Alabama football to play Miami in 2021 kickoff game

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

It’s been 28 years since the Alabama Crimson Tide played the University of Miami. Now, they are set to do battle in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

According to Dillon Faulkner at, “Alabama and Miami will face off on the gridiron in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. An exact date, kick time and television network will be finalized at a later date.”

Percy Vaughn, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman said, “With two teams of this caliber playing for the first time in nearly three decades, it really is going to be an electric atmosphere and an epic celebration of college football here in Atlanta.”

The matchup seems to spark the imagination of college football fans of the 1980s and ’90s, when ‘The U’ was producing amazing football teams with many players going to the NFL. The Crimson Tide and the Hurricanes fought some epic battles in those decades, including two incredible Sugar Bowl bouts.

Nick Saban, Alabama football head coach, stated, “This event always has the feel of a bowl game and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl staff has made it a first-class event. We have a lot of respect for Coach Richt and the Miami program, and we look forward to a great game in 2021.”

In the early 2000s, however, it wasn’t always sunny days in Miami. The Hurricanes have had five head coaching changes since 2004. The 2001 national championship seemed a long time ago, making the glory days in the ’80s and ’90s a distant memory.

When Alabama and Miami finally meet, it “will mark the 13th ACC vs. SEC meeting in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game since 2008, with the SEC currently holding a 9-1 advantage over the ACC in those games.”

Not surprising, Alabama football has five of those victories. By Saban’s squad winning multiple national championships in the last decade, Chick-fil-A must have wanted the most dominant and compelling team in college football on their broadcast.

Having set Miami up as the competition in 2021 is an interesting choice, after Alabama successfully defeated the Florida State Seminoles in the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. FSU was considered a very high-ranking team, making the game possibly the greatest kickoff game in college football history. Miami was 9-4 last season, with a 5-3 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The panel at the CFA Bowl must see big things in Miami’s future.

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Alabama will look to darken the state of Florida again in 2021 against a team that hasn’t even won a conference division title since 2003. Will Miami be a sacrificial lamb to slaughter or a powerhouse under a new coaching staff by that time?

One thing is for sure: the unbiased college football fan will want to see the latter so that the great battles of the ’80s and ’90s can be relived, once again.