Mike Johnson on the Alabama-Clemson Narrative
Over the past four years, Alabama and Clemson have battled toe-to-toe as the top college football programs in college football with two national championships each since 2015.
However, with Clemson demolishing Alabama 44-16 this past January, the discussion among some talking heads has centered on whether the Tigers have not only matched but overtaken the Crimson Tide atop the college football mountain.
To close out the week, former Alabama All-American offensive lineman Mike Johnson dove into the discussion on The Gary Harris Show.
Johnson explained how Dabo Swinney's image contributes to the favorable publicity being received by Clemson.
"I think a lot of it has to do with perception as well. Dabo Swinney, he's got this charisma. He's got this smooth approach. He's this southern sweet-talking guy that runs a 'fun program' over at Clemson and has this family atmosphere. I think that appeals to a lot more people." Johnson said.
According to the former Crimson Tide offensive lineman, the national media or opposing coaches can't portray Swinney into a villain as easily they do Nick Saban.
"They can't make Dabo out to be this kind of bad guy the way that some people from other programs want to make Nick Saban out to be and so I think it lends itself to that argument where people say, 'Hey! Listen, this guy is doing it the fun way. This guy is being really fun and charismatic and wants what's best for his players at all times. So we want him to be the king of college football.'" Johnson said.
With the hype surrounding Clemson and plenty of talent returning to Alabama, Johnson mentioned how he wants to see the Crimson Tide internalize the hype going toward Tigers in their journey toward a national championship in 2019.
"I hope that Alabama's football team hears it, and I hope that Alabama's football team feels like Clemson has surpassed what Alabama's been able to do because you need that level of hunger." Johnson said. "When you are hungry, when you are climbing the mountain, you are a much better football player than when you're at the top looking down because complacency can start to set in. I hope this football comes back hungrier than ever that says, 'Listen, we've got to go back and establish ourselves as the dominant program and the dynasty back in college football' because I think that makes me feel a lot better about this upcoming 2019 season."
Find out what the All-American and NFL offensive lineman had to say about how the finish to the 2008 season fueled the 2009 team's desire to an undefeated national title season, how the 2010 team struggled with a lack of hunger, the fall of the AAF, his prognosis for the XFL and the status of Georgia football under Kirby Smart.
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