Dabo Swinney -- This Clemson Tigers team among all-time best

AP  David J. Phillip

AP David J. Phillip

It proved to be that kind of night for the Crimson Tide's uber-talented quarterback, who didn't fare almost as well as a starter in the College Football Playoff championship game as he did a year ago in relief. The Tigers won the game by 28 points, with a score of 44-16.

With their 44-16 dismantling of Alabama on Monday night, Clemson toppled one of the biggest dynasties in NCAA history - and made a little legacy of their own in the process.

But, again, Swinney turned the focus to God: "And all the credit, all the glory, goes to the good Lord, number one".

Swinney has been known for showing off his dance moves. "But I also told the players that sometimes we learn more when things don't go well, when we lose".

With this game billed as a heavyweight rematch in the tradition of Ali-Frazier, the knockout blows might have been a 1-2 combination: Lawrence connected with Ross on a 74-yard scoring pass for a 37-16 lead in the third quarter three plays after Clemson easily sniffed out Alabama's fake field goal attempt on fourth-and-6 from the 22. "We didn't finish the way we wanted to finish".

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Two seasons ago, it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson's new star quarterback didn't need the late-game heroics. Alabama would be shut out in the second half. That led to Travis Etienne's third touchdown of the half, a 5-yard shovel pass from Lawrence. Not only is Dabo an Alabama grad, but his story is truly remarkable. The 15-point halftime deficit was the largest the Tide has ever faced under Saban.

Ross sprinted away and the shocking rout was on.

For Thomas and the rest of the college football world, rest easy.

Once the raw emotions subsided, few enjoyed Clemson's national championship victory more than Christian Wilkins. People don't believe that.

"We didn't finish drives in the red zone because we could have got right back in the game now", Saban said. "But on Friday, we're gonna have another team meeting and we're gonna get locked in on next year".

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