Trending News

College Football Playoff National Championship 2016: Clemson 'Will Be Back', Dabo Swinney Promises


DeShaun Watson and his Clemson Tigers did everything they needed to do to beat the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, and it still was not enough.

"There is no doubt that we will be back," Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney told reporters after game, according to ESPN. "It won't be 34 years before we're going to be back, I promise you that."

And now that the time has come to start speculating about next year, it will be easy for Swinney to back up that promise. On his "Way-Too-Early Top 25" for next season, ESPN's Mark Schlabach ranked Clemson first, with Alabama trailing at second.

Clemson will lose a few key players, particularly from its defense, but they lost a lot prior to this season and finished 14-1 nonetheless.

Clemson will have nine defensive starters returning next season as well as eight on offense, none bigger than his starting quarterback. Watson was a Heisman Trophy finalist this season; he will be the favorite come next fall. Additionally, Swinney has 15 incoming recruits, nine of whom are ranked on the 2016 ESPN 300 list.

Schlabach also pointed out that Clemson's schedule appears "more manageable" than it was this season, though the Tigers will be tested with a road game against Florida State. But Watson's performance should have Clemson fans unreasonably excited for next season, that is, once the disappointment wears off.

Facing the stout Alabama defense, Watson threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns, adding 73 more yards on the ground. Clemson accumulated 550 yards as a team and the next leading rusher was Wayne Gallman with 45 yards.

Not only did Watson break Vince Young's record for yardage in a national title game, ESPN noted, but he became just the third player ever to put up at least 400 against a Nick Saban defense.

(Box score, statistics courtesy of ESPN)

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics