No. 1 vs. No. 2 – Untilled Soil vs. Fertile Ground
Monday night’s National Championship tilt between #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama is only the 49th meeting between the nation’s two-top ranked teams since the Associated Press (AP) poll debuted in 1936
When was the first? College Game Day didn’t make it to Ann Arbor on October 9, 1943 when No. 1 Notre Dame bounced the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 35-12.
73 years later, many favor the Crimson Tide to capture their 16th national title on the natural grass in Glendale, Arizona. Clemson is looking for its first in 34 years.
As expected, Alabama has a huge edge playing in nine of these rare matchups with a 6-3 mark. This is the Tigers’ maiden voyage in a top-two tussle.
Interestingly, the SEC’s perennial power has entered this game ranked second, six times, and they don’t seem to mind the undercard billing. The Crimson Elephants have won five times in this position.
Four of those victories, 1979 (vs. Penn State), 1993 (Miami), 2012 (LSU) and 2013 (Notre Dame) brought national crowns back to Tuscaloosa.