The Alabama Crimson Tide describes the 21 males and females university teams that represent the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide groups compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I as a member of the Southeastern Conference (with the exception of rowing, which competes in the Big 12 Conference). In 2002, Sports Illustrated named Alabama the No. 26 best college sports program in America. Athletics facilities on the school include the 101,821-seat Bryant– Denny Stadium, named after football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and former University President George Denny, 15,316-seat Coleman Coliseum, Foster Auditorium, Sewell– Thomas Stadium, the Alabama Soccer Stadium, the Sam Bailey Track Stadium, the Ol’ Colony Golf Complex, the Alabama Aquatic Center, and the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
University of Alabama law student William G. Little found out the best ways to play American football while going to school in Andover, Massachusetts and started teaching the sport to fellow Alabama students in early 1892. Later on in the year, the school formed an official team of 19 players, with Little as captain and E. B. Beaumont as head coach. Early newspaper accounts of Alabama football simply listed the team as the “varsity” or the “Crimson White” after the school colors. Headline authors then made popular the nickname “The Thin Red Line”. It was not until 1907 that the name “Crimson Tide” was used to explain Alabama. The name was supposedly first utilized by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. Roberts coined the nickname to explain the 1907 Alabama-Auburn game, played in a sea of mud. Although Auburn was preferred to win, Alabama played well at a loss mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie.
Ever since, the program has won 26 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships and accepted 16 championship games. In addition to the championships declared by the university, Alabama has actually been recognized by the NCAA as National Champions for the 1945, 1962, 1966, 1967, and 1977 college football seasons. Nevertheless, those championships are not declared by Alabama. On January 9, 2012, Alabama finished the season ranked No. 2 and beat No. 1 LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship game to take the BCS national title. On January 7, 2013 Alabama Defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 42-14 to declare their 15th National Championship. Although the NCAA only lists the Crimson Tide as having 14 national championships, the claim of 15 consists of six championships from the duration prior to 1950 that were retroactively claimed by Alabama. On January 11, 2016, Alabama defeated the Clemson Tigers 45-40 to declare their 16th championship game.
The team has actually also made 58 bowl appearances throughout their history (an NCAA record), beginning with the 1926 Rose Bowl. Alabama’s latest bowl appearance was at the 2015 Sugar Bowl as part of the 2015 College Football Playoff. Alabama has a 34– 24– 3 bowl game record. Since 1913, Alabama has had 98 players chosen as first team All-Americans, with 29 of them being consensus choices. In 2009, Alabama also recorded their first Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram, in the closest Heisman Trophy race. In 2015 Alabama had its second Heisman Trophy winner in Derrick Henry.
The two main rivalries for the program are those with Auburn University and the University of Tennessee. The competition with the Auburn Tigers is particularly heated, as the two compete yearly in nearly all sports. The annual football meeting, nicknamed the Iron Bowl, is considered among the most extreme college football competitions, in addition to one of the leading competitions in all sports according to Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Other competitions include those against Mississippi State University in baseball and basketball (Alabama– Mississippi State rivalry), Louisiana State University in football (Alabama– LSU rivalry), the University of Mississippi in football (Alabama– Ole Miss competition), the University of Florida in softball, and the University of Georgia in gymnastics.
Alabama has student-athletes who have excelled in the class as well as on the field. The University of Alabama is 8th in the country for the number of Academic-All Americans since 2000 from all universities in the United States. Among Division I BCS schools in the southeastern U.S., the University of Alabama is at the top of the list with the greatest number of Academic All-Americans since 2000.
Each of the University of Alabama’s 21 varsity athletic teams scored considerably above the national requirement of 925 in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 2012. 14 Crimson Tide groups attained ratings equal to or above the national Division I average for the particular sport, and 2 teams achieved “ideal” APR ratings, which placed them in the highest percentile in the nation.