All-Time Worst Seven Alabama Football Losses
Dr. Larry Burton1Larry Burton Title:Senior Author I July 19, 2011
There have been highs and lows over the past seven years, and this presentation will focus on the latter.
We'll start with the 2004 season under Coach Mike Shula and go all the way up to the most recent one, covering the defeats that Bama faithful would rather forget.
You'll have a chance to tell me which games I missed or, if you cheered for the team that beat Alabama, why that day was so special for you, at the end of the slideshow.
Tide fans had high hopes for 2004 because it was Coach Mike Shula's second year.
After starting the season 3-0, they suffered crushing losses to Arkansas and South Carolina before recovering to defeat Kentucky and then beating a Southern Mississippi team that was ranked 24th.
Despite beating Mississippi State, they lost close games to higher-ranked opponents Tennessee (11), LSU (17), and Auburn (No. 2, in each case
Even though those losses hurt, they were to be expected, and Alabama still had a shot at winning out the season by defeating Minnesota in the Music City Bowl.
The Tide started off strong, but they collapsed in the second half, scoring only a safety and losing a heartbreaker, 16-10, to the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten.
In 2005, Alabama suffered only two defeats. The loss to Auburn was one of them, but in the end, Alabama still came out on top of the rankings and with a better record.
What did it was losing in overtime to LSU, a game they should have won.
Perhaps they just weren't as motivated to play Auburn the following week, but that loss ultimately prevented them from competing in another SEC title game.
It was a nailbiter of a game. Bama had a nine-yard advantage in total offense and a longer time of possession. There was no clear winner in regulation or overtime, and the Tide continued their losing streak under Shula.
The team and fans were absolutely devastated, and that loss will never be forgotten.
The sanctions against Alabama and the subsequent decrease in recruiting and scholarship opportunities hit particularly hard after the 2005 season, in which the team won 10 games.
The rest of the SEC seemed to take great pleasure in humiliating a depleted Alabama team, with the exception of Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. It was obvious that every SEC team wanted to finish the season strong, and that's exactly what happened.
Even so, Shreveport, Louisiana's Independence Bowl is where they stand. by beating Oklahoma State, the Tide could have finished the season with a winning record. Additionally, it would boost the SEC's postseason bowl total, which would be a source of pride for the conference.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, Alabama was down by 14 points when Javier Arenas took a punt 98 yards for a touchdown, a feat he would repeat numerous times throughout his career. Andre Smith, an offensive tackle, made a rare appearance at running back with just over eight minutes remaining, and he carried the ball the final two yards to tie the game for Alabama.
The game was tied after Jamie Christensen's field goal.
But, as has been the case so many times during the Shula era, the team simply wasn't game-ready at the end. With eight seconds left on the clock, Oklahoma mounted a game-winning drive and kicked a field goal, leaving the Bama faithful heartbroken and their team with a losing record of 6-7.
After landing arguably the hottest coach in football, Nick Saban, in 2007, high hopes were in the air. However, it took an entire, trying season to weed out the players who weren't buying into the new coach's philosophies and processes.
A loss to a team that was expected to be a walkover even with the Tide's reduced roster size was the most painful.
However, they were unsuccessful.
They lost to Louisiana Monroe, a team that had no business beating the Crimson Tide or any other SEC squad.
Even though Tide fans anticipated a challenging first season for Saban, nobody saw a loss to a directional school from Louisiana as a realistic possibility.
It was a humiliating loss, possibly Saban's worst.
Everyone knew that Nick Saban would eventually be able to turn things around at Alabama; however, nobody could have predicted that in just his second year he would lead Alabama to a perfect season and within two games of the BCS Championship Game. however, that is precisely what had transpired
The Tide led the SEC Championship Game entering the fourth quarter, and it appeared that they would play for the BCS crystal ball. However, Tim Tebow put the Gators on his back and orchestrated two late-scoring drives to lead Florida to a victory, ending Alabama's hopes of winning the national championship.
All Alabama fans felt like they'd been stabbed.
Losing to South Carolina in the opening game of the 2010 season was the first of many devastating results.
The Crimson Tide fan base never fully grasped the magnitude of the losses sustained from the national championship team, and instead continued to believe that the team possessed more than enough talent to repeat as champions.
Though talented, Alabama's lack of experience proved fatal in a 35-21 loss to South Carolina.
Tide fans were shocked to learn that South Carolina, a team not widely regarded as an SEC powerhouse, could tear apart the Alabama defense.
Fans and players alike wore a somber expression of emotion after this game.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, "Never Again" posters decorate the walls of the locker rooms where the team practices. The 2010 game against Auburn, in which the Tide blew a 24-0 lead and ultimately lost 28-27.
It was obvious that Alabama could not repeat as champions, but a victory here would prevent their in-state rivals from gaining that opportunity.
Nick Saban's own team lost because Auburn was more obedient to his primary order. This commandment reads, "Cease and desist." "
The humiliating second-half collapse will go down in Iron Bowl history as the game with the biggest turnaround in fortunes for both teams.
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