A UGA parent paints the town red (and black)

When the Georgia Bulldogs secured their first national title in 41 years, the outpouring of emotion from University of Georgia alumni and fans was so intense, so widespread, it could’ve painted the sky red and black.

And in New York City, thanks to a UGA student’s parent, it did.

Shortly after the 2022 CFP National Championship finished, the iconic Empire State Building traded its usual illumination for red and black hues, and the world took notice.

 

But it wasn’t just the Empire State Building. The Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue also lit up the night red and black—not just on Monday night, but Sunday and Tuesday, too.

230 Park Avenue in New York City on Tuesday, Jan. 12

Timelapse of 230 Park Avenue the night of Jan. 11

Timelapse of 230 Park Avenue the night of Jan. 11

It all began with Bill Elder, managing director and executive vice president at RXR Realty. Elder, whose youngest daughter, Eliza, is a third-year studying real estate at UGA, had already started planning the lighting of 230 Park Avenue, a building in RXR’s portfolio, when he realized he had an opportunity to go even bigger.

“I had a call scheduled with Tony Malkin [chairman, president and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., which owns the Empire State Building], so I thought I’d see if he would do a favor for me,” said Bill. “So, I reached out to him on the Saturday before the game, and I said, ‘My daughter goes to Georgia, and we’re lighting 230 in red and black in honor of the game—do you think you could light up the Empire State Building? And he said ‘Absolutely, done.'”

The following Monday night, Bill was—like the rest of us—consumed by the drama of the national championship’s final minutes and the elation of the celebration that followed, so he didn’t know that Tony Malkin came through on his promise a little bit early: “The World’s Most Famous Building” wore red and black from the moment the Dawgs claimed victory until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Bill’s role in amplifying the joy of Bulldog Nation is spectacular enough on its own, but it becomes even more so in light of the journey he and his wife Katie took to become UGA fans. Just a few short years ago, the Elders had just a passing familiarity with the university, but once their youngest daughter, Eliza, began to take an interest in attending, things started to change.

“I’ll admit, my first reaction was ‘not a great idea, too big, she’ll get lost,’ but then I went down there, took a tour, and within about 20 or 30 minutes of being on campus, I got immediately comfortable with the place and thought UGA was a great decision,” said Bill.

Katie and Bill Elder at Sanford Stadium

Katie and Bill Elder at Sanford Stadium

Once Eliza became a student, Bill and Katie were approached by members of the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), a group of highly engaged parents who support student-focused organizations and efforts on campus.

“I didn’t realize how much need there was among UGA students,” said Bill. “So, when I heard about the outreach and the kind of need fulfillment that the PLC was doing for these great kids, I was in. How could you not want to help somebody who might be the first person in their whole family to go to college? How could you not want to give students a better chance?”

Bill and Katie have been members of the PLC ever since. Beginning this August, they will serve as chairs of the PLC’s Grants Committee, which administers grants that provide funding to a variety of organizations across UGA’s campus. Last year, the PLC Grants Program awarded 69 grants totaling over $625,000, and the program has awarded more than $3.8 million over its lifetime to groups like Designated Dawgs, the Outreach and Financial Assistance Fund at the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic, the Student Government Association’s Clothing Closet and the University Health Center’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services Program.

So, when some of Manhattan’s most iconic structures took on the colors of the national champion Georgia Bulldogs, it was an expression of the unbounded joy of alumni and fans who had waited nearly a half-century for a championship, but it was also a culmination of the Elders’ journey.

They are not a family with generations of Bulldogs, they didn’t grow up dreaming of Broad Street or Milledge Avenue, but they believe in the university and its mission just as strongly as a third-generation Dawg from Marietta.

“We went from knowing very little to humbly hoping that we can make a difference at the university,” said Bill. “UGA has embraced us, and we embrace them. We’re really happy to be a part of it, and we’re really proud to be a part of it.”

The Jerry Tanner Show – Jerry Watches the National Championship

Relive the before, during and after of the greatest football game ever played with your good friend Jerry, who—like you—spent his entire paycheck on championship merch.

Athens will be rocking on Saturday, Jan. 15, as Bulldog Nation celebrates the 2021 NATIONAL CHAMPION Georgia Bulldogs! Find out more about the parade and celebration on alumni.uga.edu/football.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

Three days in the frozen tundra (AKA what to do in Indianapolis)

As the clock ran down in the Orange Bowl and the Bulldogs heading to the Natty became a reality, thousands across the country began booking plane tickets and rental cars, purchasing game tickets, finding accommodations, and answering the question: “What does a Southerner wear to a January football game in the Midwest, when the temperatures are in the teens?” *don’t worry, I’m clueless as well.

As we are just a few days away from the big game, traveling fans may find themselves wondering how to spend a day (or three) in Indy. As a UGA staff member making the trek to assist with communications and hosting alumni on site, I found myself wondering what Indianapolis holds for fans during the frigid days and hours before the big game.

So, I gathered a few ideas from those in the know, Dawg fans. If you visit any of them, take a pic and tag us in social using #AlwaysADawg.

INDIANAPOLIS ALUMNI CHAPTER

Indianapolis Alumni Chapter President Liz Smith (AB ’82) suggested a few places to eat:

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution knows that Indianapolis is “more than fast cars.” Here are a few highlights from its story:

VISIT INDY

The official welcome wagon for the city of Indianapolis, VisitIndy.com features hordes of ideas to curate a fun weekend in this Midwest town. Here are a few highlights I spotted on both their “things to do” list and their “where to eat” list:

HOMEFIELD APPARAL

Indianapolis-based Homefield Apparal offers licensed college apparel (including UGA). Their team posted a series of Tweets highlighting things to do and see in town. A few highlights for each of their categories are below; the full list is far more extensive:

INDIANAPOLIS HOST COMMITTEE

The group responsible for hosting the CFP National Championship has curated resources for travelers visiting the city for the big game.

DOWNTOWN INDY

This nonprofit organization focuses on developing and promoting downtown Indianapolis. Here’s its events calendar and lists of what to explore while in the area.

A FEW ADDITIONS

  • The Indiana Pacers host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night at 7 p.m. if you’re looking to makae it a two-sport kind of weekend.
  • Did you know there is a Georgia Street in Indy? The three, pedestrian-friendly blocks of this street connects the Indiana Convention Center with Bankers Life Fieldhouse and features food and beverage stations, concert stages, street performers and more.
  • Don’t forget there are several official events hosted by the CFP National Championship and you can find those on our football landing page.

I hope these resources help you enjoy a fun weekend in Indianapolis (capped off with a win for the Dawgs on Monday). Whether or not you’re heading to the game, be sure to tag @UGAAlumni on social so we can share photos and videos from Bulldogs around the world. Sic ‘em!

Turn up the volume and jam your way to Indianapolis

The Bulldogs are heading to Indianapolis, vying for a National Championship victory over Alabama on January 10. Whether you’re enduring the 9-hour drive to Lucas Oil Stadium or cheering on the Dawgs from Athens, a good old-fashioned playlist will help you prepare for an epic showdown in Indy.

From “Glory” and “Baba O’Riley” to “Dooley’s Junkyard Dogs” and “In the Air Tonight,” we’ve got you covered with over 140 songs in our Road to Indianapolis: National Championship Edition playlist.

Watch out, Bama. “The Boys are Back in Town” and are looking to rise up “Against the Tide.” “I Gotta Feeling” that our Dawgs are going to “Rock You Like a Hurricane” come January 10. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Bulldog Nation!

The Jerry Tanner Show – 2022 National Championship: Alabama

We may win, we may lose, but above all else, I just want to dedicate this national championship game to all the Auburn fans out there.

The UGA Mentor Program is celebrating Mentor Month throughout January, and you can join the celebration by becoming a mentor. Invest in the next generation of Bulldogs by sharing your experience and helping a UGA student find their way in the world. Learn more at mentor.uga.edu.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

History of the Uniform: Michigan and Georgia

Anyone inside Michigan Stadium on Oct. 2, 1965, was able to see two of college football’s most iconic, classic uniforms together on the field for the first time ever—though they probably didn’t know it at the time.

Michigan’s winged helmet had already established itself as a symbol of college football, but in 1965, Georgia was only in its second year with an oval G on a red helmet. In the half-century since, both teams’ uniforms have held close to the way they looked on that Saturday in Ann Arbor, and the success both programs have enjoyed over that span has cemented those uniforms in the minds of college football fans.

The winged helmet and the oval G would clash that day and then never again… until this New Year’s Eve. As we head into this long-awaited rematch, let’s look back at the people and decisions that defined the looks of the 1965 Bulldogs and Wolverines and how those looks have (and have not) changed since.

The Maize and Blue

Georgia plays MichiganThe Michigan Wolverines’ colors of maize and blue date back to the late 1860s, when a committee of Michigan students chose “azure blue and maize” as the university’s colors. This color combination may have appeared in some form or fashion on the Michigan football team’s jerseys from the 1890s up through the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the team adopted their winged helmet in the 1930s that the two stood side-by-side in stark contrast and created a visual identity that would stand the test of time.

Fritz Crisler arrived in Ann Arbor in 1938 as Michigan’s new head football coach. Before leading the Wolverines, he coached at Princeton, where, in 1935, he had ordered leather helmets with a “wing” panel across the top-front of the helmet. In an effort to help his quarterbacks find their receivers downfield, Crisler had the wing panel painted a different color from the rest of the helmet, creating a stark contrast easier to spot amid the chaos of a football game.

So, in 1938, Crisler brought his helmet innovation to Ann Arbor, and on October 1, 1938, the maize-and-blue winged helmet took the field for the first time against Michigan State.

Crisler’s career as Michigan’s head football coach would run nine years, accumulating a 116-32-9 record, two conference titles and a national championship, but his most lasting contribution to Michigan football (and the University of Michigan’s identity, perhaps) lies in the wing design that has lasted 83 years and counting.

The Red and Black

Vince Dooley might have gone to Auburn, but he knew what Georgia’s colors were: red and black. So, when the young coach arrived in Athens in 1964, he was confused at the amount of silver the Dawgs wore on game day: They had red jerseys, but their helmets and pants were silver.

Dooley wanted to put his stamp on a program that had been through some tough years following the departure of long-time coach Wally Butts. With months to go before a single snap of football was played, Dooley decided to start by establishing a consistent visual identity.

First out were the silver britches in favor of red or white pants with a stripe down the outside of the leg—although the silver britches would return in 1980.  Next, it was time for a new helmet. Dooley knew he wanted red, and while UGA had begun sporting helmets with a square G in ’62, the logo’s use was sporadic, so Dooley figured it was time to lock in a new logo.

John Donaldson (BSED ’52) was a coach on Dooley’s first staff, and he volunteered his wife, Ann (BFA ’55), who studied commercial art at Georgia, to create the new logo. What she developed was accepted immediately by Dooley, and it has come to be known as the “oval G,” “Power G,” or “Super G.”

The logo has often been compared to the Green Bay Packers’ signature mark—developed three years prior to Georgia’s ‘G’—and Dooley was aware of the similarity. He reached out to the Packers organization and cleared the use of the Bulldogs’ new logo. Interestingly, as time has passed, the Packers have subtly adjusted their own logo to a form that more closely resembles UGA’s oval G.

With his new helmets and new pants, Dooley had made his first mark (of many) on the program. The Dawgs went 7-3-1 in their first season wearing Dooley’s duds, and they opened 1965 with two wins before heading up to Michigan.

Since the Bulldogs’ 1965 victory over the Wolverines, both teams have indulged in the occasional wardrobe variation—like Michigan’s 2017 all-Maize unis and Georgia’s 2007 Blackout jerseys—but their standard outfits have remained largely consistent over the last 56 years.

The helmets might be fancier, the numbers might be sharper and the players might be a whole lot bigger, but the Dawgs and Wolverines of 2021 still look an awful lot like their 1965 counterparts.

Michigan uniforms in 1965 and 1921

UGA uniforms in 1965 and 2021

All black-and-white photos owned by Regents of the University of Michigan and licensed under CC BY 4.0

Heading to the Orange Bowl?

If you are traveling to South Florida for the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31, you might be interested in activities to fill your time (and your stomach) in the days leading up to the game. We connected with Akil A. Kalathil (BS ’14), a graduate student at the Miller School of Medicine (Dhar Lab) at the University of Miami to gather a few tips for Bulldog fans of all ages.

Activities

Bars/Restaurants

Miami Beach

Wynwood

Brickell / Downtown

Former Bulldog representing red and black at Orange Bowl

This story was written by Heather Skyler and originally ran on UGA Today on December 21, 2021.

Anne Noland (ABJ ’15) works as senior director of football communications for the Miami Dolphins, but when she enters her workplace–Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida–on Dec. 31, it will be as a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Noland graduated from UGA in 2015 with a degree from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and has already risen to the top of her field, becoming the third woman in the National Football League to lead a public relations department.

At Noland’s small private high school in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, students were required to be involved in sports or after school activities year-round, and since she didn’t have a fall sport (she ran track in the spring) her mother encouraged her to ask the football coach about helping with the team.

The coach said he needed someone to keep stats and Noland was in. “He handed me a pencil and pad and said to bring my own calculator,” she recalled. “There were computers available then, but that’s how we did it at the time. I crunched the numbers myself, then every Friday night I’d call the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and provide them with the final score and any other stats they wanted.”

She already knew quite a bit about the game from watching the Bulldogs with her family and learning more about football’s intricacies and plays from her father, but in her position keeping stats, she really fell in love with the whole environment. “I was a ballet dancer and I dabbled in other sports,” she said, “but I was never really a team sports player and that was my first experience of it.”

During Noland’s junior year, her father died of cancer, and although she didn’t tell any of the players about it, the entire football team along with their families showed up at the funeral to support her. “That’s the moment I knew that, moving forward, I always wanted to be part of a team,” she said.

NFL and UGA connections

Since graduating from UGA, Noland’s job has overlapped a few times with her alma mater. Prior to her position with the Dolphins, Noland worked for the Patriots when the team included former UGA players Malcolm Mitchell (AB ’15), David Andrews (M ’15), Isaiah Wynn (BSFCS ’18) and Sony Michel (M ’18), among others.

“To work with them at the NFL level and win a Super Bowl with those guys was really cool,” she said.

In February 2019, while working for the Patriots during Superbowl LIII in Atlanta, students from Grady were in attendance and Noland got to talk to them about her job.

Despite still being fairly new to the world of professional football, Noland has already faced her share of challenges, including the effects of COVID-19 on professional sports and the changing news cycle, which has evolved into a 24-hour, non-stop cycle in recent years due to the evolution of social media, in particular.

“Before, when someone was going to break a story, they would call you first to let you know and get more context, etc. Now because of Twitter, one source can give someone information and they just go with it.”

But she loves her job and tries not to ever forget the excitement and awe she experienced in her early years working with the Dawgs and Grady at UGA.

“Earlier this season I received a Facebook memory from 10 years ago on that day. It was a photo of my first UGA football game credential from the press box. I remember how excited I was about that. And now that’s second nature,” she said.

Noland chose UGA, in part, because it has elite athletic and academic programs, and she said she learned so much from so many but recalled Senior Associate Athletic Director of Sports Communications Claude Felton (ABJ ’70, MA ’71) in particular. “He was pivotal to my life and career and taught me so much. The more I work in this business, the more amazed I am by how he treats everyone. He’s never too busy for anyone.”

“Athens and UGA are special places,” she added. “I think it’s a community of people who love the university and are proud to be there. When you have that kind of a shared pride it creates a very special environment.”

The Jerry Tanner Show – Orange Bowl: Michigan

Michigan beat Georgia in ’57, UGA evened the score in ’65, and 56 years later, we have the rubber match. Oh, and the winner goes to the natty. NBD.

Show off your Bulldog spirit and your hometown pride with a UGA state decal! Represent the Dawgs and your state of choice (or D.C.) on your car, laptop, water bottle, or whatever. Plus, each decal purchase includes a $5 donation to support UGA students. Get yours today at alumni.uga.edu/statedecals.

Jerry Tanner is everyone you’ve ever met at a UGA tailgate, everyone who’s ever talked about Georgia football by your cubicle, and every message board poster who claims to have a cousin who cut Vince Dooley’s grass. He’s a UGA alumnus, he’s a college football fanatic with a Twitter addiction, and he’s definitely a real person and not a character played by Clarke Schwabe.

History of the Championship: Georgia

December 4, 2021 is the date of the 30th SEC Championship Game, which may come as a surprise to some fans of the 89-year-old conference.

In 1992, with the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC took advantage of an NCAA rule that allowed conferences with 12 members or more to organize into divisions and hold a championship game at the end of the regular season, thereby circumventing NCAA limits on the number of games a team could play in a season. The SEC became the first NCAA conference—in any division—to hold a football championship game.

The University of Georgia has been involved in eight SEC Championship Games, and while some have been ecstatic victories and some have been crushing defeats, they were all memorable in their own way.

Back in the game (for the first time)

On Nov. 16, 2002, at around 6 p.m. in Auburn, Alabama, Michael Johnson reached up and pulled UGA out of a 20-year drought.

Of course, neither he—nor anyone else—could know that at the time, but the energy that had built up over Mark Richt’s second season at UGA made believers out of many long-suffering Bulldog fans. With that heart-stopping, fourth-down connection against Auburn, the Bulldogs closed out their SEC slate with only one loss, good enough to finish first in the East and earn the Dawgs’ first-ever trip to the SEC Championship Game.

The situation in the SEC West was much murkier. Alabama finished with the best record, but they were forbidden from postseason play due to NCAA probation. Behind them was a three-way tie for second between LSU, Auburn and Arkansas. The Razorbacks had head-to-head wins over the others, so they became the West’s representative in Atlanta.

And representing the West was about all they did in that game. UGA came out guns-blazing, scoring 17 points before Arkansas even gained a yard of offense, and took a 23-0 lead into halftime.

One final UGA touchdown and an Arkansas field goal later, the game ended 30-3 Georgia. The dominant win would earn the Bulldogs a trip to the Sugar Bowl—a game they would win 26-13 over Florida State—and their first SEC championship in 20 years.

A dish best served cold

In the days before the 2005 SEC Championship Game, the narrative was “revenge.”

For UGA, this was a chance at payback for 2003, when the Nick Saban-led LSU Tigers beat the Dawgs twice in one season: by a respectable 7-point margin in the regular season, and by an embarrassing 21-point margin in the conference title game. The Bulldogs had enjoyed some small amount of vengeance in 2004, but the bitter taste of that 2003 SEC Championship Game remained.

For LSU, they could avenge that 45-16 beatdown in Athens from 2004. And getting revenge would be doubly important because, in 2005, LSU was breaking in first-year head coach Les Miles following Saban’s departure for the NFL. They needed to prove that their winning ways didn’t leave with him.

Both teams earned their spot in the title match. LSU claimed victory against Arizona State, Florida, Auburn and Alabama, none of which ranked lower than no. 16. Georgia had wins against ranked Boise State, Tennessee and Georgia Tech teams, but their losses to Florida and Auburn meant that LSU would be the favorite to win the conference.

But the Dawgs had D.J. Shockley, and LSU did not.

Shockley would be named the MVP of the game—and justifiably so—but this was a team effort. Two timely interceptions—one midway through the first quarter, another at the start of the fourth quarter that turned into a pick-6—shut down LSU drives, and a blocked punt in the second quarter gave UGA a short field that Shockley took advantage of.

By the final whistle, Georgia had its revenge: a 34-14 win and the Bulldogs’ second SEC title in 4 years.

Five yards from glory

The 2012 SEC Championship Game was a titanic struggle full of drama and laden with national championship implications, presaging today’s UGA-Alabama rivalry for reasons both wonderful and terrible.

A scoreless first quarter suggested this might be a defensive affair. But the game began in earnest with the first snap of the second quarter.

UGA flailed against Kirby Smart’s defense for the remainder of the half, and with two minutes left before halftime, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy broke away for a 41-yard touchdown run to even the score at 7. Georgia QB Aaron Murray was intercepted deep in Alabama territory on the next drive, and Bama was able to take the lead with a field goal as the half ended.

The third quarter, however, belonged to the Bulldogs. Todd Gurley scored 3 minutes into the second half, and roughly six minutes later, Alec Ogletree turned the Georgia Dome upside-down.

Georgia now led by 11, but Alabama answered with a T.J. Yeldon touchdown and two-point conversion just minutes later, and Eddie Lacy started the fourth quarter with a touchdown that gave Alabama the lead once again: 25-21.

Two minutes later, Gurley took it back.

UGA held this lead, 28-25, until 3:15 in the fourth, when Amari Cooper broke loose on what is likely an eerily familiar play for Georgia fans. The long touchdown gave Alabama a four-point edge with just minutes left in the game.

On the following Bulldog drive, Alabama stymied the Georgia offense and forced a punt with two minutes to go. The Dawgs’ defense returned the favor, keeping the Tide from moving the ball and using all their timeouts to preserve the clock. After receiving the subsequent Alabama punt, UGA had one last chance with about a minute left from their own 15.

Backed by the sound of Bulldog Nation’s gnashing teeth and murmured prayers, the Dawgs began their million-mile march to victory. Murray and his offense escaped catastrophe, soared through the air, raced for the sidelines, and stared in the face of certain doom all the way down to the Alabama 8-yard line.

After this last first down, Murray looks to the sidelines and motions for a spike, to stop the clock and give the offense time to regroup. But the offense races ahead of him, setting up for the next play. We can only assume the coaches saw something they liked in Alabama’s on-field personnel, or perhaps they thought they could catch the Tide off-guard.

Ten seconds. The ball is snapped.

Eight seconds. Murray throws to his right, where Chris Conley is running a 3-yard out route and Malcolm Mitchell is headed for the end zone. An Alabama defender leaps forward and his hand collides with the ball. It takes a dramatic vertical arc.

Seven seconds. Chris Conley turns to see a ball headed in his direction. His reaction reads as surprise. Somewhere in his thinking, he likely knows the clock is moving, that he is too far from the sideline, and that he is not in the endzone. But for his entire life he’s trained to be a receiver: someone who catches the ball. So, with a ball heading his way, five yards from winning a conference championship, he does what he has trained to do.

Six seconds. Conley hits the ground, two yards from the sideline, five yards from the goal line. The clock keeps moving.

Three seconds. Conley climbs to one knee. Everything is moving too fast.

Five weeks from now, Alabama will go to Miami and destroy the Fighting Irish. They will easily claim Nick Saban’s third national championship at Alabama. And every Georgia fan watching will know, deeply and without reservation, that had the Dawgs been there, they would’ve done the same.

But right now, there are three seconds left. Not enough time to win, but more than enough time to think about how close you were.

Georgia fans would spend five years in those final seconds. The 2013-2015 seasons would be marked by an inability to win “the big game” and return UGA to championship contention, and those years would become the conclusion of the Mark Richt era. It was not the ending fans would’ve wanted for the coach who pulled them out of the morass and into national prominence, but it did lead to the hiring of another coach—ironically, one who was partially responsible for 2012’s tragic finish—who would lift the Dawgs to new heights.

As time has passed, the pain of 2012 has dulled and the vast majority of Bulldog Nation is able to appreciate the full scope of Richt’s tenure, all its triumphs and tragedies. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we’ve been able to make some new, better memories in the championship game.

This Saturday, Georgia will face a familiar foe for the Dawgs’ ninth SEC Championship Game. Our history with the Tide is what it is, but more than anything, it is just that: history.

On December 4, 2021, a Bulldog team that is undefeated in SEC play for the first time in 39 years, 12-0 for the first time since 1980 and boasting one of the best defenses in school history will take the field in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their first-ever game against an Alabama team that went to the wire against Florida, Arkansas and Auburn.

It’s time to write some history.