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In one of the most-highly anticipated games of Week 1 of the college football season, reigning national champion Alabama will take on Miami in Atlanta.
The Crimson Tide are coming off of their sixth national champion under Nick Saban. Miami made major strides last season under now third-year coach Manny Diaz. The Hurricanes finished 8-3 and No. 22 in the AP Poll.
The contest at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the first meeting between the schools since the 1993 Sugar Bowl for the national championship. Played on Jan. 1, 1993, the contest pitted top-ranked Miami against No. 2 Alabama.
Despite being an 8-point underdog, Alabama ended Miami’s 29-game winning streak in dominant fashion with a 34-13 victory. Derrick Lassic scored two touchdowns for Alabama and led a rushing attack that went for 267 yards.
George Teague also returned an interception for a touchdown after making a memorable strip of Miami’s Lamar Thomas earlier in the game on a play that appeared to be a sure touchdown. The Alabama defense intercepted Miami quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta three times. Kevin Williams returned a punt for the lone Miami touchdown.
Much has changed in the nearly three decades since the teams last met. Here’s a look back at what each program has accomplished since:
Alabama: 276-88-1 (.756)
Miami: 234-98 (.718)
Overview: Believe it or not, Alabama actually has more losing seasons (four) than Miami (three) since the end of the 1992 season. The Crimson Tide however, hold a significant edge in 10-win seasons with 17 to six for Miami.
Alabama: 5 (Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Shula, Nick Saban)
Miami: 7 (Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, Larry Coker, Randy Shannon, Al Golden, Mark Richt, Manny Diaz)
Overview: Coaching changes have been fairly common for both teams since Dennis Erickson and Gene Stallings led their teams into New Orleans undefeated on New Year’s Day 1993. Saban however, is in his 15th season at Alabama. The longest any Miami coach lasted since then has been six years by both Butch Davis and Larry Coker.
AP Top 25 Finishes
Alabama: 20 (1993-96, 2002, 2005, 2008-20)
Miami: 15 (1993-96, 1998-2005, 2009, 2016-17, 2020)
Overview: In 28 seasons since 1992, Alabama has finished unranked just eight times and not since 2007. From 1983 to 2005, Miami finished unranked just once. Since then, it has gone unranked in 11 of 15 seasons. The longest stretch without finishing ranked for Miami was a 6-year stretch from 2010 to 2015.
Alabama: 12 (1993-94, 1999, 2008-09, 2012, 2014-16, 2018, 2020)
Miami: 1 (2017)
Overview: Since the inception of the SEC Championship in 1992, Alabama has made 13 appearances. Only Florida has as many. In addition to the 12 appearances since 1993, Alabama has also been SEC West co-champion on two other occasions, but lost tiebreakers. Miami’s lone ACC Coastal title came in 2017, but after a 10-0 starting and ascending to No. 2, the Hurricanes lost their final three games.
Alabama: 8 (1999, 2009, 2012, 2014-16, 2018, 2020)
Miami: 7 (1994-96, 2000-03 — All Big East)
Overview: Miami has not won the ACC in 17 years as a member, but did win the Big East title in seven of its final 10 years as a member. Alabama has just one more conference championship than Miami since the start of 1993. The Crimson Tide have won five of the last seven SEC titles.
Alabama: 19-9 (.679)
Miami: 8-12 (.400)
Overview: The inception of the College Football Playoff has allowed teams to win two bowls in one season. Alabama has won nine total bowl games over the last six seasons. Miami, on the other hand, is just 1-10 in bowl games since 2008.
BCS/New Year’s Six Record
Alabama: 11-6 (.647)
Miami: 3-2 (.600)
Overview: Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, only Ohio State has more major bowl wins than Alabama. Miami won three BCS games in four years from 2000 to 2003, but has appeared in just one New Year’s Six bowl. That was a 34-24 loss to Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl to close the 2017 season.
Alabama: 6 (2009, 2011-12, 2015, 2017, 2020)
Miami: 1 (2001)
Overview: Alabama has become the team of the last 15 years under Saban. The Crimson Tide have won six national championships in 12 years and played for two others. The Hurricanes dominated in 2001, winning their first national championship in a decade. Miami’s repeat bid came up short the following year against Ohio State in a controversial Fiesta Bowl that ended in double overtime.
Heisman Trophy Winners
Alabama: 3 (Mark Ingram in 2009, Derrick Henry in 2015, DeVonta Smith in 2020)
Overview: Miami has not had a Heisman Trophy winner since Torretta, who played his last game against Alabama. Prior to 2009, Alabama didn’t have a single Heisman Trophy winner. Since then, it has had three in Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry and DeVonta Smith. Since 2006, those three are the only non-quarterbacks to win the award.
*Vacated wins not reflected
** Interim head coaches and Mike Price not reflected