On this day in sports history
BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Today I will discuss the 2011 Alabama football team and season.
In 2010, the Tide finished with a 10-3 record and finished 10th in the final poll. Alabama was the 2010 was preseason No. 1.
It stayed that way until the sixth game. Alabama ended the season on a good note beating Michigan State 49-7.
After A-Day, Tuscaloosa was hit by an EF4 tornado on April 27 which killed 44 people in the Tuscaloosa area. Carson Tinker, the long snapper, was injured; his girlfriend was killed by the storm.
The preseason watch lists were announced. Alabama players were mentioned 31 times on the 12 watch lists.
New additions to the year’s coaching staff were Mike Groh, wide receiver and recruiting coordinator. He replaced Curt Cignetti. Chris Rumph, defensive line, replaced Bo Davis. Jeff Stoutland, offensive line and assistant head coach, replaced Joe Pendry.
The 2011 season saw Alabama win a National Championship with a record of 12-1. Team captains were Mark Barron, Dont’a Hightower, and Trent Richardson.
Alabama opened the 2011 season on Sept. 3 against Kent State in Tuscaloosa and won 48-7.
On Sept. 10, the Tide faced Penn State at College Station and won 27-11. It was the last game of the series and also the last season for Joe Paterno. Alabama leads the series 9-5.
On Sept. 17, Alabama beat North Texas 41-0 and on Sept. 24 they beat Arkansas 38-14. I watched the game with Miss Kathy. Going for it on fourth down and punt return for touchdowns led to victory.
On Oct. 1, Alabama played Florida and won 38-10. Florida scored on 75-yard pass on the first play of the game. It went downhill from there for the Gators.
On Oct. 8, the Tide shutout Vanderbilt 34-0 and then on Oct. 15 routed Ole Miss 52-7. Trent Richardson had a great day and made a run. The Ole Miss player’s jock is still on the ground.
On Oct. 10, Alabama beat Tennessee 37-6. It was total domination by the Tide.
On Oct. 5, Alabama lost to LSU Tigers 6-9 in overtime. It was No. 1 vs No. 2. Missed field goals and an interception in the red zone did in Alabama.
Tickets were going for $1000 a pair. LSU won the SEC West and Alabama dropped to No. 3 behind Oklahoma State in the BCS rankings.
On Oct. 12, the Tide caged the bulldogs of Mississippi State 24-7. They were still No. 3 in BCS rankings.
On Oct. 19, Alabama had Senior Day and beat Georgia Southern 45-21. They had a hard time with Ga. Southern’s option offense.
Alabama moved to No. 2 in the BCS as Iowa State upset Oklahoma State on Thursday.
On Oct. 26, the Tide visited Auburn and won 42-14.
Auburn was ranked in the BCS. Alabama shut down Auburn’s offense. Auburn’s defense recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Auburn later returned a kickoff for a touchdown. It was a total team effort.
LSU destroyed Georgia 42-10 in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama would play LSU in the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans.
Payback was sweet. LSU was held to 92 yards total offense. Alabama led 9-0 at the half. LSU didn’t cross the 50 in the first half. They only crossed once in the second half.
Alabama kicked two more field goals and a 34-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson gave Alabama the 21-0 victory.
It was the second National Championship in three years. Alabama led the nation in every major statistical defensive category since 1986. Oklahoma was the last team to do that.
Barnett Jones won the Wuerffel and Outland Trophies. Trent Richardson won the Doak Walker Award for best back in the nation and SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
Seven players made unanimous All-American: Mark Barron, Barrett Jones, Trent Richardson (consensus), Dont’a Hightower (various teams), Courtney Upshaw, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dequan Menzie.
All-SEC: Trent Richardson, William Vlachos, Barrett Jones, Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Mark Barron.