Alabama and Clemson settle this season's college football national championship Monday in Glendale, Arizona. However, there are many ways to compare the two schools outside of football. We dug into each school's alumni base and determined who wins various Alabama vs. Clemson match-ups off the field.
The Crimson Tide could script a masterpiece. Harper Lee studied in Tuscaloosa (although, she never earned a degree) before setting To Kill a Mockingbird in Alabama. Far away from the Deep South, Tide grad Gay Talese profiled New York heroes Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Clemson has comic book wiz Jonathan Hickman, but Fantastic Four and Avengers will not save him here.
Michael Emerson is captivating on The Practice, Lost and Person of Interest, but none of his characters have the recognition of James Michael Tyler. Tyler, who earned a degree in geology at Clemson, played Gunther on Friends.
Alabama's George Wallace ran on a segregationist platform during the 1968 presidential election. Strom Thurmond, a 47-year South Carolina senator, conducted a 24-hour filibuster in fighting the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Clemson gets the nod thanks to the recent work of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who led a bi-partisan effort to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol after last June's Charleston church shooting.
TV Host: Clemson
It is presidential election season, so former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough and his Morning Joe are relevant, but that cannot lift him above Nancy O'Dell. The Entertainment Tonight co-anchor was crowned Miss South Carolina in 1987. O'Dell has owned the entertainment anchor realm since 1996, when she took over the reigns at Access Hollywood. O'Dell's nephew, Zac Alley, is a Tigers graduate assistant.
If it were not for Clemson's Robert Brooks, America would not have one of its pinnacle restaurant establishments: Hooters. Although this may be difficult to believe, Alabama produced a man even more important: Jimmy Wales. Wales, who has a master's degree from Alabama and a bachelor's degree from Auburn, founded Wikipedia, which makes articles like this possible. If you are reading this and under 30, you probably owe a lot of homework success to Wikipedia.
Clemson's mascot is a Tiger. It is clean and vibrant. No complaints there. But look at Alabama. It has an awesome elephant, Big Al, as its mascot because some writer in 1930 thought the team sounded like a stampede of elephants rushing onto the field. Who else has an elephant? On top of that, Crimson Tide is a suave name.
Neither school is a baseball powerhouse, but Clemson has the greater quantity of household names. Kris Benson, Khalil Greene, Jimmy Key, Matt LeCroy and Tim Teufel all starred for the Tigers. Alabama notables include White Sox reliever David Robertson and Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Sewell, who won two World Series rings.
This would actually be a great game. The Crimson Tide could start Mo Williams, Latrell Sprewell, Gerald Wallace, Robert Horry and Antonio McDyess with Roy Rogers and Alonzo Gee off the bench. Horace Grant, Larry Nance, Dale Davis, Trevor Booker and K.J. McDaniels give the Tigers a chance, but Alabama's depth would be too much to compete with.
Both schools have a major championship, as Alabama's Jerry Pate won the 1976 U.S. Open and Clemson's Lucas Glover claimed the 2009 U.S. Open. Role players for Alabama consist of Jason Bohn and Michael Thompson, while Clemson has five-time PGA Tour winner Jonathan Byrd. This is too close to call. They halve the hole.
Alabama does not have a men's soccer team, while Clemson is a national power. U.S. World Cup players Stuart Holden and Oguchi Onyewu, as well as Jamaican MLS star Dane Richards, played for the Tigers. Alabama women's soccer coach Wes Hart made 94 MLS appearances as a defender.
You are probably asking, how can anybody beat Forrest Gump, who was an All-American at Alabama before serving in Vietnam? Meet Daniel Rodriguez, a real person, who earned a bronze star in the U.S. Army while serving combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dabo Swinney took Rodriguez as a 24-year-old walk-on.