Alabama 1940-59

Harry Gilmer was one of the best players in Crimson Tide history. Photo courtesy of the Bryant Museum.

A brief look at the Crimson Tide from 1940-59

1940

7-2

Date, Opponent, Location, Outcome

Sept. 27: at Spring, Hill Mobile, W 26-0

Oct. 5: vs. Mercer, Tuscaloosa, W 20-0

Oct. 12: vs. Howard, Tuscaloosa, W 31-0

Oct. 19: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, L 27-12

Nov. 2: at Kentucky, Lexington, W 25-0

Nov. 9: vs. Tulane, Birmingham, W 13-6

Nov. 16: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, W 14-13

Nov. 23: vs. Vanderbilt, Birmingham, W 25-21

Nov. 30: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, L 13-0

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 166-80

Captain: Harold Newman

All-SEC: Fred Davis, tackle; Jimmy Nelson, back; Holt Rast, end.

Leaders: Rushing _ Paul Spencer (503 yards, 104 carries); Passing _ Jimmy Nelson (21 of 43, 231 yards); Receiving _ Holt Rast (eight catches, 110 yards).

Alabama played under the lights for the first time, defeating Spring Hill 26-0 at Murphy High School Stadium in Mobile. … Paul W. “Bear” Bryant left Alabama to join Red Sanders’ Vanderbilt staff.

1941

9-2, national champions

Sept. 27: vs. SW Louisiana, Tuscaloosa, W 47-6

Oct. 4: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, L 14-0

Oct. 11: vs. Howard, Birmingham, W 61-0

Oct. 18: at Tennessee, Knoxville, W 9-2

Oct. 25: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, W 27-14

Nov. 1: vs Kentucky, Tuscaloosa, W 30-0

Nov. 8: at Tulane, New Orleans, W 19-14

Nov. 15: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, W 20-0

Nov. 22: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, L 7-0

Nov. 28: at Miami (Fla.), Miami, W 21-7

Jan. 1, 1942: vs. Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl, W 29-21

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 263-85

Captain: John Wyhonic

Ranking (AP): Preseason NR; Postseason No. 20.

All-American: First team _ Holt Rast, End. Second team _ Jimmy Nelson, halfback.

All-SEC: Jimmy Nelson, back; Holt Rast, back; John Wyhonic, guard.

Leaders: Rushing _ Jimmy Nelson (361 yards, 109 carries); Passing _ Jimmy Nelson (25 of 54, 394); Receiving _ Holt Rast (13 catches, 207 yards).

Although most polls had Minnesota the national champion, the Houlgate system had Alabama No. 1, while another service honored Texas. … Halfback Jimmy Nelson returned a punt 72 yards for one touchdown and also scored on a 21-yard run in the Cotton Bowl. End Holt Rast returned an interception for a touchdown Russ Craft scored twice, with all three players sharing the MVP award. … Alabama played in Miami for the first time, defeating the Hurricanes 21-7 in the season finale.

1942

8-3

Sept. 25: vs. SW Louisiana, Montgomery, W 54-0

Oct. 3: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 21-6

Oct. 10: vs. Pensacola N.A.S., Mobile, W 27-0

Oct. 17: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, W 8-0

Oct. 24: at Kentucky, Lexington, W 14-0

Oct. 31: vs. Georgia, Atlanta, L 21-10

Nov. 7: vs. South Carolina, Tuscaloosa, W 29-0

Nov. 14: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, L 7-0

Nov. 21: vs. Vanderbilt, Birmingham, W 27-7

Nov. 28: vs. Georgia Pre-Flight, Birmingham, L 35-19

Jan. 1, 1943: vs. Boston College, Orange Bowl, W 37-21

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 246-97

Captain: Joe Domnanovich

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 4; Postseason No. 10.

All-American: First team _ Joe Domnanovich, center; Don Whitmire, tackle.

All-SEC: Joe Domnanovich, center; Don Whitmire, tackle.

Leaders: Rushing _ Russ Craft (417 yards, 68 carries); Passing _ Russ Mosley (24 of 48, 352 yards); Receiving _ Sam Sharpe (13 catches, 240 yards).

Down 14-0 to Boston College in the Orange Bowl, center Joe Domnanovich and tackle Don Whitmire, who would enter the Naval Academy and All-Americans for the Midshipmen, led the comeback. Wheeler Leath and Bobby Tom Jenkins both scored two touchdowns. Holt Rast, Whitmire and Nelson shared the MVP award. … One of the Crimson Tide’s losses was to Georgia Pre-Flight, featuring players from around the country. … Alabama didn’t field a team in 1943 due to World War II.

1944

5-2-2

Sept. 30: at LSU, Baton Rouge, T 27-27

Oct. 7: vs. Howard, Birmingham, W 63-7

Oct. 14: vs. Millsaps, Tuscaloosa, W 55-0

Oct. 21: at Tennessee, Knoxville, T 0-0

Oct. 27: vs. Kentucky, Montgomery, W 41-0

Nov. 4: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, L 14-7

Nov. 11: vs. Ole Miss, Mobile, W 34-6

Nov. 18: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 19-0

Jan. 1, 1945: vs. Duke, Sugar Bowl, L 29-26

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 272-83

Captain: None (game-by-game)

Leaders: Rushing _ Harry Gilmer (405 yards, 72 carries); Passing _ Harry Gilmer (32 of 66, 418 yards); Hugh Morrow (10 catches, 107 yards).

Harry Gilmer led “War Baby Tiders” and despite a 29-26 loss to Duke in the Sugar Bowl was named the game’s MVP. It was Alabama’s first appearance in the Sugar Bowl. … Vaughn Mancha played all 60 minutes of the Sugar Bowl. … Most of the team was comprised of 17-year-old boys too young to be drafted, students medically disqualified from military service, and returning veteran. The conference also waived its rule against freshman participation. … Gilmer returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against LSU. Legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote he was “the greatest college passer I’ve ever seen.”

1945

10-0, SEC champions

Sept. 29: at Keesler AAF, Biloxi, W 21-0

Oct. 6: at LSU, Baton Rouge, W 26-7

Oct. 13: vs. South Carolina, Montgomery, W 55-0

Oct. 20: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, W 25-7

Oct. 27: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, W 28-14

Nov. 3: vs. Kentucky, Louisville, W 60-19

Nov. 17: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, W 71-0

Nov. 24: vs. Pensacola NAS, Tuscaloosa, W 55-6

Dec. 1: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 55-13

Jan. 1, 1946: vs. Southern California, Rose Bowl, W 34-14

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 430-80

Captain: None (game-by-game)

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 7; Postseason No. 3.

All-American: First team _ Harry Gilmer, halfback; Vaughn Mancha, center.

All-SEC: Harry Gilmer, back; Vaughn Mancha, center; Rebel Steiner, end; Tom Whitley, tackle.

Leaders: Rushing _ Lowell Tew (715 yards, 88 carries); Passing _ Harry Gilmer (57 of 88, 905 yards); Receiving _ Rebel Steiner (18 catches, 315 yards).

Despite the perfect season, Alabama finished second in most polls to Army. The exceptions were the National Championship Foundation, the Cliff Morgan Foundation and the Ray Byrne Foundation. Twenty years after Alabama became the first Southern team invited to the Rose Bowl, was also the last before signing an affiliation agreement with the Big Ten and Pac-8. Harry Gilmer, the SEC Player of the Year, was named Rose Bowl MVP. … Against Kentucky, Gilmer had 216 rushing yards on six carries (for a 36 yard average), the first time in Crimson Tide history the 200-yard mark was eclipsed. …

Hugh Morrow won the NCAA title for scoring by a kicker.

1946

7-4

Sept. 20: vs. Furman, Birmingham, W 26-7

Sept. 28: at Tulane, New Orleans, W 7-6

Oct. 5: at South Carolina, Columbia, W 14-6

Oct. 12: vs. SW Louisiana, Tuscaloosa, W 54-0

Oct. 19: at Tennessee, Knoxville, L 12-0

Oct. 26: vs. Kentucky, Montgomery, W 21-7

Nov. 2: at Georgia, Athens, L 14-0

Nov. 9: at LSU, Baton Rouge, L 31-21

Nov. 16: vs. Vanderbilt, Birmingham, W 12-7

Nov. 23: at Boston College, Boston, L 13-7

Nov. 30: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 24-7

Coach Frank Thomas

Total points: 186-110

Captain: None (game-by-game)

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 6; Postseason NR.

All-SEC: Harry Gilmer, back.

Leaders: Rushing _ Harry Gilmer (497 yards, 133 yards); Passing _ Gilmer (69 of 160, 930 yards); Receiving _ Ted Cook (24 catches, 377 yards).

Harry Gilmer returned 37 punts for a team-record 436 yards. … Due to health reasons, Coach Frank Thomas retired with a record of 115-24-7. … Alabama’s 21-7 victory against Kentucky came against Thomas’ former assistant Paul W. “Bear” Bryant. … Hal Self won the Jacobs Trophy. … Harry Gilmer led the nation in punt returns.

1947

8-3

Sept. 20: vs. Southern Miss, Birmingham, W 34-7

Sept. 27: at Tulane, New Orleans, L 21-20

Oct. 4: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, L 14-7

Oct. 11: vs. Duquesne, Tuscaloosa, W 26-0

Oct. 18: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, W 10-0

Oct. 25: at Georgia, Athens, W 17-7

Nov. 1: at Kentucky, Lexington, W 13-0

Nov. 15: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, W 14-7

Nov. 22: vs. LSU, Tuscaloosa, W 41-12

Nov. 29: at Miami (Fla.), Miami, W 21-6

Jan. 1, 1948: vs. Texas, Sugar Bowl, L 27-7

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 210-101

Captain: John Wozniak

Ranking (AP): Preseason NR; Postseason No. 6.

All-American: Second team _ Harry Gilmer, halfback.

All-SEC: Harry Gilmer, back; John Wozniak, center.

Leaders: Rushing _ Lowell Tew (571 yards, 107 carries); Passing _ Harry Gilmer (57 of 93, 610); Receiving _ Rebel Steiner (23 catches, 295 yards).

After coaching Ole Miss for one season, Coach Harold “Red” Drew took over the Crimson Tide. … Alabama closed the regular season with a 21-6 victory against Miami, with the series with Auburn renewed a year later. … Harry Gilmer ended his illustrious career as Alabama’s all-time leader in rushing, passing, punt returns, kickoff returns and interceptions.

1948

6-4-1

Sept. 25: at Tulane, New Orleans, L 21-14

Oct. 2: vs. Vanderbilt, Mobile, T 14-14

Oct. 8: vs. Duquesne, Tuscaloosa, W 48-6

Oct. 16: vs. Tennessee, Knoxville, L 21-6

Oct. 23: at Mississippi State, Starkville, W 10-7

Oct. 30: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, L 35-0

Nov. 6: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, W 27-0

Nov. 13: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, W 14-12

Nov. 20: LSU, Baton Rouge, L 26-6

Nov. 27: vs. Florida, Tuscaloosa, W 34-28

Dec. 4: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, W 55-0

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 228-170

Captain: Ray Richeson

Leaders: Rushing _ Ed Salem (288 yards, 77 carries); Passing _ Ed Salem (52 of 110, 597 yards); Receiving _ Bob Hood (seven catches, 150 yards).

Gordon Pettus’ touchdown pass to Butch Avinger started a 55-0 rout in the first meeting against Auburn since 1907, in front of 46,000 fans. Ed Salem passed for three touchdowns, ran for one and kicked seven extra points. … Gordon Pettus averaged a school record 20.0 yards per punt return.

1949

6-3-1

Sept. 24: vs. Tulane, Mobile, L 28-14

Oct. 1: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, L 14-7

Oct. 7: vs. Duquesne, Tuscaloosa, W 48-8

Oct. 15: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, T 7-7

Oct. 22: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 35-6

Oct. 29: at Georgia, Athens, W 14-7

Nov. 12: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, W 20-7

Nov. 19: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, W 34-26

Nov. 26: at Florida, Gainesville, W 35-13

Dec. 3: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 14-13

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 227-130

Captain: Doug Lockridge

All-SEC: Ed Holdnak, guard.

Leaders: Rushing _ Tom Calvin (339 yards, 88 carries); Ed Salem (40 of 75, 558 yard); Receiving _ Al Lary (17 catches, 315 yards).

Alabama was heavily favored heading into the season-ending loss to Auburn … Butch Avinger won the Jacobs Trophy … Alabama finished the decade 66-23-4. … Former “War Baby Tiders” standout Hal Self began restoring the football program at Florence State, now known as the University of North Alabama, and coached there for 21 years. His teams went 110-81, including 13 winning season, despite usually playing bigger schools and with a one-person coaching staff of assistant George Weeks.

1950

9-2

Sept. 23: Chattanooga Birmingham, W 27-0

Sept. 30: at Tulane, New Orleans, W 26-14

Oct. 7: vs. Vanderbilt, Mobile, L 27-22

Oct. 13: vs. Furman, Tuscaloosa, W 34-6

Oct. 21: at Tennessee, Knoxville, L 14-9

Oct. 28: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 14-7

Nov. 4: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, W 14-7

Nov. 11: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, W 53-0

Nov. 18: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, W 54-19

Nov. 25: vs. Florida, Jacksonville, W 41-13

Dec. 2: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, W 34-0

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 328-107

Captain: Mike Mizerany

Ranking (AP): Preseason NR; Postseason No. 16.

All-American: First team _ Ed Salem, halfback. Second team _ Mike Mizerany, tackle; Al Lary, end.

All-SEC: Al Lary, end; Mike Mizerany, offensive lineman; Pat O’Sullivan, center; Ed Salem, back.

Leaders: Rushing _ Bobby Marlow (882 yards, 118 carries); Ed Salem (44 of 86, 879 yards); Receiving _ Al Lary (35 catches, 756 yards).

Even after crushing its final four opponents, Alabama didn’t receive a bowl bid. .. Bobby Marlow had 180 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns against Georgia Tech. … Butch Avinger was the first player to win the Jacobs Trophy in back-to-back seasons. … Paul W. “Bear” Bryant led Kentucky to its first SEC championship and the Wildcats ended Oklahoma’s 31-game winning streak at the Sugar Bowl. However, he wound up resigning when it became obvious that school officials would always consider basketball to be a higher priority.

1951

5-6

Sept. 21: vs. Delta State, Montgomery, W 89-0

Sept. 29: vs. LSU, Mobile, L 13-7

Oct. 6: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, L 22-20

Oct. 12: vs. Villanova, Tuscaloosa, L 41-18

Oct. 20: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, L 27-13

Oct. 27: vs. Mississippi State, Starkville, W 7-0

Nov. 3: at Georgia, Athens, W 16-14

Nov. 10: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, W 40-7

Nov. 17: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, L 27-7

Nov. 24: vs. Florida, Tuscaloosa, L 30-21

Dec. 2: vs. Auburn, Tuscaloosa, W 25-7

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 263-188

Captain: Jack Brown

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 9; Postseason NR.

All-SEC: Bobby Marlow, back.

Leaders: Rushing _ Bobby Marlow (728 yards, 114 carries); Clell Hobson (66 of 114, 847 yards); Receiving _ Joe Curtis (16 catches, 181 yards).

The 5-6 record marked Alabama’s first losing season since 1903. … The loss to Tennessee was Alabama’s first televised game. … Bobby Marlow set a school record, which would stand for 35 yards, with 233 rushing yards against Auburn. … Auburn hired Shug Jordan as head coach. Through 1975, he complied a 176-83-6 record.

1952

10-2

Sept. 19: vs. Southern Miss, Montgomery, W 20-6

Sept. 27: at LSU, Baton Rouge, W 21-20

Oct. 3: at Miami (Fla.), Miami, W 21-7

Oct. 11: vs. Virginia Tech, Tuscaloosa, W 33-0

Oct. 18: at Tennessee, Knoxville, L 20-0

Oct. 25: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 42-19

Nov. 1: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, W 34-19

Nov. 8: vs. Chattanooga, Tuscaloosa, W 42-28

Nov. 15: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, L 7-3

Nov. 22: vs. Maryland, Mobile, W 27-7

Nov. 29: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, W 21-0

Jan. 1, 1953: vs. Syracuse, Orange Bowl, W 61-6

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 325-139

Captain: Bobby Wilson

Ranking (AP): Preseason NR; Postseason No. 9.

All-American: First team _ Bobby Marlow, halfback.

All-SEC: Hootie Ingram, back; Bobby Marlow, back; Jerry Watford, guard.

Leaders: Rushing _ Bobby Marlowe (950 yards, 176 carries); Passing _ Clell Hobson (33 of 63, 336 yards); Receiving _ Corky Tharp (10 catches, 115 yards).

Hootie Ingram’s 10 interceptions set a school record. He also had 163 return yards and two touchdowns. His 80-yard punt return for a touchdown helped spark the rout of Syracuse in the Orange Bowl. … Bob Conway’s 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown led a 21-20 victory against LSU. … The 27-7 victory against Maryland was against Coach Jim Tatum … Harold “Red” Drew was named SEC Coach of the Year.

1953

6-3-3, SEC champions

Sept. 18: vs. Southern Miss, Montgomery, L 25-19

Sept. 26: vs LSU, Mobile, T 7-7

Oct. 3: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, W 21-12

Oct. 10: vs. Tulsa, Tuscaloosa, W 41-13

Oct. 17: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, T 0-0

Oct. 24: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, T 7-7

Oct. 31: at Georgia, Athens, W 33-12

Nov. 7: vs. Chattanooga, Tuscaloosa, W 21-14

Nov. 14: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, W 13-6

Nov. 21: at Maryland, College Park, L 21-0

Nov. 28: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, W 10-7

Jan. 1, 1954: vs. Rice, Cotton Bowl, L 28-6

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 178-152

Captain: Bud Willis

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 5; Postseason No. 13.

All-American: Second team _ Corky Tharp, halfback.

All-SEC: Corky Tharp, back.

Leaders: Rushing _ Corky Tharp (607 yards, 111 carries); Passing _ Bart Starr (59 of 119, 870 yards); Receiving _ Bud Willis (11 catches, 191 yards).

Bobby Luna’s fourth quarter field goal for a 10-7 victory against Auburn helped Alabama clinch the SEC title, its first in eight years. … The Cotton Bowl was best remembered for fullback Tommy Lewis coming off the bench in the middle of a play and tackling Rice’s Dicky Moegle. “I’m just too full of Bama,” was his explanation. … Bart Starr was picked to the first ever Academic All-SEC team. … Alabama’s first home television game, against Tennessee, featured announcers Mel Allen and Lindsay Nelson. … Frank Thomas and Don Hutson were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

1954

4-5-2

Sept. 17: vs. Southern Miss, Montgomery, L 7-2

Sept. 25: at LSU, Baton Rouge, W 12-0

Oct. 2: vs. Vanderbilt, Mobile, W 28-14

Oct. 9: vs. Tulsa, Tuscaloosa, W 40-0

Oct. 16: at Tennessee, Knoxville, W 27-0

Oct. 23: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, L 12-7

Oct. 30: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, T 0-0

Nov. 6: at Tulane, New Orleans, T 0-0

Nov. 13: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, L 20-0

Nov. 19: at Miami (Fla.), Miami, L 23-7

Nov. 27: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 28-0

Coach Harold “Red” Drew

Total points: 123-104

Captain: Sid Youngleman

Ranking (AP): Preseason No. 14; Postseason NR.

All-American: First team _ George Mason, tackle.

All-SEC: Corky Tharp, back.

Leaders: Rushing _ Corky Tharp (641 yards, 139 carries); Passing _ Albert Elmore (39 of 74, 499 yards); Receiving _ Bobby Luna (16 catches, 304 yards).

Harold “Red” Drew’s coaching career at Alabama ended with a 54-28-7 record. … Former coach Frank Thomas died on May 10. … Texas A&M went 1-9 in Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant’s first season there, the only losing year of his career. Consequently, the Board of Trustees athletic committee selected former player J.B. “Ears” Whitworth, who was the head coach at Oklahoma State and had been a tackle on the Crimson Tide’s 1931 Rose Bowl team, to replace Drew.

1955

0-10

Sept. 24: at Rice, Houston, L 20-0

Oct. 1: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, L 21-6

Oct. 8: vs. Texas Christian, Tuscaloosa, L 21-0

Oct. 15: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, L 20-0

Oct. 22: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, L 26-7

Oct. 29: at Georgia, Athens, L 35-14

Nov. 5: vs. Tulane, Mobile, L 27-7

Nov. 12: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, L 26-2

Nov. 18: at Miami (Fla.), Miami, L 34-12

Nov. 26: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 26-0

Coach J.B. “Ears” Whitworth

Total points: 48-256

Captain: Nick Germanos

Leaders: Rushing _ Clay Walls (164 yards, 49 carries); Passing _ Bart Starr (55 of 96, 587 yards); Receiving _ Noojin Walker (14 catches, 154 yards).

For the first time, Alabama didn’t win an SEC game en route to its worst season ever. … Wallace Wade and Fred Sington were elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

1956

2-7-1

Sept. 22: at Rice, Houston, L 20-13

Oct. 6: vs. Vanderbilt, Mobile, L 32-7

Oct. 13: vs. Texas Christian, Tuscaloosa, L 23-6

Oct. 20: at Tennessee, Knoxville, L 24-0

Oct. 27: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 13-12

Nov. 3: vs. Georgia, Birmingham, L 16-13

Nov. 10: at Tulane, New Orleans, W 13-7

Nov. 17: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, L 27-0

Nov. 24: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, T 13-13

Dec. 1: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 34-7

Coach J.B. “Ears” Whitworth

Total points: 85-208

Captains: Jim Cunningham, Wes Thompson

Leaders: Rushing _ Don Comstock (316 yards, 76 carries); Passing _ Bobby Smith (16 of 40, 356 yards); Receiving _ Charlie Gray (seven catches, 108 yards).

Alabama ended a 20-game winless streak (0-18-2) with a 13-12 victory against Mississippi State. … With two wins, the Crimson Tide avoided the SEC basement, ahead of LSU and Georgia.

1957

2-7-1

Sept. 28: at LSU, Baton Rouge, L 28-0

Oct. 5: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, T 6-6

Oct. 12: at Texas Christian, Fort Worth, L 28-0

Oct. 19: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, L 14-0

Oct. 26: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, L 13-25

Nov. 2: at Georgia, Athens, W 14-13

Nov. 9: vs. Tulane, Mobile, L 7-0

Nov. 16: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, L 10-7

Nov. 23: vs. Southern Miss, Tuscaloosa, W 29-2

Nov. 30: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 40-0

Coach J.B. “Ears” Whitworth

Total points: 69-173

Captains: Jim Loftin, Clay Walls

Leaders: Rushing _ Jim Loftin (477 yards, 106 carries); Passing _ Bobby Smith (32 of 83, 377 yards); Receiving _ Willie Beck (nine catches, 126 yards).

During the season the decision was made not to renew the contract of coach J.D. “Ears” Whitworth, a former player who had managed to win four games over three seasons. …. Johnny Mack Brown was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and returned to campus to be honored at homecoming. … After the 40-0 loss to Auburn, which went on to win its only national championship, it was announced that Paul W. “Bear” Bryant was leaving Texas A&M to return to Alabama. He was quoted as saying, “Mama called, and when Mama calls you come running.”

1958

5-4-1

Sept. 27: vs. LSU, Mobile, L 13-3

Oct. 4: vs. Vanderbilt, Birmingham, T 0-0

Oct. 11: vs. Furman, Tuscaloosa, W 29-6

Oct. 18: at Tennessee, Knoxville, L 14-7

Oct. 25: at Mississippi State, Starkville, W 9-7

Nov. 1: vs. Georgia, Tuscaloosa, W 12-0

Nov. 8: at Tulane, New Orleans, L 13-7

Nov. 15: at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, W 17-8

Nov. 22: vs. Memphis State, Tuscaloosa, W 14-0

Nov. 29: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, L 14-8

Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant

Total points: 106-75

Captains: Dave Singleton, Bobby Smith

Leaders: Rushing _ Bobby Jackson (472 yards, 143 carries); Passing _ Bobby Jackson (29 of 58, 408 yards); Receiving _ Marlin Dyess (12 catches, 204 yards).

Upon returning to the Capstone, Paul W. “Bear” Bryant he told both the incoming recruits and the holdovers from the previous teams, those who survived his brutal offseason-conditioning program, that if they weren’t there to win a national championship, they were in the wrong place. … Fred Sington, Jr.’s field goal vs. LSU scored the first points of the Bryant era. The Tigers, which went on to win the national championship, narrowly won 13-3. … The 14 points scored by Tennessee and Auburn were the most allowed by Alabama.

1959

7-2-2

Sept. 19: at Georgia, Athens, L 17-3

Sept. 26: at Houston, Houston, W 3-0

Oct. 3: at Vanderbilt, Nashville, T 7-7

Oct. 10: vs. Chattanooga, Tuscaloosa, W 13-0

Oct. 17: vs. Tennessee, Birmingham, T 7-7

Oct. 31: vs. Mississippi State, Tuscaloosa, W 10-0

Nov. 7: vs. Tulane, Mobile, W 19-7

Nov. 14: vs. Georgia Tech, Birmingham, W 9-7

Nov. 21: vs. Memphis State, Tuscaloosa, W 14-7

Nov. 28: vs. Auburn, Birmingham, W 10-0

Dec. 19: vs. Penn State, Liberty Bowl, L 7-0

Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant

Total points: 95-59

Captains: Marlin Dyess, Jim Blevins

Ranking (AP): Preseason NR; Postseason No. 10.

Leaders: Rushing _ Pat Trammell (525 yards, 156 carries); Passing _ Trammell (21 of 49, 293 yards); Receiving _ Marlin Dyess (10 catches, 149 yards).

A 27-yard field goal by Tommy Brooker and a 27-yard pass from Bobby Skelton to Scooter Dyess led to a 10-0 victory against Auburn and ended a five-game losing streak to the Tigers. … After a 7-0 loss to Penn State in the inaugural Liberty Bowl played in frigid conditions in Philadelphia, Bryant took his team to New York City where Mel Allen hosted a dinner that was attended by Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees. … Alabama finished the decade 50-48-10.

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