After an interesting weekend of action, the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game is set and, for the third time in four years, Alabama and Clemson will battle for the title. While the Crimson Tide and the Tigers reign supreme on the field, they’re among the tops off the field as well. Alabama and Clemson are two of the most storied programs in college football with rich histories, passionate fans, interesting traditions, and, of course, great tailgating. Which program has the overall best college football culture? Let’s start the debate. First up, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Perhaps no college football program has more entrenched traditions in place than the Crimson Tide. From the choice of houndstooth on many of the fashions around campus to the Walk of Champions two-and-a-half hours before kickoff, there is an important game day event everywhere you look on game day in Tuscaloosa. Some of the more beloved traditions include strolling down the Walk of Fame to see the handprints of every Crimson Tide team captain since 1948, enjoy the Million Dollar Band perform on the quad during the Elephant Stomp, visiting the Paul W. Bryant Museum, and joining in with fans to scream the Rammer Jammer Cheer, despite the University’s past attempts to ban the cheer over the years.
Food & Drink
Like most areas around the Southeast, Tuscaloosa is home to some great barbecue, whether it’s a favorite local joint or tons of meat smoked by tailgater all over campus. If you’re in Tuscaloosa for a game or just want the gameday experience on a plate, head over the original Dreamland BBQ or Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ (Archibald’s to the locals). On game days, a must-try are the barbecue nachos available on the “Strip” at the Big Bad Wolves stand.
To wash all that great food down, you’ll need some sweet tea (emphasis on the sweet), or a cold beer, especially from one of the local breweries around town, such as Druid City Brewing, Loosa Brews, or Black Warrior Brewing Company. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, you can’t go wrong with a Yellowhammer Slammer, a cocktail with rum, vodka, amaretto, orange juice, and pineapple juice. While there are dozens of recipes available online, the definitive Yellowhammer Slammer is made at Gallette’s, a local hangout located on the Strip.
History of Success
Alabama’s success on the field is without equal, with 17 national championships overall and 41 bowl wins, by far more than any other college football program. Since Nick Saban took over as head coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide has appeared in six national championship games, winning five. Their only loss came courtesy of their opponent in the 2019 title game, the Clemson Tigers.
Next Up: A look at the football culture of Clemson University