How Do National Championship Foes Alabama and Clemson Really Compare?


There’s been a lot of talk about whether the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Clemson Tigers will walk away with the coveted National College Football Championship Trophy tonight in Tampa, Fla.

Most analysts compare defensive lines, secondaries, quarterbacks and ground games. But the Southern Education Desk decided to look at other facts about these two southern universities.

When it comes to the size of the student body, Alabama is the biggest with an enrollment of 37,098. Clemson’s enrollment is 22,698.

It costs more to attend Clemson – whether you are a state resident or come from out state. In-state tuition at Clemson is $14,240, compared with $10,470 in-state tuition at the University of Alabama.

Class sizes, overall, are smaller at Clemson, with a student/faculty ratio of 18:1 compared with a 24:1 ratio at Alabama.

What really makes a difference at most schools is the amount of money in the bank. Alabama wins that category with an endowment of $658,672,567 compared with Clemson’s $648,610,563 endowment.

Football players are recruited as student-athletes, which means going to classes and getting a degree should weigh into the equation for success. The NCAA monitors academics for athletes. Colleges and universities must supply data every year to show that their student-athletes are maintaining their eligibility to compete while earning degrees.

Alabama graduates 80 percent of its football players within six years. Clemson graduates 84 percent of its football players within the same period. The national rate of graduation for all students seeking undergraduate degrees is 60 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. So the two universities are not that different at all!

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