Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
The story of a missing Alabama championship from a half-century ago holds special resonance for today's Nick Saban-coached team.

Alabama football: Fall camp previews, C.J. Mosely and the pain of lost championships

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at a painful legacy for two Alabama teams separated by a half-century. 

The missing ring(s)

The modern-day Alabama fan is still feeling the pain of the lost chance at the 2016 National Championship. Fans of a certain age – or with a certain knowledge of history – know the story of the championship lost (or taken) a half-century prior, in 1966. Christopher Walsh looked back on that undefeated season that ended without a ring for still-undefined reasons, and draws that pain all the way through to today’s iteration of the Crimson Tide.

In other Alabama headlines…

Countdown to kickoff

Tuesday morning marked 32 days until Alabama kicks off against Florida State on Sept. 2. To mark the occasion, AL.com named C.J. Mosley the greatest No. 32 in SEC history. Roll Bama Roll paid tribute to the linebacker as well, calling him “the most complete Alabama linebacker of the modern era.” Potter, meanwhile, named QB Jalen Hurts as the most important player of the season to come. 

Built by Bama

Cam Robinson is set to start at left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars after Branden Albert’s unexpected retirement. Robinson had been splitting reps with the veteran, who had been battling through injury to retain his position.

Former Alabama and New York Jets lineman Marty Lyons is recovering from a stroke he suffered three weeks ago, which has left him with double vision. Lyons, 60, was an All-American member of the 1978 championship-winning defense, and delivered the famous “you better pass” line before the famous goal-line stand against Penn State in the 1979 Sugar Bowl.

The Madden video game ratings are out, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft choice O.J. Howard leads the way for Alabama. 

In Major League Baseball …

  • Tommy Hunter pitched 1.1 innings, allowing no baserunners, as the Tampa Bay Ray beat the Houston Astros 6-4.
  • Jimmy Nelson got his first win over St. Louis, giving up 2 runs in 6 innings as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cardinals 3-2.
  • Wade LeBlanc pitched 3 scoreless innings in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 9-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
  • David Robertson gave up 3 hits, but allowed no runs in 1 inning as the New York Yankees lost 4-3 to the Detroit Tigers.

Former Alabama gymnastics standout Ashley Priess-Johnston was named assistant coach at Illinois. Johnston was a key contributor on the 2011 and 2012 national championship teams, and was a 10-time All-American at Alabama.

Around the Capstone

The turmoil at the Alabama baseball program has left the cupboard sparsely populated if not totally bare. Brad Bohannon has understandably made recruiting a priority, and it shows in the makeup of his staff, as Ben Jones of The Tuscaloosa News explains.

Two Alabama players helped bring home a gold medal with the U.S. Junior Women’s National Softball Team, which won the World Championships by crushing all comers, including Japan in the final. Alabama sophomore outfielder Elissa Brown scored 8 runs and struck out just twice in 21 at bats.

In other softball news, the team scheduled four fall double-headers for preseason.

Eleven Alabama swimmers will compete at the U.S. Open swimming championships in New York from Wednesday to Sunday.

The men’s tennis team released its 2017-18 schedule on Tuesday. Most notably, the school will host the SEC Championships for the first time in over a decade.