Alabama has history of being clutch

August, 1, 2008
8/01/08
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Here's the first in a series today on clutch performers. Alabama was a runaway winner for the "most clutch team" in SEC history. Check back a little bit later, and I'll take a look at which team in the SEC is the "most clutch" now. I'll also take a look at the 10 "most clutch players" in SEC history and the top five clutch players going into this season:

Alabama fans will proudly tell you that at a lot of places, they just play football.

At Alabama, they live it -- and live well.

If you're looking for the team that's delivered in the clutch more consistently than anybody else over the course of SEC history, that's an easy call.

Roll Tide!

Even with the dysfunction that's gripped the program over the past decade or so, Alabama has set a dizzying standard when it comes to winning championships, going to bowl games and producing memorable moments.

Much of that standard can be traced to the iconic Paul W. "Bear" Bryant, who won six national titles, 14 SEC titles and remains the most recognizable figure in college football history. Bryant won eight SEC titles in nine years from 1971-79 and won 10 or more games in 13 of the 25 seasons he coached in at Alabama.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Crimson Tide dominated the league like no team has before or since.

But even before "mama called" Bryant to return to his alma mater as coach in 1958, there was a legacy of winning at Alabama. In fact, the Crimson Tide has won national titles in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1960s, 1970s and 1990s.

Since the formation of the SEC in 1933, Alabama has won conference titles in every decade but the current one. The Tide's 21 SEC titles are far and away the most. Tennessee is a distant second with 13.

The legendary names to come through the Capstone roll of your tongue: Bennett. Hannah. Hutson. Jordan. Namath. Newsome. Stabler and Starr.

Now it's up to Nick Saban to create some new magic in a program that's proven over time it knows how to get it done when it counts.

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