Alabama vs. Clemson 2008 Shaped Where the Two Teams Are Now

Alabama Versus Clemson: The Game That Launched Both Programs Toward Dynasty Status

As Alabama and Clemson play once again for all the college football marbles, this game in 2008 helped spark what these programs have become today.

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Most people who watch and follow college football could've never imagined what would happen to either team who participated in the first-ever Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on August 30, 2008. Alabama was the underdog against a top-10 ranked Clemson team. Looking back, it's hard to believe Alabama was an underdog in that game.

The 24th-ranked Crimson Tide dominated Clemson in that game, 34-10. Later that season, the Tigers would fire their head coach at that time, which was Terry Bowden. Little did they know that his successor, Dabo Swinney, would be the coach to allow this program to burst onto the national scene.

That year, the Tide went 12-2 in Nick Saban's second season as head coach, losing only to the 2008 national champions Florida and Utah in the Sugar Bowl that season. Clemson limped to a 7-6 record (ironically the same record Alabama had the year before), with Dabo Swinney taking over midway through the season. Dabo would later earn the full-time head coaching job.

Fast forward a few years to January 2016. These two teams faced off again, this time for a National Championship. Clemson entered the game 14-0, while Alabama was 13-1. In what was a classic game, which included a second-half comeback by Alabama in part due to a gutsy onside kick, the Tide beat Clemson 45-40 to win the National Championship for the 2015 season.

The next season, the two teams once again played one another for a National Championship. With Alabama leading 31-28 in the fourth after a Jalen Hurts touchdown drive, Deshaun Watson threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow to win the National Championship, 35-31, on the game's final play. That game marked the first time Nick Saban lost in a National Championship game.

The two teams once again played in the 2017 season, this time in the Sugar Bowl, which was one of the two semifinal games last season. Alabama won convincingly in that game, 24-6, behind an interception and touchdown reception by defensive lineman Daron Payne. Alabama went on to beat Georgia the following week in a second-half comeback sparked by true freshman sensation Tua Tagovailoa to win the National Championship 26-23, in what went down as an instant classic of a game, won by Tua's pass to Devonta Smith on 2nd & 26 in overtime.


On Monday night, Alabama and Clemson will once again play for all the college football marbles. Both teams enter the National Championship in the California Bay Area 14-0, with the winner being the first team to win 15 games since Penn did so in the late 1890s. Both teams have dynamic quarterbacks and playmakers on each side of the ball. While I hope that the Tide will roll to victory, this matchup could go either way.

Just imagine how different everything could've been for both teams had Clemson won that 2008 game against Alabama. Dabo would probably still be an unknown person, possibly taking a job at a lower tier program. Terry Bowden might still be the Clemson coach. Nick Saban might've had to take longer to build the dynasty he has built, with 5 national championships in 9 seasons.

Clemson may not have even won the 2016 season National Championship.

That game in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in 2008 helped launch both teams into the success they are currently seeing. Without that game, or even with a different result in that game, we might not have seen these two programs become as successful as they have.

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To The Person Feeling Like They're Losing Their Hometown Friends

Don't fret to much, if they are truly your best friends, you aren't gonna lose them.

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When you grow up and leave home to go to college or whatever your plans are after high school, you and your hometown best friends promise to make time for each other. You promise to always get together over breaks and to visit each other if you aren't going to the same schools or living in the same town.

But you realize over time that maybe those promises aren't gonna be kept.

Life gets complicated. School starts to become harder and harder, there are extracurriculars and work, and trying to figure out the rest of your lives; things start to get in the way. Visiting starts to happen less and less, getting together over breaks gets more complicated, you try to stay in contact but the hours in the day seem to get shorter and shorter. There are too many things that you have to accomplish in one day that it's difficult to know if you can even get together.

You start to ask yourself "Am I losing my closest friends?"

And the answer to that question is no, your lives are changing and things are starting to become real but they will always be there. Just because you don't talk all the time or you go a few months without seeing each other, they are still your friends. They will always care and always be there. Don't stress about it too much, they are always gonna be there, it's just that your lives are pulling all of you in different directions and it can get hard to keep up with everyone because you are all so busy.

You are growing up but you're not necessarily growing apart!

If they are truly your best friends they will always be there, and you there for them. As time goes on, your lives will continue to change but you are always gonna be friends. Just know that they are there when you need them, and when you do get to see each other, it's like nothing has changed and you pick up right where you left off. Your friendship is important to all of you. Don't let a little bit of silence or a busy life cause problems. You haven't lost them, trust me, you all are just figuring out life. Don't take it personally when you don't talk for a while.

"Amigas, Cheetahs, Friends for life" — Cheetah Girls

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This Semester Has Been Rough, But It Is SO Worth It

The photo you see above is a direct representation of how things are going currently.

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Let's be honest, college is not for everyone, and there are some days I question if it is right for me. I don't want to be negative, but I do believe in being a realist (you can think my mom for that).

When I started college, it felt easier. I was living with my parents, going to school during the day, and working at a school in my hometown in the evenings. Life was easy, but I was foolish not to realize it.

It is now three years since I graduated high school, I have changed jobs (twice), and moved out, but now preparing to move back into my parents' home. I mean life is wild.

There are honestly days that I have forgotten to eat until like 10 at night, and let's not even discuss laundry. I do not know how actual adults do it.

Ya girl is not only on the struggle bus, but I AM DRIVING THAT BAD BOY RIGHT NOW.

It is the week before finals, and I am praying that I see Friday at this point. Do not judge a college student over the next two weeks, because we have forgotten about thriving, and we are simply trying to survive.

FYI: PARENTS, BE PREPARED FOR LOTS OF LAUNDRY AND KIDS WANTING HOME-COOKED MEALS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

I do not graduate until December with my bachelor's degree, and I tell you what, eight months feels like FOREVER. The closer I get to graduation, the slower time seems to go by.

But hey, YOU HAVE GOT THIS. WATCH THE TV SHOW. TAKE YOURSELF OUT FOR TACOS. TAKE A BATH. DO THAT LAUNDRY. YOU WILL SURVIVE, I may not, BUT YOU WILL.

In case anxiety and stress have taken over as it has for me, here are some tips for these last few days to help you get through it:

1. DO NOT FORGET TO EAT.

2. CALL YOUR FAMILY.

3. TAKE WALKS OUTSIDE TO GET FRESH AIR.

4. LEAVE THE LIBRARY (AT LEAST FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES).

5. REMEMBER WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS.

Gals (and guys) this degree will be so worth it.

I have grown up so much in the last three years, and it breaks my heart to know that I will be graduating at the end of this year. I have become this young woman that is full of joy in a world full of awfulness (is that even a real word??).

I have matured from a naive girl that grew up in a small town, and have learned that the tiniest things in life are the absolute greatest. College is a journey that is full of confetti, rainbows, late nights, coffee, tears, sweat, but of all moments that make me realize that I made the right decision.

I have truly learned that I am passionate about my degree and I will stop at nothing to walk across that stage, hear my full name (that is a bit long), and see my whole family smiling down on me.

We all know that we could not make it through these hard times without our families. So, don't take your frustration out on them, even when you are sleep deprived and just done with this whole thing we call college.

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