By: Matthew Rodriguez
The 2017 College Football Championship is an event where the top two college teams face off in a game that declares one team a champion. This year, it was #1 Alabama (14-0 Record) vs. #2 Clemson (13-1 Record). The game was on January 9th, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. “This could go down as one of the most intense games in NCAA history,” said Samueli English Teacher Coach Palacios. Honestly, this was probably one of the, if not, the biggest upset in Bowl History.
The tale of the tape:
Alabama went into this game being the favorites and having the obvious advantage over Clemson. Alabama is the #1 ranked defense in the country, which makes sense why the won every game by 20 points or more. If the game didn’t turn out the way it did, this defense would’ve been the scariest defense to ever face in NCAA history. Grant Wepner, a student who watched the game, said, “Stats wise, it looked like Alabama was going to destroy Clemson.” Although, Clemson didn’t look bad either, based on the fact that they were the #2 team ranking, leaving them only behind Alabama. They also had the 10th best offense and the 9th best defense. But overall, the Crimson Tide had the major advantage because of their defensive efficiency.
This game went down to the ground as Clemson defeated Alabama with 35-31 on a touchdown, scored in the last seconds of the game. Alabama started off with a 14-0 lead Monday night, and appeared to be in great shape up 24-14, heading into the fourth quarter. However, a pair of Clemson touchdowns allowed the underdogs to take the 28-24 Clemson lead with under five minutes remaining. But still, the game was just getting started. Jalen Hurts helped the Crimson Tide regain the lead with a 30-yard touchdown run, with just over two minutes left. The Tigers then responded with a nine-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a two-yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Deshaun Watson to Receiver Hunter Renfrow on 3rd & Goal to seal the game 35-31. “I'm proud of Coach Dobo Swinney, he took his team to the championship and proved himself,” said Samueli Teacher Noah Palacios (Coach).
Going into the next season, Alabama is, again, projected to be #1, while Clemson is projected to be #5. Both teams lost key factors, due to the upcoming NFL draft and the players graduating, but Alabama had more of a younger team such as freshmen and sophomores, while Clemson had more seniors such as their Quarterback Deshaun Watson. With that being said, Alabama is projected to be the #1 team in the country. “Alabama should be fine, they are going to have most of their players back, and Clemson still has a lot to prove. They have lost a lot of people to the draft, but since they won the championship, they have the momentum to show that they are truly a good team,” said 9th grade student Grant Wempner. The first NCAA game for the upcoming game is Alabama vs. Florida State, which should be a really good game as both teams are projected to be the top two teams in the nation. The rest of the 2017 season schedule is soon to be announced.
In conclusion, why does this prove that anything is possible? Alabama came in as one of the best teams in college football history. Their defense broke many records and they haven’t lost a game should they looked like they were going to dominate in this game. Clemson came in as the underdogs, yes they did have a great quarterback in Deshaun Watson, but their offense didn’t seem to much up to Alabama’s defense. When Clemson made a comeback in the 2nd half for the championship win, it shocked people that watched it. This game will be known as “the comeback that shocked the world.” Many things could have gone differently, like kicking a field goal to tie the game and go into overtime, or maybe a 4th down stop to seal an Alabama win. Coach Dabo Swinney felt really confident. An ESPN reported interviewed Coach Swinney pre-game and he said “There was no upset tonight Swinney said...That's the last thing I told them [Football Players] when we left the locker room. I said, `When we win the game tonight I don't want to hear one word about this being an upset. The only upset is going to be if we don't win the dadgum game." So how does this prove that anything is possible, well when you have the confidence and commitment as Clemson had in this game, then things will turn out pretty good.
Editor Board, 2017-2018
Editor in Chief: