Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday 'tube: familiar faces

Short weeks always get away from me. This one will likely be no different. So let's start out with a little 'tube.

The Alabama-Penn State series is actually has two parts. It started in 1974 1959, when coach Bryant's second Crimson Tide team accepted a Liberty Bowl invitation to play Penn State in Philadelphia (kudos to RBR for correctly noting the date that I screwed up in the original draft of this post). At the time, no one would've believed 'Bama would have much of a relationship with PSU. That changed in '74, when coach Bryant talked Sugar Bowl officials into inviting Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions — at the time stuck in a place very similar to Boise State right now, going undefeated most every year and receiving zero national attention because their schedule was lousy. Alabama won the game 13-6.

It turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, though the two didn't see each other again until Jan. 1, 1979. When, um, this happened.

The momentum off those games eventually led to a regular-season series that continued throughout the 1980s, that began in 1981 — coincidentally, when coach Bryant was seeking the win that would tie himself for first on the all-time record.

Yep, another Goal Line Stand. Penn State came to Birmingham the following year, for what turned out to be the last truly big win (on a national scale) of the Bryant era (watch this one for the random Bryant interview early on).

'Bama finally lost to Penn State in Happy Valley the following season, notable because of an officiating controversy at game's end. You be the judge.

The Nittanies controlled the rivalry during the remainder of Ray Perkins' tenure, including a 23-3 pwnage of second-ranked 'Bama in Birmingham. The Tide didn't re-assert itself in the series until Bill Curry came, giving us the following two classics.

And if you didn't enjoy that version, you'll probably like this one better.

Penn State drilled Gene Stallings' first Alabama in Tuscaloosa the following season, 9-0. And that was that. We haven't seen Penn State except in highlight videos since then.
So, welcome back guys. Let's make some more magic.

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