Photo Credit: FanSided (featured image), CBS Sports (team logos)
Because of their epic 35-31 College Football Playoff (CFP) national championship victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide, which was their first since the 1981 season and second in school history, the Clemson Tigers have now done something that no other college football team has done before.
Clemson did not only rally from down 14-0 to beat the 14-0 Alabama Crimson Tide, a team many people considered as the team with the best defense in NCAA football history. The Tigers also accomplished something perhaps even more amazing than that in their college football championship victory on Monday, January 9th, 2017.
Here are the four clues as to what the Tigers did this season that was so special.
#3 Clemson Tigers, 19, Auburn Tigers, 13
- Saturday, September 3rd, 2016, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama
#3 Clemson Tigers, 37, #12 Florida State Seminoles, 34
- Saturday, October 29th, 2016, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida
#2 Clemson Tigers, 31, #3 Ohio State Buckeyes, 0
- Saturday, December 31st, 2016, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona
#2 Clemson Tigers, 35, #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 31
- Monday, January 9th, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
If you could not guess it, the Clemson Tigers defeated each of the past seven (7!!) NCAA football champions this season alone. Even more amazingly, none of the games in which they accomplished such a feat were held at their home field at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. All of these games were either road games or games held at a neutral site.
Here are results from each of the past seven NCAA football championship games prior to Monday night’s showdown between Clemson and Alabama, proving that Clemson knocked off all of the past seven champions this past season.
NOTE: The years included before the words “National Championship Game” for each game are not the years that the games took place. They are the years of the seasons that the games were played as the championships in.
2009 National Championship Game
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 37, #2 Texas Longhorns, 21
2010 National Championship Game
#1 Auburn Tigers, 22, #2 Oregon Ducks, 19
2011 National Championship Game
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide, 21, #1 Louisiana State Tigers, 0
2012 National Championship Game
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide, 42, #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 14
2013 National Championship Game
#1 Florida State Seminoles, 34, #2 Auburn Tigers, 31
2014 National Championship Game
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes, 42, #2 Oregon Ducks, 20
2015 National Championship Game
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide, 45, #1 Clemson Tigers, 40
This list and the fact that Clemson beat all of the winners on this list this season just goes to show how truly amazing Clemson’s run to the top of college football was this past season. They didn’t get to the CFP or win the CFP national championship game just by beating low quality teams and scheduling easy games. They won because they were better than all of the NCAA’s most recent top teams. Clemson is now the king of the NCAA. They are the best because they beat the best, and in no case in college football history is that as true as it is here in Clemson’s case.