Clemson lost to Alabama in the title game last season.
After all that's happened over the last four-plus months, college football's national championship comes down to a rematch of last year's title game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers.
ON MONDAY, Clemson University's football team gets its second shot in as many years to win the national championship.
Still, it's not totally unprecedented. All in all, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney believes he has a fresher, steadier group heading into this year's national championship game with No. 1 Alabama. "I'm just focused on beating Clemson".
Ed Orgeron perhaps got one of the biggest victories of anyone this bowl season in the overwhelming effort against Louisville.
Alabama's much lauded and top-ranked defense held off No. 4 Washington, 24-7, while the offense gained 269 total rushing yards. While the Tigers were able to make hay against Bama's linebackers and safeties in the middle of the field, they didn't have someone like 6'3, 205-pound deep threat Williams to hit the outside.
That's not the case this time around, at least not in Swinney's eyes when No. 3 Clemson (13-1) looks to take down the Crimson Tide (14-0) on Monday night in Tampa, Florida. Last year's game was a shootout - this year's game likely won't be.
Surely those who bet on the Crimson Tide will be disappointed. In 2014, Kiffin helped first-year starting quarterback Blake Sims set several school records, take home SEC Championship Game MVP honors and earn second-team All-SEC recognition by the Associated Press. "You walk around that building and you see all the old trophies from our bowl wins that they went back and dug up". As the Buckeyes ended the season with two losses, it became clear that the status quo under which Ohio State had been operating was not sufficient.
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Hopkins is biased, of course, because he starred at Clemson before the Texans made him a first-round draft choice.
Will the stars finally align for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers?
"We're a better team than we were this time past year because we have more competitive depth", Swinney said of entire roster.
If not for a scary-looking neck injury sustained after colliding with a goal post following a touchdown catch against Wofford in September 2015, Williams could be looking at a third consecutive 1,000-yard season.
Still, Alabama has been relentless in pressuring the quarterback this season.
Washington knew what was coming and couldn't do anything about it.
"They do a good job leading their offense and making plays". Also be sure to check out our podcasts as I explore and debate these topics and many more in a more animated format. They have maybe - I want to say seven new starters, eight new starters on this defense, and everyone else is in the NFL. Hurts does benefit from playing behind a huge, physical offensive line, several playmakers at tight end and receiver and a stout defense to take the pressure off of him.
"It won't be a shell shock or a shock when we step on the field on Monday", Watson said.