2024 NCAA Tournament: Revisiting the Alabama-Clemson rivalry in football as schools vie for Final Four bid

Clemson and Alabama are both making waves during March Madness. The two southern football giants are set to face off in Saturday’s Elite Eight with an appearance in the coveted Final Four on the line — a goal that neither basketball program has yet to attain. While this may be a rare postseason showdown between the two on the hardwood, the Crimson Tide and Tigers share a rich history on college football’s biggest stage. 

Between 2016-19, Alabama and Clemson competed in four straight College Football Playoff games, three of which were for the national championship. That streak constitutes four out of the five matchups between the two teams since the turn of the century. On top of that, Alabama and Clemson have never played one another — outside of the playoff format — in the postseason. 

As one might expect from such a prolific modern rivalry, Alabama and Clemson’s playoff streak featured amazing moments and monolithic figures. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was in the midst of building an emergent dynasty, while former Alabama coach Nick Saban worked to stack wins onto an already Hall of Fame worthy résumé. 

Myriad future NFL Draft picks, All-Americans and Heisman Trophy winners featured in these clashes, highlighted by the likes of Deshaun Watson, Jalen Hurts, Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa. With Alabama and Clemson set to play in the postseason once more, this time on one of college basketball’s biggest stages, it felt appropriate to look back at their College Football Playoff rivalry. 

2016: College Football Playoff National Championship

Final: Alabama 45, Clemson 40 

In the first meeting between the two teams in eight years, Alabama and Clemson took center stage at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, with a…


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