Alabama and Clemson will face off in the College Football Playoff Monday night in New Orleans.
Whether you're talking about the playoff, the Sugar Bowl or Alabama's relationship with Clemson, the director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum says the game is historically significant in several ways.
This year marks the third time in three seasons Alabama and Clemson have met in a CFP bowl game. According to Bryant Museum Director Ken Gaddy, playing the same team three times consecutively in a bowl game is a first for Alabama.
"Playing in a bowl game three seasons in a row, that's never happened for Alabama," Gaddy said. "We've only done that twice in the past with teams, but three times in a row is a very special, kind of a one-time thing."
Gaddy says with Alabama and Clemson in two different conferences, the teams have not played each other often prior to these recent meetings. However, the teams have an interesting coaching connection, and not just in Dabo Swinney, current Clemson head coach and former Alabama football player.
According to Gaddy, Clemson has seen a total of 76 seasons under a head coach who has been a former Alabama football player or Alabama assistant coach. Those coaches include longtime Clemson Head Coach Frank Howard, as well as Hootie Ingram, Charlie Pell and Danny Ford.
Gaddy says in addition to Swinney, there are several current Clemson assistant coaches who were former Alabama players.
Gaddy also points out Alabama's long tradition in the Sugar Bowl, with many memorable Crimson Tide wins and even National Championships being played in the Sugar Bowl.
Gaddy says Alabama's appearance in this year's playoff is also noteworthy. Alabama has been included in the College Football Playoff every season that it has been in existence.
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