Alabama on verge of unprecedented run, with Clemson in the way

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Regardless of the outcome of Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, a case can be made that no team in the history of the sport has had a better run than the Crimson Tide under coach Nick Saban.

If Alabama beats the Tigers to win a fourth national title in seven seasons, the argument may be settled.

There was talk early in the season after Alabama lost to Mississippi that the Tide dynasty was in decline. Now Alabama (13-1) is one victory away from an unprecedented achievement.

The Tide can become just the third school in college football’s poll era, dating back to the creation of The Associated Press media poll in 1936, to win four championships in a 10-year span.

Notre Dame won four in seven seasons from 1943-49, but big-time college football is hardly comparable now to then. Those Fighting Irish didn’t play in bowl games and never needed more than nine victories to be the best in the country.

Miami won four championships in nine seasons (1983-91), but none of those teams had to play more than 12 games.

Alabama’s four championships under Saban, who took over in 2007, have all come in at least 13-game seasons.

“I mean, it’s incredible,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday during a news conference with Saban. Swinney heaped so much praise on his counterpart during the half-hour session with reporters that Saban looked a little uncomfortable.

“Coach Saban, what he’s done, I mean, he’s one of the greatest coaches that ever coached the game,” Swinney said.

Saban also has a BCS title from his time at LSU, giving him four overall. Only former Alabama coach Bear Bryant with six has more.

“This is the first one I’ve sniffed as a coach, and he’s going for his fifth,” said Swinney, who is in his eighth season at Clemson. “It’s incredible.”

Clemson has one national championship to its credit. Behind Danny Ford, an Alabama native and former Tide player for Bryant, the Tigers won the title in 1981 by beating favored Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

The Tigers are back on the biggest stage and again being led by an Alabaman and former Tide player. Swinney grew up near Birmingham and played for Alabama when Gene Stallings was the coach in the early 1990s. He was on the Tide team that won a national championship in 1992, upsetting Miami in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama then went through a long dry spell until Saban arrived.

“People will say, well, anybody can go win at Alabama,” Swinney said. “Not everybody can coach a great team. Not everybody can coach a great player, and I think he has a gift to be able to do that.”

Under Swinney, the Tigers have won at least 10 games each of the last five seasons, just like Alabama. And Clemson has its own shot at history: If the Tigers win the national title, they would become the first team to achieve a 15-0 season.

“We want to be a program that is competing at this level on a consistent basis and I think to do that, you’ve got to be a top-10, top-15 type program year in and year out,” Swinney said.

Alabama has been even better than that. Since going 7-6 in Saban’s first season, the Tide is 97-12 and has never finished out of the final AP top 10.

No surprise: Saban has not been part of the legacy talk this week. Pondering his place in history won’t help his players Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“I owe them as the leader of the organization,” Saban said. “I owe them our best as coaches and people who can support them to give them the best opportunity to be successful in the next challenge that they have.

“So I’ve got no time to think about that stuff.”

 

 

2019 All-American Bowl roster

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The future of college football will be on display in San Antonio on January 5th (1:00 P.M. ET) as the top high school recruits in the country participate in the All-American Bowl.

Here’s the roster for this year’s big event, and don’t miss a second of the action on NBC and the NBC Sports app.

No. First Last Pos. Ht. Wt. High School City State
1 Jadon Haselwood WR 6’3″ 195 Cedar Grove High School Ellenwood GA
2 Eric Gray RB 5’11” 195 Lausanne Collegiate School Memphis TN
3 Jaden Payoute DB 6’2″ 195 Lloyd C. Bird High School Chesterfield VA
4 David Bell WR 6’2″ 195 Warren Central High School Indianapolis IN
5 Chris Hinton DL 6’4″ 280 Greater Atlanta Christian School Norcross GA
6 Trey Sanders RB 6’2″ 215 IMG Academy Bradenton FL
7 Tyrique Stevenson DB 6’2″ 200 Miami Southridge Senior High School Miami FL
8 Dominick Blaylock WR 6’0″ 190 Walton High School Marietta GA
9 Frank Ladson WR 6’4″ 185 South Dade Senior High School Homestead FL
10 Kyle Hamilton DB 6’3″ 190 Marist School Atlanta GA
11 Mohamoud Diabate LB 6’4″ 220 Auburn High School Auburn AL
12 Taulia Tagovailoa QB 5’11” 205 Thompson High School Alabaster AL
13 Wandale Robinson WR 5’9″ 180 Western Hills High School Frankfort KY
14 Ronnie Hickman DB 6’2″ 200 DePaul Catholic High School Wayne NJ
15 Jay Bramblett P 6’2″ 190 Hillcrest High School Tuscaloosa AL
16 Graham Mertz QB 6’4″ 215 Blue Valley North High School Overland Park KS
17 Sam Howell QB 6’2″ 215 Sun Valley High School Monroe NC
18 Ramel Keyton WR 6’3″ 185 Marietta High School Marietta GA
19 Kane Patterson LB 6’1″ 220 Christ Presbyterian Academy Nashville TN
20 Nick Cross DB 6’1″ 210 DeMatha Catholic High School Hyattsville MD
21 Nolan Groulx WR 5’11” 190 William A. Hough High School Cornelius NC
22 Steele Chambers LB 6’2″ 225 Blessed Trinity Catholic High School Roswell GA
23 Tiawan Mullen DB 5’10” 160 Coconut Creek High School Pompano Beach FL
25 Cameron Smith DB 6’1″ 180 Westwood High School Blythewood SC
27 Quavaris Crouch RB 6’2″ 230 Harding University High School Charlotte NC
28 Alex Felkins K 6’4″ 190 Holland Hall School Tulsa OK
29 Chez Mellusi RB 6’1″ 205 Naples High School Naples FL
30 Quashon Fuller DL 6’4″ 270 Lehigh Senior High School Lehigh Acres FL
31 Tyron Hopper LB 6’2″ 210 Roswell High School Roswell GA
34 Keontra Smith DB 6’0″ 200 Chaminade-Madonna College Prep Hollywood FL
38 Diwun Black LB 6’4″ 225 Osceola High School Kissimmee FL
40 George Karlaftis DL 6’5″ 270 West Lafayette Junior / Senior High School West Lafayette IN
42 Nolan Smith DL 6’3″ 230 IMG Academy Bradenton FL
43 Jestin Jacobs LB 6’3″ 210 Northmont High School Clayton OH
44 Travon Walker DL 6’5″ 275 Upson Lee High School Thomaston GA
47 Byron Young DL 6’4″ 280 West Jones High School Laurel MS
51 William Putnam OL 6’4″ 285 H.B. Plant High School Tampa FL
52 Lance Dixon LB 6’3″ 210 West Bloomfield High School West Bloomfield Township MI
53 Quentin Skinner LS 6’0″ 245 Buford High School Buford GA
55 Dontae Lucas OL 6’4″ 350 IMG Academy Bradenton FL
56 Antonio Alfano DL 6’5″ 285 Colonia High School Colonia NJ
71 Andrew Kristofic OL 6’6″ 275 Pine-Richland High School Gibsonia PA
73 Caedan Wallace OL 6’5″ 305 The Hun School of Princeton Princeton NJ
74 Doug Nester OL 6’7″ 310 Spring Valley High School Huntington WV
75 Charles Cross OL 6’5″ 270 Laurel High School Laurel MS
76 Harry Miller OL 6’4″ 300 Buford High School Buford GA
77 Xavier Truss OL 6’7″ 330 Bishop Hendricken High School Warwick RI
81 Cornelius Johnson WR 6’3″ 195 Brunswick School Greenwich CT
88 Tyler Fromm TE 6’4″ 225 Warner Robins High School Warner Robins GA
93 Zach Harrison DL 6’6″ 245 Olentangy Orange High School Lewis Center OH
99 Khris Bogle DL 6’5″ 220 Cardinal Gibbons High School Fort Lauderdale FL

2019 All-American Bowl FAQs

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All-American Bowl Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance?

A: The All-American Bowl is the premier high school All-American game played annually in San Antonio, TX, showcasing 100 of the nation’s top high school senior football players.

 

Q: Who is playing in this game?

A: The nation’s premier high school football players. All players move on to major Division I football programs, and then some to the NFL.

 

Q: What dividing line do you use to organize the East and West teams?

A: The Mississippi River is the rough dividing line, pending position needs.

 

Q: Where is the game played?

A:  The game is played annually in San Antonio, TX, at the Alamodome. The game has been played in San Antonio since 2002 and the Alamodome since 2003. The first game, the 2001 game, was played in Dallas, TX.

 

Q: Is this game similar to the McDonald’s All-American Basketball game?

A: Yes, in that both of these games showcase the very best in high school athletes for their respective sports.

                                                                                                               

Q: When is the game?

A: The game is Saturday, January 5th, 2019.

 

Q: Is the game on TV?

A: The game is broadcast live on NBC at 12:00 p.m. Central Time.

 

Q: Who is All American Games?

A: All American Games helps the next generation succeed through America’s finest training and showcase events. Established in 2000, America’s premier youth and prep sports marketing company owns and produces the All-American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance, Football University (FBU), and the FBU National Championship. We foster a culture of evolution and teamwork, blazing trails and producing opportunity. We create experiences for student-athletes to develop, reach their potentials and realize their successes.

 

Q: Who picks the All-American athletes?

A: All American Games and 247Sports make up the game’s official Selection Committee.

 

Q: Why San Antonio?

A: One of the main attractions of San Antonio is the Alamodome, which is a climate-controlled, covered dome that does not have an NFL team.

 

Q: How many years has this game been played?

A: The 2019 game will be the 19th consecutive game.

 

Q: Where can I get more information on the game?

A: More information on the Bowl and its related activities can be found by logging onto allamericangames.com, or by connecting with the Bowl through its multiple social media accounts.

 

Q: What are the NBC college announcements?

A:  Each year, All-American athletes announce what college they will be attending via a live announcement ceremony during the game’s broadcast. College announcements always add extra excitement to the game. During the course of the game the players select their college live on NBC, with no one from the general public having any previous knowledge of their intentions. In the past high school stars like Reggie Bush, Patrick Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr. and Adrian Peterson have announced their college decision on live television during All-American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance.

 

Q: Are there any other events associated with the All-American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance?

A: Yes, they are:

  • The 2019 National Combine at the All-American Bowl, January 4th (the top 600 underclassmen football players from across the country)

 

Q: How do I nominate underclassmen for the National Combine?

 

A: Nominations from football coaches for outstanding juniors and sophomores are accepted year-round. Nominating a player for the combine does not mean he is automatically registered. The game’s selection partners will narrow the list to 600 underclassmen. As a participant in the combine it also does not guarantee a spot in the next year’s Bowl game.

 

Q: Who provides the resources for the players to play the game (i.e. travel, uniforms, etc.)

A: Pursuant to the NCAA, All American Games provides all necessary and reasonable expenses for each athlete to play in the game. Those expenses include round trip airfare, lodging, meals and essential needs.

 

Q: Where are tickets available?

A: Tickets are available through the Alamodome Box Office or through ticketmaster.com, (210) 207-3663, or toll free (800) 884-3663.

 

Q: What is the host hotel for the game?

A: The host hotel is the:

Grand Hyatt

1148 E Commerce St
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-1234