Last night was an absolute bloodbath in the College Football Playoff title game. And the team I thought would be putting on that beating, I was very, very wrong. I made no secrets about my thoughts on this Alabama team. I thought they were unbeatable. I wasn't one of those idiots that thought they could beat an NFL team, but I thought no one, including Clemson, would beat them in college. They appeared invincible. They ran rough shed through their regular season schedule. The only game they really struggled with was Georgia in the SEC title game, but they still won that one fairly easily in the end.
What I failed to realize was the fact that Clemson was doing the exact same thing all year. They also had one tough game, Syracuse, but they pulled away from that one late as well. As far as the rest of the their schedule, it was a cakewalk. Even when they played ranked teams, they crushed them. I was also a little skeptical of them starting Trevor Lawrence when they did, I am a Kelly Bryant fan. Well, I was completely, and absolutely wrong. Starting Trevor Lawrence was the exact right thing to do. Clearly the coaches knew something that not many other writers and bloggers did. Sure, Lawrence was a 5 star, top QB recruit in the country, but Bryant led this same team to the playoff last year, and he started out the year just fine. I was a bit stunned, and didn't question Bryant's decision to transfer at all.
But man oh man did this Lawrence kid look phenomenal in the 2 playoff games, the only 2 I saw him play in this year. He carved up what was supposed to be a top defense in Notre Dame in the semi final game. He had all kinds of time in the pocket, found the open receiver every time and shredded them. He did this, and so, so much more last night against a much, much better Alabama team. I mean, he looked like he was a fifth year senior out there. He was hitting all the open receivers. He was making pinpoint throws. He ran the read option perfectly. I have not seen a kid this good in my lifetime. Sure, Peyton Manning and Brian Griese and Tom Brady and Cam Newton and Deshaun Watson and so on and so forth were all great. At this very moment, Lawrence is already better, and he isn't even 20 yet. I can't believe he has to play 2 more years of college football. That would be like forcing this Zion Williamson kid to play three years at Duke. Lawrence is as ready for the pros, probably more so, than any of the underclassmen this year that declared for the draft. He is astounding.
All the praise doesn't belong solely to Lawrence. His receivers, his big time guy, are mostly underclassmen. The dude he hit for the 74 yarder to blow open the game is a true freshman as well. He has to play 2 more years of college football before he goes pro. Their running back, Travis Etienne, is only a sophomore. He struggled at first, but when he needed to pull off big gainers, he did. He ended the game with solid stats. He is also an excellent pass catcher. They also have a stable of guys behind him ready to go. Their O line was amazing. They protected the QB and opened up holes in the later stages of the game for the running backs to ice this game away. And that defense, which I have loved all year, made play after plays last night. Sure, they gave up nearly 400 yards of offense, but they held Alabama to 16 points, and zero in the second half. They had multiple goal line stands. They picked off the Alabama QB twice. They pressured him all night. And they were missing their star D lineman, and they didn't play the perfect game. And they still dominated what was supposed to be one of college football's most explosive offenses.
I have watched a good amount of Alabama this year, and that was the worst I have seen them play ever. They looked confused, slow, out manned and like the inferior team. It was astounding. Every time they cut to Saban's face, I was cracking up at how upset and outcoached he was. He is not used to this. He is like a human cheat code due to his dominance. That all shifted last night. Dabo Swinney and staff made him look like a third or fourth year coach. Saban is the greatest coach in college football history, but Swinney is now starting to join that conversation as well. I mean, he destroyed what many thought was one of Alabama's best offenses ever. He also exploited their suspect defense, with a true freshman QB. As much as I may dislike Swinney's fake "good old boy" shtick, I loved watching him never, ever take his foot off the gas. He wanted to shove it in Alabama and Nick Saban's face that he was the better coach with the better team last night. And he proved it.
This is the shift in college football. This is now the time that Clemson takes over as the dominant program in college football. As I said, they get the majority of this team back for the next three years. They are going to dominate the game for the time being. They are the Warriors of college football. They are the new Alabama. They are the best team, and will continue to be as long as Lawrence and Swinney and Brent Venables and Etienne and their deep, deep crop of super talented and very tall receivers are still there. And they have a top recruiting class year after year after year. They will continue to pull in top tier guys. Clemson is the new dynasty. They are the new rulers of college football. They are the force to be reckoned with, and they made that statement very loud and clear with the way they dominated Alabama last night.
That was as eye opening a beating as I have ever seen. Clemson put on a show last night, and the college football watching public needs to get used to them being the best of the best. That is where they are now, if they weren't already. Clemson is amazing.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is looking forward to the day when he can tell his kids about a time before only Alabama and Clemson being the National Champion every year.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.