History continues to be made, because in 2017 the College football’s first national championship rematch was even better than the original, with an incredible ending when Clemson stunned Alabama to win the 2017 CFP National Championship game by four points. They entered the game as a +6.5 underdog.
Deshaun Watson and Clemson dethroned the champs and became the first team to beat Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty in a national title game, taking down the top-ranked Crimson Tide 35-31 Monday night in the College Football Playoff.
Watson found Hunter Renfrow, a sophomore who turned down a scholarship offer from FCS Appalachian State, to catch the winning 2-yard touchdown pass with one second left against a Crimson Tide team that hadn’t lost all year. It was the Tide’s first loss since Sept. 19, 2015, when they lost to Ole Miss. It was also Alabama’s first loss under head coach Nick Saban (97-1) when leading by double digits heading into the 4th quarter.
A year after Alabama won its fourth title under Saban with a 45-40 classic in Arizona, Clemson closed the deal and denied the Tide an unprecedented fifth championship in eight seasons.
Watson “never won the Heisman Trophy, but consistently told everyone who would listen he believed he was the best player in college football,” writes CBSSports.com’s Chip Patterson. “After leading Clemson back from a two-touchdown deficit and taking down the kings of college football to deliver the Tigers their first national title since 1981, no one is going to argue with him.”
The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter, but Watson got the ball last. Likely playing in his final college game, the junior quarterback threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns. In two games against Alabama and the most ferocious defense in college football, Watson has thrown for 825 yards and accounted for eight touchdowns.
Coach Dabo Swinney, the native Alabaman and former Crimson Tide walk-on receiver, has built an elite program at Clemson that was missing only one thing. Now the Tigers can check that box, too.
“Eight years ago we set out to put Clemson back on top,” said Swinney, who can turn postgame interviews into a rousing sermon. “We came up a little short last year, but today on top of the mountain, the Clemson flag is flying.”
The future of Clemson, who had not won a national championship in 35 years is not as bright from a sports betting stand point. Oddsmakers are not keen on Clemson securing the title in 2018 as their odds of winning were 20-1 the day after their January 9, 2017 victory. Eight other College Football teams had shorter odds that the Tigers. That’s because star quarterback Deshaun Watson is headed to the NFL and substantive changes are set to take place on defense.
Unless you were consistently betting the Clemson money line in 2016, sports bettors likely just broke even wagering the spread. The Tigers were 14-1 Straight Up but just 8-7 Against The Spread. What’s next after College Football has a new 2017 champion? Sign up at HeritageSports.eu and discover a world of gambling possibilities.