SAN JOSE, Calif. — It was an early morning for The Clemson Insider but the Charlotte airport was filled with bright orange as many boarded the flight to San Francisco Thursday to watch Alabama and Clemson compete for another national title in Santa Clara, Calif., at Levi’s Stadium this upcoming Monday night.
Lynn Harvin, a native of Columbia who made the trip, has been to both of the Tigers’ national championship games in Phoenix and Tampa over the past four seasons. She was also a senior when Clemson won the 1981 National Championship.
“They were awesome (experiences),” she said. “We had a great time at each one. Lots of fans, lots of things going on.
“Our entire family went to Tampa so now we just have some of us but we’re here for the trip and it’s been really cool to do.”
Kate Lawson, a current junior at Clemson, was also on the flight with her family.
She and her dad attended the national championship game two years ago when Clemson beat Alabama, but now she and her dad, Jim Lawson are in California along with her mother and brother this time.
“We loved Tampa,” Kate said. “Just because everyone was so excited and the Clemson people really turned out. Of course we won and it was really just a nail biter until the end but it was so much fun.”
Both the Harvin and Lawson families decided to forgo the trip to the College Football Playoff semifinal Cotton Bowl game in Dallas where Clemson beat Notre Dame, in hopes of the Tigers making it to Santa Clara. Fortunately for them, the outcome was in their favor.
“We would have considered it, but we went to Texas A&M earlier this year so we didn’t want to do two Texas trips in one year,” Jim Lawson said. “But anyway, we’re excited about this one.”
Although Alabama will be a tough matchup as always, Clemson fans are hopeful the Tigers will come out on top to win their second national title in the past three seasons.
“I predict Clemson will win 34-31,” said Stephen Harvin, a relative of Lynn Harvin. “(Clemson) needs to push the ball down the field and block the interior of the line.”
“I think we can beat (Alabama) if we play like we did against Notre Dame,” Kate Lawson said. “I have high hopes.”
“I have very high hopes as well. I think it will probably be a nail biter, but I think we can beat them and will beat them,” Jim Lawson said. “I think if we can get pressure on the quarterback and the backfield with just our front-line, not having to involve the linebackers too much, I think we’ll be on it.”