Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alabama-Duke Football Connections Run Deep

When you think of Alabama, you think of football championships. When you think of Duke, you think of basketball championships. Both schools lived up to that billing last season.

Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe played at Alabama and coached under Bear Bryant. Now he tries to pull off the impossible and beat the heavily favored Alabama Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium.

Back in 1930, the impossible did happen when Alabama's head football coach left Tuscaloosa for Durham. The site of Saturday's game bears the name Wallace Wade who left Alabama for Duke after winning three national championships.

"From 1923-30, Wade was 61-13-3 at Alabama and led the Crimson Tide to three Rose Bowls and three national championships (1925, 1926 and 1930). A 20-19 victory over heavily favored Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl is considered a watershed event for Southern college football."

Don Kausler Jr. has more at on the impact Wallace Wade had at the two schools.

But just as today, Wade fell under the 'what have you done for me lately' mentality and left to take to the Duke job after two straight 6-3 seasons.

Before Spurrier there was Wade who went 110-36-7 games in 16 seasons at Duke.

While Wade was winning in Durham, some guy named Bear Bryant had taken over for him at Alabama and the rest is history.

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