College Football Playoff

Alabama-Ohio State Title Game Continues Nightmare for Miami Football Fans

It is likely to bring up some bad memories for moments that took place involving the Fins and ‘Cans over a decade ago

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If you’re a fan of either teams who call Hard Rock Stadium home - the Miami Dolphins or the Miami Hurricanes - you may want to ignore what’s going to take place inside the stadium Monday night.

When the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff’s championship game, it is likely to bring up some bad memories for moments that took place involving the Fins and ‘Cans over a decade ago.

For Dolphins fans, it will bring up the memories of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s most infamous comments while in his second season coaching the team.

"I guess I have to say it, I'm not going to be the Alabama coach,” Saban said during a December 21, 2006 press conference as rumors swirled he was leaving South Florida.

Ten days later, Saban met with officials from the school - and two days after that, he was off to Tuscaloosa to become the new coach of the Crimson Tide.

It won’t be his first time back inside the stadium in a game with title implications. Alabama won the national championship for the 2012 season by dominating Notre Dame and qualified for the title game in the 2018 season with a win over Oklahoma in South Florida.

For ‘Canes fans, the frustration dates even further back to the end of the 2002 season. Miami was one play away from their second straight national championship - until a yellow penalty flag changed things.

On fourth down in the first overtime, Miami defensive back Glenn Sharpe was called for a pass interference penalty on Ohio State receiver Chris Gamble.  The penalty kept the game going, which the Buckeyes would win in double overtime, and has had ‘Canes fans furious for nearly two decades - even if Sharpe has moved on.

"I don't hold any grudges against Ohio State or the refs," Sharpe said to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2010. "I just feel he made a bad call and in his heart he knows he made a bad call."

Miami and Ohio State have met twice since that ‘Duel in the Desert’, with the Buckeyes coming out on top in 2010 and the Hurricanes getting a 24-6 triumph the following year at home.

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