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Alabama Football: 5 Biggest Upsets in Crimson Tide History

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide Football

Texas A&M's upset of Alabama was shocking, but doesn't make this list

Alabama's chances of making the College Football Playoff took a hit with its loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 9. Given the way the Tide had dispatched its last 19 opponents in workmanlike fashion, Saturday's upset in College Station felt quite shocking.

Was this one of the biggest upsets in Alabama history? Maybe for the Nick Saban era, but not in the program's entire history. Here are five that were much more significant.

5. UCLA 35, Alabama 24

Sept. 2, 2000 — Pasadena, Calif.

Alabama entered the season ranked third and expected to open with a win in the Rose Bowl over a UCLA team that finished 4-7 the previous year. But the Bruins dominated the Crimson Tide, forcing three turnovers and holding the ball for more than 37 minutes. Unlike the other games on this list, this upset was not an aberration, as Alabama went 3-8 and head coach Mike DuBose was fired. However, it makes the list because it kicked off arguably the most disappointing season in the program's history.

4. Tennessee 35, Alabama 28

Oct. 16, 1982  Knoxville, Tenn.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide had throttled eventual national champion Penn State two weeks earlier and held an 11-game winning streak on the Vols. Leading 21-13 at the half, it appeared as if Alabama would extend the streak to 12 over its two-touchdown underdog. Then Tennessee scored 22 unanswered points to take a 35-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter and held on to win. The Crimson Tide then lost their final three regular-season games in what would be Bear Bryant's last season as head coach.

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3. LSU 17, Alabama 13

Nov. 6, 1993 — Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama had not lost a game since Sept. 14, 1991, but starting quarterback Jay Barker was out with a shoulder injury. The Tigers entered this game with a 3-5 record but collected four interceptions from the three Crimson Tide quarterbacks who tried to replace Barker. LSU jumped ahead 14-0 in the third quarter with touchdown runs by Jay Johnson and Robert Toomer, and kicker Andre Lafleur then made it 17-7 with a field goal. Alabama added another touchdown, but that was as close as it got and the Tide's streak of 31 consecutive games without a loss came to an end.

2. Georgia Tech 24, Alabama 21

Sept. 12, 1981  Birmingham, Ala.

Georgia Tech won only one game the year before and seemed like easy pickings for the second-ranked Tide. In the most stunning upset on this list, the Yellow Jackets matched Alabama score for score and then pulled ahead for good with a little less than four minutes to play. For the Crimson Tide, it would be their only regular-season loss. For Georgia Tech, it would be their only win.

1. Missouri 20, Alabama 7

Sept. 8, 1975  Birmingham, Ala.

Alabama opened the season with a Monday night game against Missouri that was televised on ABC. The Tigers shocked the second-ranked Crimson Tide by scoring on their first four possessions and then held them to 118 total yards. Not only did the upset snap Alabama's 22-game regular-season win streak, but it also cost the Tide the national title. Alabama won the rest of its regular-season games, but was edged out of the championship by an 11-1 Oklahoma team that had lost to Kansas.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.