Clemson wins the 2017 College Football Playoff


Alex Nannetti and Logan Winser

On Monday, January 8th, Clemson completed the comeback and defeated undefeated Alabama to win its first National Championship since 1983, according to ESPN, by a score of 35-31.

In 2014, the NCAA announced the College Football Playoff to replace the annual BCS Championship game where instead of the top two teams in the BCS rankings play each other, the top four play each other in a three game playoff. This was the third year of the brand new format.

The playoff started with Clemson facing Ohio State and Alabama facing Washington. Neither game was close, as Clemson won 31-0 and Alabama won 24-7.

Alabama played in the National Championship for the fifth time in the past eight years. But they were without offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin as he was dismissed from duties after accepting a head coaching job with Florida Atlantic. Alabama has been #1 in the AP poll rankings for the entire year, with an undefeated season.

The Clemson Tigers returned to the College Football Championship trying to win their first title in program history. Led by Heisman Candidate Deshaun Watson, the Tigers went into the championship game with a 14-1 record and champions of the ACC conference.

Alabama and Clemson faced in the 2016 National Championship where Alabama won 45-40. This was the first championship rematch in the history of College Football according to the college football playoffs official website. These teams have faced off 13 times in their history, with Alabama winning ten of them.

After an exciting fourth quarter, with Clemson scoring 21 of its 35 points, Deshaun Watson threw his third touchdown pass to Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow with one second left to take a 35-31 lead, to eventually win the game. There were three lead changes in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.

On the ESPN show “First Take,” analyst Stephen A Smith called the game “One of the greatest college football games of all time.”

Defensive MVP Ben Boulware got emotional in his post game interview after winning the National Championship considering he lost last year.

“This is not for just us, this is for the Ty Boyd’s, the Stephen Anthony’s, the Nuke Hopkins’, the Sammy Watkins’. Y’all built this, y’all started this foundation, and all we did was build upon it,” screamed Boulware to a Clemson crowd. “It’s been 35 long years. Clemson, y’all been waiting 35 years. It’s finally coming home baby. It’s coming home.”

After the game finished, Clemson players Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams and Ben Boulware declared for the NFL draft, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. Watson and Williams will most likely be taking in the first round with a college championship in their resume.