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Best Served Cold (Part 1): Calling upon Nick Saban to avenge 125 years of Alabama losses

Some things can not stand. A losing record to UCF is one of those things.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2017 season, very few teams in the nation can boast that they have a winning record against Alabama or that they presently hold a winning streak over the Tide.

Nick Saban has been so very good in “revenge games” throughout his Alabama career, that we thought we’d take the opportunity to issue a call for him to avenge all 125 years of Alabama football history, as well as stake out the odds of another meeting happening (watch your ass, Birmingham Athletic Club and Delta Pre-Flight.)

Boston College

  • Last meeting 38-31 at Alabama, 1984

BC has owned the Tide, posting a 3-1 record, including a wild 38-31 win over the Tide in 1984. That 1984 BC team had a pretty good quarterback, if you recall (or can google.)

  • Odds of revenge: 1/10

This might be a good P5 out of conference game to pad the ole’ SOS with, but BC is moving in the wrong direction for the two to meet in the Playoffs or a bowl game. As an ACC member, they’d insist on a home and away. Atlanta or Dallas don’t want this notoriously small, fickle fanbase to open the season in their billion-dollar complexes and Chestnut Hill can’t hold the people that Alabama alone would bring. Enjoy your memories of Doug Flutie, Chowderheads.

This loss may remain unavenged.

Central Florida

  • Last meeting 40-38 at Alabama, 2000

Oh, hey, another team with a transcendent quarterbacking performance and another game with defensive collapses. I suspect that this may be a common theme. Aided by Mike Dubose’s tackle-optional buffoonery, Ryan Schneider eviscerated the Tide on Homecoming. He was fired that weekend.

  • Odds of revenge: 4/10

UCF wants to be with the big boys. A competitive game against Alabama would help their case with the Big 12 down the road. Even better, Alabama would probably pay them close to $2 million to take the L. As an on-again-off-again bowl team, this is exactly the kind of opponent for a September home opener we’ve come to expect. Make this happen, Nick; an 0-1 record against the Knights is deplorable.


  • Last meeting 35-31 at Tampa, 2017

We’re not really going to talk about this one.

  • Odds of revenge (0r at least a rematch)? 9/10

Best of three anyone? Alabama is not going anywhere soon. Clemson may take a step back this year, but it won’t be a giant retreat. The Tigers have always recruited well, have a manageable schedule, and are bringing in top-ranked QB after another. While it may not happen this year, I’d be willing to bet Clemson will again face many of the same Crimson Tide players still stinging from the College Football Playoff final in 2017.


Florida State

  • Last meeting 17-7 at Jacksonville, 2007:

Alabama has a .500 winning percentage against FSU, having posted just a 2-1-1 record in the 60+ years of playing the ‘Noles. Florida State had to forfeit the most recent win over the Tide, but it doesn’t change what happened on the field. Time to right the ledger.

  • Odds of revenge (or at least a rematch)? 10/10

For my part, it’s not the 21-14 loss in 2007 to one of Bowden’s last teams I minded so much as the fact that it was a dreadful game, poorly-executed by both teams for the majority of the contest. In the pantheon of “boring Saban games,” we tend to not conjure up the losses. This was one of those rare losses that was absolutely forgettable. This is an appreciably different program.

Georgia Tech

  • Last meeting 16-6 at Georgia Tech (1984):

These old SEC foes haven’t met much since Georgia Tech left the SEC in 1964. Prior to Bobby Dodd sulking back to Atlanta, the Tide and Jackets had been a fiercely-contested rivalry that was played every year (maybe the fight song should clue you in to how old and nasty this feud was)

Why did Tech leave, you ask? Bear being Bear coupled with Tech’s historic problem in recruiting and elite players, a phenomenon they called “oversigning”

The initial spark for Dodd's withdrawal was a historic feud with Alabama Crimson Tide Coach Bear Bryant.[34] The feud began when Tech was visiting the Tide at Legion Field in Birmingham in 1961. After a Tech punt, Alabama fair-caught the ball. Chick Granning of Tech was playing coverage and relaxed after the signal for the fair catch. Darwin Holt of Alabama continued play and smashed his elbow into Granning's face causing severe fracturing in his face, a broken nose, and blood-filled sinuses. Granning was knocked unconscious and suffered a severe concussion, the result of which left him unable to play football ever again. Dodd sent Bryant a letter asking Bryant to suspend Holt after game film indicated Holt had intentionally injured Granning.[34] Bryant never suspended Holt. The lack of discipline infuriated Dodd and sparked Dodd's interest in withdrawing from the SEC.

Another issue of concern for Dodd was Alabama's and other SEC schools' over-recruitment of players.[34] Universities would recruit more players than they had roster space for. During the summer practice sessions, the teams in question would cut the players well after signing day thus preventing the cut players from finding new colleges to play for. Dodd appealed the SEC administration to punish the "tryout camps" of his fellow SEC members but the SEC did not.

The bitter fall rivalry was briefly renewed in 1979, the year the Jackets joined the ACC. From 1979 to 1984 the two met every season.

That final tilt in 1984 was a turnover-filled ugly 16-6 loss by Alabama in Atlanta — a game that had far too much talent on the field and on the sideline to be as badly a played as it was by both squads.

  • Odds of revenge? 0/10*

Alabama and Georgia Tech had agreed to a home and away series to be played in 2012 and 2013. However, for reasons known only to GT administrators, the Yellow Jackets requested a “postponement.” That was in 2010. You can probably guess as to whether or not Tech administrators are taking Nick Saban’s call.

The simple fact is, aside from a brief feel-good era in the early 80s, Tech wants nothing to do with playing Alabama and has not for the past fifty-plus years. The bad blood is still there, at least on their end. That acrimony of course also serves as a convenient excuse when Paul Johnson doesn’t want to see his perennial underachievers get seal-clubbed by the Thresher Maw in Tuscaloosa.

Is there a chance for an accidental meeting? Sure. Maybe in a Kickoff event or Bowl game. The best bet being a post-Saban rebuild bowl, where conference tie-in placements all-but require the two to meet. You can see how the Chick Fil A bowl would love to get its hands on a hometown Tech team practically hosting its old nemesis.

Otherwise, this is a lost rivalry. And that is a damn shame. Even worse, Georgia Tech holds a 33-year old, one-game winning streak over the Crimson Tide.

Part Two next week (as you can tell, we’re taking these in alphabetical order.)


Aside from Clemson, which of these teams would you like to see Alabama avenge its loss upon?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Boston College
    (50 votes)
  • 5%
    Central Florida
    (68 votes)
  • 49%
    Florida State
    (563 votes)
  • 13%
    Georgia Tech
    (157 votes)
  • 26%
    (309 votes)
1147 votes total Vote Now