Not Even Close
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This game was built-up to near BCS game status for the last week and the entire summer only to have the main event go down as a dud. ABC's "A" crew, a nearly national TV audience, and 75,000 rabid fans in the Georgia Dome couldn't get Clemson pumped enough to play ball, and the Tigers were run out of the dome by Alabama, 34-10.
Danny Ford, an Alabama graduate who led Clemson to the national title in 1981, was probably sick watching the Tigers let Alabama out-physical his former team. Ford's Tiger teams were known for their toughness, and the 2008 Tigers had a serious lack of that Saturday night. The Tide dominated both lines of scrimmage, rushing for 238 yards while surrendering just 4 yards on the ground. Some things in football change, but the importance of rushing the football is not one of them.
Clemson was lacksadaisacal coming out of the tunnel, and looked disorganized and out of place throughout the game. It looked as if Alabama, under second year head man Nick Saban, was the top ten team in its coach's tenth season. Clemson played like the team barely ranked with a rebuilding head coach.
If you are a Tiger fan, this game hurts for so many reasons. First, you were embarassed in the national spotlight .This game was built up big in the national media. Second, you will most-likely not get a shot at Alabama again for quite some time, which hurts. Third, you have to wonder if Bowden is the way to go. Fourth, several players were injured during the game. All in all, it was just a bad night for Clemson. The quest for an ACC title is obviously not effected by this Clemson showing. But as far as pride and respect go in the college football world, this game sets the Tigers back light years.
For Alabama, this game was like Christmas. The Tigers gift-wrapped a top-10 neutral site win for the Tide, surely vaulting them up the polls, potentially into the top 15. Nick Saban will certainly reminde undecided recruits of this game and why they should attend Alabama.
Tiger fans and Tide fans split the Georgia Dome into a picturesque and festive scene. The teams' fans ran down each sideline, meeting in the end zones in a perfectly 50 - 50 fan ratio. There was no mistaking whose team's fans were on each side! As the game began, the dome was rocking. But as the game ended, only Tide fans remained.
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