Crimson Tide: Perfect Every 13 Years

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team beat Middle Tennessee State Saturday night, keeping alive the possibility of a perfect season. As Mobile Register columnist Randy Kennedy points out, there is precedent at stake:

Tide a step closer to perfection

Alabama’s incredible streak of going undefeated every 13 years is still alive after Saturday night’s 26-7 season-opening win over Middle Tennessee State. But for the 2005 Crimson Tide to make an unlikely run at duplicating the perfect Alabama campaigns of 1966, 1979 and 1992, it will have to prove it can be dominant not only against a team from Middle Tennessee but also one from eastern Tennessee. The hated Vols are still six games down the schedule, but some fans will already begin to wonder what might be at stake at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 22.

Saturday night’s performance didn’t prove that Alabama is ready to challenge for the SEC championship, but it did show that this team is going to be far advanced in several areas compared to Mike Shula’s previous two squads. For starters …. well, for once, we don’t have to focus on the starters. After struggling to a 9-7 halftime lead, the Tide actually used its superior depth to wear down its opponent. The last time that statement could be made about an Alabama program that has been decimated by NCAA sanctions, the price of gasoline was still lower than Roger Clemens’ ERA.


But there is no need for looking too far ahead. For now, it’s enough to know that this Alabama team is still perfect, just as Tide fans have come to expect every 13 years.

A rather amusing coincidence and one with only three occurences. The program has been in existence since 1892 and wasn’t undefeated in pre-Bear Bryant 1953 (6-3-3), 1940 (7-2), etc. Still, an interesting streak.

While I’d love to see it happen, I’m not sure this team is ready to go from several seasons of mediocrity to the pinnacle of success in one season. Still, unless and until they lose, the possibility is there.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. G says:

    You are actually going to try and say the number 2 team in Alabama could go to a perfect season because they beat MTSU?

    Wait until you loose to Tenn, and to Auburn. Thats when it comes crashing down.

    War Eagle!