Alabama would have beaten Clemson in last season’s College Football Playoff National Championship if Lane Kiffin had been coaching the offense.

At least, that’s what Kiffin himself said.

Kiffin was hired as the head coach at Florida Atlantic on Dec. 12 and went ahead with calling plays as Alabama’s offensive coordinator in the semifinal game against Washington. But then, as many remember, Nick Saban announced that Kiffin was out and would not coach the Crimson Tide’s championship game against Clemson, which Alabama lost 35-31.

Instead, Steve Sarkisian was brought in to call the shots on offense.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Kiffin said, “It’s no disrespect to Steve. No matter who it was, you’ve been there all year long. You’ve been there for the quarterback. You’re all he knew. You were undefeated together. We’ve won [26] straight games together. You feel like, okay, it’s different.

“As great as Sark is, it’s just different. Again, if it had been 14 points either way … when it’s one play here or there, you think if those guys had the person they were used to, it would have made a difference.”

Kiffin, who apparently watched the game in a room at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, said viewing it was “really rough.”