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From Bryant to Saban: Alabama's 25 Years in the Wilderness


In the wake of Alabama's victory over the Texas Longhorns in the BCS National Championship Game last January, the comparisons between Paul W. Bryant and Nick Saban have been pretty much constant. While there are certainly similarities between the two men's approach to the profession, it seems ambitious at this point to simply assume the degree of success achieved by the former will follow from the tenure of the latter.

But what is certain is that Nick Saban has returned the Crimson Tide football program to the stature that we Alabama fans have come to perceive as our birthright almost entirely due to Bryant's success. And that's a vastly significant achievement when viewed in the light of the last quarter century.

So it makes sense that as we prepare for the 2010 season we take a moment to look back over exactly how far Alabama football has come since 1982. This week, the Tuscaloosa News has run a superb series examining each of the Tide's seven coaches in that span that is worth giving a gander. In addition, we at Roll Bama Roll have produced a few historical pieces on this subject matter as well. The links for these are after the jump. Take a little time this Sunday and give them a look.

From Bryant to Saban l The Tuscaloosa News

Ray Perkins l 1983 - 1986

Perkins had big shoes to fill

Making Bennett a linebacker a smart decision by Perkins

Ray Perkins Bio

Bill Curry l 1987 - 1989

Curry's lack of 'Alabama ties' led to short stint

Curry calls Thomas 'the best football player I ever coached'

Bill Curry Bio

Gene Stallings l 1990 - 1996

Stallings got UA back to prominence, for a little while

Stallings didn’t want Barker to be just a QB, he wanted a leader

Gene Stallings Bio

Mike Dubose l 1997 - 2000

Looking back, DuBose knows what he would have done

DuBose: Alexander a 'smooth' athlete

Mike Dubose Bio

Dennis Franchione l 2001 - 2002

Franchione, staff came with businesslike approach

Williams followed Franchione to UA

Dennis Franchione Bio

Mike Price l 2003

Price's short tenure left players looking for answers

Price’s offense suited Croyle

Mike Price Bio

Mike Shula l 2003 - 2006

Shula takes the Tide’s reins during ‘the bottom of the low point’

Prothro one of those players ‘with magic’

Mike Shula Bio


The Dennis Franchione Saga l Roll Bama Roll

Part One: Seedlings of Doom

Part Two: A Powerhouse Implodes

Part Three: Starting Anew

Part Four: Fran Rebuilds

Part Five: Turmoil Arrives


The Reading Room l Roll Bama Roll

Bama After Bear by Donald Staffo

Stallings to Saban by Donald Staffo

Crimson Slide by Mike Flax


The Future By Way of the Past l Tider Insider

Part I: How Did We Get to This Point?

Part II: The Arrow Falls

Part III: A Storm and An Unworthy Ship

Part IV: Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Part V: What Does the Future Hold?