University of Alabama Football History and Trivia

Bryant-Denny Stadium

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the NCAA and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Alabama is the only school to win an SEC Championship in every decade since the conference was founded in 1933.

How long has Alabama been playing football?

The University of Alabama fielded its first football team in 1892. Alabama played its initial games on the university's campus in Tuscaloosa. The team's nickname, the Crimson Tide, originated in 1907 when a sportswriter used the term to describe the team's red jerseys and relentless playing style during a muddy game against Auburn.

Where does Alabama play its Home Games?

Since 1929, the Crimson Tide have been playing their home games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, located on the university's campus in Tuscaloosa. It was originally named Denny Stadium in honor of George H. Denny, the school's president from 1912 to 1932.
In 1975, the state legislature added longtime head coach and alumnus Paul "Bear" Bryant to the stadium's name. Bryant led the Tide for seven more seasons, through 1982, and is one of the few in Division I to have coached in a venue bearing his name.
With a seating capacity of 100,077, it is the fourth-largest stadium in the Southeastern Conference, the eighth-largest stadium in the United States, and the tenth-largest stadium in the world.

Who have been Alabama football's most successful head coaches?

Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant is one of the most iconic figures in Alabama football history. He coached the team from 1958 to 1982, leading the Tide to six national championships and 13 conference championships!

Nick Saban (2007-2023) had a remarkable tenure as well, winning 7 national championships, nine SEC titles and was selected AP Coach of the Year in 2008.

Nick Saban and Paul Bear Bryant

The Iron Bowl against Auburn University is one of the most heated and celebrated rivalries in college football. The Third Saturday in October game against the University of Tennessee is another historic SEC rivalry.

Have any Alabama players won the Heisman Trophy?

Yes. Mark Ingram won the Heisman in 2009, becoming the first Alabama player to do so. He rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns, and also caught 32 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns. He won the Heisman by the closest margin in history, edging out Stanford’s Toby Gerhart by 28 votes. He was also named the MVP of the BCS National Championship Game, where he ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-21 win over Texas.
Derrick Henry won the Heisman in 2015, breaking several records along the way. He rushed for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns, both SEC single-season records. He also broke Herschel Walker’s record for most career rushing yards in the SEC, with 3,591 yards. He won the Heisman by a comfortable margin, beating out Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. He also led Alabama to a 45-40 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship, where he ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2020 DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991. The 6-1, 175-pounder is the first non-QB-or-RB to win the Heisman since cornerback Charles Woodson won in 1997.
Quarterback, Bryce Young, became Alabama’s fourth Heisman winner and its second in row when he claimed the 2021 trophy following a prolific sophomore season, throwing for 4,322 yards on 314-of-462 passing (68.0%) as a first-year starter. He tossed 43 touchdowns and just four interceptions, leading the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record, the 2021 SEC championship and to the top seed in the College Football Playoff.

Why do all of the Alabama football helmets licensed for public sale have #18?

The number 18 on these helmets signifies the number of Football National Championships the Crimson Tide have won. Interestingly, this ties Alabama with Yale for the most national championships (although Yale won most of theirs in the 1870's and 80's).

The University of Alabama's marching band is known as "The Million Dollar Band" and has a rich history of supporting the football team with spirited performances.

The Walk of Champions at the stadium honors the national championship seasons with plaques for each championship year. The team and its fan base participate in various traditions, including the "Roll Tide" cheer and the playing of the fight song "Yea Alabama".