A Brief History of Alabama vs. Ohio State Matchups

Alabama leads the series 3-1

Alabama and Ohio State will meet for the fifth time in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship. The Crimson Tide and Buckeyes first met in 1978 and have never played each other at home. Here is a brief history of the series.

 

Alabama 35, Ohio State 6 (Sugar Bowl)

Jan. 2, 1978 – New Orleans

In the first and only meeting between Bear Bryant and Woody Hayes, the Crimson Tide held the Buckeyes to less than 300 yards and capitalized on five turnovers in the Sugar Bowl, taking a 21-0 third-quarter lead and scoring two more times in the fourth to close the game. With No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Oklahoma losing, it appeared that the third-ranked Crimson Tide would win the national title. However, No. 5 Notre Dame leapfrogged them on the strength of its 38-10 win over the Longhorns.

 

Alabama 16, Ohio State 10

Aug. 27, 1986 – East Rutherford, N.J.

In this top-10 Kickoff Classic matchup, Ohio State led 10-6 going into the fourth quarter, but Alabama took the lead with 10 unanswered points. The Buckeyes had a chance to win thanks to two pass interference calls on Derrick Thomas that kept a late-game drive going to the Crimson Tide’s 18-yard line. On the final play, Ohio State quarterback Jim Karsatos threw a high pass to Cris Carter that was batted away by Britton Cooper and Chris Goode. Both teams went on to finish the season in the top 10 of the polls.

 

Alabama 24, Ohio State 17 (Citrus Bowl)

Jan. 2, 1995 – Orlando, Fla.

The teams met in the Citrus Bowl as runners-up for their respective conference titles and matched each other score for score. Ohio State quarterback Bobby Hoying hit Joey Galloway with two touchdown passes, but Alabama running back Sherman Williams responded with a seven-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14 going into halftime. The teams traded field goals and it appeared the game would end in a 17-17 tie. Then Crimson Tide quarterback Jay Barker hit Williams with a 50-yard touchdown pass with 42 seconds left for the game-winning score.

 

Ohio State 42, Alabama 35 (Sugar Bowl/College Football Playoff Semifinal)

Jan. 1, 2015 – New Orleans

Top-ranked Alabama was a seven-point favorite over No. 4 Ohio State in one of the semifinal games of the inaugural College Football Playoff. But the Buckeyes overwhelmed the Crimson Tide with 281 rushing yards and Ohio State defensive tackle Steve Miller returned a Blake Sims interception 41 yards for a touchdown to take 34-21 lead in the third quarter. An 85-yard Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run put the Buckeyes up 42-28 with a little more than three minutes to play. Ohio State held on to win and then beat Oregon 42-20 for the national title.

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

 

(Top photo courtesy of rolltide.com)

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