Countdown to Kickoff
Series Preview: Alabama vs. Florida



Dec. 3, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama holds a 21-13 series lead over Florida in a series that dates back in the Crimson Tide’s record book to the 1904 season. Florida does not recognize the 1904 game, claiming their team was a “club” team that season.

The Tide and Gators will meet for the 35th time this Saturday, Dec. 6, when the two divisional champions face off in the 2008 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. It will be the sixth time the two teams have played in the SEC Championship game and the Gators hold a slim 3-2 lead in the previous five meetings.  Alabama earned SEC Championships with wins over Florida in 1992 and 1999. Florida beat Alabama in 1993, 1994 and 1996 for the SEC Championship. 

The Crimson Tide and Gators have not played since the 2006 season when Florida posted a 28-13 win on Oct. 1 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. Alabama posted a 31-3 win over Florida during the 2005 season in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama won the first meeting 29-0 during the 1904 season. Florida’s first series win was a 9-2 victory in Tuscaloosa in 1921. Florida upset No. 3 Alabama, 10-6, on Oct. 12, 1963, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The loss was one of only two suffered by the Crimson Tide under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in Tuscaloosa during his 25-year career. Following that loss to Florida, Alabama reeled off a then-NCAA record 57 consecutive games in Tuscaloosa before losing to Southern Mississippi (38-29) in 1982, the final game of Bryant’s career in Tuscaloosa.

The Tide posted a lopsided 40-0 win over Florida on Oct. 13, 1979, in Gainesville. The 1979 season was the first year for UF head coach Charley Pell, who played for Bryant at Alabama from 1960-62 and was a member of Bryant’s first national championship team in 1961. In 1987, the college football world was introduced to freshman phenom Emmitt Smith, who rushed 39 times for 224 yards and two TDs in a 23-14 win over Alabama at Legion Field. It was Florida’s first series win since 1963.

Alabama beat No. 3 Florida, 40-39, on Oct. 1, 1999, at the Swamp to snap the Gators’ 31-game home winning streak. Senior tailback Shaun Alexander (28-106-3) tied the game with a late touchdown and then gave the Crimson Tide the win with a 25-yard run on the first play of overtime. The two teams met later that season in the 1999 SEC Championship game.  Alabama led 12-7 at halftime and turned the game into a blowout with a 19-point fourth quarter. UA receiver Freddie Milons ran the ball six times for 117 yards, including a 77-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Alexander added 97 yards and one TD on 30 rushing attempts.

Alabama’s last win over Florida came during the 2005 season as the Tide posted a dominating 31-3 win in Tuscaloosa. UA quarterback Brodie Croyle threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Prothro on UA’s first play of the game to set the tempo for the win.

After Saturday, the Crimson Tide and Gators will have played only 12 times since the 1990, with six of those meetings coming in the SEC Championship Game.

Alabama and Florida have met at six different sites since the first meeting in 1904. The Crimson Tide owns a 10-2 series lead in games played in the state of Florida, including an 8-2 mark in Gainesville. Florida’s only wins against Alabama in Gainesville came in 1991 (35-0) and 2006 (28-13). Alabama and Florida have played 19 times in the state of Alabama, with the Tide holding a narrow 10-9 lead.  The Tide holds a slim 6-5 series lead in Tuscaloosa and Florida is one of only two schools to beat legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in his 25-year career in Tuscaloosa.  The Gators upset No. 3 Alabama, 10-6, in 1963.  Southern Mississippi (1982) was the other team to beat a Bryant-coached team in Tuscaloosa.  UF has won three of the five meetings played at Legion Field in Birmingham. Alabama won two of the three games contested in Montgomery. Florida has won two of the three SEC Championship games played in Atlanta.


Series Record


Florida leads, 2-1


Florida leads, 3-2


Alabama leads, 8-2

Jacksonville, Fla.

Alabama leads, 2-0


Alabama leads, 2-1


Alabama leads, 6-5

The 2008 Alabama roster contains 12 players from the state of Florida, including Javier Arenas (Tampa), Terrance Cody (Ft. Myers), Glen Coffee (Ft. Walton Beach), P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs), Star Jackson (Lake Worth), Marquis Johnson (Sarasota), Mike Johnson (Pensacola), Charlie Kirschman (St. Augustine), Will Oakley (Ponte Vedra Beach), Colin Peek (Jacksonville), Chris Rogers (Lakeland) and Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee).

Alabama has not played Florida since the 2006 season and only 17 current players have seen action against the Gators. Alabama returns four offensive starters from that 2006 game including left tackle Andre Smith, center Antoine Caldwell, quarterback John Parker Wilson and tight end Travis McCall.  The Tide does not return any defensive starters from that last meeting.  The other 13 players to see action against the Gators in 2006 are Javier Arenas, Marlon Davis, Bobby Greenwood, Marquis Johnson, Mike Johnson, Prince Hall, Baron Huber, Rashad Johnson, Will Oakley, Cory Reamer, Ali Sharrief, Lorenzo Washington and Justin Woodall. Here is a look at how some of the players have fared against the Gators. Greenwood has three tackles and two tackles for a loss (-10) in two career games … McCall had a 12-yard reception in the 2006 game in Gainesville … Wilson has played in two games against the Gators, including one start in 2006 … In that game, he completed 21-of-40 passes for 240 yards.