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I-59 Tiger
LSU Fan
Vestavia Hills, AL
Member since Sep 2003
30668 posts
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Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
was the greatest coach in SEC history. That's some mighty fine company right there to be better than: Bob Neyland,Adolph Rupp and even Skip Bertman to name a few.

If you were to say the best in college football history,it'd be hard to argue with you. Could have some legitimate debate if you said he was the best coach,period,ever,but only coaches like John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, Joe McCarthy (of NYY 30's-40')would be ahead of him.

I know there's another thread below (or at least at 7:40 a.m. its below ),but lately there have been a surprising number of threads alluding to suggestions of his "cheating" and "corruption" which I thought needed its own "non-Tide fan" rebuttal.

The man did get caught "cheating" for recruiting violations at Texas A&M in 1955 which prevented A&M from going to the Cotton Bowl following their 1956 SWC title.Honestly, that violation and subsequent penalties should remove any suggestion that he was "hands off by the NCAA". In fact, coaching contemparary Woody Hayes and Ohio State were penalized around the same time period and put on probation.

But think about the time period that Bryant took Alabama to incredible heights in the 1960's with SEC and National Titles. The expression "politically correct" was still 30 years away, but the South was still white meat in the media's eye. Do you honestly think that if the most recognizable sports figure in the South and his football team had been pulling cute ones,it wouldn't have been exposed and reported ?

Now, I admit this is pretty "trivial geeky" ,especially at 8 in the morning , but its in line with what I'm trying to convey.From 1946 to 2000, the Rose Bowl was played between a Big 10 team and a Pac 10 team (each conference actually having gone by different names during this time frame). Note I said "team" and not "champion". Actually it wasn't until the mid 1960's when an agreement between the two was put togethor. Before then there was a series of agreements with each conference member on its own as to if it wanted to abide by it--but the Rose was still the only bowl it could play in.(LOTS,LOTS more stuff of relevance went in to all of this and the makeup ,but that's for another time....)

This brings me to the 1961 regular season.UCLA won the "Athletic Association of Western Universities" title (forerunner to Pac 8)and secured a Rose Bowl berth. Ohio State won the Big 10 title. UCLA-Ohio State Rose Bowl,right ? No. The Ohio State faculty senate, because of financial concerns and some concerns over a "pay for play" scandal with the West coast teams voted not to allow the Buckeyes to travel to Pasadena.Big 10 runner-up Minnesota had played in the Rose the previous year.The Big 10 had a "no repeat" precluding a team from consectutive Rose Bowls.

Enter Alabama,and LSU,for that matter.The Tide and Tigers were SEC co-champs and Alabama was #1 and unbeaten while LSU was #3 and once beaten.The Rose Bowl couldn't really have a UCLA scrimmage game,so the committee looked to Alabama and LSU focusing mainly on the Tide to come to the Rose.The Tide had already won the National Title,with the polls being awarded before bowls. UCLA-Alabama would work out pretty sweet for the Rose.

When the national sports media got wind of this,it died on the vine.Led by local sports columnist of the Los Angeles Times and syndicated nationally Jim Murray, he others vehemently opposed a southern team playing in the Rose,going into the litany of racial turmoil and no blacks on SEC teams (Murray hated all things Southern and piled on everytime he got including the aftermath of the 1970 Southern Cal-Alabama game).In 1961,think of Jim Murray like Jim Rome,ESPN and Paul Finebaum combined. Murray's sentiments went nationwide and the Rose dismissed the notion of Alabama,and LSU for that matter.But no where in Murray and his supporters was any addendum to their contempt of Alabama with "oh,by the way,Bryant is a dirty,cheating SOB !" Trust me,it wouldn't have been overlooked if true.

The Big 10 compromised and allowed Minnesota to return to Pasadena and they beat UCLA, 21-3.

There were too many opportunities in the 1960's for the sports world to have tried to expose Bryant.Again,he did get "caught" at A&M and several high profile West coast teams were busted for cheating the 50's. Bryant's second stop Kentucky,had its basketball program shutdown in 1953 for a scandal. With the sentiment about racial unrest in the South,the media would have loved Bryant's head on a platter for cheating at Alabama.Didn't happen.The Saturday Evening Post found out the hardway going out of business after Bryant and Wally Butts of Georgia sued them for printing an article suggesting just that on flimsy evidence.

Give it up. He won fair and square.

For those with the attention span of a gnat:CLIFF NOTES-- Bryant did not cheat.


pioneerbasketball
Arkansas Fan
Team Bunchie
Member since Oct 2005
81063 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
this is why I think you are the best poster on this board.


m2pro
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2008
22916 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant


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pioneerbasketball
Arkansas Fan
Team Bunchie
Member since Oct 2005
81063 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
this is why I think you are the best poster on this board.


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h0nkifuvcoached4bama
Auburn Fan
Alabama
Member since Oct 2009
925 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
How long did it take you to peck that out? Too bad it's so damn long that no one will read more than the first two sentences.


RollTide MJ
Alabama Fan
Tuscaloosa, AL
Member since Nov 2007
9518 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

I-59 Tiger




I-59, you are truly in my opinion the best poster on the SECRant. I always enjoy reading your posts because you can take up for and give facts for your team but you can also take the purple and gold glasses off and bring very informative and entertaining information to the board (no matter what other non LSU team it is). I definitely expect to introduce myself to you at the BAMA / LSU game this year.

This post was edited on 10/15 at 8:41 am


BamaInHsv
Alabama Fan
Huntsville
Member since Nov 2008
17889 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Sheeit. I'm gonna have to like you now.


bamawriter
Alabama Fan
Nashville, TN
Member since Apr 2009
2355 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
59, that's some solid research. Well done.


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m2pro
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2008
22916 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

I definitely expect to introduce myself to you at the BAMA / LSU game this year.


me too! that is, if you can deem me objective by then ;)


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rolltide1283
Alabama Fan
Pinson
Member since Feb 2007
3120 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
This is why I love reading your posts. You know your football and I don't know anyone that can compete with your knowledge of the game.


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Hooligan33
Georgia Fan
Member since Aug 2008
1170 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

this is why I think you are the best poster on this board.


+1. Great stuff. If this was a Rate-a-Record segment of American Bandstand, I would say this post has a good beat and you can dance to it.


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BamaInHsv
Alabama Fan
Huntsville
Member since Nov 2008
17889 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

How long did it take you to peck that out? Too bad it's so damn long that no one will read more than the first two sentences.


It's ironic that we have the best poster of the SEC start a thread, and then the worst poster of SEC rant replies.


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DvlsAdvocat
Alabama Fan
Your Mom's House, AL
Member since Jul 2007
24491 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

Led by local sports columnist of the Los Angeles Times and syndicated nationally Jim Murray, he others vehemently opposed a southern team playing in the Rose...


I've read some of this guy's articles from back in the day. He had total disdain for Southern football, and the South in general. Its surprising to read the outright contempt, even for someone in the modern day times of opinion journalism and shock commentary. He made Jim Rome, Finebaum, and Glenn Beck look like chumps.
This post was edited on 10/15 at 8:52 am


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THEBEARLIVES
Alabama Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Oct 2009
364 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Finally an LSU fan with some sense about this


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blueridgeTiger
LSU Fan
Addison, TX
Member since Jun 2004
11576 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Excellent post I-59. Having been a junior at LSU that year I lived through those days. I can honestly say I don't recall LSU being seriously considered for a Rose Bowl berth. I've read that BAMA and Navy were the top teams being considered before the Big10 let Minn go.

There was alot of talk about BAMA getting that bid. Also some speculation about an LSU vs. BAMA Sugar Bowl, but well before the end of the regular season the Tigers had already said they were not going to consider the Sugar Bowl.

To stay on your topic - I concur Bear has to rank as #1 all time college coach. I had the pleasure of meeting him once, and was really impressed by his presence.


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SlidellBammer
Alabama Fan
Member since Oct 2008
2379 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
+1


Diamondawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Mississippi
Member since Oct 2006
16707 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
You put into words what I have long thought to be true I59. Thanks for the write up


AUCatfish
Auburn Fan
Shitfaced Irishman
Member since Oct 2007
13640 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Ok,I hate to admit it but I-59 is correct. I seriously doubt we will ever see a coach as dominant for that length of time ever again.


Bankshot
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Jun 2006
4744 posts
 Online 

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

I seriously doubt we will ever see a coach as dominant for that length of time ever again


Not with today's scholarship limitations.


AUCatfish
Auburn Fan
Shitfaced Irishman
Member since Oct 2007
13640 posts

re: Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
quote:

Not with today's scholarship limitations.


True, it didn't hurt Bama back in the day when they would sign every decent player in Alabama and Mississippi so nobody else could get them.

But, even with that, Bryant was a great coach.


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