Two proud programs could have [been watching as their basketball teams] met this month. But, no.
Alabama and Clemson have treated us to some awesome football games in the last 14 months. The Tide beat the Tigers for the national title two Januarys ago, and Clemson got its revenge on a last-second touchdown pass this year.
The nationally televised postseason rematch of Tide-Tigers could have come this month, thanks to bracket-building in the men’s basketball NIT. In one eight-team quadrant, the Tigers were the No. 2 seed and the Tide were No. 3.
All that needed to happen: Clemson had to beat Oakland, and Alabama had beat Richmond, both at home. Neither did. Clemson lost by five and Bama by seven. The dream of a hardwood rematch of the gridiron rematch is quiet for now.
There are other varsity sports at these two schools, and it stands to reason that they will play each other in non-football sports over the years to come. In fact, these basketball teams already met once this season: on Dec. 18, in a 67-54 Clemson win a couple of weeks before the two football teams played.
But as someone whose primary stake here is getting a chance to fire off some football jokes on Twitter during a basketball game, I’m sad we didn’t get this matchup.
If these two schools met again in the College Football Playoff next year, it’d feel pretty weird:
There’d be a different feel to a Bama-Clemson III. Part of that’s just how college football is. Teams don’t stay the same for long, and everything moves in cycles.
You can never have too much of a good thing, but when is more too much? It obviously would take a lot for both teams to make it to the National Championship three years ago. It’s highly unlikely, and it would be unprecedented in college football.
Both have already changed a lot since January’s first rematch, and a third title bout in a row between two teams would be unprecedented. It’d be fun, though.