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Clemson Football

III

December 4, 2017
1,050

It was like you were watching a movie trailer.

On ESPN’s College Football Playoff reveal show, Clemson’s tiger paw logo was revealed first as the nation’s number one team. That was no surprise.

The Tigers sat back relaxed in their football facility with pizza in their stomachs and confetti still on their “ACC champions” hats. They were waiting to see what team they would face in New Orleans.

The biggest question mark of the afternoon was which team would round out the top four: Ohio State or Alabama.

Clemson defeated both of those teams in the 2016 playoff also known as the “Clemson Revenge Tour.” This season, Alabama didn’t win its own division and finished 11-1 while Ohio State won its conference championship but wondered if two losses would hold it back.

College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit walked off the set in disbelief that the committee put the Crimson Tide in, even though he believed they did belong.

The entire country’s eyes fixated on an empty bracket graphic where the number four team would be shown. Dramatic music played in the background as ESPN kept the nation in suspense.

“Number four and going to the playoff to face Clemson will be…”

An Alabama logo flashed on the screen.

College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit walked off the set in disbelief that the committee put the Crimson Tide in, even though he believed they did belong.

For the first time, two teams from the same conference (Georgia and Alabama) are entering the playoff.

And there it was: Clemson and Alabama’s names side by side for the third year in a row.

It’s time for a trilogy.

Swinney’s reaction to Alabama getting the four-spot was not broadcasted live, but our guess is that he flashed a small grin and said, “Let’s go.”

Better yet, we believe the entire team shared that same reaction. This game is more than just a semi-final matchup.

Swinney’s reaction to Alabama getting the four-spot was not broadcasted live, but our guess is that he flashed a small grin and said, “Let’s go.”

New Year’s Day 2018 could be a passing of the torch in college football. Clemson will have a chance to beat Alabama again and be the new “standard” for college football.

“Alabama has been the standard for a long time,” Swinney said shortly after the rankings were announced. “I think it's only fitting to have a chance to get to Atlanta, you gotta heavyweight matchup with Clemson and Alabama.”

At the beginning of the season, most people expected Alabama to be in the playoff picture, as Clemson would fall off a little bit and rebuild for a 2018 push.

The Tigers didn’t get that memo.

Both teams struggled at times this season, but now find themselves back on a collision course that the entire nation will be watching.

Clemson Sports Talk
Jalen Hurts surveys the field against Clemson in the 2017 National Championship game.

You’ll see some familiar faces like Alabama’s Jalen Hurts. The sophomore quarterback who, if not for Deshaun Watson, would have been the one getting all the praise last offseason leading his team to an undefeated season scoring on his final drive.

Hurts has stepped up this season and has been more of a leader while his numbers have not been the best. He’s been steady; completing 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,980 yards and has only thrown one interception.

Then you have plenty of new faces on Clemson’s team led by first-year starter Kelly Bryant. His progression this season has been nothing short of amazing given the shoes he had to fill and the confidence he exudes every week.

He, like the rest of Clemson’s team, is hitting his stride and playing his best football just at the right time.

Alabama has seemed to have always been the team in that number one position looking down at whoever was in its way of another national championship. For the last two season’s The Tigers had to show the nation that they belong, which they did thanks to a masterful fourth quarter in Tampa.

This time, the roles will be reversed.

Alabama is coming off of a loss to end the regular season and is a Wisconsin game-winning drive away from not being in the playoff at all.

‘Bama wants Clemson.

The Crimson Tide will also get to play with a chip on their shoulder and a different kind of edge after last year’s national championship game stumble against Clemson.

The Crimson Tide will also get to play with a chip on their shoulder and a different kind of edge after last year’s national championship game stumble against Clemson.

Wow, even that sentence sounds strange out loud.

Clemson is supposed to be the team with the edge, the underdog, the team that doesn’t belong. Clemson may be the number one team, but it’ll have an edge its own in New Orleans not being favored. That’s all Swinney needs to spark his troops before a war.

Nick Saban said on Sunday that the matchup with Clemson compares to the matchups with LSU or Auburn. He considers it a rivalry.

The NBA has Cavaliers-Warriors. College football now has Alabama-Clemson.

The build-up to this game will be unlike any other with a month until kickoff and so many storylines to unfold.

One is that the last time Swinney went to the Sugar Bowl, he won the 1992 national championship with the Crimson Tide against Miami. Some things can’t be scripted.

New Year’s Day 2018 in the New Orleans Superdome is going to be a movie.

Get your popcorn ready.

 
 
Discussion from...

III

Tigers Rise
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For some reason, I love this game for us. I think our defense will make Bama throw the ball and that's a big plus for us.
Boozer
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I like our chances... But, Bama will have some linebackers back and have a month to get ready for us.... However, we will also have a month to get healthy and for coach V to scheme for Bama and with coach Elliott and Scott.... I think that the advantage is with CLEMSON
CLEMSON.81.16
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The only reason i didn't want bama is because I didn't want Paul Fine. drooling over the SEC and bama. The good thing is Bama fans would be saying Clemson was lucky Bama was left out. OSU may say they should not have been left out. But they will not say Clemson is lucky O31-0 ST was left out. OSU are the lucky ones. If Clemson wins the Natty this year, NO DOUBT WILL BE LEFT. It is great to get the rubber match with Bama. Gives Dabo a chance to have a winning record vs Bama and Saban. All in! We too deep!
Tigers Rise
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CLEMSON.81.16 said:

The only reason i didn't want bama is because I didn't want Paul Fine. drooling over the SEC and bama. The good thing is Bama fans would be saying Clemson was lucky Bama was left out. OSU may say they should not have been left out. But they will not say Clemson is lucky O31-0 ST was left out. OSU are the lucky ones. If Clemson wins the Natty this year, NO DOUBT WILL BE LEFT. It is great to get the rubber match with Bama. Gives Dabo a chance to have a winning record vs Bama and Saban. All in! We too deep!
Let's just kick their teeth in and be done with it.
23bobbyg
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Great Article....Ready and waiting...SPOT THE BALL!
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