Alabama’s biggest rivalries are all within the SEC, but the Crimson Tide has history with plenty of teams across the country. We’re asking Alabama fans to vote on which nonconference program they hate the most with an eight-team bracket.
You can vote by scrolling down and on also on Twitter @TideSports later today. Voting for this matchup will run through the weekend. Check back later for the final matchup.
Teams that just missed the bracket: Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Southern Miss, Michigan. For explanations, listen to the first segment of the podcast.
Round 1: Notre Dame defeated UAB, UCF defeated Clemson, Penn State defeats Georgia Tech
Round 2: Central Florida defeated Penn State
No. 1 Notre Dame
Football series record: Notre Dame leads 5-2
First round: Defeated UAB
The Fighting Irish are a natural foil for the Crimson Tide. Both are among the most storied programs in the history of college football. The series still matters and will matter for years to come, evidenced by the 2028-29 home-and-home between the teams.
Alabama’s 1966 team finished the season 11-0 and is considered by many to be the best team fielded by Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant, but the voters that season awarded the national championship to Notre Dame. The Irish were undefeated most of the season before meeting undefeated Michigan State in the regular season finale. The teams tied and Notre Dame claimed a championship. On the other hand, Alabama claimed a national championship in 1973, then lost 24-23 to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama finished the 1977 season 11-1, but Notre Dame claims the championship that season with an 11-1 record.
More recently, Alabama defeated unbeaten Notre Dame 42-14 for the 2012 national championship. That was the last meeting between the two teams.
5. Ohio State
Football series record: Alabama leads 3-1
First round: Defeated Texas
If this list were about coaches, Urban Meyer would probably be higher on the list. He was the coach Nick Saban had to surpass when he arrived at Alabama, and he’s continued to have success after leaving Florida for Ohio State.
There’s less history for the Buckeyes and Tide, but things still run hot when they meet. Their last meeting was the 2014 Sugar Bowl. That prevented Alabama from playing in four straight national championship games.
Alabama has a victory over Ohio State more recently than that: The two programs were the most likely candidates for the final spot in this past year’s college football playoff, when Alabama made the field of four and went on to win the national championship.
The other semifinal matchup has already started here: https://t.co/CreDxj5Meo
But you can vote on Twitter, too.
Which nonconference school do you hate the most?
— TideSports.com (@TideSports) June 1, 2018