Here are a few interesting facts (courtesy of UA) to get you ready for the Clemson game:
SEASON OPENERS: Alabama has compiled an 89-21-3 all-time record in season openers, including a six-game winning streak … Dating back to the 1977 season, Alabama is 27-4 in its last 31 season openers … The Tide has posted a 15-2 opening day record since 1991 … The 2008 season marks the ninth consecutive year the Tide has opened the season with a non-conference opponent … The Crimson Tide is opening the season away from home for the first time since a 35-24 loss to UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Sept. 2, 2000 … Alabama is opening the season with a BCS opponent for the first time since a 20-17 loss at UCLA in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 1, 2001.
SEASON OPENERS BY SITE: Alabama has played its season opener in 18 different cities in its 114-year history of football … The 2008 season opener with Clemson at the Georgia Dome marks the first time since the 1982 season that UA has opened the season in Atlanta … Alabama is 2-0 in season openers in Atlanta, beating Georgia Tech at Grant Field in 1979 (30-6) and 1982 (45-7) … The 2008 season also marks the Tideâ€™s ninth season opener in the state of Georgia … The Tide is 5-3 in the previous eight openers, including a 3-2 mark in Athens and an 0-1 mark in Columbus … The most common venue for an Alabama season opener is on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa, where the Tide has opened the season 50 times and compiled a 47-2-1 record … The Tide is 17-1-1 in season openers at Bryant-Denny Stadium (circa 1929) following last yearâ€™s win over Western Carolina … The Tide has also opened the season 29 times in Birmingham and has posted a 24-4-1 record in those games in the Magic City.
TRUE FRESHMEN START SEASON OPENER: Alabama has had nine true freshmen start the season opener since freshmen regained their eligibility from the NCAA in 1973 … Last year, a pair of true freshmen started the season opener as the Crimson Tide handed Coach Nick Saban a 52-6 victory in his Alabama debut against Western Carolina … Freshman mike linebacker Rolando McClain and freshman cornerback Kareem Jackson both started the 2007 season opener … The 2007 season opener marks the second time in school history the Crimson Tide has started a pair of true freshmen in the its opener … In 1999, Alabama started freshman left tackle Dante Ellington and linebacker Saleem Rasheed in its 28-17 win at Vanderbilt … Alabama has started at least one true freshman in the season opener in each of the last two seasons as left tackle Andre Smith started his first game at Alabama in the 2006 season opener against Hawaii.
GEORGIA TIMES TWO: Alabama will play two regular season games in the state of Georgia this season, against Clemson and Georgia … The Tide and Tigers will open the 2008 season on Aug. 30 in the Georgia Dome … The Crimson Tide will make a return visit to the state of Georgia on Sept. 27 when Alabama faces Georgia in Athens … The 2008 season marks the third time in school history Alabama has played two regular season games in the state of Georgia … The Crimson Tide played at both Georgia and Georgia Tech in 1912 and 1942.
ALABAMA-CLEMSON TIES: A total of 14 former players and coaches share Alabama-Clemson ties … There have been four Alabama graduates serve as head coach at Clemson, all from a period of 1940-89 … Alabama associate head coach and running backs coach Burton Burns worked at Clemson from 1996-2006 … Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden was Alabamaâ€™s receivers coach under Bill Curry from 1987-89 … Clemson receiver coach Dabo Swinney was a player and coach at Alabama from 1988-2000 … Here is a look at some of the Alabama-Clemson connections.
Burton Burns – Alabamaâ€™s associate head coach and running backs coach served as running backs coach at both Tulane (1995-98) and Clemson (1999-2006) under head coach Tommy Bowden … Burns was a major factor in producing six of the Top 10 offenses in Clemson history while serving as running backs coach … He coached 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year James Davis and 2006 ACC record-setter C.J. Spiller.
Tommy Bowden – Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden was the receivers coach at Alabama under Bill Curry from 1987-89 … During his tenure at Alabama, Bowden worked with Alabama teams that posted a 27-9 overall record and won a share of the 1989 SEC Championship.
Dabo Swinney – Clemson receivers coach Dabo Swinney is a 1993 Alabama graduate and three-year letterman (1990-92) for the Crimson Tide … member of 1992 National Championship team … also a member of 1989 SEC Championship team … position coach in 1988 and 1989 was Tommy Bowden … A two-time Academic All-SEC pick in 1990 and 1992 … earned masterâ€™s degree from UA (1996) … also served as graduate assistant coach and assistant coach under Gene Stallings and Mike DuBose.
Frank Howard – A 1931 Alabama graduate, Howard served as Clemsonâ€™s head coach from 1940-69 … He compiled a 165-118-12 (.580) overall record with the Tigers, including eight conference championships and six Top 25 finishes … He was 0-4 in his career against Alabama … Howard also served as Director of Athletics and served as an assistant baseball coach … He was also Clemsonâ€™s line coach from 1931-39 under Jess Neely … Howard was a first-stringer at Alabama for coach Wallace Wade … He was member of the Tideâ€™s 10-0 national championship squad in 1930 that drubbed Washington State 24-0 in the 1931 Rose Bowl.
Hootie Ingram – A 1955 Alabama graduate, Ingram was a football and baseball standout at Alabama, earning All-SEC accolades in both sports … Ingram replaced Howard as Clemsonâ€™s head coach following the 1969 season … He was 12-21 (.363) in his three years (1970-72) at Clemson … He did not coach against Alabama … One of his star players at Clemson was current Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson.
Charley Pell – A 1961 Alabama graduate, Pell served as the Tigers head coach in 1977-78 … He compiled an 18-4-1 (.804) record, including one conference championship and two bowl berths … Pell led the Tigers to a 10-1 record in 1978 … Pell was also defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Red Parker in 1976 … Pell left Clemson after two seasons to become head coach at Florida.
Danny Ford – A 1970 Alabama graduate and All-SEC player, Danny Ford served as Clemsonâ€™s head coach from 1979-89, leading the Tigers to the 1981 National Championship with an 12-0 record … Clemson clinched the national title with a 10-0 win over Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl … He led Clemson to eight bowl games, seven Top 25 finishes and five conference championships in his 11-year tenure … He also led the Tigers to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 1987-89 … Ford was also the assistant head coach and offensive line coach under Pell in 1977-78.
Mickey Andrews – A 1965 Alabama graduate, Andrews was a football and baseball star for the Tide … He served as an assistant coach at Clemson from 1977-80 under Charley Pell and Danny Ford … At Clemson, Andrews served as defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for the Tigers.
Curley Hallman – Hallman served as an assistant coach at both Alabama and Clemson … He was the linebackers (1979-80) and defensive backs (1981) coach for the Tigers under Danny Ford.
Charlie Harbison – Harbison has worked at both Alabama and Clemson … He was Clemsonâ€™s defensive backs coach from 1995-97 under Tommy West … He served as defensive backs coach at wide receivers coach at Alabama under Mike DuBose and Mike Shula … Harbison also spent two years (2001-02) as defensive backfield coach at LSU under coach Nick Saban.
Ellis Johnson – Johnson served on the defensive staffs at both Alabama and Clemson … At Alabama he worked for both Gene Stallings (1990-93) and Mike DuBose (1997-2000) serving as outside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator … Sandwiched in between his two stints with the Tide, Johnson served coached outside linebackers and defensive line at Clemson (1993-96) and was defensive coordinator in 1996.
Joe Kines – Kines worked at both Clemson and Alabama during his college football career … He was the linebackers coach at Clemson under Charley Pell in 1977-78 … He later served as linebackers coach at Alabama under Ray Perkins in 1985-86 … Kines returned to Alabama and served a defensive coordinator under Mike Shula from 2003-06 and served as interim head coach for the 2006 PetroSun Independence Bowl.
Woody McCorvey – McCorvey has also worked at both Alabama and Clemson … He worked seven years at Clemson under Tommy West, serving as tight ends (1983-85) and receivers (1986-89) coach … McCorvey worked at Alabama from 1990-97 under Gene Stallings (1990-96) and Mike DuBose (1997).
Bill Oliver – A 1962 Alabama graduate, Oliver was a member of the Tideâ€™s 1961 national championship team … He also lettered in baseball while at the Capstone … He later served as an assistant coach at Alabama under Paul Bryant and Gene Stallings … Oliver also worked as the defensive backs coach under Danny Ford at Clemson from 1986-89, serving as defensive coordinator in 1989.
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY: The highly popular college football pregame show, â€œCollege Gamedayâ€ will kickoff the 2008 season at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., for the Alabama-Clemson game … The show will air Saturday, Aug. 30 from 10-Noon (EDT) from the Georgia Dome … Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard will be in Atlanta to preview the season opening weekend of college football … Alabama will be making its 11th overall appearance on ESPN College Gameday and its second in the Nick Saban era … The Tide is 3-7 in games featured on Gameday … Alabama made its College Gameday debut with a 21-14 win over Auburn during the 1994 season at Legion Field … Alabama has been on ESPN College Gameday for eight home games, including five Tuscaloosa games and three Birmingham games … The Crimson Tide appeared on ESPN College Gameday twice on the road at Auburn in 1995 and LSU in 1996.