In the 25 days leading up to college football's championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the Chattanooga Times Free Press is counting down the traditions and memorable moments involving the Irish and the Crimson Tide. Today is No. 3.
Notre Dame had been recognized with three national championships before the 1925 season, while Alabama was trying to establish itself as a Deep South power after being overshadowed at the start of the 20th century by Sewanee and Vanderbilt.
Alabama won its first Southern Conference title in 1924, and the '25 Crimson Tide ripped through a 9-0 regular season by outscoring the opposition 277-7. The reward was an inaugural postseason invitation to the Rose Bowl against Washington, which was known at that time as the Purple Tornado.
"Southern football is not recognized or respected," Alabama coach Wallace Wade told his players before the game. "Boys, here's your chance to change that forever."
Washington jumped to a 12-0 halftime lead, but Pooley Hubert, Grant Gillis, Mack Brown, Bill Buckler and Ben Ennis headed a rally that produced a 20-19 victory for the Tide. Alabama claimed its first of 14 recognized national titles.
Birmingham News sports editor Zipp Newman referred to Alabama's win as "the most spectacular and dramatic in the history of the East vs. West Classic. The performance of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen fades into insignificance in comparison to Alabama's great comeback."
The Four Horsemen had played their final college game at the Rose Bowl after the '24 season, when Notre Dame beat Stanford 27-10.