Was Monday night Clemson win greatest modern title game finish?

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire


Even though it’s a day and a half later, Tampa, the South, heck, sports fans across the country are still buzzing about the Clemson-Alabama finish at Raymond James Stadium in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

There is no disputing that the Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow two yard TD with :01 left is as dramatic as it gets. And, this came on the heals of the lead changing hands on TDs two previous times in the final five minutes.

In all, there were 35 points total scored in just over the final 15 minutes of the game and enough drama cause a rise in Pepto Bismol sales From South Carolina to Bama and down to Florida, too!

But where does the Tigers fantastic rally against a vaunted Bama D, rank in the modern era of  championship games?

Well, let’s establish something first, it has only been in the last 15 years or so, that the powers that be went to a true title game. First, it was the Bowl Championship Series or “BCS” and now the “College Football Playoff” has just concluded it’s third go around.

Next there, have been some dramatic finishes in the last 20-30 years with a title on the line.

Probably, the standard is the Texas-USC Rose Bowl of 2006. The dramatic finish of Vince Young running in a TD on 4th down in the final minute to defeat the unbeaten defending champion Trojans, who had Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, is epic to this day. To that point: both the NFL Network and ESPN have done documentaries on that game.

And yes, there’s also the double overtime thriller where Maurice Clarett and Ohio State defeated unbeaten defending champion Miami Hurricanes in the ’03 Fiesta Bowl.

So, with those in mind, here was some good back and forth on the weekend recap show on “Fanrag Sports Network on Tunein.” Hear a portion of the discussion with host T.J. Rives and Fanrag’s college football writer, Joey Johnson, who were both in attendance Monday night, on the subject:


Hear the full interview, streaming and on demand on Tunein at this link.

USC-Texas? Miami-Ohio State? Or, Alabama-Clemson? In all three cases, the defending champion was a team with a long winning streak who was beaten dramatically.

But in the end, you can’t say Monday night’s win by the Tigers was any less dramatic than any college football title game ever.

Let the debate continue.

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