I spent most of Monday evening trying to figure out how I would write about Alabama’s newest championship — what would have been their fifth in eight years. Silly me. Clemson had other plans.
The Tigers shocked the Tide 35-31 after a wild 4th quarter in which the teams traded three touchdowns in the final minutes. It could go down as the best college football championship game of the decade.
Just after Alabama scored a touchdown to take the lead with a heroic 40-yard Jalen Hurts run, Deshaun Watson took his Tigers 80 yards down the field within the final two minutes to score this touchdown with :01 left on the clock.
If the above link goes bad, here’s the play to the tune of Celine Dion.
Here’s what the final play sounded like among various broadcasts.
So was that touchdown the end to the Alabama dynasty?
If not for that play, Alabama would be looking at 5 titles in 8 years, unprecedented during the current college landscape.
It would have been Bama’s 27th win in a row and their 17th overall championship.
Nick Saban would have his sixth championship, tying Bear Bryant (also of Alabama) for the most all-time.
Jalen Hurts would have been the first true freshman quarterback to win a national title since 1985.
It’s the first time Alabama has lost a national championship game, BCS era or current CFP era.
So, no. Alabama will be back.
The 2017 championship game will be remembered as the time a star quarterback was finally able to temporarily puncture the rolling tide.
Of course Alabama wasn’t the same once they lost star running back Bo Scarbrough, but Watson also proved Monday night he is a future NFL star that should go No. 1 overall. The Clemson quarterback had 420 passing yards, 43 rushing yards and four TDs against what was considered beforehand possibly the greatest defense of all-time.
Congrats to the Clemson Tigers on their first national title in 35 years. But rest assured Bama fans that the Tide will rise again, sooner rather than later.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports.