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Countdown to kickoff: 95 years ago, Alabama football changed the South

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A Rose Bowl victory established the Tide as a national power.

Johnny Mack Brown - Alabama

We are now 95 days before kickoff and will look back again, this time to the 1926 Rose Bowl, Alabama’s first appearance in Pasadena.

Wallace Wade was in his first season as the Alabama coach and led his team to a 10-0 record in regular season play, earning the first Rose Bowl invitation for a southern team in Rose Bowl history. The Tide would face the Washington Huskies, and were given little chance at pulling the upset.

Natalie Williams of AL.com wrote about the game a few years ago.

Washington, which entered the game with a 10-0-1 record, was a heavy favorite.

At halftime Wade’s Crimson Tide trailed 12-0, but a 20-point third quarter was enough for Alabama to come away with a victory in the game that is commonly referred to as “the game that changed the south.”

Teams from the South played in 13 of the 20 Rose Bowls that followed.

In 1946, “The Granddaddy of Them All” entered into an exclusive agreement that matched the Big Ten against a team from the Pac-12 annually in Pasadena.

Johnny Mack Brown, featured above. led the Tide to victory with two long touchdown grabs before going on to a career as a movie actor. The game was Wallace Wade’s first of three national titles in Tuscaloosa, and was the first Rose Bowl to be broadcast on the radio.

Most importantly, it was Alabama’s first national title, and everyone knows what has happened since.

Roll Tide.