News, Notes & Quotes - Clemson beats Alabama

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday January 10, 2017

- Here are some fun and crazy stats from the national championship game.

Clemson beat the past 7 national champions en route to this year’s championship. That includes Alabama (4 times), Ohio State, Auburn and Florida State.

Clemson scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. Alabama had allowed 32 in the fourth quarter the entire season.

Monday night was the first time Alabama trailed in the fourth quarter since last year’s Clemson game.

Clemson is the first team to lose a title game and win it the next year since 1999 Florida State.

In two games against Alabama, Deshaun Watson went 66-for-103 (64%), 7 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Dabo Swinney joins Bud Wilkinson as the only coaches to win an AP national title as a player and a coach, since the AP title began in the 1930s.

Swinney becomes the fifth active FBS head coach with a national title, and he’s beaten the other four (Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban), not to mention Les Miles.

Dabo just handed Urban Meyer his first shutout and Nick Saban his first loss in a national title game.

- Swinney was in tears speaking to ESPN on the field right after the game, and dropped another Dabo line.

“I told them the difference in the game was going to be love. My word all year has been ‘love.’ I said tonight, ‘We’re going to win it because we’re going to love each other.’ I told them at halftime, ‘We’re going to win the game. I don’t know how, but we’re going to win it.’ I’m so thankful and blessed. It doesn’t seem real to me.”

He made sure to give thanks for former Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips, who named Swinney the interim coach in 2008 and then gave him the full-time job.

“I know Terry Don Phillips is sitting at home. Terry Don, I’m not here without you, brother,” Swinney said. “I appreciate you.”

- Dabo also called out Colin Cowherd after the win.

This quote came when he was asked about hugging Watson, so Swinney was clearly waiting to say it.

“We wanted to play Alabama because now y'all got to change your stories,” Swinney said. “You got to change the narrative. Y'all got to mix it up. The guy that called us a fraud, ask Alabama if we're a fraud. Was the name Colin Cowherd? I don't know him, never met him.

“Ask Alabama if we're a fraud. Ask Ohio State if we're a fraud. Ask Oklahoma if we're a fraud. The only fraud is that guy, because he didn't do his homework. I hope y'all print that.”

- Nick Saban said the difference was Clemson making difficult catches on the final drive, and the Alabama defense didn’t make a play.

The Bama defense played 99 snaps in total. Their previous high this season was 84.

“I think our guys played really, really hard. I think they made some fantastic catches and some great throws and catches,” Saban said. “The last couple drives when they had the ball, we just didn't make a play when we needed to.

“We needed to get a sack. We needed to get a takeaway. We needed to get a stop in the red zone, and they made the plays and we didn't. Look, there's not one play in the game that makes a difference in a game. We could have done a lot of things a lot better. But I have to say that I was proud of the way our guys competed in the game, and just sorry for all of them that we didn't finish it better."

- In other news, Brian Ferentz was promoted to Iowa offense coordinator, and he knows some criticism comes with that.

Iowa was No. 95 nationally in scoring, and fans called for big offensive changes after Greg Davis’ retirement. Ferentz is currently the offensive line coach. He’s used to the dynamic of working with his father though rules dictate he reports to AD Gary Barta instead of Kirk Ferentz.

“I've never been shy about giving him my opinion. I think he can tell you that,” Brian Ferentz said of his father. “I don't know. I think at the end of the day, we all sit in that staff room and we all have the same goal. We want to win football games. I'm in a unique position. I'd be silly to sit here and tell you that I'm not.

“I'm taking on a job that certainly has challenges, expectations and an increased amount of scrutiny that comes with it. And when you add my last name and my relationship with the head coach to the mix, there's going to be added scrutiny. And I understand that.”

- Here’s a fun video reflecting on how far Dabo Swinney and Clemson have come together.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to