Alabama Crimson Tide in the NFL

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Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama took its time developing a football program, but the school has certainly made up for it since then. The university’s first football team took the field in 1892, quickly amassing wins and becoming noticed nationwide when they defeated the University of Pennsylvania in 1922. The 1925 season saw Wallace Wade coach the team to an undefeated and untied season, which was followed by a Rose Bowl invitation, where the Crimson Tide came from behind to clinch the win over Washington.  

Alabama has also rolled to a total of 16 national championships (the most in the SEC), six of those under head coach Bear Bryant. Alabama has two Heisman Trophy winners – Mark Ingram in 2009 and Derrick Henry in 2015 – but they’ve sent tons of players into the NFL, many of whom have made an impressive mark. Pro Football Hall of Famers who spent time as part of the Crimson Tide include Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Joe Namath, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Ozzie Newsome, Derrick Thomas and Ken Stabler.

Considering Alabama’s long, storied (and championship-filled) history, it’s not a shocker to say there are plenty of former Crimson Tide players in the NFL today. Let’s take a look to see which current NFL players have spent time on the field at Alabama.

‘Bama Ballers

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There are tons of standout players currently in the NFL who were once part of the Crimson Tide. Julio Jones, wideout for the Atlanta Falcons, is one such player. Before he was drafted by the Falcons in 2011 (No. 6 overall), he was a national champion with the Crimson Tide and contributed to Alabama on a large scale, amassing over 2,600 receiving yards during his time there. As an NFL player, he’s continued pulling his weight, becoming the 2015 reception yards leader with 1,871 yards, being selected for the Pro Bowl four times, and reaching the championship game after the 2016 NFL season.

🏃🏿💨

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His college teammate, Mark Ingram, has also enjoyed success after leaving Alabama for the NFL. Ingram was on that national championship team with Jones at Alabama, and won the Heisman Trophy that same season. The running back was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2011 draft, which is where he remains today. He’s been to one Pro Bowl in 2014 and reached above 1,000 yards in 2016.

P R E S S U R E #22Savage #GodWins

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Dont’a Hightower is another former Crimson Tide player who has found great success in the NFL. Hightower was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2012, and he’s a solid presence in their linebacker corps. He’s been selected to the Pro Bowl once, and he’s got two rings – so far.

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These three players are certainly not the only stars to come out of Alabama. Consider Amari Cooper, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eddie Lacy, and Derrick Henry – all set to make an impression for their respective NFL teams.

Roll Tide

It’s easy to be a college football fan if you love the Crimson Tide. If you’re looking for some amazing Alabama swag for the next game day, or you’re looking for killer birthday gifts, go no further than Fanatics (you can also find authentic NFL gear so you can cheer on your favorite Alabama alums).

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Clemson Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide sales map – Which school is most popular in your state?

Alabama and Clemson meet tonight in the College Football Championship, a rematch of last season’s playoff final. Alabama, the undefeated powerhouse, is the reigning champion and has four titles in the last eight years. The Tigers of Clemson are looking to avenge last season’s 45-40 loss.

Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide is undefeated, led by freshman QB Jalen Hurts and one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. They dispatched Washington in the semifinals.

Clemson, who were a last second field goal and a one-point loss to Pitt away from their own perfect season, beat Ohio State 31-0 in their semifinal matchup to reach the final. Junior QB Deshaun Watson, a lottery pick favorite for the NFL draft this spring, leads the Tiger offense.

Both wildly popular teams, we have broken down some sales data to see which way all fifty states lean based off the fan gear they have bought. Top selling school by state since semifinal games show a country divided.Which school is most popular in your state?

Fanatics CFP championship map 2017

The Crimson Tide expectedly lead in Alabama and Clemson is the leader in its home state of South Carolina. Others state swing either way;

  • Alabama leads in total sales, though it’s close, but Clemson is the top team in more states, 26 to 24.
  • Clemson is the top team in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, though neighboring Georgia favors Alabama.
  • Clemson is also king in the western states, from Arizona up through the high plains states all the way to Oregon.
  • Alabama is top in populous Texas, California, and Florida, but Clemson takes New York.

Whatever your loyalty, Fanatics has all the best Alabama and Clemson gear you’ll find online.

Alabama Crimson Tide College Mascot: Big Al

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A Long Tradition of Success

The University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, is Alabama’s oldest public university. The university was established in 1820 – just one year after Alabama was admitted to the Union. It has flourished in the decades since.

Alabama’s football program has also flourished. The Crimson Tide have progressed by leaps and bounds – since their quiet beginning in 1902 – under the watchful eyes of several influential head coaches, like Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, and current head coach Nick Saban.

The Crimson Tide football dynasty started to come together quite early in the program. It had several winning campaigns during its first decade of existence, which was followed by many more decades of winning. Since Nick Saban took the reins in 2007, the squad hasn’t notched more than a few losses each year (with the exception of the 2007 season).

Alabama is one of the winningest college football programs in the country and has enjoyed numerous bowl wins and national championships. The team also captured the second College Football Playoff National Championship when it defeated Clemson after the 2015 season ended.

After spending more than a decade in the Southern Conference, Alabama made its way into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) upon the conference’s founding in 1933. Alabama has remained in the SEC ever since, and now shares its conference with 13 other schools located primarily along the southeastern portion of the country.

In addition to Alabama, the SEC includes Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South CarolinaTennessee, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M.  Of these SEC teams, Auburn University is one of Alabama’s biggest rivals – with Tennessee and LSU top contenders for that spot as well.

Say Hello to Big Al

Decade. Of. Dominance. #RollTide

A photo posted by Big Al (@ua_big_al) on

The Crimson Tide’s lovable elephant mascot was many years in the making. It wasn’t until 1930 – when a sports writer reported that fans in the stands shouted, “Hold your horses, the elephants are coming!” before the team took the field – that the name stuck. From then on, the linemen were commonly referred to as “Red Elephants” (for the team’s jersey color) in the media.

The university didn’t officially recognize the elephant for nearly another 50 years, however. Coach Bryant (who was also the athletic director when the idea was brought up) wasn’t pleased with the slow, ponderous animal and felt it didn’t represent his players well. But eventually, he gave in. In the late ’70s, the mascot was (officially) born.

Big Al’s debut was one to remember. It was the 1979 Sugar Bowl, and the Crimson Tide made an impressive goal-line stand to win the game against Penn State and capture the university’s 11th national championship. The original costume now resides at the University of Alabama’s Paul W. Bryant Museum.

Roll Tide

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Alabama Crimson Tide Midnight Mascot T-Shirt

Are you ready to show your Crimson Tide pride? Head over to Fanatics.com for an extensive collection of ‘Bama swag that any UA fan would be happy to have.

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The Beginners Guide to College Football – Become a Fanatic Overnight

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As the sun begins to rise on Saturday morning, college campuses begin to buzz. It’s gameday. Students, faculty, parents, alumni, and fans of college football gather at the appointed time to cheer their school’s football team to victory. Whether you’re a freshman who is attending your first game, or a parent looking to learn the rules since your child is going to a “football school,” we’ll help you get ready in time for the big game with our Guide to Becoming a College Football Fanatic.

Introduction to Football 101

There are 128 colleges that participate in the FBS, Football Bowl Subdivision, which is divided into 11 conferences, each comprised of a collection of different schools. Due to broadcasting arrangements, most schools play a slate of games against their conference rivals and only a handful of games against nonconference programs. The most popular and dominant conference is the SEC, Southeastern Conference, which includes the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Louisiana State University, and more perennial favorites. Other popular conferences include the Big 12, Pac-12, and the ACC, Atlantic Coast Conference.

There are also several schools that don’t meet the requirements (enrollment, scholarship allocation, size of football program) for the FBS but that take part in the Football Championship Subdivision.

First in Class

Each school sends their team to play 10 to 13 games over the course of a season, and the top four teams in the country are identified, ranked, and ultimately selected by the College Football Playoff Committee. They use strength of schedule, head-to-head performance against common opponents, championships won, and other factors when selecting the teams who will play for the National Championship. There’s a lot on the line with each and every game, with a single loss jettisoning a school out of contention for a top four spot.

Tick-Tock, Play-Clock

Each college football game takes place over 60 minutes, broken into four 15-minute quarters. After the first two quarters, also known as the first half, the teams break for halftime. This 20-minute break in play gives everyone – fans, coaches, and players alike – a chance to rehydrate before the second half of the game gets underway.

As the clock counts down to zero, it only stops in certain scenarios. Players stop the clock by running out of bounds or throwing an incomplete pass. Officials or referees pause time by initiating a review of a play, penalizing an illegal play, placing the ball after a team earns a first down, or enforcing safety rules. Lastly, coaches can call a timeout to regroup with their team to discuss a play.

Once time expires and if the score between the two sides is equal, a 15-minute overtime kicks into effect. Each team gets the chance to score. The winner is either: the first team to score when the second team doesn’t; the second team to score if they score more points (touchdown or six points versus a field goal or three points). If each team scores, then the next team to score wins. Alternatively, if they’re tied, a second overtime takes place.

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Student Athletes

If you’re a student who meets the requirements set forth by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), you’ll earn the eligibility to play for a college football team. Colleges recruit players by offering scholarships, but players also have the opportunity to “walk on” and try out for a squad. With their recruited players and walk-ons, the coaches assemble a team that’s comprised of offensive, defensive, and special team players.

  • Offensive Position Titles: Quarterback, Running Back, Fullback, Wide Receiver, Tight End, Guard, Tackle, and Center
  • Defensive Position Titles: Tackle, End, Middle or Outside Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety, and Nickle or Dimeback
  • Special Team Position Titles: Kicker, Long Snapper, and Punter

What’s the Score?

Football is a game; there is a winner and loser. The team that has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. You can score points by running or passing a touchdown into the opponent’s end zone, which results in earning six points.

Teams have the choice of electing to kick for one additional point, or try for a two-point conversion. That’s where the offense runs another play from the 2-yard line and must get the ball into the end zone on that play.

If they can’t get close enough to score a touchdown, teams may elect to kick a field goal that is worth three points. While not a touchdown, this tactic does put points on the board.

Defenses get in on the fun and earn points through intercepting a pass or recovering a fumble and running either into the end zone. They can also force a safety, where a quarterback or running back is tackled in the end zone while possessing the ball. Safeties are worth two points.

However the teams score, you just want the other team to have fewer points than yours when time runs out in regulation.

Which Teams Should I Be Watching?

Alabama’s Crimson Tide looks to be a favorite after winning the National Championship last season. Not only do they win championships but their players also win individual awards for performance, such as the Heisman Trophy for best overall football player. Florida State returns 11 offensive starters this year, meaning there will be less of a learning curve for the team in their quest to get back to the College Football Playoffs. Michigan continues to restore glory to their program, finishing 10-3 last season, the first under head coach Jim Harbaugh. There’s also the Ohio State Buckeyes, who deliver winning seasons year in and year out for their fans. If there isn’t a team you like among this list, then you should usually root for the school you attend(ed). Nothing beats school pride!

Two-Minute Drill

When you’re ready to head to the game, don’t forget to bring your degree in College Football Awareness, a voice that’s ready to cheer, and a heart that’s ready to experience any potential outcome – win or lose. You’ll want to make sure you do all of these things in your school’s colors, and you can find the best official apparel and merchandise for your team at Fanatics.com.

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Top College Football Stadiums of 2011

College football is quickly approaching. No matter what team you root for on gameday, we recommend visiting these Top College Football Stadiums for the 2011 NCAA season! The following list takes into account scenic views, current stadium capacity, past lists of top stadiums, unique facts about each, and overall game-day atmosphere.

#20 Falcon Stadium, US Air Force Academy

Falcon Stadium

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Capacity: 46,692

Unique Facts

  • Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains is the gameday backdrop
  • The mascot is a peregrine falcon named “Mach 1,” which means the speed of sound – the peregrine can fly at a speed of 200 miles per hour and dives over the heads of Air Force fans
  • 2nd highest elevation in Division I-A football – over 6,620 feet above sea level

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#19 Folsom Field, University of Colorado

Folsom Field

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Capacity: 53,613

Unique Facts

  • Another high elevation – 3rd highest elevation in NCAA football – 5,360 feet above sea level
  • Flatiron mountain range is the background setting
  • A massive recycling effort in 2008 made it the first “zero-waste” stadium in the NCAA

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#18 LaVell Edwards Stadium, Brigham Young University

LaVell Edwards Stadium

Location: Provo, Utah

Capacity: 63,725

Unique Facts

  • Mt. Timpanogos and Wasatch Mountain Range are the background views
  • Part of the largest collection of North American fossils were stored under the bleachers until 2005 – now displayed in the university’s museum
  • Previously known as Cougar Stadium, head coach LaVell Edwards retired in 2000 when the stadium was renamed

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#17 Ohio Stadium, Ohio State University

Ohio Stadium

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Capacity: 102,329

Unique Facts

  • 4th largest football stadium in the US
  • No field lights are installed. Special lighting is used during night games
  • The stadium is a concert venue to some of the biggest names in music like U2 and The Rolling Stones

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#16 Husky Stadium, University of Washington

Husky Stadium

Location: Seattle, Washington

Capacity: 72,500

Unique Facts

  • Open side of the stadium looks out on Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains
  • 70% of the seats are covered by metal roofs between the end zones
  • Noise level has measured 135 decibels…loudest recorded ever

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#15 Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium “Death Valley”, Clemson University

Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium

Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Capacity: 80,301

Unique Facts

  • 2nd largest stadium in the ACC
  • Hosted concerts to popular music artists like Pink Floyd and Rage Against the Machine
  • “Howard’s Rock” is a rock given to Frank Howard by a friend claiming to originally be from Death Valley, California. The rock was eventually placed in an encasement and the Clemson Army ROTC protects the rock 24 hours prior to the Clemson/SC game every year

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#14 Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn University

Jordan-Hare Stadium

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Capacity: 87,451

Unique Facts

  • Stadium is named for the winningest coach in Auburn football, Ralph “Shug” Jordan, and Cliff Hare a member of the 1st football team and president of the Southern Conference
  • 1st SEC school to install an HD video display and 2nd in the NCAA
  • Known for great gameday atmospheres and one of the more intimidating places for any opponent

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#13 Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State University

Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Capacity: 82,300

Unique Facts

  • Largest continuous structure made of brick in the US
  • Field named for head coach Bobby Bowden and stadium named for former president at time of construction
  • Bronze sculpture resembling Chief Osceola and Renegade, FSU’s mascots, stands 19′ tall outside stadium. At sunset before home games, the Marching Chiefs play as Osceola’s spear is lit on fire

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#12 Camp Randall Stadium, University of Wisconsin

Camp Randall Stadium

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Capacity: 80,321

Unique Facts

  • Oldest college football stadium – first formed in 1895 and completed in 1917
  • 5th largest stadium in the Big Ten Conference
  • Built on the Camp Randall grounds, former training camp of the Union Army during the Civil War

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#11 Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State University

Tiger Stadium, LSU

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Capacity: 92,542

Unique Facts

  • Home of the most intimidating mascot in college football, Mike The Tiger (a real tiger)
  • One of the worst places for visiting teams because of the loudest atmosphere in stadium history
  • New 27×80 HD Video Board

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#10 Michigan Stadium “The Big House”, University of Michigan

The Big House

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Capacity: 109,901

Unique Facts

  • Largest stadium in the US and 3rd largest in the world
  • First night football game in Michigan Stadium history will occur Sept 10, 2011, against Notre Dame
  • Size of gameday crowds almost matches Ann Arbor’s population

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#9 Beaver Stadium, Penn State University

Beaver Stadium, Penn State

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania

Capacity: 107,282

Unique Facts

  • 2nd largest stadium in the US and 4th largest in the world
  • The WhiteOut occurs when students wear all white during night games and the same for the WhiteHouse during day games
  • First stadium to be included in Google Street View

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#8 Sanford Stadium, University of Georgia

Sanford Stadium

Location: Athens, Georgia

Capacity: 92,746

Unique Facts

  • Privet hedges surround the field for not only cosmetic reasons, but also crowd control – originally planted in 1929, removed and restored in 1996
  • One of the best mascots, Uga, descends from the original white bulldog and has an air-conditioned doghouse with bags of ice inside
  • Field has only been rushed one time in history in 2000 when the Bulldogs beat their rival, the Tennessee Vols, for the first time since 1988 – the goal posts were also torn down

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#7 Kyle Field, Texas A&M University

Kyle Field

Location: College Station, Texas

Capacity: 83,002

Unique Facts

  • Kyle Field press box has won many honors with accomodations for hundreds of press members
  • The entire press box sways during the Aggie War Hymn
  • The Zone contains a sports museum, multiple seating levels, and a graveyard right outside for the Aggie mascot

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#6 Autzen Stadium, University of Oregon

Autzen Stadium, Oregon

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Capacity: 54,000

Unique Facts

  • One of the loudest stadiums in college football with steep stands, seats close to the field, and a roof that overhangs
  • Located near Willamette River and next to Alton Baker Park
  • 74 consecutive sellouts dating back to 1999

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#5 Memorial Stadium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Memorial Stadium

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Capacity: 81,067

Unique Facts

  • Continuous NCAA record of consecutive sellouts…now at 311
  • ‘Huskers fans are some of the most loyal in college football and the stands are always filled with a “Sea of Red”
  • The stadium name honors Nebraska natives who served during the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, as well as 751 who died in World War I

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#4 Bryant-Denny Stadium, University of Alabama

Bryant-Denny Stadium

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Capacity: 101,821

Unique Facts

  • Originally named Denny Stadium after George Denny, former president – changed in 1975 to honor famous past head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant
  • 2nd largest stadium in the SEC and 5th largest in the US
  • In 2010, South End Zone expanded and the new seats sold out quickly prior to the 2010 season

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#3 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp”, University of Florida

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Capacity: 88,548

Unique Facts

  • Can we say Home Field Advantage? The Swamp is below ground level with enclosed playing areas on every side, which makes humid climate temperatures exceed 100 degrees and screaming fans even louder
  • Large bronze statues of the three Heisman Trophy winners placed outside the stadium in April 2011: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow
  • The Gator Chomp symbolizes an alligator’s mouth and fans use this as a gesture to support the team, occuring when the Pride of the Sunshine plays a two-note music sequence from the film Jaws

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#2 Notre Dame Stadium, University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stadium

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Capacity: 80,795

Unique Facts

  • Known as “The House That Rockne Built”, Knute Rockne was a coach who popularized the forward pass and helped the stadium’s construction project get off the ground
  • The playing surface has always consisted of natural grass
  • “Rudy”, a biographical film about Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreamed of playing Notre Dame football, was the first movie shot on campus since “Knute Rockne, All American”
  • First night game since 1991 will be held on October 22, 2011, against USC

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#1 Neyland Stadium, University of Tennessee

Neyland Stadium

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Capacity: 102,455

Unique Facts

  • General Robert Neyland made the Vols a football powerhouse from 1926-1952
  • One of 70 stadiums in the US bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup
  • The largest SEC stadium, 3rd largest in the US and 6th largest in the world
  • Unique endzone paint with an orange and white checkerboard
  • Located on the Tennessee River, The Volunteer Navy tailgates (or sailgates) outside of Neyland each gameday
  • “Rocky Top” is one of the most well-known, repetitively played songs during any college football game

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