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Countdown to kickoff: The ‘30 Alabama team was among the most dominant in school history

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Wallace Wade’s swan song was a pretty tune.

Third Saturday in October: The Game-By-Game Story of the South’s Most Intense Football Rivalry by Al Browning

Alabama head coach Wallace Wade entered the 1930 season as a lame duck. Frustrated by fan criticism over three somewhat disappointing seasons after delivering two straight undefeated teams in 1925 and 1926, Wade handed in his resignation in the offseason but agreed to coach the team for one final season. His motivation was clear.

John Henry Suther, senior halfback for the Crimson Tide, recalled: “He called a team meeting before our first game and gave the most emotional talk I’ve ever heard. ‘Gentlemen,’ Coach Wade said, ‘I’m gonna win this damn Southern Intercollegiate Conference championship this season, and if you want to be a part of it, you can. If not, get out of here now and never step foot on this ground again.’”

The Tide would easily run through their ten game schedule, finishing up with a 24-0 Rose Bowl win over Washington State that was the eighth shutout of the season. The key victory came on the Third Saturday in October, as the Tide snapped Major Neyland and Tennessee’s 33 game win streak by a 18-6 margin. Alabama fans had been especially vocal about losses to the Vols in 1928 and 1929.

Spectacularly named tackle Foots Clement was team captain. He was one of four All-Americans on the 1930 squad including fullback Johnny Cain, who also played linebacker and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. The team allowed a total of 13 points on the season, a paltry 1.3 points per game average. The Dickinson system recognized Notre Dame as national champion, but Alabama now claims the title as well based on rankings by Sagarin and others.

Wade would keep to his word and leave town for Duke following the season, but he would never match the dominance of the 1930 Alabama squad during his long and storied Hall of Fame career.

We are now 30 days from kickoff.

Roll Tide.