Rice football is undefeated against two of the most successful program in the history of college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.
The SEC gets an abundance of respect for their year in and year out dominance. The Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers have won six out of the last nine national titles. That’s an impressive feat, but there is one thing neither of those schools has yet to accomplish – beat Rice.
This isn’t a half-truth and Rice hasn’t survived the SEC juggernauts by avoiding them entirely. The Owls have played Alabama three times and Auburn twice, with all five games ending in Rice victories.
Rice first played Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day 1954. The Crimson Tide had climbed as high as No. 5 in the polls that season, but Rice set them packing, emphatically. After allowing a first quarter touchdown, the Owls outscored the Tide 28-0 over the final three quarters. Dicky Moegle was the star, ripping off a pair of long touchdown runs of 79-yards and 95-yards, respectively.
The remainder of the meetings with both SEC foes came in regular season affairs. Rice beat Alabama again the following season in 1955 by a score of 20-0 and again in 1956, 20-13. All-time. Rice has outscored Alabama 68-19. Not many schools hold an advantage that significant in any margin against a team with such a storied history.
Auburn didn’t’ fair much better against Rice. Their pair of games came in back-to-back seasons. In 1937 the Owls won 13-7 before winning again in 1938 by a score of 14-0.
Rice has perfect records over 23 institutions. The inclusion of programs like the Virginia Military Institute, Centenary and Hardin Simmons on that list isn’t surprising. A perfect record against Alabama and Auburn and Colorado, Georgia, Washington and West Virginia for good measure) is a sweet slice of history for Rice football.