Clemson takes another step toward the top

The Clemson Tigers have won their second national championship in the past three years. Their 44-16 rout of the Alabama Crimson Tide was a surprise to all.

Clemson takes another step toward the top
January 17
00:50 2019

The Clemson Tigers have won their second national championship in the past three years. Their 44-16 rout of the Alabama Crimson Tide was a surprise to all.

Alabama has been the gold standard in college football for nearly the past decade. Since Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban took over the program in 2007, he has turned the team into national contenders almost every year.

For Clemson to totally dominate the game the way they did was not the expected outcome. I, along with most others, thought this game would be a close one all the way through. In reality, after the first quarter, Clemson dominated the game on both sides of the ball.

I have never seen a Nick Saban-led Alabama team get manhandled that way. Offensively, they were totally held in check by the Clemson defense. On defense, they could do nothing to stop what the Tigers threw at them.  

With five championships since 2009, I’m not saying Alabama isn’t the cream of the crop in college football, but Clemson has put themselves on an equal level with the win on January 7. I never thought the Tigers would be able to pull even with the Crimson Tide in such a short time.

If you look at the national championship game, the Crimson Tide were soundly out coached by the Clemson staff. Also, there was a clear advantage for Clemson at the skill positions as far at pure athleticism was concerned. If there was a 50/50 play to be made, the Tigers seemed to always come up with it.

Honestly, that was a surprise to me. Saban has always recruited the top athletes from around the country and routinely brings in a top three class every year, but they seemed outmatched by what Clemson had on the field.

Clemson is just getting started. Most of their skill position guys on offense are freshmen and sophomores, so the country has another year or two to deal with the talent the Tigers have on the field. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson true freshman quarterback, was ready for this moment. He thoroughly outplayed Heisman finalist Tua Tagovailoa, which I’m sure no one saw that coming to this degree.

To be honest, I never thought that Clemson would get to this level so quickly under Dabo Swinney. He took over the Clemson program midway through the 2008 year for Tommy Bowden. He immediately established himself as a great recruiter by making Clemson one of only 10 schools to be ranked in the top 20 of recruiting five years in a row. 2011 is really when the Clemson program began taking the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) by storm. From that point on, there was no looking back for Swinney, as the Tigers started to become a national power, slowly but surely.

With players such as Tahj Boyd, Deshaun Watson, Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Vic Beasley, Shaq Lawson and Mike Williams, all being high draft picks in the past few years, Swinney has turned Clemson into the place to be. His laid-back persona is a stark contrast to what Saban shows at Alabama. From the outside looking in, it seems Alabama is more of a business atmosphere, while at Clemson the players seem to be having the time of their lives. That type of attitude really resonates with an 18-year-old kid. The Tigers will continue to bring in the top tier talent, as long as Swinney is at the helm.

I am not claiming that Alabama is taking a backseat to Clemson; I’m simply saying that they are now on an even playing field. So, when Swinney walks into a kid’s living room, he carries the same amount of clout as Saban right now. We have been waiting to see what team would step up and be a consistent challenger to Alabama and Clemson has accepted the challenge.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to see Clemson and Alabama match up in the College Football Playoff next year. I know some people may be getting tired of seeing these two teams play, but until another team figures out a way to crack the mountain top, we are left with this. I love to root for the underdog, so hopefully a team can make it interesting heading into next year’s playoff.

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors