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1926 Rose Bowl
|The Game That Put Bama On The Map|
In the words of the legendary Birmingham News writer Clyde Bolton, "The 1926 Rose Bowl was without a doubt the most important game before or since in Southern football history." The unbeaten Washington Huskies had swept through their 11 regular season games, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 461 to 39, and took a seemingly commanding 13 to 0 halftime lead into their Pasadena locker room. But led by their star halfback Johnny Mack Brown, the Tide stormed back to pull a narrow upset.
It is hard to exaggerate the significance of this one game, even over 85 years later. Professor Andrew Doyle has said, "You can look at the 1926 Rose Bowl as the most significant event in Southern football history. What had come before was almost like a buildup, a preparation for this grand coming out party. And it was a sublime tonic for Southerners who were buffeted by a legacy of defeat, military defeat, a legacy of poverty, and a legacy of isolation from the American political and cultural mainstream."
And just to show that it hadn't been a fluke, the Bama boys returned to the Rose Bowl five more times over the next 20 years, losing only once, and wrapped up their westward journeys in 1946 by handing Southern Cal its first New Year's setback in nine games.