Alabama arrived for the College Football Playoff semifinal on Wednesday downplaying any sort of revenge angle to its third CFP matchup against Clemson.

Instead, what coach Nick Saban and his players all see is an opportunity.

"I think that one of the statements I made last year after we didn't succeed in the championship, don't waste the failing," Saban said shortly after arrival. "I didn't think we finished very well [last year]. Your identity as a team starts with how you finish. This team has an opportunity to finish this season a little better than the last. I think we lost our identity a little bit in the last game, forgot who we were and what we needed to do to succeed. Feel fortunate to have the opportunity to rectify that in the playoffs."

Alabama made it into the playoff as an at-large selection after losing to Auburn in the regular-season finale, denying the Crimson Tide an opportunity to win the SEC championship and control their own destiny. That selection caused some consternation in other parts of the country, as Alabama was selected over conference champions Ohio State and USC.