Nick Saban now sits at the helm of the Alabama football program with much success under his belt. In eight full seasons as head coach, he has already won three SEC titles and three national championships. “Dynasty” is the word many like to associate with what he has built.
Alabama’s victories over the past few years are burned in any college football fan’s memory, but does anybody remember his worst loss? Was it the 2010 South Carolina game? The Utah Sugar Bowl? Maybe a five-loss Mississippi State team in his first season?
This Saturday, Saban is playing the team that caused the worst loss Saban ever had at Alabama. The University of Louisiana Monroe returns to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time since 2007, when the 4-6 Warhawks upset the Crimson Tide 21-14. Not to mention, the Warhawks had 13 straight losing seasons leading up to the 2007 season. Saban’s first season wasn’t going particularly well, but the Crimson Tide came into the game with a 6-4 record with two wins over ranked opponents, and the season turned a little sour that Saturday, Nov. 17.
Alabama’s opening drive looked beautiful. Running back Jonathan Lowe drove down the field to set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from John Parker Wilson to Keith Brown to cap the drive. ULM was stopped on the next drive, and it looked like the Crimson Tide would cover their 24.5 line. When Alabama got the ball back, though, Wilson made a mistake over the middle and was intercepted. Then the mistakes piled up.
Wilson threw another interception that was returned to the 1-yard line where ULM would score. ULM was up 21-14 at the end of the third quarter, when Alabama attempted a field goal. Blocked. Alabama would get the ball back though, for a few more chances.
With 3:07 left Alabama got the ball back. They drove all the way down to the 13-yard line. Running back Jimmy Johns was looking to punch it in and finally tie the game, but James Truxillo stripped the ball and ULM pounced on it.
The next few years put away any remembrance of that game. Alabama went on to play in the SEC title the next season, and then in 2009 Alabama went undefeated and won its 13th national championship. ULM did quite the opposite. The Warhawks only had one winning season over the next seven years. In 2012, ULM went 8-5 and actually upset No. 8 Arkansas in a 34-31 overtime thriller.
The Nov. 17 game of 2007 serves mainly as just a fun fact these days. No one really cares after the two schools went on their different paths the past seven seasons. The game speaks to what kind of program Saban inherited his first year in Tuscaloosa, and how much he has flipped the program around since then. This game Saturday should give some time for Alabama fans to reflect on all that has happened in just a few short years.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports