Early on, newspapers simply referred to 'Bama's football team as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after their school colors, but in the early 1900s, the nickname "Thin Red Line" became popular. The "Crimson Tide" nickname came around 1907 when a Birmingham sports editor used the term "Crimson Tide" while describing a game between 'Bama and Auburn in sloppy conditions where Auburn was heavily favored to win. 'Bama held Auburn to a 6-6 tie and due to the color of the mud (red due to the soil's clay content) and because Alabama "washed away Auburn's win," the term "Crimson Tide" was used and became popularized.
Gotta admit, us SEC teams have a good mix of team names between the unique (Gamecocks, Crimson Tide, Gators, Razorbacks) and some pretty mundane ones (we've got two Tigers, for instance, Auburn and LSU and two Bulldogs, Mississippi State and Georgia)
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.