Alabama plays Florida today, December 6th, 2008 at 4:00 PM ET on CBS. Roll Tide, Roll!!!
The 1999 SEC Championship Game was won by the Alabama Crimson Tide 34-7 over the Florida Gators. The game was played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on December 4, 1999 and was televised to a national audience on CBS.
The University of Alabama has 21 varsity sports teams. Both the male and female athletic teams are called the Crimson Tide. They participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Western Division. In 2002, Sports Illustrated named Alabama the #26 best collegiate sports program in America. Athletics facilities on the campus include the 101,821-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium, named after football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former University President George Denny, the 15,316-seat Coleman Coliseum, and the renovated Foster Auditorium, Sewell-Thomas Stadium, the Alabama Soccer Stadium, Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium, and Ol' Colony Golf Complex, the Alabama Aquatic Center, and the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
Alabama has won NCAA Division I national championships in the following varsity sports:
Main rivalries for the program include those with Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. The rivalry with the Auburn Tigers is especially heated, as the two compete annually in nearly all sports. The annual football meeting, nicknamed the Iron Bowl, is considered among the most intense college football rivalries, as well as one of the top rivalries in all sports—behind the New York Yankees–Boston Red Sox baseball rivalry according to Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Other rivalries include those against Mississippi State University (baseball and basketball)- (Alabama-Mississippi State rivalry), Louisiana State University (football)- (Alabama-LSU rivalry), the University of Mississippi- (Alabama–Ole Miss rivalry), the University of Florida (softball), and the University of Georgia (gymnastics).
University of Alabama law student William G. Little learned how to play American football while attending school in Andover, Massachusetts and began teaching the sport to fellow Alabama students in early 1892. Later in the year, the school formed an official team of 19 players, with Little as captain and E. B. Beaumont as head coach. Early newspaper accounts of Alabama football simply listed the team as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after the school colors. Headline writers then made popular the nickname "The Thin Red Line". It was not until 1907 that the name "Crimson Tide" was used to describe Alabama. The name was supposedly first used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. Roberts coined the nickname to describe the 1907 Alabama-Auburn game, played in a sea of mud. Although Auburn was favored to win, Alabama played well in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie.
Since then, the program has won 23 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships and accepted 15 national championships. In addition to the championships claimed by the university, Alabama has been recognized by the NCAA as National Champions for the 1945, 1962, 1966, 1967, and 1977 college football seasons. However, those championships are not claimed by Alabama. On January 9, 2012, Alabama finished the season ranked #2 and beat #1 LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship game to take the BCS national title. Although the NCAA only lists the Crimson Tide as having 12 national championships, the claim of 14 includes six championships from the period before 1950 that were retroactively claimed by Alabama.
The team has also made 58 bowl appearances throughout their history (an NCAA record), beginning with the 1926 Rose Bowl to, the most recent, the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. In those bowls, Alabama has a 33–22–3 record. Since 1913, Alabama has 98 first team All-Americans, 29 consensus. In 2009, Alabama also recorded their first Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram, in the closest Heisman Trophy race.
Alabama's men's basketball program has a respectable tradition with numerous SEC Championships and players becoming NBA stars and international professional players. In the conference, it trails only Kentucky in basketball wins, SEC tournament titles, and SEC regular season conference titles. The men's basketball program has risen in stature nationally, achieving a No. 1 national ranking briefly in 2002. The Crimson Tide has become a regular conference basketball contender much as it was in the '80s under the direction of Coach Wimp Sanderson. Under head coach and former point guard Mark Gottfried, the Tide advanced to postseason play for six consecutive years, culminating with the team's advancement into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in 2004, where the team lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the Phoenix Regional Final.
In January 2009, Head Coach Mark Gottfried resigned after eleven years at Alabama. Soon afterwards Anthony Grant was hired as the new Head Coach. Under his watch the Crimson Tide battled through a tough first year, finishing 17-15 and achieving a top-10 ranking in points allowed on defense. Grant's second season with the Tide resulted in the SEC Western Division Championship, finishing 12-4 in the SEC and an overall record of 25-12. They entered the 2011 NIT Tournament with a #1 seed and made it to the NIT Championship Game and finished as the runner-up. The Crimson Tide was unbeaten at home with a perfect 19-0 season, a school record. In 2012 the Crimson Tide was a participant in the NCAA Tournament and finished its season with a 21-12 record.
Alabama's women's basketball team competes in Foster Auditorium. The team played its first game in 1974 and has since been a varsity sport. The team has had nine head coaches, including Rick Moody, who guided the club to the 1994 NCAA Women's Final Four. Kristy Curry was named head coach on May 11, 2013, replacing Wendell Hudson.
The Crimson Tide has appeared in 10 post-season Tournaments for the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship, including an eight-year streak of consecutive appearances in the tournament stretching from 1992 to 1999. In 10 NCAA tournament appearances, Alabama has advanced to the "Sweet Sixteen" six times and the "Elite Eight" and the "Final Four" in 1994. The most successful season was 1996-1997 when the Tide finished in second place in the Southeastern Conference (10-2 record) and had a mid-season national ranking of #2 in polls by the AP and USA Today (November 12, 1996), and finished with a 25-7 overall record. The University of Alabama Women's Basketball program shares the national record with Duke University for the most total points for both teams when Alabama defeated Duke 121-120 (in four overtimes) in 1995 in the NCAA Tournament, a game that ESPN has declared as one of the best all-time women's basketball tournament games. Seven former players for the University of Alabama have made rosters of teams of the WNBA. Alabama has had an active player in the WNBA through every year of its existence. The current head coach for the Crimson Tide is Kristy Curry. The team played its first season of 1974–75 in Foster Auditorium, but moved to what is now Coleman Coliseum the following season. After Foster Auditorium was extensively renovated in a project that began in 2009, the Tide returned to their original home on February 13, 2011.
Alabama has a long winning tradition in baseball. The Crimson Tide is second to LSU for the most SEC titles with 14 (including 13 regular season titles and one tournament title that was won in 1983, during an era in which the tournament decided the overall SEC title). Alabama is also second to the Tigers with seven SEC Tournament championships, including the 1983 one that decided the overall SEC title. Tide baseball teams have participated in the NCAA College World Series five times (1950, 1983, 1996, 1997, 1999), finishing second in 1983 (to Texas) and 1997 (to LSU). Home games are played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, known as "The Joe" to Crimson Tide fans.
They are currently coached by head coach Mitch Gaspard, an assistant for two different stints under his predecessor, Jim Wells, and assistant coaches Andy Phillips and Dax Norris, both of whom played for Crimson Tide College World Series teams in the 1990s.
The Alabama softball team was started in 1997. They are currently coached by head coach Patrick Murphy and assistant coaches Alyson Habetz and Stephanie VanBrakle. They have won six Southeastern Conference championships (two regular seasons and four tournaments), made 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments (every year since 1999) and have advanced to the Women's College World Series 8 times, including back-to-back 3rd place finishes in the 2008 and 2009 series. On June 7, 2012, Alabama became the first team in SEC history to win the WCWS Championship defeating Oklahoma in three games. The team's current overall record stands at 708–224 (.759). Alabama has won the SEC Softball Tournament five times (1998, 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2012).
Alabama's men's and women's golf teams have become two of the top programs in the nation since head coaches Jay Seawell (men) and Mic Potter (women) took over in the 2002 and 2006 respectively. They have combined to make the NCAA Tournament 13 out of 14 chances since they arrived, and have each lead their teams to a Southeastern Conference Championship. Overall the Crimson Tide golf teams have combined to make the NCAA Tournament 31 times, won the SEC Championship 3 times, and have had over 30 players honored as All-Americans. The men's golf program finished 6th in the nation in 2007 while being consistently ranked in the top three in the 2007–2008 season. The home course for the Tide has been the Ol' Colony Golf Complex since 2005.
In 2012, the Crimson Tide has two of the best teams in the country with the women ranked #1, and men ranked #4, by Golf Week. The women's golf team won their first national title in 2012 while the men finished as the national runner-up.
On June 2, 2013, the Alabama men's golf team won their first NCAA national title after defeating Illinois in title match.
The women's gymnastics squad at The University of Alabama first competed in 1975. The squad did not have a winning season until the arrival of Sarah Patterson in 1979. In the intervening 33 years under Patterson and her husband David, the squad has won 6 national championships, 7 SEC championships, 26 regional titles, and 248 All-American honors. It has placed in the top 5 at the NCAA Championships 25 of the past 29 years and won national championships six times: in 1988, 1991, 1996, 2002, and most recently won back to back titles in 2011 and 2012. Alabama has also won 7 SEC Championships including 1988, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2009, and 2011. The gymnastics squad also hosts an annual fundraiser for breast cancer, where the crowd is encouraged to "Think Pink" and support the cause by turning out in pink clothing. As of the 2009 fundraiser, the effort had raised in excess of $750,000.
Gymnastics meets have an average attendance of over 13,000 at Coleman Coliseum. Meets against the team's arch-rival, the University of Georgia Gymdogs, often sell out. Alabama holds seven of the eleven NCAA records for the largest gymnastics crowds of all time, including an attendance of 15,162 fans on January 20, 2006. Alabama's gymnastics team competes in Coleman Coliseum.
The Crimson Tide's Men's Track and Field Program has produced numerous individual National Champions, including Calvin Smith, the former world record holder in the 100m dash, Jan Johnson (pole vault), Gary England (shot put), Jeff Woodard (high jump), William Wuycke (1000 yards and 1000 meters), Emmit King (100 meters), Keith Talley (55-meter and 100-meter hurdles), Andrew Owusu (long jump), Miguel Pate (long jump and NCAA national record), Mats Nilsson (javelin), David Kimani (3000 meters indoor and 5000 meters), Kirani James (400 meters), and the 4 X 100 meter Relay Team of Richard Beattie, Brad McQuaig, Eduardo Nava, and Clive Wright, and the Mile Relay Team of Joe Coombs, Darroll Gatson, Tony Husbands, and Ike Levin.
Individual National Champions from the Crimson Tide Women's Track and Field Team have included Disa Gisladottir (high jump), Iris Gronfeldt (javelin), Lillie Leatherwood (400 meters), Liz McColgan (formerly, Lynch) (mile), Pauline Davis-Thompson (200 meters), Flora Hyacinth (triple jump). Many of the track and field athletes at the University of Alabama have been Olympians.
Coach Dan Waters is the head coach for both the men's and women's track and field program, assuming the position in 2012. The University hosts the Alabama Relays and the Crimson Classic annually, which brings many of the top programs in the country to compete at the University's Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium, built in 1975 with seating for 4500 fans. The renovation project occurring in 2012 is destined to make Alabama's track and field stadium among the best in the nation, with a track that is expected to be among the fastest in the nation due to its premier surface and wider curves.
Women's soccer was a varsity sport from 1986 to 1988, and was revived in 1994. Former Head Coach Don Staley had been with the program since 1994, but stepped down at the end of the 2007 season. He was replaced with former Clemson University head coach Todd Bramble. The team has won the SEC West three times (1995, 97, 98) and participated in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship in 1999 and 2011. In 2005, senior Libby Probst earned third team All America honors and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award after breaking almost every major offensive record in her career at "The Capstone". The team currently plays its home games at the Alabama Soccer Stadium.
The Alabama women's volleyball is coached by Ed Allen, who was hired on January 10, 2011. The team has competed in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The team won the SEC Western Division Championship in 2000 and 2004, and was the SEC Volleyball Tournament Runner-up in 2005. In 2000, the Alabama Volleyball team achieved the nation's best team-GPA among Division I Volleyball teams. Past coaches for Alabama Volleyball have included Stephanie Schleuder, Dorothy Franco-Reed, and Judy Green. The venue for the Crimson Tide's home volleyball games is Foster Auditorium.
Men's and Women's tennis at the University of Alabama have built a tradition of excellence and enjoy competing in the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility, and the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium, which has won an award from USTA for being among the most excellent tennis facilities in the nation, and has been selected as the host site for regional tournaments by the NCAA in 2012 and 2013. In the 1960s, Roberta Alison became Alabama's first female athlete when she joined the men's team and occasionally played the #1 and #2 positions. She went on to win American Women's collegiate Championships in 1962 and 1963 for singles, and 1963 in doubles. Today the Alabama Tennis program hosts the Roberta Alison Fall Tennis Classic each year to honor her.
Alabama men's tennis began in 1949 with the coach, Lee Shapiro. Through the years, additional coaches have developed Alabama's program, including C. de la Manardiere (1951-1953, 1956); Rafael de Valle (1954-1955 and 1958-1960); Dr. Eugene Lambert (coach) in 1957; Jason Morton (1961-1964); Earl Baumgardner (1965-1966); Bill Mallory in 1967; Dale Anderson (1968-1969); Bill McClain (1970-1977); Armistead Neely (1978-1982); Tommy Wade (1983-1988); John Kreis (1989-1994); Joey Rive (1995-1997); Adam Steinberg (1998-2002); Billy Pate (2003-2012), and the current head coach, George Husack, 2013.
The Men's Tennis Team has been a participant in the NCAA tournament 17 times: 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013, as well as having 33 singles qualifying and 17 doubles qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Alabama's All-Americans include Jeff Robinson (1976, 1977), Andy Solis (1984, 1985), Gregg Hahn (1985, 1986), John Stimpson (1990), Francisco Rodriquez (1998, 1999), Maxim Belski (2001), Clinton Ferriera (1986, 1989), Ellis Ferriera (1989, 1990, 1991), Rick Witsken (1991, 1993), and Juan Carlos Bianchi (1993). Additionally Stephen Mitchell went professionally, and Konstantinos Efraimoglou was an Olympian in tennis in 1992. Ellis Ferreira became the Champion at the 2000 Australian Open in men's doubles and 2001 Australian Open in mixed doubles. Davis Cup participants have included Juan Carlos Bianchi and Francisco Rodriguez.
Alabama's women's tennis team began in 1975, although Roberta Alison competed individually through the men's team years earlier. Coaches for the Crimson Tide Women's tennis team include Jean Mills (1975-1978), Mark Heinrick (1979-1980), Lewis Lay in 1981, Peter Heffeman (1982-1984), Karin Gaiser (1985-1993), Jim Tressler (1994-1997), Michelle Morton in 1997, and the current coach, Jenny Mainz (1998-2013). Coach Jenny Mainz was named in 2013 as the National Coach of the Year after her team reached the Round of 16 and had a singles player and a doubles team to both reach the national semifinals.
All-Americans for the Crimson Tide women's tennis team include Titia Wilmink (1993), Marouschka van Dijk (1993), Baili Camino (1997), Robin Stephenson (2005), Alexa Guarachi (2013), and current player Mary Anne Macfarlane (2012, 2013). The Crimson Tide Women's team has sent 17 qualifiers for the NCAA Singles Tournament and 12 doubles teams as of 2013. The Tide competed as a team in the NCAA Tournaments of 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013, a year that produced the best results in program history with a Sweet 16 appearance.
Notable seasons in the history of Alabama Tennis include 1972 (27-7 record for the men's team) 1976 (SEC Championship for the men's team) 1983 (20-4 record for the men's team, #14 national ranking, 2nd in the SEC) 1987 (20-8 record for the men's team, #19 national ranking) 1989 (18-8 record for the men's team, #11 national ranking) 1993 (19-5 record for the men's team, #9 national ranking, 3rd in SEC, NCAA Sweet Sixteen) 1993 (17-7 record for the women's team, #20 national ranking, 4th in the SEC) 2007 (22-8 record for the men's team, #14 national ranking, NCAA Sweet Sixteen) 2009 (21-8 record for the men's team, #16 national ranking) 2011 (16-7 record for the women's team, #28 national ranking, 4th in the SEC) 2012 (18-5 record for the women's team, #11 national ranking, 2nd in the SEC) 2013 (21-6 record for the women's team, #9 national ranking, NCAA Sweet Sixteen)
Women's rowing is the most recent addition to Alabama's list of varsity athletics. Mal Moore announced the addition of Alabama's 21st varsity sport in October 2005. The women's rowing team became the newest varsity sport at The University of Alabama in Fall 2006. The team was added due to the NCAA's Title IX and allows for 20 full scholarships. Taking only girls who had previously rowed for the Alabama Crew Club (est. 1987) and other walk-ons, Head Coach Larry Davis built the program from the ground up. In the first year of competition (2006–2007), the Tide defeated the University of Cincinnati, Creighton University, and Murray State University and also won medals at the Head of the Chattahoochee and the Head of the South.
The second year (2007–2008) of competition surprised many as the Varsity 8 went on to win silver medals at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA and also the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Tide again medaled at the Chattanooga Head Race and the Head of the South and recorded several match race victories against Southern Methodist University, Creighton, Murray State, Drake University, and the University of North Carolina. The team also landed three boats in the top 10 of their categories at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
Within two years, the team has had 25 athletes earn SEC Academic Honor Roll honors and 16 earn Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete awards. For the 2007-2008 school year, Women's Rowing won the team service award by posting the most number of community service hours (over 1500) out of all women's sports at Alabama. Nationally, the Alabama women's rowing team has won both silver (in 2007) and bronze (in 2009) medals in the women's championship 8+ category at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston.
Additional varsity sports at the University include swimming and diving, and cross-country. The University supports both men's and women's programs in all of these sports. The school has had individual success in all of these sports, including Vladislav Polyakov winning national titles in the 200-meter men's breaststroke in 2005 and 2007.
The University also has two cheerleading squads (The "Crimson Squad" and "White Squad") and a dance team known as the Crimson Cabaret who compete annually at the UCA/UDA College Nationals. The Cheerleading squad won 2011 College Cheerleading National Championship.
The University of Alabama through University Recreation also fields a number of club sports of varying degrees of competitiveness, though most compete only with other teams from the southeastern part of the country. The club sports include men's soccer, rugby, wrestling, lacrosse, men's volleyball, ice hockey, team handball, water polo, men's rowing (crew), cricket, cycling, disc golf, racquetball, table tennis, triathlon, ultimate frisbee, wheelchair basketball, water skiing, and bass fishing. The Crimson Tide's Water Skiing Team, Racquetball Team, and Wheelchair Basketball teams have the distinction of being among the nation's best, with national championships achieved by each of these teams.
Men's Ice Hockey team known as the Frozen Tide competes intercollegiately in Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) at the ACHA Division III level. Since 2006, Bama Hockey and the Frozen Tide has hosted sporting events for the Greater-Birmingham area at the Pelham Civic Center.
The men's lacrosse team competes in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association at the Division I level. The team plays at the University Recreation Fields and is currently coached by Michael Walker. The team was founded by Steven Shipowitz in the early 1980s. The Crimson Tide made their first appearance in the SELC Tournament in 2012, losing to the Florida State Seminoles 22-9 in the quarterfinals. The team briefly played in the Atlantic Coast Lacrosse Association in 2001, hosting the league tournament that season.
Founded in 1973, Alabama Rugby is the oldest ongoing club sport at the University of Alabama. Alabama rugby today competes in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference against its traditional SEC rivals. Alabama finished second in the west division of the conference in 2012.
Alabama has student-athletes who have exceled in the classroom as well as on the field. The University of Alabama is eighth in the nation for the number of Academic-All Americans since 2000 from all universities in the United States. Among Division I BCS schools in the southeastern United States, the University of Alabama is at the top of the list with the greatest number of Academic All-Americans since the year 2000.
Each of the University of Alabama's 21 varsity athletic teams scored significantly above the national standard of 925 in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 2012. 14 Crimson Tide teams achieved scores equal to or above the national Division I average for the particular sport, and 2 teams achieved "perfect" APR scores, which placed them in the highest percentile in the nation.
The University of Alabama (UA) is a public research university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, and the flagship of the University of Alabama System. Founded in 1831, UA is one of the oldest and the largest of the universities in Alabama. UA offers programs of study in 13 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, Education Specialist, and doctoral degrees. The only publicly supported law school in the state is at UA. Other academic programs unavailable elsewhere in Alabama include doctoral programs in anthropology, library and information studies, metallurgical engineering, music, Romance languages, and social work. The university is ranked first among public institutions and fourth out of all universities in the 2012-2013 enrollment of National Merit Scholars with 241 enrolled in the fall 2012 freshman class.
As one of the first public universities established in the early 19th century southwestern frontier of the United States, the University of Alabama has left a vast cultural imprint on the state, region and nation over the past two centuries. The school was a center of activity during the American Civil War and the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The University of Alabama varsity football program (nicknamed the Crimson Tide), which was inaugurated in 1892, ranks as one of 10 winningest programs in US history. In a 1913 speech then-president George H. Denny extolled the university as the "capstone of the public school system in the state [of Alabama]," lending the university its current nickname, The Capstone.
The official name of the institution is The University of Alabama, where the "the" is capitalized and officially a part of the name of the institution. The accepted abbreviation of the official name is UA. While it is not uncommon for "Tuscaloosa" to be appended to the university's name to distinguish it from sister UA System institutions UAB and UAH, this name—and accompanying abbreviation, UAT—is unofficial and not accepted.
In 1818, Congress authorized the newly created Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning". When Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, a second township was added to the land grant, bringing it to a total of 46,000 acres (186 km²). The General Assembly of Alabama established the seminary on December 18, 1820, named it "The University of the State of Alabama", and created a Board of Trustees to manage the construction and operation of the university. The board chose as the site of the campus a place which was then just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, the state capital at the time. The new campus was designed by William Nichols, also the architect of newly completed Alabama State Capitol building and Christ Episcopal Church. Influenced by Thomas Jefferson's plan at the University of Virginia, the Nichols-designed campus featured a 70-foot (21 m) wide, 70-foot (21 m) high domed Rotunda that served as the library and nucleus of the campus. The university's charter was presented to the first university president in the nave of Christ Episcopal Church. UA opened its doors to students on April 18, 1831, with the Reverend Alva Woods as President.
An academy-style institution during the Antebellum period, the university emphasized the classics and the social and natural sciences. There were around 100 students per year at UA in the 1830s. However, as Alabama was a frontier state and a sizable amount of its territory was still in the hand of various Native American tribes until the 1840s, it lacked the infrastructure to adequately prepare students for the rigors of university education. Consequently, only a fraction of students who enrolled in the early years remained enrolled for long and even fewer graduated. Those who did graduate, however, often had distinguished careers in Alabama and national politics. Early graduates included Benjamin F. Porter and Alexander Meek.
As the state and university matured, an active literary culture evolved on campus and in Tuscaloosa. UA had one of the largest libraries in the country on the eve of the Civil War with more than 7,000 volumes. There were several thriving literary societies, including the Erosophic and the Phi Beta Kappa societies, which frequently had lectures by such distinguished politicians and literary figures as United States Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, novelist William Gilmore Simms, and Professor Frederick Barnard (later president of Columbia University).
Discipline and student behavior was a major issue at the university almost from the day it opened. Early presidents attempted to enforce strict rules regarding conduct. Students were prohibited from drinking, swearing, making unauthorized visits off-campus, or playing musical instruments outside of a one-hour time frame. Yet riots and gunfights were not an uncommon occurrence. To combat the severe discipline problem, president Landon Garland lobbied and received approval from the legislature in 1860 to transform the university into a military school. As such, many of the cadets who graduated from the school went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. As a consequence of that role, Union troops burned down the campus on April 4, 1865 (only 5 days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House on 9 April), which was unrelated to Sherman's March to the Sea several months earlier and farther east, in Georgia. Despite a call to arms and defense by the student cadet corps, only four buildings survived the burning: the President's Mansion (1841), Gorgas House (1829), Little Round House (1860), and Old Observatory (1844).
The university reopened in 1871 and in 1880, Congress granted the university 40,000 acres (162 km²) of coal land in partial compensation for $250,000 in war damages. The military structure was dropped approximately a decade after the school was officially opened to women in 1892 after much lobbying by Julia Tutwiler to the Board of Trustees.
During World War II, UA was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
The first attempt to integrate the university occurred in 1956 when Autherine Lucy successfully enrolled on February 3 as a graduate student in library sciences after having secured a court order preventing the university from rejecting her application on the basis of race. In the face of violent protests against her attendance, Lucy was suspended (and later outright expelled) three days later by the board of trustees on the basis of being unable to provide a safe learning environment for her. The university was not successfully integrated until 1963 when Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes on June 11.
Governor George Wallace made his infamous "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", standing in the front entrance of Foster Auditorium in a symbolic attempt to stop Malone and Hood's enrollment. When confronted by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and federal marshals sent in by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Wallace stepped aside. President John F. Kennedy had called for the integration of the University of Alabama, as well. Although Hood dropped out of school after two months, he subsequently returned and, in 1997, received his PhD in philosophy. Malone persisted in her studies and became the first African American to graduate from the university. In 2000, the university granted her a doctorate of humane letters. Autherine Lucy's expulsion was rescinded in 1980, and she successfully re-enrolled and graduated with a master's degree in 1992. Later in his life, Wallace apologized for his opposition at that time to racial integration. In 2010, the university formally honored Lucy, Hood and Malone by rechristening the plaza in front of Foster Auditorium as Malone-Hood Plaza and erecting a clock tower – Autherine Lucy Clock Tower – in the plaza.
On April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa was hit by a tornado with a rating of at least EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The tornado left a large path of complete destruction but spared the campus. Six students who lived on off-campus premises were confirmed dead by the university. Due to the infrastructural damage of the city (approx. 12% of the city) and the loss of life, the university cancelled the rest of the spring semester and postponed graduation.
From a small campus of seven buildings in the wilderness on the main road between Tuscaloosa and Huntsville (now University Boulevard) in the 1830s, UA has grown to a massive 1,970-acre (800 ha) campus in the heart of Tuscaloosa today. There are 297 buildings on campus containing some 10,600,000 square feet (980,000 m2) of space. The school recently added 168 acres to its campus after purchasing the Bryce Hospital property in 2010. It also plans to acquire more land to accommodate the continuing growth of the enrollment.
The university also maintains the University of Alabama Arboretum in eastern Tuscaloosa and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Dauphin Island, just off the Alabama gulf coast. According to Campus Squeeze's 20 Most Beautiful Colleges in the USA rankings, the University of Alabama's campus was ranked 17th among both public and private colleges. In 2011, the Sustainable Endowments Institute gave the university a College Sustainability Report Card grade of "B+".
The campus is anchored around the 22-acre (8.9 ha) Quad, which sits at the site of the original campus designed by William Nichols. The Quad is about the same size as that original campus and lies roughly at the geographic center of the modern campus (though recent asymmetrical expansion of the campus northward and eastward has shifted the exact geographic center away). It is cut in half by a line connecting the Gorgas Library on the north end and Denny Chimes, a campanile equipped with a 25-bell carillon, on the south. The west side of the Quad is filled by a grove of trees while the east side of the Quad is open field.
Academic buildings are grouped into smaller clusters and quads surrounding the main Quad itself. Woods Quad, lying immediately north of the main Quad, was the center of the rebuilt post-Civil War campus before the center shifted back to the Quad. Woods Quad is home to Clark Hall, the home of the College of Arts & Sciences, and the homes of several of the fine arts and humanities departments. East of Quad, the buildings historically housed the natural science and math departments, before more modern facilities opened in the northeast of the campus. (Today, only the physics & astronomy, math, and psychology departments called the Quad home.) Engineering Row, the traditional home of the departments of the College of Engineering, is located to the northeast. Northwest of the Quad are buildings housing humanities and social sciences departments. To the west of the Quad lie the buildings of the colleges of commerce and education. Finally, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the School of Social Work flank the Quad to the south from west to east, respectively.
As the university has grown more academic buildings have moved further out from the Quad. The Science and Engineering Complex on the northeast periphery of the campus will house many science and engineering departments. The facilities of the School of Law, the School of Music (a division of the College of Arts and Sciences), the College of Nursing, and the College of Community Health Sciences are located on the far eastern edges of campus. The College of Continuing Education is located in Parham Hall further south of the Quad.
Further out from the Quad are more student support services and research facilities that are not vital to the day to day needs of students. The Ferguson Center, the student center on campus is located north of Woods Quads. One of the three main dining halls is located in "The Ferg". The other two dining halls are located closer to the dorms on the north and south sides of campus (Lakeside Dining Hall on the north and Burke Dining Hall on the south). Most residence halls are located on the north and south sides of campus. Commuter parking decks on located on the periphery of campus, as are student recreational facilities, such as the intramural fields and the Campus Recreation Center.
Athletic facilities generally flank the far southern and far eastern edges of campus. Bryant-Denny Stadium is in the southwestern edge of the campus and Coleman Coliseum is in the southeastern edge of campus, near the law school.
The entire campus has been served since 2007 by the CrimsonRide shuttle bus system.
UA is home to several museums, cultural facilities and historical landmarks.
The Alabama Museum of Natural History at Smith Hall exhibits Alabama's rich natural history. The oddest artifact there could be the Sylacauga meteorite, the largest known extraterrestrial object to strike a human being who survived. The Paul W. Bryant Museum houses memorabilia and exhibits on the history of UA athletic programs, most notably the tenure of football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Athletic trophies and awards are displayed at the Mal Moore Athletic Building near the Bryant Museum. The Sarah Moody Gallery of Art at Garland Hall hosts revolving exhibitions of contemporary art, including from the university's own permanent collection. The Ferguson Art Gallery at the Ferguson Center also hosts revolving art exhibitions. The Jones Archaeological Museum at Moundville exhibits the history of Mississippian culture in Alabama.
Numerous historical landmarks dot the campus, including the President's Mansion, Denny Chimes, Foster Auditorium (a National Historical Landmark), the Gorgas–Manly Historic District, and Maxwell Observatory.
Campus culture facilities include the Bert Man Jrs. Theater, the Marion Gallaway Theater, Morgan Auditorium, and the Frank M. Moody Music Building, which houses the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and the UA Opera Theatre, as well as three resident choirs.
The University of Alabama is an autonomous institution within the University of Alabama System, which is governed by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and headed by Chancellor of the University of Alabama. The board was created by the state legislature to govern the operations of the university. Its responsibilities include setting policy for the university, determining the mission and scope of the university, and assuming ultimate responsibility for the university to the public and the legislature. The board is self-perpetuating and currently composed of 15 members and two ex officio members. The makeup of the board is dictated by the Constitution of the State of Alabama, and requires that the board be made up of three members from the congressional district that contains the Tuscaloosa campus, and two members from every other congressional district in Alabama. Board members are elected by the board and are confirmed by the Alabama State Senate. Board members may serve three consecutive six-year terms.
The President of the University of Alabama is the principal executive officer of the university and is appointed by the chancellor with approval of the Board of Trustees. The president reports directly to the chancellor, and is responsible for the daily operations of the university. The president's office is located on the third floor of the Rose Administration Building, and the president has the privilege of living in the President's Mansion on campus. Judy L. Bonner became the 28th university president in 2012.
The university faculty numbers 1,175 and the staff numbers 3,513. 829 held the rank of assistant professor or higher. 922 faculty members were full-time. 527 were tenured with 244 on tenure track. 13.8% (114) were minorities and 34.7% (287) were women.][
There are 13 academic divisions at the University of Alabama (see the table). Eight of those divisions (A&S, C&BA, C&IS, Education, Engineering, HES, Nursing, and Social Work) grant undergraduate degrees. Degrees in those eight divisions at the master's, specialist, and doctoral level are awarded through the Graduate School. The law school offers J.D. and LL.M. degree programs. CHS provides advanced studies in medicine and related disciplines and operates a family practice residency program. Medical students are also trained in association with the University of Alabama School of Medicine, from which they receive their degree.
The College of Continuing Studies provides correspondence courses and other types of distance education opportunities for non-traditional students. It operates a distance education facility in Gadsden.
Founded in 1971 and merged into the College of Arts and Sciences in 1996, the New College program allows undergraduate students more flexibility in choosing their curriculum while completing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree. The program allows students to create a "depth study" in a particular field chosen by the student. The student completes approved independent studies alongside their normal coursework. The objective of New College is to inspire interdisciplinary learning at the undergraduate level.
The Honors College is a non-degree granting division that encompasses all the university's honors programs.
The University of Alabama System's financial endowment was valued at $995 million in the National Association of College and University Business Officers' (NACUBO) 2011 ranking, up 16.5% from its 2010 value. UA's portion of the system's endowment was valued at over $515 million in September 2008.
In 2002, the university embarked on a $500 million capital campaign entitled "Our Students. Our Future." The focus of the campaign was stated to be "student scholarships, faculty support, campus facilities and priority needs" by adding $250 million to university endowment and an additional $250 to the non-endowed funds. The "quiet phase" (which lasted until 2006) of the campaign raised $299 million. In November 2007, the university announced that it had raised $428 million. The $500 million goal was surpassed in May 2008 and when the campaign officially concluded in 2009, it had raised $612 million.
It was recently reported that The University of Alabama's 2010 financial endowment was valued at $631,947,260.
The University of Alabama is a large, four-year primarily residential research university accredited by the South Association of Colleges and Schools. Full-time, four-year undergraduates comprise a large amount of the total university enrollment. The undergraduate instructional program emphasizes professional programs of study as well as the liberal arts, and there a high level of co-existence between the graduate and undergraduate program. The university has a "high level" of research activity (below the highest "very high level" classification) and has a "comprehensive doctoral" graduate instructional program in the liberal arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM fields, though it lacks health and veterinary sciences professional programs.
UA conferred 6,003 degrees in academic year 2009–2010, including 4,284 bachelor's degrees, 1,339 master's degrees, 209 doctorates and 171 professional degrees. Latin honors are conferred on graduates completing a bachelor's degree for the first time (including at other universities) with an overall grade point average of at least 3.5. Cum laude honors are conferred to graduates with a GPA of 3.5 or greater and less than 3.7 (without rounding). Magna cum laude honors are conferred with a GPA of 3.7 or greater and less than 3.9. Summa cum laude honors are conferred with a GPA of 3.9 or higher.
The university follows a standard academic calendar based on the semester system, which divides the academic year, starting in mid-August, into two 15-week semesters (fall and spring) and the summer. The fall semester ends in December and the spring term lasts from January to early May. The summer, which lasts from mid-May to August, is divided into a 3-week "mini-semester" in May and two four-week sessions in June and July, respectively.
In fall 2012, the university had an enrollment of 33,602, consisting of 28,026 undergraduates, 4917 graduate students, and 659 professional degree students from all 67 Alabama counties and all 50 states. 96.8% of all students were US citizens or permanent residents and 3.2% were nonresident aliens. Students from 61 foreign countries comprised 2.6% of the student body.
The five Alabama counties with the highest enrollment of students are Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Madison, Shelby and Mobile, while the five states (beside Alabama) with the highest enrollment of students are Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia.
In fall 2012, the university received 26,409 applications for first-time freshman enrollment, from which 14,019 applications were accepted and 6,371 freshmen enrolled. 22% of the incoming freshman class submitted SAT scores; the middle 50 percent of those who reported their SAT scored between 1490 and 1870 (500-620 Reading, 500–640 Math, 490–610 Writing). 75% submitted ACT sores; the middle 50 percent of those who reported their ACT scored between 22 and 30 (21–28 Math, 22–31 English, 6–8 Writing). 85% of incoming freshman had a high school GPA of 3.00 or higher.
In fall 2012, 32% of undergraduates were enrolled in A&S, 22% in C&BA, 9% in C&IS, 8% in Education, 11% in Engineering, 10% in HES, 6% in Nursing, 1% in Social Work, and 1% in Continuity Education.
The University of Alabama ranked 12th in the nation among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars in 2007.
UA graduates include 15 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Goldwater Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 13 Hollings Scholars, two Javits Fellows, one Gates Scholar, one Portz Scholar, and one Udall Scholar.][ Numbers of UA graduates have been named to the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team.
The University of Alabama has consistently ranked as a top 50 public university in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report and has a selectivity rating of "more selective". In the 2012 USNWR rankings, UA was 77th in the National Universities category (32nd among the public schools in the category). In 2012, the University of Alabama moved up in the state rankings from number 5 to number 4 only to be behind Auburn University, Samford University, and University of Alabama at Birmingham. A ranking of colleges and universities by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in the May 19, 2008 edition of Forbes magazine ranked the UA seventh in the nation among public universities and 42nd overall.
Several of UA's colleges are ranked individually. In the 2011 USNWR ranking, the business school was ranked 57th (including a ranking of 27 for the accounting program) and the engineering school was ranked 98th. In March 2009, PRWeek magazine recognized the public relations program with an honorable mention in its award for PR Education Program of the Year 2009.
In the 2013 USNWR law school rankings, the UA law school was ranked 21st. In the 2011 USNWR Best Graduate Schools rankings, the business school ranked 63rd, the education school ranked 63rd, and the engineering school ranked 113th.
The University of Alabama has over 3 million volumes, not including uncataloged government documents, in its total collection, of which 2.5 million volumes are held by the University Libraries. Six separate libraries are part the University Libraries system.
The Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, which sits on the Main Quad, is the oldest and largest of the university libraries. Gorgas Library holds the university's collections in the humanities and social sciences, as well as the university's depository of US government documents. The library opened in 1939 as a four-story Greek Revival structure on the site of the original university Rotunda and was named after the long-time university librarian and wife of eighth university president Josiah Gorgas. A seven-story addition was built behind the library in the 1970s.
The Angelo Bruno Business Library, located in the Business Quad, is named after the co-founder of the Bruno's grocery chain who gave the university $4 million to create a library focusing on commerce and business studies. Opened in 1994, the 64,000-square-foot (5,900 m2), three-story facility holds over 170,000 volumes. Bruno Library also houses the 9,500-square-foot (880 m2) Sloan Y. Bashinsky Sr. Computer Center.
The Eric and Sarah Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering, located in the Science and Engineering Quad, is named after two popular, long-time professors of engineering and statistics, respectively. It opened in 1990, combining the Science Library collection in Lloyd Hall and the Engineering Library collection in the Mineral Industries Building (now known as HM Comer Hall). Rodgers Library was designed with help from IBM to incorporate the latest in informatics. McLure Education Library was founded in 1954 in a remodeled student union annex (across the street from the old Student Union, now Reese Phifer Hall) and named in 1974 after John Rankin McLure, the longtime Dean of the College of Education. The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, which holds the university's collection of rare and historical documents and books, is located in Mary Harmon Bryant Hall. The Library Annex holds seldom-used books and journals, as well as other volume which need special protection, that would otherwise take up valuable space in the libraries.
Other libraries on campus are independent of the University Libraries. The 66,000-square-foot (6,100 m2) Bounds Law Library, located at the Law Center, holds more than 300,000 volumes. Established in 1978, the Health Sciences Library, located at the University Medical Center, serves students at the College of Community Health Sciences. Its 20,000-volume collection include clinical medicine, family practice, primary care, medical education, consumer health, and related health care topics. Located in Farah Hall (home of the Department of Geography) the Map Library and Place Names Research Center holds over 270,000 maps and 75,000 aerial photographs. The William E. Winter Reading Room of the College of Communication and Information Sciences is located in Reese Phifer Hall and holds over 10,000 volumes. The School of Social Work Reading Room is located in Little Hall and just around 200 volumes.
UA is one of the 126 members of the Association of Research Libraries, which yearly compiles internal rankings. In 2011, the University of Alabama ranked 56th among all criteria, a marked improvement over a 2003 ranking of 97th.
In the fall of 2011, the University of Alabama Trustees approved a resolution to expand Gorgas Library by 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2), doubling the seating capacity from 1,139 to 2,278. This expansion will also signal the beginning of the construction of an Academic Honors Plaza, between the library and Clark Hall. The plaza will include green-space, fountains, benches, and decorative lighting.
In FY 2010, UA received $68.6 million in government research contracts and grants. The Alabama International Trade Center and the Center for Advanced Public Safety are two research centers at UA.
The University of Alabama is a member of the SEC Academic Consortium. Now renamed the SECU, the initiative was a collaborative endeavor designed to promote research, scholarship and achievement amongst the member universities in the Southeastern conference. The SECU formed its mission to serve as a means to bolster collaborative academic endeavors of Southeastern Conference universities. Its goals include highlighting the endeavors and achievements of SEC faculty, students and its universities and advancing the academic reputation of SEC universities.
In 2013, the University of Alabama participated in the SEC Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia which was organized and led by the University of Georgia and the UGA Bioenergy Systems Research Institute. The topic of the Symposium was titled, the "Impact of the Southeast in the World's Renewable Energy Future."
With more than 30,000 students enrolled, the university has a substantial student life component. With enrollment increasing in the 2000s, faculty have been added to limit increases in student to instructor ratio. Student housing, and other facilities are being added to accommodate the growth.
The board of trustees chose to locate the UA campus in a field a mile away from the center of the town of Tuscaloosa (a considerable distance in the early 19th century Alabama). The board consciously chose to make on-campus residence an integral part of the student experience at UA. Dormitories were among the first buildings erected at Alabama (the remains of one (Franklin Hall) is now the Mound on the Quad), and student residential life has been emphasized at UA ever since. Today nearly 30% of students live on campus, including over 90% of first-year freshmen.
The Office of Housing and Residential Communities manages 18 housing communities for undergraduate students. Housing options range from traditional dormitories with community bathroom to suite-style dorms to full-amenity apartments. Housing is clustered for the most part on the northern and southern sides of campus, with the newest housing on the northern side of campus. Due the rapid increase in enrollment in recent years and freshman residence requirement, most housing on campus is reserved for freshmen, with housing given to upperclassmen where room is available. Most upperclassmen, and all graduate students, married students and students with family live off campus.
The Student Government Association is the primary student advocacy organization at UA. The SGA is governed by the SGA Constitution and consists of a legislative branch, an executive branch and a judicial council. The legislative branch is composed of the Senate and the First Year Council. The Senate is composed of 50 members elected by proportional representation of the total student enrollment from each of the degree-granting colleges (i.e. all but Honors, Community Health Sciences, and Continuing Studies). The Senate is headed by a speaker that is chosen from among the membership of the Senate. The executive branch is composed of the Executive Council and the Executive Cabinet. The Executive Council is composed of the seven constitutional officers who are elected by the entirety of the student body and the appointed Chief of Staff while the Executive Cabinet is composed of non-constitutional appointed executive officers. The Executive Council is also empowered by the constitution to created with the assent of the Senate any number of appointed director positions to assist in the council in the fulfillment of its duties. The Judicial Council is composed of the Chief Justice, who is elected by the whole of the student body, and any number of appointed associate justices and judicial clerks.
Other important student advocacy organizations include the Graduate Student Association, the Student Bar Association, and the Honors College Assembly.
Since its founding in 1914, a secretive coalition of fraternities and sororities, commonly known as "The Machine", has wielded enormous influence over the Student Government Association. Occurrences of harassment, intimidation, and even criminal activities aimed at opposition candidates have been reported. Many figures in local, state, and national politics have come out of the SGA at the University of Alabama. Esquire devoted its April 1992 cover story to an exposé of The Machine. The controversy led to the university disbanding the SGA in 1993, which wasn't undone until 1996.
Greek letter organizations (GLOs) first appeared at the university in 1847 when two men visiting from Yale University installed a chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. When DKE members began holding secret meetings in the old state capitol building that year, the administration strongly voiced its disapproval. Over a few more decades, 7 other fraternities appeared at UA: Alpha Delta Phi in 1850, Phi Gamma Delta in 1855, Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 1856 (this was the founding chapter), Kappa Sigma in 1870, Sigma Nu in 1874, Sigma Chi in 1876, and Phi Delta Theta in 1877. Anti-fraternity laws were imposed that year, but were lifted in 1890s. Women at the university founded the Zeta Chapter of Kappa Delta sorority in 1903. Alpha Delta Pi soon followed.
In fall 2009, the university sanctioned 29 men's and 23 women's GLOs. Additionally, an unknown number of non-sanctioned GLOs also existed. Four governing boards oversee the operations of the university-sanctioned GLOs: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and the Unified Greek Council (UGC).
In 2012, 23% of male undergraduates were in university-sanctioned fraternities, including 28% of male freshman. 33% of women undergraduates, including 43% of female freshman were in university-sanctioned sororities.
The number of men in GLOs more than doubled from 2002 to 2009, with fifteen fraternities reporting active memberships of more than one hundred (where as recently as 2001 none reported memberships greater than 100). Following 2008 fall recruitment, almost all Panhellenic sororities participating through all rounds had potential new member class sizes of 80 or more; nearly all Panhellenic sororities also now have more than 200 total members. To accommodate growth in the student population since 2005, the university has sanctioned three new fraternities and two new sororities. Additionally, four new sorority houses will be added built behind the President's Mansion.
Several honors societies are present at the University of Alabama. Some honor societies are national organizations with local chapter while other are local organizations.
Numerous media outlets are operated by or in conjunction with the university. Student-produced media outlets are all managed by the Office of Student Media, itself controlled by the university-sanctioned Media Planning Board. However, all student publications are editorially independent of the university. The OSM oversees the production of one newspaper, one yearbook, three scholarly publications, and the student-run radio station.
The Crimson White is the student-produced newspaper. Published four times a week during the academic year and weekly during the summer, the CW normally distributes 15,000 copies per publication. The CW received a 2010 Mark of Excellence Award for "Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper at a Four-Year College or University" in the Southeast region by the Society of Professional Journalists. The CW won the Mark of Excellence Award again in 2011 and a Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for its spring 2011 issues. The Crimson White was also inducted into the College Media Hall of Fame for its coverage of the April 2011 tornado that caused massive damage in Tuscaloosa.
First published in 1892, Corolla is the official yearbook of the university. It is produced annually by students and is the oldest student-run publication on campus.
The Black Warrior Review is the university's widely distributed and influential literary journal managed and published by graduate students (primarily from the English and Creative Writing departments). Founded in 1974, BWR publishes local, regional, and nationally known writers, poets, and visual artists. Since 1990, UA has also published the Marr's Field Journal, an undergraduate literary journal published by and composed of material from UA 's undergraduates. Like its "big brother," MFJ publishes fiction, poetry, and graphic art. The Southern Historian is a journal of Southern history written, edited, and produced entirely by graduate students in the Department of History. Southern Historian features articles on all aspects of Southern history, culture and book reviews in all fields of U.S. History.
WVUA-FM, "90.7 The Capstone", formerly known as "New Rock 90.7", is one of the older college radio stations in the nation, tracing its roots back to 1940. It carries a variety of music programming and broadcasts the games of several of the university's sports teams.
The University of Alabama's intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Alabama Crimson Tide (this name can be shortened to Alabama, the Crimson Tide, or even the Tide). The nickname Crimson Tide originates from a 1907 football game versus Auburn University in Birmingham where, after a hard-fought game in torrential rain in which Auburn had been heavily favored to win, Alabama forced a tie. Writing about the game, one sportswriter described the offensive line as a "Crimson Tide", in reference to their jerseys, stained red from the wet dirt.
Alabama competes in the Southeastern Conference (Western Division) of the NCAA's Division I. Alabama fields men's varsity teams in football, basketball, baseball, golf, cross country, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. Women's varsity teams are fielded in basketball, golf, cross country, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The Athletic facilities on campus include the Bryant-Denny Stadium, named after legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former UA President George Denny, and the 14,619-seat Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama maintains athletic rivalries with Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. The rivalry with Auburn is especially heated as it encompasses all sports. The annual Alabama-Auburn football game is nicknamed the Iron Bowl. While the rivalry with Tennessee is centered around football for the most part, there is no shortage of acrimony here, especially given the recent history between then-UT Coach Phillip Fulmer and his relationship to the Tide's most recent NCAA probation. There are also rivalries with Louisiana State University (football and baseball), University of Mississippi (football and men's basketball), Mississippi State University (football, men's basketball), University of Georgia (women's gymnastics), and the University of Florida (football, softball).
The University of Alabama football program, started in 1892, has won 23 SEC titles and 15 national championships (including 9 awarded by the Associated Press and 8 by the Coaches Poll). The program has compiled 31 10-win seasons and 59 bowl appearances, winning 32 of them – all NCAA records. Alabama has produced 18 hall-of-famers, 97 All-Americans honored 105 times, and 1 Heisman trophy winner (Mark Ingram, Jr.).
The Crimson Tide's current home venue, Bryant-Denny Stadium, opened in 1929 with a capacity of around 12,000. The most recent addition of the stadium was completed in 2010. An upper deck was added in the south end zone, completing the upper deck around the stadium. The current official capacity of the stadium is 101,821. The previous addition was the north end zone expansion, completed 2006. The Tide has also played many games, including the Iron Bowl against rival Auburn University, at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Nearly synonymous with Alabama football is legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant whose record at the University of Alabama was 232–46–9. He led the Crimson Tide to 6 national titles in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, and 1979, which is tied with Notre Dame's legendary coach Knute Rockne. Additionally, the 1966 team was the only one in the country to finish with a perfect record, but poll voters denied the 12–0 Alabama team the three-peat as Michigan State and Notre Dame played each other to a 10–10 tie in what was considered the "Game of the Century" and subsequently split the national championship.
On December 12, 2009, sophomore running back Mark Ingram was awarded the Heisman Trophy as college football's best player. In so being named, Ingram became the first Heisman Trophy winner for the University of Alabama. Alabama defeated Texas 37–21 in the BCS Championship game on January 7, 2010, capping a perfect season, an SEC Championship, and winning its first national championship in the BCS era. Alabama defeated Louisiana State University 21-0 on January 9, 2012 to win it's second BCS National Championship. Alabama won its third BCS National Championship in January 2013 defeating Notre Dame 42-14 becoming the first school to win three BCS Titles.
The school's fight song is "Yea Alabama", written in 1926 by Lundy Sykes, then editor of the campus newspaper. Sykes composed the song in response to a contest by the Rammer Jammer to create a fight song following Alabama's first Rose Bowl victory. The song as it currently played by the Million Dollar Band during games (the form known to most people) is simply the chorus of the larger song. While the opening line of song is taken to be Yea Alabama, Crimson Tide!, the correct opening line is Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide! The Alabama Alma Mater is set to the tune of Annie Lisle, a ballad written in the 1850s. The lyrics are usually credited as, "Helen Vickers, 1908", although it is not clear whether that was when it was written or if that was her graduating class.
The University of Alabama has had a strong cultural and historical impact not only in Alabama but in the United States as a whole. In film, probably the most famous reference to the university is in the 1994 film Forrest Gump (adapted from a novel of the same name by alumnus Winston Groom), in which the title character, portrayed by actor Tom Hanks, attends the University of Alabama and plays football there under Bear Bryant. The 1995 film Crimson Tide, starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, makes multiple references to the UA football program (as evident by the title).
Numerous alumni have made references to their alma mater. Alumnus Joe Scarborough has broadcast his MSNBC morning show, The Morning Joe live from campus. Alumna Sela Ward's character on the show CSI:New York makes mention of her desire for "[the Alabama Crimson Tide] to win another BCS championship" in an episode.
In music, multiple songs make reference to the university or the Crimson Tide, such as Steely Dan's song "Deacon Blues", Buddy Jewell's song "Sweet Southern Comfort", Trace Adkins' song "Ala-Freaking-Bama", and Tim McGraw's 2009 song, "Southern Voice".
Legion Field is a stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, primarily designed to be used as a venue for American football, but is occasionally used for other large outdoor events. The stadium is named in honor of the American Legion, a U.S. organization of military veterans. At its peak it seated 83,091 people for football and had the name "Football Capital of the South" emblazoned from the facade on it's upper deck. Colliqually called "The Old Grey Lady" and "The Grey Lady on Graymont", today after the removal of the upper deck, Legion Field seats approximately 71,594 spectators.
Legion Field currently serves as the home field of the UAB Blazers, who compete in Conference USA.
Construction of a 21,000 seat stadium began in 1926 at the cost of $439,000. It was completed in 1927 and named Legion Field in honor of the American Legion. In the stadium's first event, 16,800 fans watched Howard College shut out Birmingham-Southern College 9-0 on November 19, 1927.
Over the years, the stadium grew. Capacity was increased to 25,000 in 1934 and to 45,000 in 1948. The bowl was enclosed. In 1961, a 9,000 seat upper deck was added to the east side of the stadium, increasing capacity to 54,600. In 1965, a new press box was built in the stadium and capacity was further increased to 68,821. In 1969, lights were added to the stadium to allow for night games, and Legion Field hosted the first nationally televised night game.
In 1970, the natural grass turf was replaced with Poly-Turf, which was replaced by Astroturf in 1975. Seating capacity was increased to 75,808 in 1977 and further increased to 83,091 in 1991. The turf was changed to Bermuda grass in 1995 in order to host soccer events for the Summer Olympics taking place in Atlanta. In 2006, the field went back to an artificial surface, Field Turf.
In 2004, a structural evaluation determined that the 9,000 seat upper deck would need major remediation to meet modern building codes. With little prospect of adequate repairs on the way, the University of Alabama withdrew the few home games it still scheduled for Birmingham. The city removed the upper deck in 2005 since the capacity was greater than the need for its tenants.
Legion Field currently serves as the home stadium for the UAB Blazers as well as the site of the annual BBVA Compass Bowl.
Legion Field is best known for hosting the season-ending game between Alabama and Auburn each year from 1948 to 1988. Because of Birmingham's major industry of iron and steel manufacturing, the game became known as the "Iron Bowl." From the series' resumption in 1948 to 1987, each team rotated claiming home-field rights. Tickets were divided 50/50 like the Florida/Georgia game & the Texas/Oklahoma game until 1989, when Auburn moved their home games in the series to Jordan-Hare Stadium, although they did play one last home game at Legion Field in 1991. Alabama followed suit in 2000. Alabama holds a 32-15 advantage over their in-state rival in games played at Legion Field.
Due to its size and location, both Alabama and Auburn have used this stadium for other football games.
Prior to 1999, the University of Alabama played at least three home football games there every season, including the entire 1987 home schedule, plus the Iron Bowl, due to construction at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The capacity of Legion Field was larger than that of Bryant-Denny and the city of Birmingham was more accessible than Tuscaloosa for much of the 20th century.
After the addition of the east upper deck to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1998, the capacity of Bryant-Denny exceeded that of Legion Field. Due to the disrepair of Legion Field and the added capacity in Tuscaloosa, Alabama moved major conference games on campus. In the ensuing years, Alabama decreased the number of games scheduled in Birmingham. The last home game for Alabama at Legion Field was against the University of South Florida on August 30, 2003. Though they had a couple of games scheduled at Legion Field in 2005 and 2008, the disrepair to the stadium and the structural issues to the upper deck led Alabama to end their contract with the city of Birmingham in 2004 and move all home games to Tuscaloosa. 
Auburn also used Legion Field for some home games due to the size and the difficulty for teams to travel to Auburn for much of the 20th century. Auburn played their home game against Tennessee at Legion Field until 1978 and against Georgia Tech until 1970.
Legion Field has hosted a number of other college football games. The annual Magic City Classic between Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University has been played here since 1946. The Steel City Classic featuring Miles College and Stillman College are played at Legion Field. The MEAC/SWAC Challenge was played at Legion Field, moved to Orlando for years 2008 through 2010.
Birmingham-Southern College played against Mississippi College's junior varsity team in Legion Field on September 6, 2007, in their first football game since 1939.
In terms of postseason play, the Southwestern Athletic Conference uses the stadium for their conference championship. The Southeastern Conference played their first two conference title games here in 1992 and 1993.
This stadium has also hosted four different bowl games in its history:
Legion Field has served as the home stadium for various professional football teams in Birmingham. It served as home field for the Birmingham Americans (1974) and Birmingham Vulcans (1975) of the World Football League (1974–1975), the Alabama Vulcans of the American Football Association (1979), the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League (1983–1985), and the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europe) in 1991–92. In 1995, it was the home field of the Birmingham Barracudas for their single season of play as part of the short-lived expansion of the Canadian Football League into the United States. In 2001, it was the home field for the single season of the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL. There has also been at least one NFL preseason game here, on August 27, 1988 when the Washington Redskins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-17.
In 1968, the Boston Patriots played one "home" game against the New York Jets at Legion Field. The Jets, featuring former Alabama quarterback Joe Namath, won the game 47-31.
Legion Field has hosted various high school football games throughout its history. From 1996 until 2008, Legion Field was used by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the Super Six high school football championships.
Legion Field has been filled to capacity on several occasions during the time that it was more commonly used by schools of the SEC. Although UAB has not been able to sell-out the stadium during its tenure as a football school (mainly due to structural instability in the stadium and underperformance by UAB's football teams over the past few years), it has attracted several tens of thousands of fans of higher-profile games, particularly those against teams not in Conference USA.
Recently, Legion Field had been used successfully as a site for major soccer events, including preliminary matchups in the 1996 Summer Olympics – the opening match between the United States and Argentina drew 83,810 spectators, the stadium's all-time record for any event. All of the concluding-round soccer games moved to Athens, Georgia after preliminary games had been played in various other cities.
Legion Field had also hosted exhibition games by the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams, and in 2005 it hosted a World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Guatemala.
When the City of Birmingham changed back to an artificial turf field in 2006, the United States Soccer Federation announced that it will no longer be scheduling men's national team games for playing in Legion Field.
Legion Field has also been used as a concert venue, hosting famous artists of many different genres, such as Ruben Studdard.
In 1979 and 1980, the facility played host to the Drum Corps International World Championships.
Legion Field Scoreboard
Exterior View from Graymont Avenue
Bear Bryant Monument in Front of Stadium
Satellite image taken in January 2004
Photo of the stadium before the upper deck was demolished.
The Iron Bowl is an American college football rivalry game played annually by the football teams of the two largest public universities in the U.S. state of Alabama, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers. The series is considered one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports. As the rivalry was mainly played in Birmingham, Alabama, for many years, the name of the Iron Bowl comes from Birmingham's historic role in the steel industry. Alabama leads the series 42–34–1.
Since 2000, the games are played at Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn every odd-numbered year, and in Bryant–Denny Stadium at Tuscaloosa every even-numbered year. For much of the 20th century the game was played every year at Legion Field in Birmingham. Alabama has a 32–15 record in games played at Legion Field, while Auburn has a 7–4 record in games played at Jordan–Hare Stadium and a 7–2 record in games played in Tuscaloosa (5–2 at Bryant–Denny Stadium). The game is traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day weekend. In 1993 both schools agreed to move the game up to the week before Thanksgiving to give themselves a bye for a potential SEC Championship Game berth, but in 2007 the conference voted to disallow any team from having a bye before the league championship game, returning the game to its traditional Thanksgiving weekend spot.
Alabama and Auburn played their first football game in Lakeview Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on February 22, 1893. Auburn (then named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama) won 32–22, before an estimated crowd of 5,000. As if a signal of the future, disagreement between the schools began immediately as Alabama considered the game to be the final matchup of the 1892 season and Auburn recorded it as the first of 1893.
Tensions further built when, after both 1906 and 1907 contests, Auburn head coach Mike Donahue threatened to cancel the series if Alabama head coach "Doc" Pollard continued employing his elaborate formations and shifts. The series was indeed suspended after the 1907 game when the schools could not come to agreement over the amount of expenses to be paid players, as well as from where officials for the game should be obtained.
In 1947 the Alabama House of Representatives passed a resolution encouraging the schools to "make possible the inauguration of a full athletic program between the two schools". The schools were disinclined to resume the series despite the passage of the resolution, since it did not have the effect of law. However, the Alabama congress threatened to withhold state funding from the schools unless they did resume the rivalry. With that threat in mind, Ralph B. Draughon, the president of Auburn (then named the Alabama Polytechnic Institute), and Alabama president John Gallalee decided during the winter and spring of 1948 to end the disagreement and renew the series. The games would be played in Birmingham because it had the largest stadium in the state, 44,000-seat Legion Field, and the tickets would be split evenly between the two schools. Alabama won the first game when the series renewed 55–0, the most lopsided victory of the series.
By 1980 the series had come to be called the Iron Bowl, due to Birmingham's prominence as a center of iron and steel production. The term Iron Bowl was coined by Auburn's coach at the time, Shug Jordan. Alabama's coach, Bear Bryant, said he preferred calling the game the Brag Bowl, since the winner's fans got to brag all year long.
Between 1969 and 1987, Auburn made additions to Jordan–Hare Stadium until it eclipsed Legion Field in size. Auburn desired to make the Iron Bowl a "home-and-home" series, and the schools reached an agreement where Auburn could play their home games for the Iron Bowl in Auburn starting in 1989 (except for the 1991 game, which was played at Legion Field). On December 2, 1989, Alabama came to "the Plains" for the first time ever and lost, 30-20. A sellout crowd witnessed Auburn win its first true "home" game of the series, 30–20 over an Alabama team that entered the game unbeaten and ranked #2 in the country.
Alabama continued to hold its home games for the rivalry at Legion Field. In 1998, Alabama expanded Bryant–Denny Stadium to a capacity of 83,818, exceeding Legion Field by a few hundred. Alabama moved their home games in the series to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2000. That year, Auburn came to Tuscaloosa for the first time ever and won in a defensive struggle, 9-0. A new attendance record for the Iron Bowl was set in 2006 as the latest expansion to Bryant–Denny Stadium increased its capacity to 92,138. The record was reset again in 2010, after another expansion to Alabama's Bryant–Denny Stadium, when a crowd of 101,821 witnessed a 28–27 Auburn victory.
In 2009 and 2010 CBS Sports and the two universities arranged to have the game played in an exclusive time slot on the Friday following Thanksgiving. The 2009 game was the sixth Iron Bowl to be played on a Friday and the first in 21 years. CBS did not attempt to renew the agreement after 2010 due to criticism from within the state from both fan bases, returning the game to its traditional Saturday date.
The rivalry has long been reckoned as one of the most heated collegiate rivalries in the country. This is due to a number of factors. For a long time, they were the only Alabama schools in what is now Division I FBS; it is often said that the entire state of Alabama grinds to a halt to watch the game. Additionally, the two schools have been among the nation's elite teams for decades. They account for 30 SEC titles (23 by Alabama and seven by Auburn) and both are among the winningest programs in college football history (Alabama is seventh, Auburn is 16th). Before the SEC adopted a divisional format, the game frequently decided the SEC title, and it frequently decides the SEC West title. The two schools have been fixtures on national television for the better part of the last four decades, and the season-ending clash has been televised for all but one year since the late 1970s (the lone exception being 1993, when Auburn was barred from live TV due to NCAA sanctions).
The trophy given to the winner of the game is the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Award. It is named after James E. Foy, an Alabama graduate and former Auburn dean of students and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society – which was established on both campuses during the 1920s. The Foy Trophy is presented at halftime of the Alabama-Auburn basketball game later in the same academic year at the winner's home court. At the start of each season the SGA Presidents of both schools agree to bet on the outcome of the Iron Bowl by agreeing that after the trophy presentation, the SGA President of the losing team will sing the winning team's fight song.
1893: First Game - This was first meeting between Auburn and Alabama. Auburn beat Alabama in Birmingham 32-22. It was the second year of each university's football program.][
1948: Rivalry Renewed - The rivalry resumed after being suspended for 41 years due issues related to player per diems and officiating. Alabama defeated Auburn 55-0 at Birmingham's Legion Field. It remains the largest margin of victory in series history.
1957: Auburn's National Championship - Auburn defeated Alabama 40-0 in Birmingham en route to a 10-0 regular season and the Associated Press (AP) national championship. This was the first of two Iron Bowls whereafter the winner was awarded the national championship. Auburn did not participate in post-season play due to NCAA probation.
1964: First Televised Iron Bowl - Played on November 26, 1964, this was the first Iron Bowl broadcast on national television. Quarterback Joe Namath led Alabama to a 21–14 victory over Auburn. Alabama finished the regular season 10-0, and won the SEC Championship. This was the second of two Iron Bowls whereafter the winner earned the AP National Championship. National championship trophies from the AP and UPI were awarded prior to the bowl games in 1964.
1967: The Run in the Mud – This was the first night game of the series. Thunderstorms soaked Legion Field, turning the field muddy. The game was frequently stopped to clear raincoats and other wet weather gear from the field. Late in the game, Alabama quarterback Kenny Stabler ran 47 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama a 7–3 victory.
1971: The Undefeateds - Both teams were playing for a berth in the Orange Bowl to face # 1-ranked Nebraska for the national championship. In the game # 3 Alabama defeated # 5 Auburn 31-7. The game featured Alabama's Heisman Trophy finalist Johnny Musso, and Auburn's Heisman Trophy winner, Pat Sullivan. The victory clinched the SEC Championship for Alabama that season.
1972: Punt Bama Punt – # 2 Alabama was leading Auburn 16-0 when an Auburn drive stalled, forcing the Tigers to settle for a field goal. On the ensuing possession, Alabama was forced to punt. Auburn's Bill Newton blocked Greg Gantt's punt. Auburn teammate David Langner caught the blocked punt and ran the ball back 25 yards for an Auburn touchdown, narrowing the score to 16–10. Several minutes later, Alabama was forced to punt again. Once again, Newton blocked the punt and Langner returned it for a touchdown. Gardner Jett kicked the extra point to give Auburn a 17-16 win. In August 2010, ESPN.com ranked the game as the 8th most painful outcome in college history. Despite the loss, Alabama won the SEC Championship that season.
1981: 315 – Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant earned his 315th career victory after Alabama defeated Auburn 28-17. With the victory, Coach Bryant passed Amos Alonzo Stagg's winning record and became the all-time winningest FBS coach. Since then, Coach Bryant's wins have been surpassed by Florida State's Bobby Bowden, but Bryant remains second in the List of college football coaches with 200 wins. Alabama shared the SEC Championship that season with Georgia.][
1982: Bo Over the Top – With two minutes remaining, Auburn drove the length of the field and scored when running back Bo Jackson jumped over the top of the defensive line for a touchdown. Auburn won the game 23–22. The victory ended Alabama's nine-game winning streak over Auburn.][ Coach Bryant ended his Iron Bowl career with this loss.
1983: Bye-Bye Bo - Auburn defeated Alabama 23-20 at Legion Field. Bo Jackson set the Iron Bowl rushing record for 256 yards. Auburn won the SEC championship that season. Auburn was awarded the national championship by Billingsley, FACT, Football Research, The New York Times, and Jeff Sagarin.
1984: Wrong Way Bo – Late in the game Auburn trailed by two-points, and had 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. Coach Pat Dye opted to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal. The ball was pitched to Auburn running back Brent Fullwood. Bo Jackson ran the wrong direction on the block, causing Fullwood to be forced out of bounds by an Alabama defender, Rory Turner. Alabama won the game 17–15.
1985: The Kick – After four lead changes in the fourth quarter, Alabama had the ball on their own 12-yard line, trailing by one point with 37 seconds remaining. Alabama quarterback Mike Shula led the offense to the Auburn 36 yard line. Alabama kicker Van Tiffin made a series-record-tying 52-yard field goal as time expired, and Alabama won the game 25–23.
1986: Reverse to Victory – Trailing 17-14, Auburn had the ball on the Alabama 7-yard line with 32 seconds remaining. The called play was a reverse to wide receiver Lawyer Tillman. Auburn Coach Dye ran down the sideline and shouted for Tillman to call a time out. Tillman attempted to call the timeout, but his signal was not seen by the officials. Auburn ran the reverse, scored a touchdown, and won the game 21–17. Speculation surrounded the play. Alabama's players saw Pat Dye's pleas for a time-out and froze, possibly giving Auburn the needed edge to run the risky reverse.
1989: The First Time Ever – Auburn defeated Alabama 30–20 in the first Iron Bowl played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The SEC championship was shared that season among Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee; Alabama represented the SEC in the Sugar Bowl.
1990: Tide Breaks the Streak - In Gene Stallings' first season as head coach, Alabama defeated Auburn 16-7 in a defensive struggle. The victory ended Auburn's four-game winning streak in the series. The Tide finished the regular season with a record of 7-4 after opening with three losses.
1993: Radio Championship – # 6 Auburn defeated # 11 Alabama 22-14. The game was not televised due to Auburn's probation, but was shown on closed-circuit television before 47,421 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium][, becoming the first college football game to sell out two stadiums. Despite the loss, Alabama earned a berth in the SEC Championship for the second straight season Auburn finished the season undefeated and was awarded the national championship by the National Championship Foundation. This is documented in the 2012 NCAA Football Records Book online.][ Other national championship selectors included Harry Frye, Nutshell Sports, Sparks Achievement, and David Wilson.
1994: The Inch that Stole Christmas - # 3 Alabama defeated # 6 Auburn 21–14. Auburn's drive late in the game ended when they were denied a first-down by approximately one inch. The victory ended Auburn's 21–game unbeaten streak, and earned Alabama a berth in the SEC Championship game for the third straight season.
1996: Gene's Farewell - Alabama came from behind to beat Auburn 24–23 in the final minutes of Gene Stallings' final Iron Bowl as Alabama head coach. The win earned Alabama a berth in the SEC Championship game for the fourth time in five years. Later inducted into the Hall of Fame Coach Stallings finished his career with a 5–2 record over Alabama's in-state rival.
1999: Alabama's Win on the Plains - Alabama defeated Auburn 28-17, giving the Crimson Tide its first victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The win earned Alabama a berth in the 1999 SEC Championship game. Alabama won the SEC Championship in 1999.
2000: Shut Out in T-Town - The Iron Bowl returned to Tuscaloosa for the first time in 99 years. Amidst cold weather and sleet Auburn defeated Alabama in a 9-0 victory, and earned Auburn a berth in the 2000 SEC Championship game. It was the final game for Alabama head coach Mike DuBose.
2004: Championship Season - Alabama came into the game unranked but led # 3 Auburn by a score of 6-0 at halftime thanks to two Brian Bostick field goals. In the second half, Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell and running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams led Auburn to 3 touchdowns, winning the game 21-13. The win earned Auburn a berth in the SEC Championship game. Auburn won the SEC Championship that season and their resulting BCS bowl game to finish that year with a perfect record of 13-0.
2005: Sacked Bama Sacked - Auburn set a new school and series record by sacking Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle 11 times. Seven different Auburn players recorded at least half a sack in the game, leading Auburn to a 28–18 victory.
2008: The Beat Down in T-town – # 1 Alabama defeated Auburn 36–0 in Tommy Tuberville's last game as Auburn's head coach. The win resulted in a 12-0 regular season for Alabama (first time in SEC history), and earned Alabama a berth in the SEC Championship game
2009: The Drive - Auburn led #2 Alabama 21-20 with 8:27 left in the game. Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy led a drive starting at the Alabama 21-yard line, completing seven consecutive passes, including a touchdown pass to third-string tailback Roy Upchurch with 1:24 remaining. Alabama won the game 26-21 en route to an SEC Championship rematch with #1 ranked Florida.
2010: The Cam-Back - #2 Auburn defeated #11 Alabama 28-27 after overcoming a 24-0 deficit when Cam Newton rallied his troops to lead Auburn on a 28 point scoring spree, ending with a touchdown pass to Philip Lutzenkirchen late in the 4th quarter. It was the biggest deficit overcome in Iron Bowl history.
Since 1893, the Crimson Tide and Tigers have played 77 times. Alabama leads the series 42–34–1. The game has been played in four cities: Auburn, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Alabama leads the series in Birmingham (34–18–1). Auburn leads the series in Tuscaloosa (7–2) and Auburn (7–4). The series is tied in Montgomery (2–2). Alabama leads the series since it was resumed in the modern era in 1948 (38–27). For the first time in the series history, the previous four winners have all gone on to win the BCS National Championship Game: Alabama in 2009, Auburn in 2010, and Alabama again in 2011 and 2012. It also marks the first time that two different teams from the same state won consecutive BCS National Championships.
Alabama victories are colored crimson. Auburn victories are colored navy blue. Ties are white.
Series record sources: 2011 Alabama Football Media Guide, 2011 Auburn Football Media Guide, and College Football Data Warehouse.
The 2008 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 2008 college football season. The Gators competed in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and played their home games in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus. They were led by fourth-year head coach Urban Meyer.
After clinching the SEC East, the Gators defeated then top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 31–20 in the SEC Championship Game to win their eighth conference title. They capped their season by defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS National Championship Game 24–14. The Gators finished the season ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll.
Of the 121 players on the 2008 Gators' roster, 41 (including future Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and 9 starters) were arrested either in college, afterward, or both.
Entering the season as defending national champions, the Gators went 9-4 in the 2007 season in spite of a prolific offense, primarily due to a defense depleted by graduation and departures to the NFL leading to the worst defense for a Florida team since 1971, closing out the year with a 41-35 loss to Michigan in the 2008 Capital One Bowl on January 1. Quarterback Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman trophy.
In the offseason, Florida coach Urban Meyer suffered the loss of assistant coaches for the first time in his tenure. Co-recruiting coordinator and safeties coach Doc Holliday left to become an assistant at his alma mater, West Virginia, running backs coach Stan Drayton took the same job with the Tennessee Volunteers, and co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Greg Mattison joined the new coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens. Offensive coordinator Dan Mullen left to become the head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the end of the 2008 season.
Sources: 2012 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, GatorZone.com
Pregame Line: Florida -35.5
The Florida Gators opened the season against the Hawaii Warriors. This was the first meeting between the two teams, but the two programs had become familiar with one another at the end of the 2007 college football regular season. 2007 Florida starting quarterback Tim Tebow and 2007 Hawaii starting quarterback Colt Brennan were both finalists for the Heisman Trophy where the two met in New York for the award ceremony. In the time leading up to the award presentation, the then-Hawaii head coach June Jones made comments regarding Tim Tebow and how he would fare against his own quarterback Colt Brennan in their respective offensive systems, referring to Tebow as a "system quarterback." His comments "infuriated Gators fans, who expressed their displeasure in Internet chat rooms and blogs." At the conclusion of the 2007-2008 bowl season, June Jones left Hawaii to become the head coach of SMU leaving the opening game against Hawaii without Colt Brennan or June Jones.
The game opened with the 10th highest attendance in school history with 90,575. Both teams struggled in the first quarter on offense with neither team being able to put points on the board. The second quarter featured scored by the Gators on offense, defense, and special teams. This was the first time the Gators scored in all three facets of the game since beating the Tennessee Volunteers 59-20 in the 2007 season. The first touchdown of the season came off of a Brandon James 1-yard touchdown run capping an 80-yard drive that took only 10 plays. Less than one minute later, Florida safety Major Wright picked off a pass and returned it 32 yards for the touchdown. After a defensive stop by the Gators on the ensuing Warriors' drive, special teams standout Brandon James returned a punt for a touchdown. This was his third punt return for a touchdown in his career. The final score of the half by the Gators was a 33 yard rushing touchdown by redshirt freshman Chris Rainey with 3:00 left in the first half. This drive only took two plays in 22 seconds.
The second half was a mirror image of the first half for the Gators. Another 28 points was scored in the third quarter beginning with a 62 yard rushing touchdown by true freshman Jeffery Demps. The next Gator offensive possession featured the first touchdown pass of the season by Heisman-winner Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow and Louis Murphy connected on a 48 yard pass on the second play of the drive to score a touchdown only 38 seconds after having initiating the drive. Near the end of the 3rd quarter, sophomore quarterback Cam Newton stood in for Tim Tebow and put together a drive capped off with a 1 yard QB rushing TD. The final score the Gators put on the board was an interception returned for a touchdown by Gator DB Ahmad Black in his first career game as a Gator. Entering into the fourth quarter, Florida led 56-0. Hawaii was able to put 10 points on the board ending the game with a score of 56-10. Hawaii used three quarterbacks, all of whom threw for interceptions. The Gators' offense finished with 406 total yards; 255 of those coming on the ground. This was the first game since the 2006 season where Tim Tebow did not have at least two touchdowns in a game. In the previous season, he had at least one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown in all 13 games (14 game streak dating to 2007 BCS National Championship Game). The Gators' defense forced six Hawaii turnovers and held Hawaii's offense to only 241 yards.
Pregame Line: Florida -24
The Florida Gators took on the Miami Hurricanes for the first time since the 2004 Peach Bowl where the Gators lost to Miami 27-10. This game is also the first regular season meeting between the two teams since 2003 where the then #18 Gators nearly upset the #3 Miami Hurricanes at the Orange Bowl. The last time the Gators defeated the Hurricanes was in 1985 where the Gators defeated Miami in Miami with a score of 35-23. Miami entered this game with a six-game winning streak and came in leading the series 28-25. The winner of this game receives the War Canoe Trophy. An attendance record was set with this game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with 90,833.
The Hurricanes received the ball to start the game with Florida deferring to the second half. Florida's defense held Miami to one net yard on their opening drive and forced a quick three and out. The resulting punt netted only 14 yards giving Florida excellent field position at the Miami 35 yard line. The Gators, led by quarterback Tim Tebow, put together a 5 play drive ending in a touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez that only took 1:44 off the clock. Although the tempo the Gators set on their first offensive possession was quick, they were unable to score again in the first half on offense; having to punt on all four of their following first half possessions. Miami was able to put together a 42 yard drive with 16 plays consuming 8:42 of the second quarter resulting in a made 50 yard field goal. This would end up being the only points of the game Miami scored as well as the closest the Florida defense would allow Miami to get to the end zone. Florida's special teams was able to block a Miami punt attempt resulting in a safety as the ball went out of bounds with 47 seconds left in the half. This brought the halftime score to 9-3.
The Gators received the ball in the second half and were unable to score on their opening drive. Offensive woes continued for both sides as neither team was able to score points. By the end of the third quarter, Florida's defense forced five Miami punts and allowed only one field goal. The fourth quarter had the Gators offense scoring 17 total points. A drive starting near the end of the 3rd quarter went 86 yards down the field and ended with a fourth quarter 2-yard rushing touchdown by Percy Harvin. After Florida's defense stopping Miami once again, Florida's offense was able to put together another long scoring drive; this one a 95 yard drive taking only 1:34 ending on a 19 yard Tim Tebow touchdown pass to Louis Murphy. The Gator defense forced three fourth quarter Miami punts, 8 total for the game, with the final score coming off of a made field goal by the Gators bringing the final score 26-3. Florida's offense was only able to rush for 89 yards and pass for 256. Neither team had turnovers, but the Gators' defense held Miami to 140 total yards (79 passing, 61 rushing) and kept Miami out of the red zone the entire game.
Pregame Line: Florida -7.5
Florida entered the game with a three-game winning streak started during Florida head coach Urban Meyer's first season at Florida. Tennessee led the series 18-19 all-time against the Gators dating back to 1916. Coming off of an SEC East title the previous season, Tennessee opened SEC play against the Gators after having lost early to UCLA out of conference on the road. The Gators and Volunteers last met in the Swamp in 2007 where the Gators won 59-20. The previous time the two met at Neyland Stadium, the Gators were able to win by a slim one point and then went on to win the BCS National Championship. The Volunteers would be the first of four regular season teams the Gators faced that were coached by a championship-winning head coach (the other three being Les Miles of LSU, Steve Spurrier of South Carolina, and Bobby Bowden of FSU.
The Gators started the game on offense at the Tennessee 44 yard line and quickly started where they left off the last time they played the Volunteers. The first possession of the game resulted in a 44 yard drive capped off with a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez. Florida's defense helped get the ball back on offense when true freshman Gator CB Janoris Jenkin's forced a fumble on Tennessee's Montario Hardesty. Florida responded with a 39 yard field goal. After another failed drive for Tennessee on offense, the Volunteers punted the ball to Florida punt returner Brandon James who returned it for at touchdown. This was Brandon James' fourth punt-return for a touchdown of his career—tying the school record held by Jacquez Green. The Volunteers had their second fumble, which was recovered by Gators defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap, and led to another Florida field goal extending the lead to 20-0. Tennessee was able to drive the ball down into Florida territory—as close as the one-yard line. However, Florida's true freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted a pass preventing any Tennessee points and shut out Tennessee in the first half.
Tennessee received the ball to start the second half and quickly went three and out giving the ball back to Tim Tebow and the Gators' offense. The Gators' offense was able to put together a 47 yard drive finishing with a 15 yard Tim Tebow touchdown pass to WR Percy Harvin extending the lead to 27-0. Tennessee was able to get points on the board on the following drive. A 63 yard Tennessee drive ending with a Jonathan Crompton 1 yard TD run. The attempted 2-point conversion failed cutting Florida's lead to 21. In response, the Gators were able to take 4:49 off the clock and extend their lead with a Jonathan Phillps field goal bringing the final score to 30-6. The Gators defense held Tennessee to only nine possessions on offense. Three of those ended with turnovers (2 fumbles, 1 interception), four ending with punts, one with a turnover on downs, and one touchdown. Although the Volunteers were able to account for more yards on offense (258 vs 243), the Gators won the turnover margin 3-0.
Pregame Line: Florida -22
Florida's SEC home opener had the Gators face off against the Ole Miss Rebels. This is the first time the Gators have played the Rebels at home since their loss in 2003 against the Eli Manning-led Rebels squad. This game also concluded the home-and-home series with the SEC West opponent after the Gators won the first game in the H-H series against the Rebels last season with a score of 30-24. This was Urban Meyer's second time coaching against a Houston Nutt coached team with the first time being the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2006 SEC Championship Game where the Gators defeated the Hogs 38-28 to go on and win the 2007 BCS National Championship. Entering this game, Urban Meyer was 21-1 at home in Gainesville and Houston Nutt was 0-3 against the Gators. Ole Miss's starting quarterback Jevan Snead, a transfer from the University of Texas, had committed to play for the Gators prior to the 2006 season before decommitting.
The game started with Ole Miss on offense, which didn't stay on the field long after a quick 3 and out forced punt. The Gators then took over on offense and entered Ole Miss territory where they were unable to score on their drive, which ended with a turnover on downs. Ole Miss was the first score on their ensuing 70 yard drive with a touchdown. This was the first touchdown the Gators allowed in the first quarter of a game and the first time the Gators trailed in the season. In response, the Gators drove into Ole Miss territory where they were forced to settle for a 38 yard field goal narrowing the lead 7-3. With just two offensive plays on Ole Miss's next possession, Florida safety Major Wright picked off a Jevan Snead pass and set up the Gators in Ole Miss territory. Tim Tebow connected with WR Percy Harvin on a 43 yard touchdown pass giving the Gators a 10-7 lead with 12:26 remaining in the second quarter. After another 3 and out by the Rebels, Florida regained possession, but quickly turned it over. Tight end Aaron Hernandez of the Gators fumbled the ball at the Ole Miss 35 yard line. This was the first Gator turnover of the season. Ole Miss's offense was unable to do much the rest of the half and ended their next two possession with punts and a third with a turnover on downs. The Gators, however, were able to score another touchdown with an 81 yard drive capped off with a Tim Tebow 1 yard rushing touchdown. His first rushing touchdown of the season. This brought the score to 17-7 at the half.
The third quarter for the Gators saw their 10-point lead turn into a 7-point deficit. On the Gators first drive of the second half, Percy Harvin fumbled the ball while rushing up the middle. This setup the Rebels in excellent field position at the Florida 34 yard line. Ole Miss would capitalize on the turnover by scoring with a 33 yard field goal. Florida's turnover woes continued shortly after the Rebels' kickoff when Tim Tebow fumbled the ball at the Gators' 18 yard line. This positioned Ole Miss for the go ahead touchdown pass that only took 18 seconds to score. The game was then tied 17-17 at only the 10:30 mark in the third quarter. Florida's next two possessions on offense went only -3 yards and 19 yards, respectively, and required punts. After having obtained possession with 4:34 left in the third, Jevan Snead and Ole Miss put together a 3:42 drive that went 72 yards down the field resulting in a rushing touchdown. This brought Ole Miss's lead back up to 7 as it was early in the 1st quarter. After a 25 yard kickoff return by Brandon James, Florida put together a 49 yard drive ending with touchdown off of a Tim Tebow rush tying the game at 24 a piece. Florida's defense was unable to stop Ole Miss from scoring as they responded with an 86 yard touchdown reception by Shay Hodge giving the Rebels a 31-24 lead with only 5:26 left in the game. Starting 68 yards away from the end zone, Florida scored a touchdown in less than 2 minutes with Percy Harvin running in from 15 yards for the score. The Gators only needed an extra point after the touchdown to be made to tie the game at 31, but were unable to do so after Ole Miss’s Kentrell Lockett blocked the attempt. Florida regained possession with 2:05 left in the game and were able to bring the ball to the Ole Miss 32 yard line. On 4th and 1 and 41 seconds left in the game, Tim Tebow rushed the ball and was stopped short of the first down marker—turning over the ball on downs. Ole Miss gained possession and ran the clock out upsetting the higher ranked Gators at home.
The Gators would end the game with more yards, 443 to 325, as well as with more first downs, 24 to 10. The Gators, however, had three turnovers, which was uncharacteristic given that they had none in the first three games of the season. Ole Miss only had one turnover in the game as well as double the number of penalties (10 to 5). After the game, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow addressed the media on the loss to Ole Miss:
The speech went on to be engraved on a plaque that was placed outside the entrance to the new Gators football facilities.
Pregame Line: Florida -27
The Gators traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on their second of three SEC West opponents in the regular season to face first year Razorback coach Bobby Petrino. Entering the game, the Gators held a 6-1 series lead over Arkansas with the Gators' last win coming in the 2006 SEC Championship Game that was coached by former Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt. This is the first of a two game home-and-home series on the rotating SEC West opponent schedule with next year's meeting taking place in Gainesville, FL. Arkansas entered the game coming off of a loss to then-#7 ranked Texas at Texas by a score of 52-10.
Arkansas received the kickoff to start the game and put together a short 44 yard drive before failing to convert a 4th a 4 with a sack by Gator defensive standout Carlos Dunlap. On the resulting Gator possession, a scoring drive was capped with a Tim Tebow 2 yard shuffle pass to Brandon James resulting in a touchdown. As with Arkansas' first drive, a failed fourth down attempt put the ball back in the Gators' hands, but the offense stuttered and was forced to punt. Arkansas continued to struggle on offense, but was able to get field position in their favor by punting the ball to the Florida one-yard line giving the Gators difficult field position with which to work. Pinned back on their side of the field, the Gators' Chas Henry eventually punted the ball on a 4th and 11. Arkansas' Michael Smith fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Florida's Brandon James—the first of his career. The Gators were able to capitalize on the Razorback turnover and scored on a 36 yard rushing TD by true freshman Jeffery Demps, extending their lead to 14-0 halfway through the second quarter. With just 11 seconds remaining in the half and Arkansas deep in Florida's territory at the Florida 25 yard line, sophomore DB Joe Haden intercepted a Casey Dick pass closing out the half 14-0.
The Gators opened the second half on offense and were able to get as far to the Arkansas 20 yard line, but not farther. The 5:43 drive finished with a 37 yard field goal by Jonathan Phillips, extending the Gators lead to 17-0. The Gators' defense wasn't able to achieve a shutout with the Razorback's response on the next possession. Casey Dick and the Hogs were able to put together a 7 play 53 yard drive in only 3:27 scoring a touchdown; narrowing the Gators' lead to only 10 points. Tim Tebow threw his first interception of the season on the following drive, but the Razorbacks were unable to score on the turnover and were forced to punt. The fourth quarter featured three touchdowns by the Gators. Of the Gators' 512 total yards, 246 came in the fourth quarter. The first touchdown drive started with 14:41 in the fourth. The 6 play 83 yard drive took only 2:43 and finished with a 21 yard pass to Percy Harvin from Tim Tebow—extending Florida's lead 24-7. Halfway through the fourth, the Gators initiated a 4 play 80 yard drive that ended with 75 yard rushing TD by redshirt freshman Chris Rainey. Florida's defense forced a quick 3 and out for the Hogs and the next Gator drive ended like the previous. True freshman Jeffery Demps ran 48 yards for a touchdown extending the Gators' lead, and final score, 38-7.
Pregame Line: Florida -7
This annual rivalry marked the 10th time in college football history that back-to-back champions played in the following regular season with the home team never losing. The last time this occurred was on October 20, 1990 when the 1989 champions University of Miami played the 1988 champions Notre Dame. Notre Dame beat Miami at South Bend with a score of 29-20. This game marked the 55th meeting between the Gators and Tigers with Florida leading the series 28-23-3 entering the game. Florida head coach Urban Meyer's record against LSU head coach Les Miles was 1-2 entering the game with the home team winning in each of those three games. This game marked the second of four regular season games where the Gators faced a coach that had won a national championship.
The Gators opened the game on offense and set the pace early. The first drive of the game only took 1:38 for an early score with a Percy Harvin touchdown on the third play of the game. Florida's defense stopped LSU on their first possession with a quick three an out and turned the change of possession into a Gator field goal extending their lead 10-0. Their momentum continued finishing the first quarter 17-0 after a second touchdown by Percy Harvin, which was a career first for receiving TDs in a game. The Gators defense continued to pressure LSU and forced LSU QB Jarrett Lee to have a pass picked off by Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes. Although Florida wasn't able to capitalize on the turnover, LSU turned the ball over on their next possession with a Charles Scott fumble recovered by Gator AJ Jones. Florida was unable to create points with their second gained turnover. After having scored 17 points in the first quarter, the Gators were only able to put 3 points on the board in the second quarter extending their lead 20-0. With less than a minute in the first half and down 20-0, LSU put together a 60 yard drive in less than one minute scoring a touchdown with 5 seconds remaining in the half bringing the halftime score to 20-7.
LSU opened the second half scoring a quick touchdown off of a 3 yard rush by backup QB Andrew Hatch creating a 14-0 run after a 20-0 Florida run. Florida quickly responded with a 67 yard drive taking only 8 plays capped with a Tim Tebow rushing touchdown bringing the Gators' lead back to 13. The next offensive possession for Florida finished with another long touchdown run by true freshman Jeffery Demps. His 42 yard rushing touchdown was his fourth of the season with all four having been over 30 yards. The Gators scored on defense with a Brandon Spikes interception-returned touchdown 12 seconds into the fourth quarter building a 41-14 lead. This was Spikes second interception of the game and of his career. After a failed fourth down attempt by LSU, Florida turned the ball over back to LSU on a forced fumble on Tim Tebow. LSU scored a touchdown shortly thereafter cutting the lead to 20 with 11 minutes left in regulation and followed with a failed onside kickoff. The following Florida drive resulted in a made field goal from 25 yards. After another failed fourth down attempt on the following LSU drive, Florida marched down the field and scored their 50th point of the game with a touchdown by senior running back Kestahn Moore. The following made extra point brought the Gators lead, and final score, to 51-21. This was the first time since 1996 that the Gators scored over 50 points on LSU. The Gators ended the game with over 475 yards of offense.
Pregame Line: Florida -26
Homecoming for the Gators featured an early match up with division rival Kentucky. The Gators entered the game with a 21-game winning streak against the Wildcats. The second longest active streak against an annual opponent in the NCAA. Second only to Tennessee's streak over Kentucky as well. The last time the Wildcats defeated the Gators was in Lexington in a 10-3 loss during the 1986 season. The Gators last lost at home to the Wildcats on November 17, 1979 in a blowout fashion—31 to 3. These two teams met last in Gainesville during the 2006 season where the Gators defeated the Wildcats 26-7. Florida enters the game leading the series 40-17-0 and the Wildcats have defeated the Gators only 3 times in the series when the Gators were ranked.
The Gators opened the game strong with 28 points scored in the first quarter. The Gators' special teams blocked two punts on Kentucky's first and second drives of the game. The Gators scored touchdowns on each blocked punt with Tim Tebow running in the first touchdown and Brandon James for the second. The Gators' third scoring drive of the game only took four plays and 1:39 finishing with a 16 yard Percy Harvin rushing TD. Percy Harvin scored the fourth Florida TD of the quarter off of another 4 play drive, but this time through the air. Before the end of the first half, the Gators' special teams blocked a Wildcat field goal attempt, which was returned by the Gators' safety Major Wright to the Florida 40 yard line. Tim Tebow then threw his second TD shortly into the second quarter to Jeff Demps. Kentucky got on the board with a field goal with 5:03 left in the half. Florida responded quickly with a 3-yard TD rush by Tim Tebow bringing the score at the half 42-3. This was his second rushing TD of the game, which tied former Florida Gator running back Emmitt Smith with a school-record 36 rushing touchdowns.
Florida opened the second half on defense with Gator DB Ahmad Black scoring a TD on an interception 9 seconds into the half. Florida's defense continued to keep Kentucky out of scoring position allowing the Gators to pile on the points. The next Florida drive consumed over eight minutes resulting in senior RB Kestahn Moore running in a TD increasing the lead 56 to 3. After this drive, redshirt freshman John Brantley took over the reins as QB. Three minutes into the fourth quarter, John Brantley threw a 38 yard TD pass to David Nelson. This was John Brantley's first passing touchdown as a Gator as well as David Nelson's first reception of the year. Kentucky's following drive brought them within 5 yards of a touchdown. Florida's defense forced Kentucky into a fourth down attempt. With only a couple yards to gain, Florida Gator Lorenzo Edwards forced a turnover on downs stopping Kentucky half a yard short from the first down marker. On the following drive, Florida's Bobby Kane mishandled the punt snap sending the ball out of the endzone resulting in a safety. This was the last score of the game bringing the final score to 63-5. Florida's winning streak over the Wildcats extended to 22 straight victories, tying Tennessee's record over Kentucky.
Pregame Line: Florida -7
The Gators faced off against the Bulldogs in the annual rivalry taking place in Jacksonville, FL. Georgia led the series entering the game 45-38-2. Florida had won 15 of the last 18 meetings dating back to the 1990 season, which was Steve Spurrier's first season as head coach. Urban Meyer was 2-1 against Georgia before the game with his only loss coming the previous year in a 42-30 win over the Gators. In that loss, Knowshon Moreno's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter sparked a celebration by the entire Bulldogs team in the end zone. Georgia head coach Mark Richt defended his actions in having his team intentionally celebrate. He was quoted as saying "I wanted to make sure we left this game with our hearts on the field." He was later quoted in summer media presses: "In hindsight, I shouldn't have done it. I won't do anything like that again. It could have easily turned into a big, stupid brawl."
The Bulldogs started the game on offense after Florida deferred to the second half. Neither team was able to score on their opening possessions as both defenses force the teams to punt. Georgia was able to get into the red zone and attempted a field goal from the 20 yard line, which was missed by kicker Blair Walsh. On the change of possession, the Gators capitalized with a 5 minute 80 yard drive finished off with a Percy Harvin rushing touchdown. With this touchdown, Percy scored a TD in every game thus far in the season. Florida's defense shut out Georgia in the first quarter, but Georgia was able to put points on the board with a 35 yard field goal cutting Florida's lead to 4. Georgia attempted an onside kick following the score, but was unable to recover the ball setting up the Gators at the Georgia 41 yard line. It took only 7 plays for Tim Tebow to cap the drive with a 1 yard rushing touchdown bringing the score to 14-3. Florida's defense kept Georgia QB Matthew Stafford and Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno out of the endzone after Georgia got to the Florida 10 yard line. After having to settle for another field goal attempt, Georgia kicker Blair Walsh missed his second of the game. Neither the Gators nor the Bulldogs were able to score anymore in the half bringing the score to 14-3 at the half.
After having to punt on the opening possession of the second half for the Gators, the Florida defense quickly gave the ball back into the hands of Tim Tebow. Florida sophomore DB Joe Haden intercepted a Matthew Stafford pass and returned it 88 yards to the Georgia 1 yard line. Tim Tebow scored a TD on the resulting run extending Florida's lead to 21-3. Georgia continued to struggle on offense and their next drive resulted in a punt. Tim Tebow connected with senior WR Louis Murphy on a 44 yard pass to bring the score to 28-3 with a little more than 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Turnovers continued with Georgia after Knowshon Moreno fumbled the ball, which was picked up by Florida DT Terron Sanders. Tim Tebow ran the ball in for a touchdown on the following change of possession—his third rushing TD of the game and 40th of his career. Matthew Stafford's turnovers continued with back-to-back interceptions by Gator linebacker Dustin Doe and Gator DB Ahmad Black. While unable to capitalize on the Dustin Doe interception, the Gators scored a TD off of Ahmad Black's interception with only one play—a 25 yard Tim Tebow pass to Percy Harvin. The lead extended to 42-3 at this point. Redshirt freshman quarterback John Brantley took over the offense in the fourth quarter for Tim Tebow. John Brantley and the Gators put together a 66 yard drive finishing with a touchdown pass to redshirt freshman WR Deonte Thompson. The Gators lead extended to a game high 46 points, 49-3, with still half of a quarter to play. After replacing Matthew Stafford with quarterback Joe Cox, the Bulldogs were able to score a touchdown with a little more than 3 minutes left in regulation. This would bring the final score to 49-10. Although the Gators finished the game with 25 less yards of offense (398 vs. 373), the Gators were able to force four turnovers (1 fumble, 3 interceptions) and capitalized off of them. Presumably as revenge for the 2007 Bulldog celebration, Meyer used up his timeouts in the last minute of the fourth quarter.
Pregame Line: Florida -24
This is the first time the Gators have returned to Nashville after winning the 2006 National Championship. The 2006 game in Nashville ended closely—25 to 19—and the last three games in Nashville were won by the Gators by an average of only 9 points. Entering the 2008 game, the Gators have outscored opponents an average of 50 to 10 since the Gators loss to Ole Miss earlier in the year. With a win in this game, the Gators would clinch the SEC East division title and a berth in the SEC championship game. Florida enters the game having won 17 straight games over Vanderbilt. Their last loss occurring in Nashville in 1988 where the Gators lost by a score of 24-9.
The Gators opened strong on defense forcing an early three-and-out by Vanderbilt followed by a tipped punt. The Gators' first offensive drive only had to travel 60 yards resulting in a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Murphy while in the red-zone. Coming into the game, the Gators had the #1 red-zone scoring offense in the nation with Vanderbilt ranked #2 in red-zone defense. The Gators defense forced another three-and-out on Vanderbilt's second offensive drive. Coming into the game, the Gators ranked #16 in the nation in total defense. The Gators' second offensive drive ended in another touchdown. This time, Tim Tebow carried the ball three consecutive times with the third, and final rush, resulting in a touchdown. This was Tim Tebow's 40th rushing touchdown of his career. Extending his school-record for rushing touchdowns in a career at the University of Florida. Vanderbilt's third possession resulted in an interception by Gator DB Ahmad Black. His 5th, and team-leading, interception of the season. Vanderbilt continued to struggle on offense as well as defense as Florida continued to put points on the scoreboard early in the game setting the tone. Tim Tebow added his second rushing TD of the game after the interception after stiff arming a Vanderbilt defender to push his way into the endzone. After another failed drive for Vanderbilt on offense, their punt was blocked by Florida Gator Carlos Dunlap. The resulting field position yielded a quick scoring drive ending with a touchdown pass by Tim Tebow to Riley Cooper. The Gators fifth offensive possession ended with a questionable fumble call. Percy Harvin rushed the ball for a touchdown with the ball appearing to have crossed the plane of the endzone and then coming loose and picked up by a Vanderbilt defender. After review, the fumble call was confirmed. This was the second redzone drive of the season the Gators did not score. The other being a taken-knee at the end of the Tennessee game. Even with the missed points on the possession, the Gators quickly scored on their sixth possession of the half with a touchdown pass by Tim Tebow.
The Gators opened the second half on offense and continued to rack up the points. The drive ended with a touchdown run by WR Percy Harvin. In this game, Percy Harvin set a school record for rushing yards by a wide receiver. Chris Nickson took over as quarterback for Vanderbilt after Mackenzie Adams left the field due to injury at the end of the second quarter. With 1:04 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Vanderbilt prevented a shutout and scored a touchdown with a Nickson pass. With under a minute to go in the third, redshirt freshman Gator QB John Brantley took control of the offense. Tim Tebow finished three quarters with three passing TDs and two rushing TDs. His second week in a row with 5 total TDs. This win over Vanderbilt clinched the SEC East Division championship for the Gators sending them back to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta since the 2006 season. They will face the Alabama Crimson Tide after they clinched their division title earlier in the day against rival LSU.
Pregame Line: Florida -21
This game marked the 12th time the Gamecocks have traveled to Gainesville where they were winless on the road (0-11) coming into the game. The last time the two teams met in Gainesville, the Gamecocks nearly earned their first victory against the Gators in the Swamp, but fell short with a field goal attempt blocked by Jarvis Moss with only a few seconds left in the game. History was also made in this game with it being the first college football game where a Heisman-winning coach (Steve Spurrier) coached against a Heisman-winning player (Tim Tebow). Both Heisman winners also earned their Heisman trophies at the University of Florida. This was only the fourth time in college football history that two Heisman winners faced one another. South Carolina is the third team of the season the Gators have played against that was coached by a previous championship-winning head coach (Phil Fulmer of Tennessee and Les Miles of LSU being the other two).
With afternoon showers rolling through Gainesville, field conditions weren't ideal for either team early on. The Gamecocks first drive ended after just four plays resulting in a punt. As Florida drove down the field on the following possession, true freshman Jeff Demps fumbled the ball near the South Carolina 40 yard line. Carolina's and Florida's offensives woes continued in each of their next drives with a South Carolina QB Chris Smelley pass being intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Brandon Spikes. Similar to the prior week, South Carolina head coach and Florida alum Steve Spurrier rotated quarterbacks after nearly every offensive snap. On the following South Carolina offensive possession, Gator DB Ahmad Black intercepted another Chris Smelley pass after it was deflected by Gator linebacker Brandon Hicks. This was Black's sixth, and team-leading, interception of the season. It only took one offensive play for the Gators to capitalize on the Carolina turnover. Percy Harvin ran the ball for 26 yards resulting in a touchdown extending the Gators' lead 14-0 late in the first quarter. South Carolina continued to make mistakes. On the following kickoff, the South Carolina returner threw a lateral pass to his teammate who fumbled the catch. Florida senior long snapper James Smith collected the ball and ran it just one foot shy of the goal line. Tim Tebow ran the ball in for a touchdown on the resulting change of possession. Florida's 21 points were off of 3 South Carolina turnovers and only took 2:15 to score.
After a South Carolina forced-fumble in the first quarter, their defense picked up their second fumble on a fumbled Tebow option-pass to Chris Rainey near the South Carolina redzone. Although South Carolina's defense had spent little time on the field, they were productive in collecting two early Florida fumbles. With South Carolina's offense struggling and unable to put points on the board, Florida regained possession after forcing a punt and quickly scored with a Tebow touchdown pass to redshirt freshman Deonte Thompson. After failed offensive drives for both teams, South Carolina was able to put together enough of an offense to attempt, and make, a field goal. This brought the score to 28-3 at the half.
Florida received the ball in the second half and on the first offensive play for the Gators, Percy Harvin ran the ball 80 yards for a touchdown. This was Percy's second rushing TD of the game. The Gators crossed the 30-point mark on this score, which was the first time in Gator history that the Gators scored 30+ points in every regular season SEC game. On the following offensive drive for South Carolina, Steve Spurrier ditched the two-QB calls and left Chris Smelley in to take all snaps on the drive. South Carolina moved down the field effectively compared to the first half. After moving the ball down the field, South Carolina attempted, and made, a 44-yard field goal with 10:17 remaining in the third quarter. Florida responded with a drive that took less than four minutes and topped off with a 38 yard Jeff Demps rushing touchdown. This was Jeff Demps' fifth rushing touchdown of the season and all of which were runs of more than 35 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tim Tebow threw a TD pass to TE Aaron Hernandez extending their lead 49-6. On the following Gator offensive possession, redshirt freshman QB John Brantley took over for Tim Tebow to close out the game. Florida's defense still did not let up. True freshman Gator Will Hill picked off a Stephen Garcia pass attempt making it the third Gator interception of the game. This turnover led to another Gator score when true freshman Chris Rainey put together two runs with the second being the touchdown score that put the Gators over the 50-point mark. The Gators finished the game holding South Carolina's offense to 173 yards while the Gator offense amassed over 519 yards with 346 of those yards coming on the ground.
Pregame Line: Off
This game marked Senior day for the Gators as they played their final home game of the 2008 season in the Swamp. It also featured the retirement of Citadel graduate and UF legend George Edmondson better known as "Mr. Two Bits" to Gator fans. This was the only game of the season where the Gators faced a Division I-FCS opponent. The first meeting between these two teams took place in 1910 where the Gators defeated the Bulldogs 6-2 in Jacksonville. The most recent meeting between the two teams took place as the season opener for the 1998 season where the Gators remained undefeated against the Bulldogs, winning 49-10.
The Gators defense took control of the game early shortly after The Citadel received the opening kickoff. True freshman cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked off a Bart Blanchard pass and took it into Bulldogs territory. The Gators got on the board shortly thereafter with a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to senior WR Louis Murphy. After a 3 and out forced by the Gators' defense, the Gators put together a 61 yard drive in 1:25 capped off with a Chris Rainey touchdown run. The Gators third touchdown of the quarter came on the 5th play of their next offensive possession ending with a Tim Tebow 43 yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper. With another 3 and out at the end of the first quarter, the Citadel was forced to put. Starting at the Florida 11 yard line, the Gators managed to go 89 yards down the field and score a touchdown off of a Percy Harvin 11 yard run. Offensive struggles continued for the Bulldogs as true freshman DB Will Hill intercepted a pass by Cam Turner. Tim Tebow's final touchdown of the day was a 31 yard pass to redshirt freshman Deonte Thompson. This TD brought the score to 35-0 with over 13 minutes remaining in the half. Florida's next offensive possession ended like the previous five with a touchdown scored—this time by senior RB Kestahn Moore. The Gators' defense was unable to field a shutout when the Bulldogs responded with a 78 yard drive finishing with a TD pass by Scott Flanagan—cutting the score 42-6 after a missed extra point. Shortly before the half, senior Kestahn Moore was able to rush for his second TD of the game, this time from 22 yards out. This brought the halftime score to 49-6.
The Gators opened the second half with the ball, but weren't as dominate as they were in the first half. Redshirt freshman QB John Brantley took snaps in place of Tim Tebow and was able to put together a touchdown scoring drive. This one ended with a 1 yard rushing TD by Florida defensive tackle Javier Estopinan extending the lead to 56-6. The Citadel's response mirrored the Gators' drive in that it, too, ended with a 1 yard rushing TD bringing the score to 56-13 after the made extra point. The Gators broke the 60-point mark after quarterback John Brantley completed a 12 yard pass to redshirt junior WR David Nelson extending the Gators' lead to 50. The Gator defense continued to perform well as defensive standout Carlos Dunlap, the season leader in sacks, sacked Citadel's Cam Turner forcing the Bulldogs to punt. On the following drive, redshirt sophomore RB Emmanuel Moody, transfer from USC, would run the ball in 5 yards for the TD. This would be the Gators' last score of the game, eclipsing the 70 point mark. Turnovers continued for the Bulldogs with their next drive ending with a Cam Turner pass intercepted by Gator DB Wondy Pierre-Louis. The final score of the game came off of a Cam Turner pass to Taylor Cornett for a 15 yard TD reception bringing the final score to 70-19 after the Citadel missed their second extra point of the game. The Gators' offense collected 705 total yards with 394 coming on the ground. The Citadel had 3 turnovers in the game, all of which were interceptions. The Gators had 13 drives on offense, 10 of which ended with touchdowns. Two drives ended the first half and second half and the Gators punted the ball only once.
Pregame Line: Florida -17
The final game of the regular season for the Florida Gators featured a matchup against in-state rival Florida State in Tallahassee, FL. The last meeting between these two teams took place in the Swamp in 2007 with the Gators defeating the Seminoles 45-12. This game was the 53rd meeting between the two teams with the Gators leading the series 31-19-2 entering the game. This was Bobby Bowden's 36th game against the Gators. Coming into the game, Coach Bowden's record was 17-16-2. The Gators last loss to the Seminoles occurred during the 2003 season at home on senior day. This game marked the fourth and final regular season contest in which the Gators faced a team led by a national championship-winning head coach. (Though they would face two more in the SEC and BCS championship games.)
Florida received the ball the start the game and was able to score on their opening drive. Ending the 65 yard drive, WR Percy Harvin ran the ball from 11 yards out to score a touchdown—this completed his streak of scoring a TD in every game of the regular season. Florida State was able to establish excellent field position by returning a Caleb Sturgis kickoff to the Florida 24 yard line. Florida's defense was able to prevent the Seminoles from scoring a TD and forced them to settle for a field goal; cutting the Gators' lead 7-3. After forcing a punt, the Seminoles regained possession, but put the ball back in Florida's hands. Florida safety Major Wright grabbed his third interception of the season picking off FSU QB Christian Ponder. Florida was able to capitalize on the turnover and score with a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez. This completed the first quarter scoring with the Gators leading 14-3. After forcing Florida State to punt the ball early in the second quarter, true freshman RB Jeffery Demps of the Gators fumbled the ball during a run play, which was collected by Florida State's Neefy Moffett. This set the Seminoles in the red zone having the ball at the Florida 14 yard line. Just as in the first quarter, the Gators defense was able to prevent the Seminoles from scoring a touchdown and forced them to settle for another field goal—cutting the lead to 14-6. In response, the Gators put together a 10 play drive consuming 86 yards of the field ending with a 4 yard rushing touchdown by Tim Tebow bringing the score to 21-6 in favor of the Gators. With little working on offense, the Seminoles once again settled for a field goal on their following possession, their third of the game. With only 2:04 left in the half, Florida's offense was able to connect on 5 consecutive pass plays ending with a 24 yard touchdown pass to TE Aaron Hernandez in only 1:07. This brought the score at the half to 28-9. The Gators amassed 284 yards of offense in the first half.
The second half opened with a Florida State turnover as their woes continued on offense with Florida's defense continuing to force mistakes. Florida middle linebacker intercepted a Christian Ponder pass on the first play of the half and setup the Gators' offense at the Florida State 20 yard line. With just three plays in 40 seconds, the Gators tacked on another touchdown with a Tim Tebow 23 yard touchdown pass to senior WR Louis Murphy. This brought the Gators' lead to 26 with a score of 35 to 9. After a three and out forced by the Florida defense, the Gators were able to score again, but only with their first field goal of the game. On the ensuing Florida State drive, former starting FSU QB Drew Weatherford stood in for Christian Ponder and led his team on a touchdown drive capped off with a Jermaine Thomas 4 yard touchdown run. The blocked extra point left the score at 38-15. Neither team was able to score any additional points in the third quarter and the Gators took their 23-point lead to the final quarter. Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Gators' true freshman Janoris Jenkins picked off his third interception of the season by reading a D'Vontrey Richardson pass intended for Bert Reed at the FSU 38 yard line. As done earlier in the game, the Gators capitalized off the turnover and scored a TD—this time in only three plays ending with a Jeffery Demps two-yard touchdown run. This would be the final score of the game with the Gators leading 45-15 with a little less than 12 minutes remaining. Redshirt freshman QB John Brantley took snaps for Tim Tebow to close out the game and the Florida defense continued to stop Florida State with sacks on the final two FSU offensive possessions by Carlos Dunlap and Jaye Howard. The final sack of the game by Jaye Howard also caused a fumble by Drew Weatherford, which Jaye Howard was able to recover. The Gators finished with over 502 yards of offense; more than double FSU's 242 yards. The Gator defense had 4 turnovers gained with three of them being interceptions. This win extending Florida's winning streak over the Seminoles to five dating back to the 2004 win in Tallahassee. In this game, Gator WR Percy Harvin suffered an injury that would prevent him from playing the SEC Championship Game the following week.
Tebow's "Bloody" Jersey In this game, Tim Tebow also created an iconic image of himself and the Gators for 2008. Because of the rainy conditions in Tallahassee that day, the field was extremely wet and slippery, affecting play on both sides. On a 4 yard TD run into the endzone, Tebow slid in on the wet turf, causing the front of his white Away jersey to get wet red paint on it. The paint also got on his face and helmet and stayed on for the majority of the game. The red paint resembled blood to many people which provided Tebow with a bravado of bravery and passion, which also highlighted his intense sideline celebrations and enthusiasm. The iconic image of Tebow's paint-stained Jersey became one of the lasting and memorable images in sports for 2008 and for the decade at large.
Pregame Line: Florida -10
The Florida Gators returned to the Georgia Dome after two years to play against #1 Alabama for the SEC title. This was the Gators' second visit to the SEC Championship Game since the 2006 game where they faced the SEC West champion Arkansas. The 2007 season SEC East representative in the title game was the Tennessee Volunteers. Alabama returns to the SEC Championship Game after a nine-year appearance drought. In the 1999 SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide defeated the Gators with a score of 34 to 7. Florida's last win over the Tide in the title game occurred in the 1996 SEC Championship Game where the Gators would end up playing Florida State in the Sugar Bowl and go on to win their first national championship. This game is Florida's ninth appearance in the game and have a record of 6-2 before kickoff. Alabama is 2-3 entering the game with their two wins over the Florida Gators in 1992—the first year of the championship game—and 1999. Alabama entered the game having been ranked #1 in the AP and USA Today Coaches poll for five consecutive weeks while the Gators entered the game ranked #2 in the AP Poll. This was the first time that the AP #1 and #2 teams have faced in the SEC title game. This was Urban Meyer's first time coaching against Nick Saban as well as the first meeting between the two programs since their regular season meeting in 2006 season where the Gators defeated the Tide and then went on to win the BCS National Championship. This was the fifth game of the season where the Gators faced a team coached by a national championship winning head coach. Alabama entered the game with a 21-13 series lead over the Gators.
After winning the coin toss, the Gators elected to defer to the second half and the Alabama offense took the field after the touchback kickoff. With just three plays and one net yard, the Gators defense forced Alabama to punt early. Although without leading Gator WR Percy Harvin, who sustained an injury during the Florida State game, the Gators acted quickly and put together a nine play drive that finished with a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to first year Gator WR Carl Moore. This was Carl Moore's first career TD reception as a Gator. The Florida defense wasn't as effective on the second Alabama possession as Alabama true freshman WR Julio Jones made a 64 yard reception ending at the Florida 18 yard line. The next play resulted in a touchdown after an 18 yard run by Tide RB Glen Coffee. It only took two plays and 54 seconds for the Tide to tie the game at 7-7. After the Crimson Tide forced a 3 and out on the Florida offense, Alabama's offense led by senior QB John Parker Wilson were unable to score another touchdown, but settled for a field goal after getting into Florida territory with Javier Arenas' punt return. This gave the Tide the first lead of the game, 10-7, and this was the Gators' first time trailing in the first quarter since their loss at home to Ole Miss earlier in the season. After another 3 and out for the Florida offense, the first quarter came to a close with the Tide maintaining their lead. Alabama opened the second quarter on offense and were able to move the ball 40 yards to the Florida 32 and elected to go for the first down on 4th and 9. Alabama's P.J. Fitzgerald was only able to gain one yard and the Gators gained possession of the ball with the turnover on downs. On the ensuing drive, Florida tied the game with a 19 yard field goal after getting as close as the 2 yard line. This tied the game at 10-10. Florida's defense was able to stop Alabama on the following drive after only three plays and the Gators regained possession a little less than half of the quarter remaining. The Gators were able to regain the lead after a Tim Tebow touchdown pass to junior WR David Nelson. This brought the score at halftime to 17-10.
The Gators received the ball to start the second half and were unable to move the ball having to punt after just three plays on offense. The third quarter would turn out to be difficult for the Gator defense and the Tide scored on their first two possessions on offense in the half. Their first offensive possession totaled 91 yards and consumed nearly 7 minutes off of the game clock. John Parker Wilson was 4 of 6 passing in the drive with 3 of his passes connecting with freshman WR Julio Jones. Alabama RB Mark Ingram finished the drive with a 2 yard rushing touchdown tying the game at 17-17. Florida's offense struggled on their next possession as they were forced to attempt a field goal. Florida kicker Jonathan Phillips had the opportunity to give the lead back to the Gators, but missed a 42 yard field goal. To close out the third quarter, Alabama was able to get the ball into Florida territory where they attempted, and made, a 27 yard field goal. This gave the Tide a three point lead—20-17—entering the fourth quarter. The Gators started on offense in the fourth quarter and drive deep into Alabama territory. Florida ran the ball 8 times out of 11 plays with the final rush being a touchdown from 1 yard out ran in by true freshman Jeffery Demps. The Gators would take the lead following the extra point and would not give it back. Florida's defense proved to be more effective in the fourth quarter than they were in the third. Florida defensive lineman Jermaine Cunningham sacked Alabama's John Parker Wilson for 11 yards forcing Alabama to punt the ball. With the ball in the hands of the Florida offense, the Gators had the opportunity to take a two score lead with a touchdown. They were able to get to the 1 yard line setting a 2nd and Goal situation, but Florida received a 5 yard penalty for sideline interference. On the second play following the penalty, Tim Tebow threw a touchdown pass to Riley Cooper to extend the Gators' lead and final score margin by 11—31 to 20. Alabama's response on the following drive was quickly quieted. On a 1st and 10, senior QB John Parker Wilson was intercepted by sophomore DB Joe Haden. The Gators ran out the clock after regaining possession and defeated the Crimson Tide by a score of 31-20 for the SEC Championship.
This was the Gators' seventh victory in the SEC championship game and Urban Meyer's second SEC title since becoming the head coach of the team in 2005. This was the Florida Gator's eighth officially recognized title with the first occurring in 1991 before the formation of the Championship Game. With the win over #1 Alabama, the Gators were selected to play in the BCS National Championship Game the following day where they would face against the Oklahoma Sooners.
at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
The Gators closed out the 2008 season against the Oklahoma Sooners for the 2009 BCS National Championship in Miami, Florida. Although this was the first time the two teams had played one another, there was familiarity between the two programs. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops played a critical role as defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators during the first national championship run in 1996. In addition, Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford met the previous month in New York for the Heisman Award ceremony where Sam Bradford took home the honors. Even though Tim Tebow received the most first-place votes, 309, to Sam Bradford's 300, he finished third in the final balloting, being surpassed by both Sam Bradford and Texas' quarterback Colt McCoy. Florida's staff also suffered an employment change when offensive coordinator Dan Mullen accepted the head coaching position at Mississippi State University replacing Sylvester Croom who resigned. Urban Meyer named Steve Addazio as the offensive coordinator shortly thereafter, but Dan Mullen would still coach in the game. Entering the game, Florida head coach Urban Meyer was 2–0 in BCS bowl games with his win as head coach at Utah in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and his second win coming two years ago to the day against Ohio State in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops made his fourth appearance in the BCS national championship game. His first visit was to the same stadium where his Sooners defeated the Florida State Seminoles 13–2 in the 2001 Orange Bowl. However, the Sooners' last two appearances in the title game ended in defeat, losing at the hands of LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl and USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl. In addition, the Sooners lost two more BCS bowl games following their loss to USC. Those were to the Boise State Broncos in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl. Bob Stoops and the Sooners looked to snap a four-game BCS bowl losing streak and Urban Meyer and the Gators aimed to add their third national championship in school history, and their second in three years.
After winning the coin toss, the Oklahoma Sooners elected to receive the ball and put the Gators on defense to start the game. Oklahoma started the game at the Sooner 24-yard line and was only able to gain 31 yards on 8 plays before having to punt the ball to the Gators. This was a rare punt by the Sooners this season, with the team breaking an NCAA record for most points scored in a season with over 700. The Gators' first offensive possession ended in just 8 plays similar to the Sooners', but this one finishing on a Tim Tebow interception. Coming into the game, Tim Tebow only had thrown two interceptions all year. Fortunately for the Gators, the Sooners were unable to capitalize off of the rare Florida turnover. Before the start of the game, the Sooners led the NCAA FBS with the fewest turnovers in a game with 9. The Gators were tied for second with only 11 turnovers. Florida's second offensive possession was more productive with the Gators getting to the Oklahoma 21 yard line by the end of the first quarter. This brought the score at the end of the quarter to 0–0. This was the first time in the Sooners' season where they were unable to score in the first quarter.
The Sooners had scored an average of over 50 points per game and the Gators over 40 points per game, but neither was able to put points on the board. However, needing only three plays in the second quarter, the Gators scored a touchdown with a pass from Tim Tebow to senior WR Louis Murphy. This gave the Gators the lead, 7–0. In response, the Sooners put together a drive initiated with three running plays by RB Chris Brown totaling 45 yards. The next two plays capped off the drive with a Sooner touchdown tying the game at 7-7 and taking only 2:13 to respond. The Gators received the ball with 11:49 left in the half and were able to move the ball 21 yards to the Florida 36 where Tim Tebow threw his second interception of the game and this one to Sooners' defensive standout Gerald McCoy—Big 12 defensive player of the year. The Sooners' ensuing drive called for four running plays by RB Chris Brown who was able to take the ball one yard shy of the goal line on a 4th and goal. The Sooners elected to go for the touchdown, but were stopped at the 3 yard line by Florida DT Torrey Davis. Florida's offense stuttered on their next possession and eventually punted the ball back to Oklahoma who had 2:32 left in the first half. Sam Bradford led his team down the field and in scoring position with a 1st and Goal at the Florida 6 yard line. Sam Bradford's following pass was tipped by Florida DB Joe Haden and intercepted by Florida safety Major Wright. This was the third interception of the game; the first for Sam Bradford in the game. The Gators took a knee to close out the half tied 7–7.
The Gators opened the second half on offense, but struggled to move the ball and were forced to punt back to Oklahoma after a 3 and out. The Sooners didn't fare much better on their opening possession of the half. After just nine plays, Oklahoma punted the ball back to Florida where the Gators would start a drive taking over 5 minutes. Starting at the Florida 25 yard line, the Gators moved the ball effectively, needing only three plays to get to midfield. On a 2nd and 4 at the Oklahoma 13, true freshman RB Jeffery Demps ran the ball to the 2 yard line before Oklahoma was called for a facemask while tackling Demps. This put the ball at the 1 yard line and the Gators had a fresh set of downs on which to score. After failing to run the ball in from one yard, Tim Tebow attempted a pass to TE Aaron Hernandez, which was nearly caught. The next play called was a direct snap to WR Percy Harvin, who made his first appearance since getting injured against Florida State two games earlier. Harvin was able to rush from two yards out and score a TD, putting the Gators up 14–7. Oklahoma's following drive did not move as much down the field as their previous drives. On the first play of the drive, Dustin Doe and Carlos Dunlap sacked Sam Bradford, dropping him for a four-yard loss. After getting to the Florida 32 yard line, the Sooners attempted a field goal, which was blocked by the Gators. After the change of possession, the Gators went 3 and out to close the third quarter. The Gators entered the fourth quarter with a lead of 14-7. Florida's defense was able to shut out Oklahoma's offense in two of the three quarters played up to that point.
The Sooners received the ball to open the fourth quarter after forcing a punt by Florida at the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma was able to put together another quick scoring drive. This one took only 2:36 off the clock and 8 plays to go 77 yards down the field. The Sooners tied the game at 14–14 after a Sam Bradford pass to Jermaine Gresham, who lost his shoe after catching the ball on the play. With 12:13 left in the game and the score tied at 14-14, the Gators' first play of their next possession was a hand-off to Percy Harvin who ran the ball 52 yards before being pushed out of bounds. Although the Gators were able to get into the red zone—the Oklahoma 10 yard line—they were unable to score a TD and settled for a 27-yard made field goal, putting the Gators back in the lead. The Sooners started their drive after the kickoff at the Oklahoma 35 yard line with 10:45 remaining. On the fourth play of the drive from midfield, Sam Bradfrod threw a deep pass intended for teammate Juaquin Iglesias, but just as Iglesias got his hands on the ball, Gator DB Ahmad Black pulled it away for the interception. This was Black's seventh interception of the season; tying him for first in the NCAA with most interceptions. At this point, both starting quarterbacks had thrown for two interceptions each. The Gators capitalized off the turnover and formed a drive taking nearly 7 minutes off the game clock. On a 2nd and Goal at the Oklahoma 4 yard line, Tim Tebow threw for his second TD pass of the game—this time to junior WR David Nelson. This extended the Gators' lead to 10 and brought the score to 24–14. Oklahoma tried to respond on their following drive, but when faced with a 4th and 4, Gator DB Joe Haden broke up a pass that would have been for a first down. After the turnover on downs, the Gators ran out the clock, thus winning the BCS Championship.
The Gators ended the game with 480 yards of offense to Oklahoma's 363. Percy Harvin led the Gators on the ground with 122 rushing yards followed by Tim Tebow with 109. The Gators used seven wide receivers to complete 18 passes for a total of 231 yards. Florida defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap was named defensive player of the game and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was named offensive player of the game. This was the Gators' third national championship in school history and their second in the last three seasons. Bob Stoops and the Sooners extended their BCS bowl losing streak to five games and have lost two national championships at Dolphin Stadium after winning his only championship in the same stadium in 2001. Urban Meyer's BCS bowl record extended to 3-0 with the first won as head coach of the Utah Utes. He has a bowl game record at Florida of 3–1 with his only bowl loss coming in the previous season. During the championship celebration three days after the game, quarterback Tim Tebow announced he would return to the University of Florida for his senior season. This game was also determined by FOX to be their most-watched BCS bowl game since televising BCS games in January 2007. The game was viewed by 26.8 million viewers and at least 50 million viewers tuned in at some point of the game.
2008 University of Florida Football Roster and Coaches http://gatorzone.com/football/bios.php
Statistics as of Jan 9, 2009 http://www.gatorzone.com/football/stats/team.pdf
The 2008 Dr Pepper SEC Championship Game was played on December 6, 2008 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia to determine the 2008 football champion of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The game featured the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Gators were classified as the home team. Before this game was played, the designated "home team", chosen on an alternating basis, was 10–6 (11-6 after Florida's win in this game) in SEC Championship Games. The SEC East is 10–6 in SEC Championship games (11-6 after Florida's win), with the Florida Gators accounting for six of the 10 victories. (seven after this game) Before this game, Alabama had represented the SEC West five times in the conference championship game with a 2–3 record.
The game was televised by CBS Sports and kicked off at 4:00 pm EST.
The SEC Championship Game matches up the winner of the Eastern and Western divisions of the Southeastern Conference. The game was first played in 1992, when the conference expanded from 10 to 12 teams with the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina. The SEC was the first conference in college football to have a conference championship game. Four other conferences currently have conference championship games (Big 12, ACC, CUSA, and MAC).
Alabama entered Nick Saban's second year as head coach with an AP preseason ranking of 24. After finishing the 2007 season 7–6, including a win in the Independence Bowl, the Crimson Tide brought in one of the nation's top recruiting classes and was expected to improve in 2008. The team started off strong in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff with a convincing 34-10 win over #9 Clemson. Four weeks later they shocked the nation by defeating #3 Georgia 41–30 in Athens after building a 31–0 halftime lead. The rest of the season included a 27–21 overtime victory over #16 LSU in Nick Saban's first game in Baton Rouge against his old team, as well as a 36–0 shutout of Auburn to end Alabama's 6-game losing streak to their in-state rival. The Crimson Tide finished the regular season with a 12–0 record and a #1 ranking in the BCS, AP, and Coaches' Polls.
Only two years removed from a national championship, Florida entered the season with high hopes and an AP preseason ranking of 5. The Gators went 9–4 in 2007, and they had many key players returning, including Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. After a 3-0 start, the team suffered a devastating home loss to Ole Miss. However, this loss was later seen as a turning point for Florida. In their last 8 games, the Gators scored no less than 38 points and had an average margin of victory of 39.6. Key victories included #4 LSU (51–21), #6 Georgia (49–10), #25 South Carolina (56–6), and #20 Florida State (45–15). Florida finished the regular season with an 11–1 record and a #2 ranking in the AP Poll.
After the match-up between Alabama and Florida was set on November 8, when Alabama defeated LSU and Florida defeated Vanderbilt, the game began to receive a lot of hype in sports media. Many college football analysts called the game a "play-in game" for the BCS National Championship, easily making it one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Analyst cited the differences in the teams' styles as a major point of interest. Florida's style of football came directly from Urban Meyer's offensive-minded philosophy of a fast-paced offense and defense, generally using smaller, quicker players. They run a form of the spread offense, using speed to spread the field, which results in quick drives and higher scoring games. The Gators use a basic 4-3 defense and again use speedy players to try to gain an advantage on their opponent.
Alabama on the other hand run an almost complete opposite style of football, led by Nick Saban's defensive-minded philosophy of physical domination on both sides of the ball, generally using bigger, more physical players. The Tide run a smash mouth offensive scheme utilizing a physical offensive line and power running backs to control the line of scrimmage, which results in slower drives, an advantage in time of possession and lower scoring games. On defense the team runs out of a base 3-4 defense, utilizing quick and physical linebackers to allow more flexibility in stopping multiple offensive formations and schemes.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (pronounced "N-C-Double-A") is a nonprofit association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In August 1973, the current three-division setup of Division I, Division II, and Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Subsequently the term "Division I-AAA" was briefly added to delineate Division I schools which do not field a football program at all, but that term is no longer officially used by the NCAA. In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.
Southern United States (13 schools)
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is a collegiate athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the southeastern part of the United States. It is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The SEC participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I in athletic competitions; for football, it is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A. The conference is one of the most successful financially, consistently leading most conferences in revenue distribution to its members, including an SEC record $220.0 million for the 2010–11 fiscal year.
Tuscaloosa (// TUSK-ə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 93,357 in 2012. Founded in 1819, the city was named after Tuskaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people who battled and was defeated by Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, and served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties and has an estimated metro population in 2012 of 233,389. Tuscaloosa is also the home of the University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Crimson and White
The Alabama Crimson Tide football team represents the University of Alabama (variously Alabama, UA, or 'Bama) in the sport of American football. The Crimson Tide competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Crimson Tide is among the most storied and decorated programs in NCAA history. Since beginning play in 1892, the program recognizes 15 of the national championships awarded to the team, including 10 wire-service (AP or Coaches) national titles in the poll-era, the most of any current FBS program. From 1958 to 1982, the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who won six national championships with the program. Despite numerous national and conference championships, it was not until 2009 that an Alabama player received a Heisman Trophy, when running back Mark Ingram became the university's first winner.
Orange and Blue
The Florida Gators football team represents the University of Florida in the sport of American football. The Florida Gators compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their home games in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (popularly known as "The Swamp") on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus, and are currently led by head coach Will Muschamp. The Gators have won three national championships and eight SEC titles in the 106-season history of their varsity football program.
The SEC Championship Game refers to the game determining the Southeastern Conference's football season champion. The championship game pits the SEC Western Division representative against the Eastern Division representative in a game held after the regular season has been completed. Thus far, nine of the fourteen SEC members have played in the Championship. Ole Miss and Texas A&M have yet to reach the game from the West. Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Missouri have never represented the East. The Eastern division currently holds an 11-10 advantage in the game.
While 9 out of 14 SEC members have played in the game, only 6 have won, those being Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida of the Eastern Division, and Alabama, Auburn, and LSU of the Western Division.