Dabo and Saban Will Meet Again

By taking care of business in the ACC Championship, the only question for top-ranked Clemson centered on its opponent in the All Star Sugar Bowl.

The Tigers (12-1) learn they will face Alabama (11-1) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans. This is the third straight year Clemson will face the Crimson Tide in the playoffs.

Last year, Clemson knocked off Alabama 35-31 to win the program's second national championship.

"This is really amazing the way it has worked out," said head coach Dabo Swinney.

"Last spring, I went to New Orleans with Deshaun Watson for the Manning Award and the ceremony was on the floor of the Superdome. I told Deshaun 'wouldn't it be something if we came back here for the semifinals in a few months'

"I am very excited to be in the playoffs and the Sugar Bowl. The last time I went to the Sugar Bowl, I went with Alabama as a player 25 years ago."

Swinney is a former walk-on receiver who was a part of the Tide's 1993 national championship.

The other semi-final matchup will feature Oklahoma against Georgia in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. 

Ohio State was hoping to sneak in the playoffs in that fourth spot. But the CFB committee awarded a one-loss Alabama team the fourth spot over two-loss Ohio State.

Clemson wasn't picked to win the Atlantic Division as 78% of its offense from its national championship team was headed out the door to the NFL. But the 2017 team has at this point, followed the same road map as the 2016 team - even going so far as to drop a contest it was favored to win.

"I am very proud of this team," Swinney said.

"We were a team not picked to win the Atlantic Division and now, we are in the playoff."

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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