UAB Football is one of the biggest comeback stories in college football history

Blaze statue at the UAB Collat School of Business building. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

It is one of the biggest comebacks in college football history. In four years, UAB Football has gone from being disbanded to winning a Conference USA Division title and notching a Top 25 ranking in the National Coaches Poll.

Division Title Clinched

Last Saturday, UAB clinched a Conference USA West Division title with an  overtime victory over University of Southern Mississippi in front of more than 25,000 fans. The victory secures UAB a spot in the Conference USA title game.


UAB is not SMU

A true cinderella story, the last time a college football team was disbanded and reorganized in two years was the notorious SMU football death penalty in the 1980s.  For nearly 40 years, the historic SMU football program has yet to recover.

Many thought that would be the same fate of UAB (albeit, UAB did not have a hint of NCAA problems like SMU).  Instead, the program retained its popular head coach, raised significant monies privately from the Birmingham community, built a new state of the art football facilities and earlier this year secured an agreement with the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County Commission to build a new football stadium.

Here is great story by CBS Sports Jon Solomon describing the comeback a couple of years ago.:


Screen Shot 2018 10 20 at 7.09.03 AM e1540037508760 UAB Football is one of the biggest comeback stories in college football history
Photo from UAB Athletics Facebook page.

More than just a game, UAB Football has also won the hearts of Birmingham residents everywhere with its commitment to Children’s Harbor, and the annual game that they dedicate to the children by wearing their names on the back of the team uniforms.

Social Media Reaction

The victory this weekend has gotten attention locally, regionally and nationally on social media. Here are some of the reactions.



ESPN’s  Marty Smith

Bottomline, it is the story of the year in college football. More importantly, the resurrection of the UAB Football program has been a community-wide effort.


Next up – Texas A&M on national TV in front of 102,000 fans.  UAB Football has hit the big time.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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