A New King in College Football?

By: Wayne Mizell


Clemson Players after their win

Wade Mizell, Editor

The national championship just ended in College Football and Clemson is now on top of College Football landscape. This game went in ways that nobody expected.

From the start of the game things looked different. Clemson started with a 3 & out, but on Alabama’s 3rd  play Tua Tagovailoa (QB for Alabama) throws a pick six to DB A.J. Terrell. That was Tua’s 5th interception of the year, which is still off the charts. That wasn’t all for a fast start; the fourth play of the next drive Tua threw a perfect 69-yard pass for a touchdown; the game is tied up at 7 and we aren’t even 3 minutes in.

Clemson gets their first offensive score from RB Travis Etienne’s 17-yard rushing TD. Bama answers with another touchdown, but misses the extra point. It’s 14-13 Clemson. Clemson’s 3rd drive goes a lot like the first drive, and after a penalty Clemson is forced to punt. I feel this was a huge play in the game because at this point in the game, I felt like Clemson couldn’t stop Alabama. Alabama drove down to the one-yard line and received a false start, 5-yard penalty. From the 6, Bama doesn’t score a TD and is made to settle for a field goal. It’s 16-14 Bama.

It’s time for Clemson to answer, and they do just as the second quarter starts. Clemson scores in 8 plays and regains the lead at 21-16. Now everybody remembers that turning point because Tua makes another mistake by not taking his time and throws a progression, but it is picked off–his second interception of the game. Clemson takes advantage of the pick with a score, and it is now 28-16 Clemson. Bama knows they are in trouble, but they have to settle for their first punt of the game and right before the half Clemson takes a 31-16 half-time lead.

At halftime, it seemed that the little things were going Clemson’s way, but Bama had a lot of yards compared to Clemson even though they were down by 15–the most by Nick Saban in his career at Bama.

Bama starts with a great run, but have a turnover on downs as they fail fourth down and Clemson takes over and scores. It is 37-16 as they miss the extra point.

In the second half, Alabama gets past mid-field more, but they can’t finish out drives because of the Clemson defense.

Bama turns it over on downs and Clemson scores again, and it is 44-16–the final score. It was the worst loss for Nick Saban ever in his career. The fourth quarter shows that Bama can’t finish drives and Clemson plays safe with the lead. The game finishes with Clemson winning in a rout over Alabama.

After the game, people commented that the “Balance of Powers” have shifted in College Football–as if Clemson is better than Alabama, and that Dabo is as good or better than Nick Saban. But I can’t say that.

Alabama has repeatedly been the best over the last 10 years. Clemson has been great the last 5 years, but were always good before that. We still need to see the same thing year in and year out before I compare Clemson to Alabama, but nobody should compare Dabo and Nick as head coaches–at least not yet.

For recruiting players, Clemson usually recruits well, but it is hard for Clemson to recruit higher than Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, so I don’t feel Clemson will out-recruit Alabama. However, Clemson will still finish top 5 every year.

I think there is something killing Alabama every single year. Coordinators are always leaving for better jobs because of how the players make the coaches look. While Clemson has the best defensive coordinator in the country, he has not left yet and keeping Tony Elliott on the offensive side has helped.

Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and Justin Ross had a huge game and a great defense with depth. However, I believe that Alabama is still the best team in the country, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Alabama goes out next year and wins it all because it is just what Alabama does.

Clemson will have at least one or two more chances at a National Championship based on conference and talent but it won’t be easy with Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

The king in college football is still Alabama, but for now, Clemson is the National Champion.