Patriots, Alabama have engaged in an odd pattern in recent years

Fun fact: The Patriots and Alabama have alternated championship winning seasons since 2014.

Tom Brady Super Bowl XLIX
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates the New England Patriots' win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona in February of 2015. –EPA/TANNEN MAURY

In the wake of Clemson’s 44-16 win over Alabama in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship, some Patriots fans with sharp eyes noticed a peculiar coincidence. WBZ’s Adam Kaufman was quick to point out that the Patriots and Alabama have never won coinciding championships. In fact, the teams have unintentionally swapped championship seasons in recent years.

The Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX in the 2014 NFL season, defeating the Seattle Seahawks. In 2015, Alabama captured the college football national championship over Clemson. The 2016 NFL season? The Patriots miraculously overcame that 25-point deficit against the Atlanta Falcons with under one half to play, ultimately emerging victorious in a record-setting overtime victory in Super Bowl LI.


Not to be outdone, Alabama secured another college football championship in 2017, besting Georgia 26-23. The Patriots appeared in the Super Bowl last year, too – and lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Last year’s results gave rise to a coincidental 1-2 pattern since 2014. Patriots, Alabama. Patriots, Alabama.

In 2018, the Patriots and Alabama emerged as contenders yet again for their league’s championship. Though Alabama’s quest for a third title ended before the Patriots’ journey through the 2018 NFL playoffs began, the Crimson Tide’s loss means a Patriots Super Bowl LIII win continues this oddly satisfying pattern.

How trustworthy is this trend? Probably somewhere in between “not at all” and the unlikely accuracy of 2010 FIFA World Cup prediction expert Paul the Octopus. Either way, Patriots fans sure hope it continues.