I did this list for the first time at the end of the 2008 season. I figured since we have won a National Championship since then, it was time to revise it. These are only games that I attended. I attended my first game in 1988 and have been to 193 since then. I know that some folks might disagree with the order of the games(especially my Top 3), but this is based on how much I enjoyed the games or better yet, how much "positive self-gratification" I received from them.
Note: All the videos worked when I posted this. It has come to my attention that some of them have been removed. Sincerest apologies.
10. 1994 Georgia (W, 29-28) This was supposed to be a showcase of the top two QB’s in the SEC, with Georgia’s Eric Zeier and Alabama’s Jay Barker. We were down 21-7 in the first half, but were able to come back. Down 28-26 with 2 minutes to play, Barker led us downfield and with 20 seconds remaining, Michael Proctor nailed a 32 yard FG to win the game.
9. 1993 Tennessee (T, 17-17) This was the first game I ever attended at Legion Field, and it didn’t disappoint. We were down 17-9 with two minutes to play. QB Jay Barker led us down the field and we scored with 20 seconds left. For the two point conversion, Coach Gene Stallings inserted David Palmer at QB. Everyone in the stadium knew that he was going to roll to the right and try and get to the corner of the end zone, yet Tennessee still couldn’t stop it. Overtime didn’t start until 1995, so this game ended in a tie. In 50 years, I will be able to tell my grandchildren(Lord willing) that I got to see an college football game end in a tie.
8. 1999 Florida -SEC Championship Game (W, 34-7) We had already beaten the Gators 40-39 in overtime in the Swamp earlier in the year, but we were still a 10 point underdog for the rematch in the SEC Championship Game. Florida marched down the field with ease on their first drive to take a 7-0, but we scored 34 unanswered en route to our 21st Southeastern Conference Championship. Perhaps the coolest play of this game was Freddie Milons’ 77 yard TD run, followed by Reggie Grimes’ 23 yard interception return for TD on Florida’s next offensive play.
7. 1999 Auburn (W, 28-17) We had to win this game to win the West and Auburn wasn’t very good, but prior to this game we were 0-4 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn was ahead after three quarters, but Shaun Alexander had two rushing TD’s in the 4th quarter to give us our first win on the Plains.
6. 2005 Florida (W, 31-3) Florida came into this game ranked #2 in the country in Urban Meyer’s first year. We had never beaten a top 3 team at Bryant-Denny. On our first offensive play, Brodie Croyle hit Tyrone Prothro for an 88 yard TD pass. Until the 2008 Iron Bowl, this was the loudest I had ever heard Bryant-Denny.
5. 2008 Georgia (W, 41-30) I don’t have any idea how we won this game considering that Georgia wore black jerseys(note the sarcasm). Georgia came into this game ranked #3 in the country and picked my many during the preseason to win the National Championship. We were coming off a win at Arkansas and ranked 8th in the country, but many, including myself, were still wondering if our team was for real or not. Well, we showed we were for real by taking a 31-0 lead before halftime. The game got a little scary in the 2nd half, but at no point did I think that we weren’t going to win.
4. 2008 Auburn (W, 36-0) You may me wondering how a win over a 5-7 team could make it so high on the list. Well, when you’re 23 years old and the last time you beat Auburn you had just gotten your driver’s license, you’d understand. We as Alabama fans had suffered through six straight losses to Auburn, all of which were decided by single-digits. We had to put up with that douche Tuberville holding up his damn fingers all the damn time. We HAD to win this game. And not only did we win, we freaking dominated. The game was really never in doubt. Here are a couple of cool moments:
Stacy was one of the first Alabama football players who I really remember. Seeing him do this still gives me chills, especially considering all that he has gone through
Here's a full highlight video from the game
Still the best Rammer Jammer ever
3. 2009 Texas - 2010 BCS National Championship Game (W, 37-21) These next three games are pretty much interchangeable. With us getting to play for the National Championship in the Rose Bowl against pretty much the only traditional power that we had yet to defeat, I'm not sure this game could have set up any more perfectly. Additionally, this game featured what is probably my favorite play in Alabama Football history with Marcell's interception return for a touchdown(Note: I almost missed this play. After drinking a fair amount of whiskey in the first half, I had to pee like a racehorse. After we kicked to Texas with less than a minute left in the half, I was making my way down the aisle to the little boys room.I was about 5 rows from the portal when the Marcell play happened. I just started squealing "MARCELL DAREUS Y'ALL!!!!!" like a little girl. Also, other than the first time I peed in a toilet, that's probably my favorite urination of all-time). My Shulaitis started to come back a little bit in the 4th quarter, but thankfully Eryk Anders and Courtney Upshaw were there to save the day.
2. 1992 Miami - 1993 Sugar Bowl (W, 34-13) I was only 7 years-old at them time, but I vividly remember this game. Perhaps my most vivid memory occurred well before kickoff. I was riding the UA Athletic Department Staff bus with my parents and we rode to the Superdome with the team’s escort. As we were standing in the portal about to walk onto the field, Miami’s team came through, led by their head coach Dennis Ericson. As they came through, he led the way saying, "Get out of the way. The National Champions are coming through." Yeah, and then we worked them 34-13. One of the coolest things is that I still remember the vantage point I had for George Teague’s strip of Lamar Thomas.
1. 2009 Florida - SEC Championship Game (W, 32-13) I am sure that some folks are going to give me a hard time for having this game ahead of the 2010 National Championship Game, but in terms of "positive self-gratification" this game is off the charts for me. After the 2008 SEC Championship Game, I don't know that I have ever looked forward to a game as much as this one, and it delivered. I don't know what could have made this game better. #1 vs. #2. 12-0 vs. 12-0. The Revenge Factor. Making Urban's Ass Quit. Making Tebow Cry. It was just perfect.
Some games that didn't make the cut, but are still worth mentioning:
1992 Mississippi State (W, 30-21) This was my first ever road game. We were down in the 4th quarter, but as with most games from ’92, our defense and special teams stepped up to secure the victory.
1998 LSU (W, 22-16) This was my first trip to Death Valley(where Alabama hadn’t lost since 1969), and it looked like I was going to be the bad luck charm. I will never forget my granddad trying to get me to leave when we went down 16-7 late in the 4th quarter. However, Bama scored, kicked an onside kick and scored again in the last three minutes to keep the streak alive in Baton Rouge.
2001 Auburn (W, 31-7) We were 4-5 going into this game in Dennis Franchione’s first year. Tyler Watts had hurt his ankle the previous week against Mississippi State, so no one had any clue if it would be Watts or maligned former starter Andrew Zow who would start the game. Zow started and did not disappoint, completing 22-29 passes for 227 yards and 2 TD’s en route to Alabama’s 2nd win in Auburn. (Note: I was a Zow guy.)
2005 South Carolina (W, 37-14) This was my first trip to Columbia. A lot of folks don't remember, but we were an underdog in this game. It was Spurrier’s first year at Carolina and Mike Shula’s only road wins at that point had come in Starkville and Lexington. This might have been Shula & Dave Rader’s best game plan in their time in Tuscaloosa and it was definitely the best we utilized Tyrone Prothro during his career at Alabama.
2005 Tennessee (W, 6-3) At this point, I had been to like 130 Alabama Football games, but I had never seen us beat Tennessee. In fact, I had seen us defeat every SEC team at least twice other than Tennessee. This was back when the hatred for Fulmer and the Vols was at its peak. It’s crazy to say this now, but I probably hated Tennessee more than Auburn at that point(I cannot believe I just typed that). This was actually a really boring game, but the last five minutes made up for it. The video below features what is probably my favorite call that Kenny "The Snake" Stabler had during his time as color commentator: "HAHA, YEAH!"
2007 Arkansas (W, 41-38) Arkansas was pretty darn talented in 2007. Darren McFadden was a Heisman favorite and the Hogs also had Felix Jones. Bama jumped out to a 21-point lead, only to see Arkansas take the lead in the 4th quarter. John Parker Wilson led Bama down the field and threw a TD pass to Matt Caddell with 8 seconds remaining gave the Tide the win.
2008 Tennessee (W, 29-9) This was the first time I ever saw us win in Neyland Stadium. Also one of my favorite Roy Upchurch games.
2009 LSU (W, 24-15) Because there were so many great games in 2009, this game often gets overlooked. However, this was probably the most hard fought, highly contested game we played in ’09. Julio Jones’ touchdown catch in the 4th quarter is definitely on my loudest moments at Bryant-Denny list.
2010 Arkansas (W, 24-20) This was another great comeback. I remember walking around the concourse of Razorback Stadium on the verge of tears thinking that our streak was over. But, the defense stepped up in the 2nd half and Mark Ingram helped lead Bama to victory.
2010 Florida (W, 31-6) This was one of the most hyped games that I can remember. No one knew that Florida was going to end up collapsing the rest of the season, but this was quite the dominating performance.