Countdown to kickoff: 59

From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down from 100 until Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 59 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

The beginning of bowl games came in 1902 with the Tournament East-West game, sponsored by the Tournament of Roses Association. It pitted Michigan and Stanford against one another on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl of Pasadena, Calif. Thus began the whirlwind ride of the college football postseason.

It took the University of Alabama more than two decades until an invitation to the postseason came. It was the Rose Bowl and the Crimson Tide took care of the Washington Huskies 20-19. Over the last 85 years, no team has gone to more bowl games than Alabama. The Tide have participated in college football's postseason 59 times over the years, winning 33 of those games.

Under coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide are 4-1 in bowl games. UA beat Colorado in the Independence Bowl in 2007, lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl in 2009, beat Texas in the Rose Bowl to finish the season No. 1, dominated Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl in 2010 to the tune of 49-7 thrashing and capped the 2011-12 season by winning a rematch against LSU in the Sugar Bowl to take home the school's 14th national championship.

Saban's four bowl appearances at Alabama is bested only by Gene Stallings (5-1), Paul Bryant (12-10-2) and Frank Thomas (4-2). All told, Saban has gone to 13 bowl games in his career as a head coach.