Alabama’s biggest rivalries are all within the SEC, but the Crimson Tide has history with plenty of teams across the country. We’re asking Alabama fans to vote on which nonconference program they hate the most with an eight-team bracket.
You can vote by scrolling down and on also on Twitter @TideSports. Voting for this matchup will run through Tuesday night. Check back later this week for the next matchup.
Teams that just missed the bracket: Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Southern Miss, Michigan. For explanations, listen to the first segment of the podcast.
Round 1: Notre Dame defeated UAB, UCF defeated Clemson
No. 3 Penn State
Football series record: Alabama leads 10-5
There have been some classic meetings between these teams, headlined by the goal line stand in the 1979 national championship game. Alabama beat Penn State in the 1975 Sugar Bowl, too.
That history led to a 10-year home-and-home series between the two teams. Alabama was 6-4 in those games, but the Nittany Lions won the last game of that run. That was a 9-0 shutout in Tuscaloosa in 1990. Penn State has as much history with Alabama as any team outside of the SEC.
There has been a healthy amount of respect from both sides when these teams met, though. Alabama’s home-and-home with Penn State in 2010 and 2011 was the last time it played a regular season nonconference game on an opponent’s campus; Alabama won both meetings.
6. Georgia Tech
Football series record: Alabama leads 28-21-3
They’re in the fight song, in case you’d forgotten:
“Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave”
No other school on this list can make that claim. The Yellow Jackets’ football program has more wins against Alabama than any other school on this list, too.
This rivalry once ran red hot: Legendary coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant wore a helmet on the sidelines one year in Atlanta, ostensibly to protect himself from objects flying from the stands. This rivalry also spawned a story in the Saturday Evening Post accusing Alabama players of being unnecessarily brutal in their games against Georgia Tech. The series with Alabama may have been one of the reasons Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd eventually left the SEC in 1976.
Time may have smoothed things over, though. The two programs have only met 6 times since then, and none since 1984. Georgia Tech won the last meeting, more than 30 years ago.
VOTE: Which nonconference school do you hate the most?
— TideSports.com (@TideSports) May 25, 2018