Bill Curry was considered a failure at Alabama despite the fact that the Tide’s record improved in each of Curry’s three seasons at the helm (from 7-5 in 1987 to 9-3 to 10-2 and a Sugar Bowl berth in 1989). In 1990, Curry left Alabama to take the Kentucky job, which tells you just how bad things had gotten for the coach in Tuscaloosa.
Now Curry will return to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Thursday night with his Georgia State Panthers. GSU is in its first season of college football and plays at the FCS level. If you’re surprised Georgia State is facing Alabama this season… you’re not alone.
“When I started putting together our schedules a couple of years ago, I felt it was important to add some big schools, so our kids can see what it’s like to play big-time college football,” Curry told the Montgomery Quarterback Club. “Because that’s where we want to be eventually.
“So (in 2008), I sent out requests to 25 big schools to try to schedule a game. We got three replies.”
Alabama was one of the replies.
“They told me they had an opening in 2010. I called them back and said, ‘That’s our first season.’ I didn’t think we’d be ready to play such a game. I mean, Alabama had not won the national championship by that time, but they were good. And we were a first-year program.”
When Bama gave Curry a “take it or leave it” response, the coach took it. Even though he’d “left it” with Tide officials two decades earlier.
It will be interesting to see what kind of reception Curry receives from the Bama fans on Thursday. If they’re smart — or at least classy — about it, they’ll recall that Gene Stallings’ 1992 national championship club still had a few Curry recruits on the roster.