Alabama vs Clemson
by Chad Hamilton
Crimson Tide to face Clemson in the Georgia Dome to open the season.
This year, the Chick-fil-a Bowl staff hopes to start a tradition in Atlanta by having a season opening game in the Georgia Dome. The game is a non-confrence match between the Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers. Unlike most season opening games, this is not an easy or a "gimmie" game for either school.
Last year the Tide started off strong under new head coach Nick Saban and won their first three games before being beaten at home by the Georgia bulldogs. After another loss to Flordia State, the Tide came back to win three games, including an impressive win over Tennessee. The Tide's next game was against Nick Saban's former team the LSU Tigers. The Tide performed very well and for a while it looked like they could even take control of the SEC West, but a late quarterback fumble lost them the game and sent the Tide into a depressing four game losing streak, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe and in-state rival Auburn. The Tide finished off there season in a win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl.
The Clemson Tigers also had a painful season. They too started off strong until a humiliating loss at Georgia Tech and then a loss to Virgina Tech set them back in their conference. The Tigers next loss was against the Boston College Eagles. That close loss prevented the Tigers from playing in the ACC Championship game. But their impressive season allowed them to compete in the Chick-fil-a Bowl against the Auburn Tigars, which was another close loss, this one in overtime.
This is very important game for both teams. The Clemson Tigers are a favorite among many sports fans to take the ACC this year but a loss could signal another close but ultimately unsuccessful year. The Tide also needs a victory. Though there not favored to win their conference or division, a defeat in Atlanta could start another downward spiral and even lead to another 'lesser' Bowl berth.
Ultimately, this is a must win games for each program.
And another idea, wouldn't it be fun to see a rematch of this game in the Chick-fil-a Bowl?