RollTideBama History

Alabama History



Alabama History




In 1892, W.G. Little of Livingston, Alabama introduced football to the University where students showed much enthusiasm. Alabama's first game was played in Birmingham on Nov. 11, 1892 against a picked team from Professor Taylor's school and Birmingham high schools. Alabama won 56-0. Football quickly became a favorite with the students and the athletes. In 1896, the board of trustees passed a rule that forbid teams from traveling off campus. In 1897, only one game was played and football was abandoned in 1898. Students protested to have the football and travel bans lifted and play resumed again in 1899 and continued without interruption until World War I cancelled the 1918 games. Alabama first gained national recognition in 1922 when they defeated Penn, 9-7 in Philadelphia. In 1923, Wallace Wade became head coach and led Alabama to a Rose Bowl victory and national championship in 1925. On Jan 1, 1926, an underdog Alabama team defeated Washington 20-19 in the Rose Bowl and established a precedent that all Crimson Tide teams uphold.

Early football teams were simply know as the Varsity or the Crimson White after the school colors. The nickname Thin Red Line was used by sports writers until 1906. The nickname Crimson Tide was penned by Hugh Roberts, of the Birmingham Age-Herald, after the 1907 Alabama-Auburn game. In a game that was played in a sea of red mud, Alabama played heavily favored Auburn to a 6-6 tie. After the game, Roberts dubbed Alabama the Crimson Tide. Zipp Newman, of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than anyone else.


In the 1930 Alabama-Ole Miss game, Coach Wallace Wade started his second string in the first quarter. They were still bigger than the Mississippi first string but Ole Miss was hanging tough. Sports writer Everett Strupper, of the Atlanta Journal, wrote "At the end of the (first) quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity." Several other writers referred to the Alabama linemen Red Elephants and the name stuck. That is how Alabama came to be associated with elephants. Now, the Crimson Tide mascot is an elephant fittingly named Big Al.


 1892 - White with crimson stockings. Crimson "U of A" on their sweaters. Also, crimson sweaters with white "A"
 1894 - Collar with string tie, thick pants
 1895 - Striped stockings
 1899 - Striped jerseys, solid crimson stockings
 1900 - Crimson jersey with stripes on arms, crimson stockings, noseguards, helmets
 1902 - Combination of past years
 1903 - Crimson jersey, crimson stockings with white stripe, shoulder pads
 1905 - Mixture of past uniforms, vest-shoulder pads
 1919 - Crimson with with stripes on arms, white jerseys for away games
 1920 - Thicker white stripes on arms, white stockings, numbers on back of jerseys
 1922 - Thinner white stripes on jersey
 1923 - Up and down stripes on jerseys and patches on arms
 1924 - Long stripe down arm
 1926 - Some players wear helmets
 1928 - Use of white jerseys
 1930 - Addition of Crimson and white jerseys with numbers on front, white helmets with crimson markings
 1931 - Crimson and white jerseys but still use front stripe jersey, dark or black helmets
 1942 - Some players have face masks
 1945 - White pants worn midway through season
 1946 - White pants with two crimson strips down side of leg
 1947 - Two tone (tan?) pants at home games
 1948 - Two tone pants all year
 1949 - White helmets with crimson stripe, Crimson jerseys
 1950 - New white jerseys with crimson shoulders and 3 crimson stripes on arms
 1953 - Jan 1, one crimson stripe down pants leg, Nov 14, two crimson stripes down pants leg
 1954 - New white jersey without crimson shoulders, stripes on arms
 1955 - White helmets, no stripes on pants, shirts, or helmets, plastic face guard
 1956 - Facemasks, Crimson stripes on helmets
 1957 - Numbers on side of helmets
 1958 - White helmets with crimson stripe, three stripes on arms, numbers on arms and helmets, white pants with two crimson stripes down leg
 1959 - Last year with stripes on arms
 1960 - Crimson helmet used in bowl game, white numbers on helmets, white stripe down middle of helmet
 1961 - Red and white helmets used
 1962 - During the 1960's, sometimes used white helmets on eligible receivers at night games or when helmets resembled opponents
 1984 - Crimson helmets for home games, white helmets for road games
 1985 - Crimson helmets only
 1988 - Wear only black shoes
 1992 - Wore Centennial patch on left shoulder

Alabama's National Championships
1925 1926 1930 1934 1941

1961 1964 1965 1973 1978

1978 1979 1992 ?

Alabama should have been National Champions in 1966
as the only undefeated-untied team in the country!