Orange, L CFP NCG 2 2
2019 Alabama 9–1 6–1
Alabama: 155–22[a] 86–14[a]
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

First Team All-Americans[edit]

Year Player name Position Selector(s)
2008 Antoine Caldwelldagger Center AFCA, AP, TSN, SI
Terrence Codydagger Defensive tackle AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, SI,, CBS
Rashad Johnson Safety AFCA,
Andre Smithdouble-dagger Offensive tackle AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, WC, ESPN, FN, SI, CBS,
2009 Javier Arenasdagger Cornerback AFCA, AP, SI
Javier Arenas Punt returner CBS,
Terrence Codydagger Defensive tackle AP, FWAA, WC, CBS
Mark Ingramdouble-dagger Running back AP, FWAA, AFCA, WC, TSN, SI, ESPN, CBS,
Mike Johnsondagger Offensive guard AP, AFCA, WC, TSN, SI, ESPN, CBS,
Rolando McClaindouble-dagger Linebacker AP, FWAA, AFCA, WC, TSN, SI, ESPN, CBS,
Leigh Tiffin Placekicker AP, CBS
2010 Mark Barron Safety FWAA
2011 Mark Barrondouble-dagger Safety AFCA, AP, FWAA, WC, TSN, CBS, ESPN, PFW,, SI
Dont'a Hightowerdagger Linebacker AFCA, AP, WC, PFW
Barrett Jonesdouble-dagger Tackle AP, AFCA, FWAA, WC, CBS, ESPN,, TSN
Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback FWAA, CBS, PFW
DeQuan Menzie Cornerback AFCA
Trent Richardsondouble-dagger Running back AP, AFCA, FWAA, WCFF, CBS, ESPN,, TSN
Courtney Upshaw Linebacker FWAA, TSN, CBS, ESPN, PFW,, SI
2012 D. J. Fluker Offensive tackle CBS,
Barrett Jonesdagger Center WCFF, AP, FWAA, TSN, CBS,, ESPN, SI
Dee Millinerdouble-dagger Cornerback WCFF, AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, CBS,, ESPN, PFW
C. J. Mosleydagger Linebacker WCFF, AFCA, AP, TSN, CBS,, SI
Chance Warmackdouble-dagger Offensive guard WCFF, AFCA, AP, TSN, FWAA, CBS,, ESPN, SI, PFW
2013 Ha Ha Clinton-Dixdagger Safety AFCA, FWAA, TSN, ESPN
Cyrus Kouandjiodagger Offensive tackle AFCA, FWAA, WCFF, AP, CBS, Athlon
AJ McCarron Quarterback AFCA, WCFF
C. J. Mosleydouble-dagger Linebacker AFCA, FWAA, TSN, WCFF, AP, USAT, CBS, ESPN, Athlon
2014 Landon Collinsdouble-dagger Safety AP, WCFF, TSN, AFCA, FWAA, CBS, ESPN, Scout, SI
Amari Cooperdouble-dagger Wide Receiver AP, WCFF, TSN, AFCA, FWAA, USAT, CBS, ESPN, Scout, SI
Trey DePriest Linebacker AFCA
Arie Kouandjio Offensive Guard AFCA, USAT, SI
JK Scott Punter TSN, USAT, ESPN, SI
2015 Derrick Henrydouble-dagger Running back AP, WCFF, FWAA, AFCA, TSN, USAT, CBS, SI, ESPN, FOX
Reggie Raglanddouble-dagger Linebacker AP, WCFF, FWAA, AFCA, TSN, USAT, CBS, SI, ESPN
Ryan Kellydagger Center WCFF, FWAA, AFCA, TSN, USAT, ESPN
A'Shawn Robinsondagger Defensive tackle AP, FWAA, AFCA, TSN, CBS, SI, FOX
2016 Jonathan Allendouble-dagger Defensive end AFCA, FWAA, AP, WCFF, TSN, SI, USAT, ESPN, FOX, CBS
Reuben Fosterdouble-dagger Linebacker AFCA, FWAA, AP, WCFF, TSN, SI, USAT, ESPN, FOX, CBS
Cam Robinsondouble-dagger Offensive tackle AFCA, FWAA, AP, WCFF, TSN, SI, ESPN, FOX, CBS, Athlon
Minkah Fitzpatrickdagger Defensive back AFCA, AP, ESPN
Marlon Humphrey Defensive back FWAA
O. J. Howard Tight end FOX
2017 Minkah Fitzpatrickdouble-dagger Defensive back AP, AFCA, FWAA, WCFF, TSN, SI, USAT, ESPN, CBS, CFN, Athlon
Rashaan Evans Linebacker AFCA
JK Scott Punter CFN
2018 Tua Tagovailoadagger Quarterback AFCA, TSN, WCFF, Athlon
Jerry Jeudydagger Wide Receiver AFCA, AP, TSN, WCFF, SI, ESPN, CBS, Athlon
Jonah Williamsdouble-dagger Offensive tackle AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, WCFF, SI, USAT, CFN, ESPN, CBS, Athlon
Ross Pierschbacher Center TSN
Quinnen Williamsdouble-dagger Defensive tackle AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, WCFF, SI, USAT, CFN, ESPN, CBS, Athlon
Deionte Thompsondagger Safety AFCA, AP, TSN, SI, USAT, CFN, ESPN, CBS, Athlon
dagger Consensus selection
double-dagger Unanimous selection


NFL draftees[edit]

Year Round Pick Overall Player name Position NFL team Notes
2009 1 6 6 Andre Smith Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals
3 10 74 Glen Coffee Running back San Francisco 49ers
3 13 77 Antoine Caldwell Center Houston Texans
3 31 95 Rashad Johnson Defensive back Arizona Cardinals
2010 1 8 8 Rolando McClain Linebacker Oakland Raiders
1 20 20 Kareem Jackson Cornerback Houston Texans
2 18 50 Javier Arenas Defensive back Kansas City Chiefs
2 25 57 Terrence Cody Defensive end Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
3 34 98 Mike Johnson Offensive guard Atlanta Falcons
7 4 211 Marquis Johnson Defensive back St. Louis Rams
7 40 247 Brandon Deaderick Defensive end New England Patriots
2011 1 3 3 Marcell Dareus Defensive tackle Buffalo Bills 2x Pro Bowl (2014, 2015)
1 6 6 Julio Jones Wide receiver Atlanta Falcons 3x Pro Bowl (2013, 2015, 2016)
1 25 25 James Carpenter Offensive tackle Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champion (XLVIII)
1 28 28 Mark Ingram Running back New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl (2015)
7 5 208 Greg McElroy Quarterback New York Jets
2012 1 3 3 Trent Richardson Running back Cleveland Browns
1 7 7 Mark Barron Safety Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 17 17 Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Cincinnati Bengals
1 25 25 Dont'a Hightower Linebacker New England Patriots 3x Super Bowl Champion (XLIX)(LI)(LIII)
2 3 35 Courtney Upshaw Linebacker Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
5 1 136 Josh Chapman Defensive tackle Indianapolis Colts
5 11 146 DeQuan Menzie Cornerback Kansas City Chiefs
7 40 247 Brad Smelley Tight end Cleveland Browns
2013 1 9 9 Dee Milliner Cornerback New York Jets
1 10 10 Chance Warmack Guard Tennessee Titans
1 11 11 D. J. Fluker Offensive tackle San Diego Chargers
2 29 61 Eddie Lacy Running back Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl (2014)
4 2 99 Nico Johnson Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs
4 16 113 Barrett Jones Center St. Louis Rams
5 4 137 Jesse Williams Defensive tackle Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champion (XLVIII)
5 24 157 Quinton Dial Defensive end San Francisco 49ers
7 5 211 Michael Williams Tight end Detroit Lions
2014 1 17 17 C. J. Mosley Linebacker Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl (2015)
1 21 21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Safety Green Bay Packers
2 12 44 Cyrus Kouandjio Offensive tackle Buffalo Bills
4 23 123 Kevin Norwood Wide receiver Seattle Seahawks
5 20 160 Ed Stinson Defensive end Arizona Cardinals
5 24 164 AJ McCarron Quarterback Cincinnati Bengals
5 27 167 Vinnie Sunseri Safety New Orleans Saints
6 1 177 Jeoffrey Pagan Defensive end Houston Texans
2015 1 4 4 Amari Cooper Wide receiver Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl (2016)
2 1 33 Landon Collins Safety New York Giants
2 4 36 T. J. Yeldon Running back Jacksonville Jaguars
4 9 108 Jalston Fowler Fullback Tennessee Titans
4 13 112 Arie Kouandjio Guard Washington Redskins
7 11 228 Austin Shepherd Offensive tackle Minnesota Vikings
7 36 253 Xzavier Dickson Linebacker New England Patriots
2016 1 18 18 Ryan Kelly Center Indianapolis Colts
2 10 41 Reggie Ragland Linebacker Buffalo Bills
2 14 45 Derrick Henry Running back Tennessee Titans
2 15 46 A'Shawn Robinson Defensive tackle Detroit Lions
2 18 49 Jarran Reed Defensive tackle Seattle Seahawks
2 29 60 Cyrus Jones Cornerback New England Patriots
3 10 73 Kenyan Drake Running back Miami Dolphins
2017 1 16 16 Marlon Humphrey Cornerback Baltimore Ravens
1 17 17 Jonathan Allen Defensive end Washington Redskins
1 19 19 O.J. Howard Tight End Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 31 31 Reuben Foster Linebacker San Francisco 49ers
2 2 34 Cam Robinson Offensive tackle Jacksonville Jaguars
2 17 49 Ryan Anderson Linebacker Washington Redskins
2 23 55 Dalvin Tomlinson Defensive tackle New York Giants
3 14 78 Tim Williams Linebacker Baltimore Ravens
3 15 79 ArDarius Stewart Wide receiver New York Jets
4 5 121 Eddie Jackson Safety Chicago Bears
2018 1 11 11 Minkah Fitzpatrick Safety Miami Dolphins
1 13 13 Daron Payne Nose tackle Washington Redskins
1 22 22 Rashaan Evans Linebacker Tennessee Titans
1 26 26 Calvin Ridley Wide receiver Atlanta Falcons
3 29 93 Ronnie Harrison Safety Jacksonville Jaguars
4 14 114 Da'Shawn Hand Defensive end Detroit Lions
4 18 118 Anthony Averett Cornerback Baltimore Ravens
5 35 172 JK Scott Punter Green Bay Packers
6 23 197 Shaun Dion Hamilton Linebacker Washington Redskins
6 41 215 Bradley Bozeman Center Baltimore Ravens
7 18 236 Bo Scarbrough Running back Dallas Cowboys
7 28 246 Joshua Frazier Defensive tackle Pittsburgh Steelers
2019 1 3 3 Quinnen Williams Defensive tackle New York Jets
1 11 11 Jonah Williams Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals
1 24 24 Josh Jacobs Running back Oakland Raiders
2 18 50 Irv Smith Jr. Tight End Minnesota Vikings
3 24 87 Damien Harris Running back New England Patriots
4 13 115 Christian Miller Linebacker Carolina Panthers
5 1 139 Deionte Thompson Safety Arizona Cardinals
5 15 153 Ross Pierschbacher Center Washington Redskins
5 17 155 Mack Wilson Linebacker Cleveland Browns
6 20 192 Isaiah Buggs Defensive tackle Pittsburgh Steelers


All-time assistant coaches[edit]

Coach Position Alma mater Years served
Major Applewhite Offensive coordinator Texas 2007

Brian Baker

Associate Head Coach/Defensive line Maryland 2019-Present

Jeff Banks

Special Teams/Tight ends Washington State 2018-Present
Greg Brown Secondary UTEP 2013
Burton Burns Running backs Nebraska 2007–present
Curt Cignetti Wide receivers West Virginia 2007–2010
Mario Cristobal Offensive line Miami 2013–2016
Bo Davis Defensive line LSU 2007–2010
Brian Daboll Offensive Coordinator Rochester 2017-2018

Dan Enos

Quarterbacks Michigan State 2018

Kyle Flood

Offensive Line Iona Gaels football 2019-Present

Josh Gattis

Wide Receivers Wake Forest 2018

Pete Golding

Defensive Coordinator Delta State 2018-Present
Mike Groh Wide receivers Virginia 2011–2012

Charles Huff

Running backs Hampton 2019-Present

Brent Key

Offensive line/Special Teams Georgia Tech 2016-2018

Charles Kelly

Associate DC/Safeties Auburn 2019-Present
Lane Kiffin Offensive coordinator Fresno State 2014–2016

Craig Kuligowski

Defensive Line Toledo 2018

Mike Locksley

Offensive Coordinator Towson 2018

Tosh Lupoi

Defensive Coordinator California 2018
Jim McElwain Offensive coordinator Eastern Washington 2008–2011
Billy Napier Wide receivers Furman 2013–2016
Doug Nussmeier Offensive coordinator Idaho 2012–2013

Joe Pannunzio

Secondary Southern Colorado 2017-2018
Joe Pendry Offensive line West Virginia 2007–2010
Jeremy Pruitt Secondary

Defensive Coordinator

West Alabama 2010–2012, 2016–2017
Chris Rumph Defensive Line South Carolina 2011–2014
Steve Sarkisian Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks BYU 2017, 2019-Present

Karl Scott

Secondary McMurry University 2018-Present
Kirby Smart Defensive coordinator Georgia 2007–2015
Kevin Steele Defensive line Tennessee 2007–2008
Jeff Stoutland Offensive line Southern Connecticut 2011–2012
Sal Sunseri Linebackers Pittsburgh 2009–2011, 2019-Present
Lance Thompson Linebackers The Citadel 2007–2008

Holmon Wiggins

Wide receivers New Mexico State 2019-Present
Bobby Williams Tight ends
Special teams
Purdue 2008–2015
James Willis Linebackers Auburn 2009


Bryant–Denny Stadium[edit]

Bronze statue outside a stadium.
Nick Saban statue located at the Walk of Champions outside Bryant–Denny Stadium.

During Saban's tenure as head coach of the Crimson Tide, Alabama has played all home games on-campus at Bryant–Denny Stadium. Prior to the 2006 season, the north endzone expansion brought the total seating capacity of Bryant–Denny to 92,138, the seventh largest stadium in college football.[110] After Saban became head coach, in February 2009, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposal to expand the south endzone with an upper deck that seated approximately 9,000 spectators and added 36 luxury boxes.[111] The expansion was budgeted at $80.6 million and Davis Architects of Birmingham, Alabama served as the architect of record for the project.[111] The expansion was completed just prior to the start of the 2010 season on August 20 and increased Bryant–Denny's capacity to 101,821, the fifth largest in college football.[111][112]

Outside the stadium on its northern side is the Walk of Champions. This areas pays tribute to past championship teams at Alabama in addition to featuring bronze statues of all five head coaches who won national championships with the Crimson Tide. After he led them to the 2009 national championship, athletics director Mal Moore indicated that a statue of Saban would be erected in the Walk of Champions just as the previous four coaches.[113] The nine-foot statue was designed by Alabama student Jeremy Davis and fabricated by MTM Recognition of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[114] It was officially unveiled prior to the 2011 A-Day spring game on April 16, 2011, and has since been updated to include subsequent championships.[114]


  1. ^ Saban's record for the 2007 season was 7-6. In March 2009, the NCAA ruled that Alabama must vacate 21 victories due to sanctions stemming from textbook-related infractions discovered during the 2007 season, including five for the 2007 season. As such Saban's official record for the 2007 season stands at 2-6.[22]
  2. ^ Shula's overall record at time of his firing was 26-23. In March 2009, the NCAA ruled that Alabama must vacate 21 victories due to sanctions stemming from textbook-related infractions discovered during the 2007 season, including 16 for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. As such Shula's official record at Alabama stands at 10-23[22]


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