Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
October 25, 1924: Alabama @ Georgia Tech
Wallace Wade vs Bill Alexander
A native of Tennessee, Wallace Wade played guard at Brown University from 1914-16 under Hall of Fame Coach Edward Robinson. "Coach Robinson taught me a lot about football," Wade recalled. "He was a good coach who stressed fundamentals like blocking and tackling, and he was a good organizer. Many things I learned under Coach Robinson I used later in my coaching career."
Wade returned to Tennessee after college and a two-year stint in the Army and coached at the high school level. His success caught the eye of Dan McGugin, the football coach at Vanderbilt who ran the most accomplished program in the South. McGugin hired Wade as a coach and director of athletics. Doing more of the day-to-day coach­ing than his boss, Wade helped make the Vandy defense even more formi­dable. The Commodores shut out their opponents in 13 of the 17 games they played while Wade was McGugin's assistant.
Both Kentucky and Alabama were in the market for new head coaches for the 1923 season. Both schools contacted Wade. He interviewed for the Kentucky job first. After the interview, the athletic committee asked him to leave the room so they could talk. After waiting three hours, Wade stormed into the room and told them to forget it. He was going to Alabama. He also vowed, "The University of Kentucky will never win a football game from a team of mine." Wade would go 11-0 against the Wildcats in his years at Alabama and Duke.
Wade inherited a solid Alabama program from Xen Scott, who resigned to battle the mouth and tongue cancer that would take his life less than two years later at age 41.
A perfectionist who hated to lose, Wade led the Crimson Tide to a 7-2-1 record in 1923. A season-ending upset at the hands of Florida cost the Tide the Southern Conference championship.
Wade was actually the first "Bear" to coach Alabama. That was what his players called him. "Not to his face, though," said Fred Sington, an outstanding lineman in the early 1930s. "He was rough and tough, and that's why we called him Bear."
"All the boys were scared of him," said Hoyt Winslett, a star on Wade's 1924, '25, and '26 teams. "They called him Bear because they feared him."
Wade had high hopes for his 1924 team led by two outstanding junior running backs: Johnny Mack Brown and Pooley Hubert, who was elected captain.
The 1924 Crimson Tide won their first four games by a combined score of 140-0. The only solid team they faced was Sewanee in Game 4, which the Tide won by just 14-0. Next came a much more formidable challenge–Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

L-R: Xen Scott, Wallace Wade, Johnny Mack Brown, Pooley Hubert
Bill Alexander's fifth Tech team was also undefeated in four games but with a tie to Florida in Game 3. The Golden Tornado were coming off a 15-13 victory over Penn State that left them battered.
Georgia Tech's star player was junior FB Doug Wycoff. As a sophomore, Wycoff made the All-Southern team. He was not only an excellent runner and passer but was also an outstanding defensive back and punter.

L-R: Bill Alexander, Doug Wycoff, Grant Gillis

Hundreds of Crimson Tide fans arrived in Atlanta by train Saturday morning. They paraded downtown behind the celebrated Alabama Million Dollar band and joined the 15,000 in the stands at Grant Field on a cool, overcast afternoon.

The teams sparred in the first half with neither side coming close to scoring. Finally, in the last minutes before intermission, Wycoff punted over Alabama's goal line. Starting from the 20, Brown gained seven, and Hubert added five more for a first down. Brown then got loose on a 31y dash to Tech's 37. Grant Gillis took the next snap and fired a long pass that Brown caught over his shoulder in stride on the seven and took into the end zone with less than 30 seconds left in the half. William Buckler kicked the goal. Alabama 7-0

Johnny Mack Brown dashes 31y to the Tech 37. (University of Alabama Corolla Yearbook, Class of 1925)
The Tornado started the second half strong with a drive that reached the Alabama six. But a penalty set them back, and the Tide line held fast and took over on downs.
Alabama doubled their lead in the fourth quarter as dusk set in. "Midget halfback" David Rosenfeld sparked the drive with a "remarkable" 43y run from his 48 to the Tech nine. Hubert gained four and then two before Rosenfeld got the six points from the three. Buckler again kicked goal. Alabama 14-0
The Golden Tornado took to the air to no avail, and the game ended with Ala­bama on Tech's ten following an interception by Emile "Red" Barnes.
Alabama's defeat of the team that had beaten Penn State the year before earned the Tide national acclaim.
It was Tech's first defeat at the hands of a southern team since Auburn turned the trick in 1919.
Century of Champions: The Centennial History of Alabama Football, Wayne Hester (1991)
Always Alabama: A History of Crimson Tide Football, Don Wade (2006)
Wallace Wade: Championship Years at Alabama and Duke, Lewis Bowling (2010)