1960 Crimson Tide
(Authentic Reproduction)



After the 0-10, and two consecutive 2-7-1 seasons under head coach J.B. Whitworth, the Alabama faithful were ready to go all out to have a winning team. Paul "Bear" Bryant was a former Alabama end on their successful teams of the early-1930's and had been a controversial though winning coach at Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas A&M where he gained a reputation as a task master and rehabilitator of down-and-out programs. Bryant sought out players with the type of background he had come from, poor, rural, and willing to work as hard as possible to move forward in life. His initial group was re-made in his image as brutal running and drill sessions leaned out and mentally toughened a marginally talented squad which finished at 5-4-1. Bryant knew he would be successful if he could get the material and as he put it, "teach your kids to forget a losing complex." Quick-kicks, field position, and brutal defense defined the new Crimson Tide teams. Bryant maintained the white helmet with crimson stripe for 1958 and 1959 and added red side numerals but the team looked improved in every way. Behind soph QB Pat Trammell, the 1959 Tide went 7-2 and most importantly beat Auburn for the first time since 1953 and finished the year with its first of twenty-four consecutive bowl appearances under Coach Bryant. The brand new Philadelphia-based Liberty Bowl paired Penn State and the Tide and the 7-0 loss gave Alabama its first national exposure in decades. Bryant's 1960 team was loaded with youngsters who would later make a name for themselves as NFL players or college coaches and his team was defining defense in a way that was making everyone throughout the south re-think their approach to the game. Five shutouts, an 8-1-1 regular season mark and a 3-3 tie against a favored Texas team in the Bluebonnet Bowl made Bryant expectant going into the 1961 season. As a three-year starter, Trammell was the bellcow and although he didn't do anything well except win, his intelligence and leadership ability made this team dangerous. Switching off between the white shells, crimson center stripe, and crimson numerals on the side with a gleaming crimson helmet with white center stripe, and white side numerals, the squad's 11-0 finish was in fact dangerous enough but the 1961 National Championship team was forged behind six shutouts, two three point games, and a total of twenty-five points yielded the entire year. Lee Roy Jordan, Billy Neighbors, Butch Wilson, Tommy Brooker, Steve Wright, Bill Battle, Ray Abrusseze, Bill Oliver, Charley Pell, Richard Williamson, and Jack Rutledge were among those that later made a lasting name for themselves as either professional players or in the coaching ranks. However it was Pat Trammell, long-noted as Bryant's favorite QB who later became a physician, who was the engine that drove the Tide to its dizzying heights. He insured that the team played to its ability. Bryant had said, "I think early in the season that they were the nicest, even the sissiest bunch I'd ever had. I think they read it because later on they got unfriendly" and again it was Trammell that led the transformation. Trammell tragically died at the age of twenty-eight but he began the Bryant legacy of excellence at Alabama.     

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