Daily Dose of Crimson Tide: Alabama's Underrated 1962 Team

Christopher Walsh

One of the Alabama teams that doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves was 1962 Crimson Tide, which was arguably a failed two-point conversion shy of repeating as national champion or splitting the honors with undefeated Southern California.   

Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant was coming off his first national title, and the Crimson Tide entered the season having won 11 straight games and riding an 18-game unbeaten streak.

Alabama was led by sophomore quarterback Joe Namath and All-American linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, and over the course of the regular season outscored opponents 272-39 The most points it allowed in a game was seven. 

Alabama notched its fifth straight win against Mississippi State, shut out Auburn for the fourth straight year, and was in and out of the top spot in the Associated Press Poll after beginning at No. 2. 

What did in the title chances was the failed conversion at Georgia Tech, resulting in a 7-6 loss. 

Ole Miss ended up running the table to win the SEC crown, and subsequently defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, 17-13. 

Alabama had an epic performance in front of President John F. Kennedy at the Orange Bowl, defeating Oklahoma and Bud Wilkinson, 17-0. 

Both teams compiled exactly 260 yards of total offense, but thanks to the Jordan-led defense the Sooners were unable to get into the end zone. After placing fourth in Heisman Trophy voting (won by Terry Baker of Oregon State), he was credited with an incredible 31 tackles. 

Namath completed nine of 17 passes for 86 yards and picked up another 24 yards rushing, but still turned heads. 

In the Alabama dressing room after the game, a photographer asked Bryant to spell the name of a player whose picture he had just taken. "That's Namath, so - N-A-M-A-T-H," he said. "But don't worry about it. You'll learn how to spell it in the next couple of years."

Joe Namath
Young Alabama quarterback Joe Namath Special to BamaCentral
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