10. 1963 – The year the University of South Alabama (USA, USA, USA) was established.
9. 2009 – The inaugural season for the South Alabama Jaguars football team. They finished 7-0, playing a slate of home games against military prep academies.
8. 2014 – The first season South Alabama qualified for a bowl game. They posted a 6 – 7 regular season record (5 – 3 in the Sun Belt Conference, good enough for 6th place) and faced Bowling Green in the Camellia Bowl, which turned out to have a wild finish. The Falcons had to fight off a 4th quarter rally by the Jaguars before locking up a 33 – 28 victory.
Joey Jones got kicked in the face at the Camellia Bowl and kept on coachin’.
7. 6 years – If you’re too lazy to do the math or make the connection between the previous two facts, South Alabama went from absolute zero to a bowl game by its sixth season which pretty much means that Jaguars coach Joey Jones is like the ultimate Tim Miles but instead of inheriting a mid-level team and a sweet new arena, he built his program from flippin’ scratch.
6. $60 – Three Andrew Jacksons will get you a SEASON TICKET in the end zone at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for South Alabama’s entire home schedule. You may have seen Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the news recently when Donald Trump held a rally there resulting in this glorious, glorious photo.
5. Number 5 – While South Alabama might not be long on tradition, the tradition of who wears number 5 is one that any football fan can respect. Each year, Coach Jones selects a senior to wear number 5 in memory of running back Anthony Mostella who died in a motorcycle accident at age 22 in 2010. This year’s number 5 is running back Terrance Timmons, a 5’7″ 180lb speedster who broke off a 49 yard run last week against Gardner-Webb.
4. 17,444 – The average attendance for a Jaguars home game last season including a season high 38,129 who turned up when South Alabama hosted Mississippi State (who was unranked at the time.) And while we’re here, we might as well point out that the largest crown South Alabama ever played in front of was 87,266 on the road against Tennessee in 2013.
3. Xavier Johnson – The redshirt sophomore running back could very well be South Alabama’s X-Factor (zing!) this season. Last week he made the most of Joey Jones’ game time decision to name him starter. He broke off a school record 92 yard touchdown run and added a 56 yard touchdown run for good measure.
1. One – As in the number of starters the Jaguars return on defense. South Alabama operates out of a 4-2-5 base defense (what TCU runs) which can be help level the field for inexperienced defensive units. If the Huskers want to get their running game figured out, the Jaguars could provide a great test.