TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s the offseason, and there aren’t always a ton of storylines available for Alabama football, so let’s have a little fun.
First, a shout-out to comedian Funny Maine for this idea. He ranked his top-10 losses on Monday, so I’m borrowing the idea for Tuesday.
If you have a different list, let me know on Twitter or in the comment section.
2011 ‘Game of the Century’: LSU 9, Alabama 6
For those who don’t know, I attended Alabama and cut my teeth there as a student reporter. It was pretty easy to turn off my “fandom” because I didn’t grow up a football fan. I’ve always been a basketball guy. I first became a football fan around 2005.
However, this was the only game I “felt” as a student. It was the only time I felt an emotional attachment to the team as a whole.
We had hyped this game for two weeks because everyone knew LSU and Alabama clearly were the two best teams in the country.
The worst part of this loss is Alabama was the better team but couldn’t put together a single touchdown drive on offense.
A lot of people questioned whether this game lived up to the hype because of the lack of offense, but those two defenses were on another level and few teams in the country would have put up points that day.
Alabama got revenge later that season by beating LSU for the national championship. The Crimson Tide have defeated the Tigers in every matchup since the game of the century. But I’ll never forget how LSU’s players celebrated on that day in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
2017 National Championship Game: Clemson 35, Alabama 31
We could spend hours talking about this game and what went wrong for Alabama. Clemson had Deshaun Watson at quarterback, and he was the one player to carve up Nick Saban’s defense in multiple meetings. Hopefully, people appreciate how truly magical Watson was in those two games.
A lot went wrong. Saban fired his offensive coordinator (Lane Kiffin) a week before the game. Bo Scarbrough got hurt. New play-caller Steve Sarkisian forgot Alabama had other running backs available once Scarbrough got hurt.
Alabama’s offense couldn’t sustain drives, leaving the defense on the field for 99 plays.
Alabama’s defense couldn’t get a stop on the final drive and committed some bad penalties.
None of it matters now, because Clemson did what it needed to do against Alabama. The Tigers deserve all the credit.
2015 College Football Playoff semifinal: Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
This is probably the only time I can think of since 2009 when I looked on the field and thought the other team was flat-out better than Alabama. It’s rare to see a team match Alabama from an athletic standpoint, and Ohio State is one of the few programs that can do it because of how well the Buckeyes recruit.
Still, Alabama had a shot to win this game; the Crimson Tide were up 14 points in the first half. Things fell apart down the stretch. The 2014 Alabama team completely overachieved, though.
The offense was 60 percent or more of Amari Cooper as both T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry were banged up. It would have been nice, though, to see Blake Sims go out as a national championship-winning quarterback.
2013 Kick Six game: Auburn 34, Alabama 28
You won’t see a more improbable ending to a football game than what everyone witnessed on the day of the Kick Six.
This game killed Alabama’s chances at a historic three-peat. Alabama was the better team but some costly mistakes made at the worst possible times let Auburn hang around and ultimately steal the victory.
It’s not talked about enough, but Jordan-Hare Stadium is one of the best home-crowd environments there is.