Alabama’s historical dominance in the state of California

From a 1925 train ride to Pasadena to the surprise offense in the early 1970s, Alabama has had historic success competing in the state of California.

For Bama fans, going back to Cali prompts memories of the great Rose Bowl wins in the 1920s and ‘30s versus the titans of the Pacific Coast—Washington, Stanford—as well as the time when “Bear” Bryant unveiled the Wishbone to the chagrin of John McKay and his Southern California Trojans at L.A. Coliseum in 1971.

The Crimson Tide last played in The Golden State in 2010 when it tangled with the Texas Longhorns in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Bama won 37-21 to capture its 13th national championship in school history.

The Tide did not taste defeat in its first four appearances in the Rose Bowl, but the University of California spoiled the fifth trip in a 13-0 blanking of the 9-0 Tide on January 1, 1938. Before the game, the Crimson Tide had allowed only 14 points all season.

Alabama is 9-2-1 all-time in the state of California, with its other loss occurring on September 2, 2000, to UCLA.

All but one of these contests have been held in southern California, and entering Monday night’s game, Alabama has only played in the Bay Area on one other occasion. That was in 1932 when the Crimson Tide, led by head coach Frank Thomas, defeated the St. Mary’s Gaels at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, 6-0.

Alabama will look to pick up its 10th win in the state of California and its 18th national title when it meets Clemson for the national title tonight at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, just 45 miles southeast of downtown San Francisco.

Here is a rundown of every game the Crimson Tide have played in the state of California throughout its storied history

January 1, 1926

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 20, Washington 19

 

January 1, 1927

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 7, Stanford 7

 

January 1, 1931

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 24, Washington State 0

 

December 5, 1932

San Francisco, CA

Alabama 6, St. Mary’s 0

 

January 1, 1935

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 29, Stanford 13

 

January 1, 1938

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

California 13, Alabama 0

 

September 24, 1938

Los Angeles, CA

Alabama 19, Southern Cal 7

 

January 1, 1946

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 34, Southern Cal 14

 

September 10, 1971

Los Angeles, CA

Alabama 17, Southern Cal 10

 

October 8, 1977

Los Angeles, CA

Alabama 21, Southern Cal 20

 

September 2, 2000

Los Angeles, CA

UCLA 35, Alabama 24

 

January 7, 2010

BCS Championship Game

Pasadena, CA

Alabama 37, Texas 21 H&A 

 

 

Cover photo: Courtesy Alabama Athletics 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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