National champion Clemson preseason favorite already for next season

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Alabama has been the preeminent dynasty in college football over the last decade.

It was anything but a close game as the Tigers ran out comfortable 44-16 winners in what was their fourth meeting in recent years to be crowned the national champions for the second time in three years.

Bad news is that Alabama will likely offer Swinney a blank check to coach his alma mater when 67-year-old Nick Laban retires.

One Alabama radio station got a little ahead of itself late Monday night. Most impressively, Clemson did it with a true freshman QB, and a slew of underclassmen skill-position players highlighted by Phenix City, Alabama freshman WR Justyn Ross. "There was a lot of talk about best ever, all year long".

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The former Crimson Tide QB is no stranger to success on the field. Clemson is the first team in the AP poll era, dating back to 1936, to finish with a 15-0 record.

Alabama will be back, but Clemson will nearly certainly be there waiting for them. The Crimson Tide beat the Tigers in last year's semifinals before beating Georgia in the title game. With that, however, came the startling realization that a second superpower has emerged in college football, and the only thing that changed is that the "rest of ya'll" bus lost its flagship member.

The coda to Notre Dame's season was written nine days after the fact by one of the architects of the finale, that blowout loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl that somehow called into question the program's College Football Playoff credentials despite a flawless regular season.