Does Possible Addition of Texas, Okla. Spell Trouble for Bama?
With the news of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma notifying the Big XII Conference on Monday that they will not renew their grant of media rights after 2025, it is becoming more and more clear that the two universities might be joining the SEC soon.
But how will the Crimson Tide fare against the two college football bluebloods? Alabama has taken on the two teams a total of 15 times in the programs’ history. This has proven as a challenge for ‘Bama - they only have three total wins against the teams.
Since Nick Saban took over as head coach in 2007, Alabama has faced off against the teams a total of three times, winning two of the matchups.
Here’s a look at the Crimson Tide’s history against the Longhorns and the Sooners.
Texas Longhorns (1-7-1) [All-Time Record: 1-7-1]:
Alabama started its history against the Longhorns at the beginning of the 20th century with a November 1902 10-0 loss in Tuscaloosa. Three more losses - a 20-0 loss in Austin in 1915, a 19-10 loss in Austin, and a 7-27 loss in the 1948 Sugar Bowl - meant the Tide would have to wait until after World War II to avoid defeat at the hands of Texas.
During the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, “Bear” Bryant’s Alabama finally managed to tie the Longhorns with a score of 3-3. After this small spark of success, Coach Bryant never managed to get into the “W” column against the team from Austin.
The Crimson Tide got close but fell 21-17 to Texas in the 1965 Orange Bowl in Miami. In 1973, Alabama lost 17-13 in the Cotton Bowl, and nine years later, they lost again 14-12.
For those counting at home, Alabama ventured into the 21st century without a win against the Longhorns. They were 0-7-1.
Finally, Alabama struck gold in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, California. Under third-year head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide took advantage of an injured Colt McCoy, multiple Texas turnovers and a Heisman Trophy-winning Mark Ingram to secure the program’s 13th national title after a 37-21 victory.
Alabama’s first victory of the series effectively ended a Texas dynasty that lasted through the early 2000s and included the 2005 national title, two other BCS bowl wins and a multitude of individual awards. Since then, Texas has seen minimal success, only being selected for one BCS/New Year’s Six game.
Oklahoma Sooners (2-3-1) [All-Time Record 2-3-1]:
Unlike the Longhorns, Alabama didn’t meet with the Sooners of Oklahoma until “Bear” Bryant’s regime. The Crimson Tide started the series on a high note after they rolled over OU 17-0 in the 1963 Orange Bowl.
Seven years later, the Crimson Tide and Oklahoma drew 24-24 in the Bluebonnet Bowl. This turned out to be the last Oklahoma matchup of the “Bear’s” career and of the 20th century.
At the turn of the millennium, ‘Bama and the Sooners met for a home-and-home series. Both games, a 2002 trip to Norman and a 2003 homestand in Tuscaloosa, ended in consecutive losses (37-27, 20-13).
It took Nick Saban seven years to face Oklahoma as the head coach of the Crimson Tide, and the first meeting didn’t end well. After rolling to an impressive 11-0 start and spending the entire season ranked No. 1, the Crimson Tide fell to arch-rival Auburn.
The Iron Bowl loss meant that Alabama would miss an opportunity to win a third-straight national championship. Instead, they would be playing O.U. in the Sugar Bowl.
Led by quarterback Trevor Knight, the Sooners cruised to a 45-31 victory, marking three straight losses to the Sooners for ‘Bama.
Fortunately for Saban, Alabama got their revenge four years later.
Amidst “Year Five” of the College Football Playoff, the Crimson Tide met Oklahoma in Miami for the Orange Bowl, which served as a semifinal.
With an entirely new and dynamic offense, led by Heisman winner Kyler Murray, Oklahoma sputtered to a 28-0 deficit. Still, O.U. was down, but not out.
The Sooners went on a 20-3 point run to make it a game, but Alabama pulled ahead to win 45-34. The Crimson Tide advanced to the CFP National Championship Game before falling to Clemson 44-16.
Currently, Alabama has a home-and-home series planned for both teams. In the near future, Alabama will travel to Austin for the first game in 2022. Texas will return in 2023.
In the not-so-near future, the Crimson Tide is slated to travel to Norman in 2032 and host O.U. in 2033.
If Texas and Oklahoma do, in fact, join the SEC, these series will be canceled in favor of conference games.
For now, only time will tell if the Longhorns and Sooners will alter the world of college football and join the SEC, or if they will decide to take their talents elsewhere.
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