Historical dominance, short-term woes addressed Saturday as Texas hosts No. 1 Alabama

Payne Williams, Sports reporter

A chance for redemption awaits the Longhorns this Saturday as No. 1 Alabama visits DKR, the two teams’ first meeting in over a decade. The game also marks the first time Texas has hosted Alabama in Austin since 1922.

The Longhorns hold a 7-1-1 record against the Crimson Tide, but Texas’ loss to Alabama in the 2010 BCS National Championship headlines the series to date. The Longhorns haven’t faced Alabama since, but the loss still rings bells in the ears of Texas fans.

The game featured some of the best college and future NFL talent including Heisman winner Mark Ingram and Heisman finalist Colt McCoy, as well as future NFL All-Pros and Hall of Famers such as Justin Tucker, Earl Thomas and Julio Jones.

The teams’ first meeting in over 25 years was set up to be one of the best national championship games since the 2005 Rose Bowl and to continue Texas’ unbeaten record against Alabama. However, the Longhorns’ outlook on the game quickly shifted after senior quarterback Colt McCoy suffered a shoulder injury on the first drive.

Texas held a 6-0 lead over Bama heading into the second quarter, but Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide rolled from that point on their way to a 37-21 win, ending the Longhorns’ hopes of two national championships in a five-year span.

2010 wasn’t the only meeting between the two historical programs, though.

The Longhorns and the Crimson Tide met three times from 1965 to 1982, with the Longhorns winning each contest. The first two of the first three games in that span pitted two of college football’s most prolific coaches, Darryl Royal and Bear Bryant, against each other.

The series dates its first matchup to 1902 with a Longhorn 10-0 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. However, even today there are heavy ties between the two programs.

Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator from 2017 to 2020, winning two national championships in the process. The Longhorns’ offensive line coach Kyle Flood also spent time under Alabama head coach Nick Saban in the same role.

In addition to the coaching connections, current Texas players junior Keilan Robinson and sophomore Agiye Hall will have the chance to face their former team this weekend. 

Senior tight end Jahleel Billingsley, who is also an Alabama transfer, will not see the field Saturday due to an NCAA suspension for an unknown reason.

As is usual with opponents facing Alabama, Texas will have its plate full against a Crimson Tide team that boasts two potential Heisman candidates in juniors Will Anderson Jr. and Bryce Young. Young is coming off a six-touchdown performance in a Week 1 shutout, and the Texas defense will no doubt have its hands full.

Sarkisian and the Longhorns are 20-point underdogs to No. 1 Alabama, but the tide can always turn in this weekend’s anticipated matchup between two historic programs.