Was last night’s ending to the Clemson’s 35–31 national championship victory over Alabama the greatest ending to a college football championship game ever? Maybe. Maybe not. There will always be Vince Young running in a touchdown on 4th-and-5 against USC in 2006 with the clock running down, but then again, winning in the final seconds in a huge revenge game against what was shaping up to be the greatest single-season squad in NCAA football history is also something special.
It’s a funny argument to have, and one that college football fans will probably be debating for years to come (unless you’re a Clemson fan, in which case you have your answer), but the fact is that when you take everything into account, all the stories revolving around last night’s game, Dabo Swinney beating the very team he played for during his own college days, Deshaun Watson’s two-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow with a second left on the clock and then Watson, who was named MVP of the game, telling ESPN that “It’s my time to go” and enter into the NFL draft, it had everything you could want.
While it’s still hard to really say it stacks up against the 2006 Texas victory, there are very few instances in sports where you’ll get so much in one game. You got Clemson coming back from a deficit that, however small, would have been the end of almost every other team in the nation. You had Swinney’s story, the beautiful little rivalry that has been ‘Bama and Clemson and then you had the dagger at the end.