TAMPA, Fla. - The top-ranked Alabama football team arrived in Tampa, Fla. on Friday and held its first workout in the Sunshine State, practicing for 90 minutes in shells at the University of South Florida.
Friday was the fourth of five practices before Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla. Alabama will square off with Clemson at Raymond James Stadium for a 7:17 p.m. CT matchup on ESPN. The four-person crew of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder and Tom Rinaldi will cover all the action in the championship meeting. The showdown with the Tigers will be the fifth time in the last eight seasons the Crimson Tide will play in the final game of the college football season to determine the national champion.
Alabama will participate in an hour-long media day on Saturday followed by practice in the evening. Sunday’s schedule features a press conference in the morning for both head coaches followed by a team picture and then walkthrough to close out the work week.
The nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams will meet for the 17th time in the history of the two programs, with the Crimson Tide owning a 13-3 all-time advantage in the series. While the Tigers won the initial three meetings, the Tide have won the last 13 contests, outscoring Clemson 435-94 over that span. The most recent meeting between the two teams occurred in last season’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game when Alabama rallied for a 45-40 win to capture the program’s 16th national championship. Tight end O.J. Howard earned offensive MVP honors in the victory after catching five passes for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns.