BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
The first SEC Championship after the Coach Bryant era was in 1989. Bill Curry was the head coach. Curry was in his third season as head coach. Ray Perkins was the coach after Bryant.
Perkins coached for four seasons at Alabama and was offered the job at Tampa Bay and returned to the NFL.
Curry’s record entering the 1989 season was 16-8. Homer Smith was the offensive coordinator (2nd season). Don Lindsay was in his third season.
Alabama’s finished the season with a 10-2 (6-1 SEC) record. They were No. 7 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 9 in the Coaches Poll. Team captains Willitte Wyatt and Battle.
The 1989 season was different because there was a three way tie for the conference championship. Tennessee beat Auburn. Alabama beat Tennessee. Auburn beat Alabama.
Tennessee was 11-1 (6-1 SEC), Alabama was 10-2 (6-1 SEC). Auburn was 10-2 (6-1 SEC).
Alabama opened the season on Sept. 16 at Legion Field vs Memphis State winning 35-7. RB Siran Stacy scored four touchdowns.
On Sept. 23, Kentucky visited Tuscaloosa. It was TV game and Alabama won 15-3. Starting QB Jeff Dunn suffered a season ending knee injury. Gary Hollingsworth took over the quarterback job.
On Sept. 30, The Tide traveled to Vanderbilt in Nashville. It was a TV Game. Alabama won 20-14. They jumped out to 20-0 lead. DB John Mangum intercepted a Vandy pass with less than a minute in the game to preserve the win.
On Oct. 7, Alabama played Ole Miss at Jackson. Alabama won 62-27. Alabama fell behind 21-0 then scored 62 straight points for the win. QB Gary Hollingsworth set the record for touchdown passes into the game with five.
On Oct. 14, Southwestern Louisiana visited Tuscaloosa for Homecoming. Alabama won 24-17. They scored 17 points in the fourth quarter for the win.
On Oct. 21, Alabama played Tennessee at Legion Field. It was a TV game. Siran Stacy scored four touchdowns. A 75-yard whoopee pass from Hollingsworth to Stacy was the highlight play of the game.
On Oct. 28, Alabama played Penn State there. Alabama won 17-16. It was a TV game. Thomas Rayam’s block of a Penn State field goal kick saved the day for Alabama.
On Nov. 4, Mississippi State visited Legion Field. It was a TV game. Alabama 23-10.
On Nov. 11, Alabama played LSU in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. It was a TV game. Alabama won 32-16. Alabama gained over 600 yards in offense. Lee Ozmint scored the first two point play on defense. He was almost out of gas when he scored.
On Nov. 18, Southern Miss visited Tuscaloosa. Alabama won 37-14. Brett Favre was the starting quarterback for Southern Miss.
On Dec. 2, Alabama played Auburn at Auburn. It was the first time to play at Auburn since the renewal of the series. If Alabama had won they would have won the SEC championship outright. If they lost it would be a three way tie.
The crowd and team were too much to overcome. Auburn won 30-20. Alabama played Miami in the Sugar Bowl. The Canes won 33-25.
Alabama was not able to run the ball. The Canes were able to, along with throwing it. After game, it was announced Coach Bill Curry was leaving for Kentucky.
It was a very good year that ended with two losses.