Tide Will Be Going For 14th Crown
Alabama will be attempting to win its 14th national championship and its second in three years.
Alabama (11-1 overall and 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference) and LSU (13-0 overall; 8-0 in the SEC) met on November 5 in Tuscaloosa, with the Tigers taking a 9-6 overtime win.
Alabama has played in more bowl games (59, not counting one vacated appearance) and earned more bowl wins (32) than any school in college football history. The Crimson Tide has posted a 32-22-3 all-time bowl record.
The Crimson Tide is making its fifth consecutive bowl appearance under Coach Nick Saban and the eighth straight for the school. Saban is 3-1 in bowl games at Alabama, defeating Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl, defeating Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game and knocking off Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl. The Tide's bowl loss under Saban came in the 2009 Sugar Bowl against Utah.
Alabama will be playing a post-season game at the Superdome in New Orleans for the eighth time in school history, boasting a 5-2 record in those games with the only appearance of the BCS era being the 2009 loss to Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
Alabama has won three national championships playing in the Sugar Bowl -- the 1978 national championship by defeating Penn State, the 1979 national title by beating Arkansas (then a member of the Southwest Conference), and the 1992 by downing Miami.
The Crimson Tide is making its fourth BCS Bowl appearance and third in the last four seasons under Saban. The Crimson Tide also played in the 2009 Sugar Bowl (2008 season - a 31-17 loss to Utah) and the 2010 BCS National Championship Game (2009 season - a 37-21 victory over Texas). Alabama also appeared in the 2000 Orange Bowl (a 35-34 loss to Michigan in overtime).
The matchup with SEC rival LSU marks the second time in Alabama history that the Crimson Tide will face a team currently playing in the same conference. The only other time that has happened was following the 1963 season when Alabama took a 12-7 win over Mississippi in the 1964 Sugar Bowl. However, that game was not a rematch of a regular season game as the Crimson Tide and Rebels did not meet during the 1963 regular season.
Both Alabama and LSU are making their second appearances in the BCS National Championship Game. Alabama defeated Texas, 37-21, in the 2010 contest in Pasadena, while LSU was a 38-24 winner over Ohio State in the 2008 game also played in New Orleans.
Alabama players were at the annual team awards banquet in Birmingham when they learned of the opportunity.
"All season long, we have had the mindset that we wanted to get in position to accomplish the ultimate goal and now we get the opportunity to do that," said linebacker Dont'a Hightower. "We will take the utmost pride in getting this opportunity."
"We're really excited to get another opportunity to play in the national championship," said offensive lineman Barrett Jones. "We have a big month ahead of us to get prepared for that game and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us."
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