I know I’m a little late with this, but as I always say… better late than never. Congrats to the Clemson Tiger football team on their National Championship!!!!! I, of course, am not surprised they won. I’m not surprised they won because they have Tony Elliott, and I’ve always said that if Clemson really wanted to win, they’d bring Tony onto the staff. They did that in 2011 and I congratulated them because I knew it was a turning point for the program. Some will tell you the turning point came when Clemson took a chance on Dabo… or when Dabo hired a little known OC (Chad Morris) or brought in Brent Venables to run the D. Perhaps, some would argue, the turning point came when a fella I like to call Deshaun Watson (because that’s his name) came to play QB for the Tigers. All of these are great and important… but if you only ever listen to me once, listen to me now when I tell you the turning point came when Tony Elliott joined the staff. I’ve told you time and time again that he is a winner and he has done nothing but prove me right. Some questioned the hire when they brought him in as a RB coach. I told them he’d do great (he’s coached a number… 4, I think, maybe more 1,000 yard rushers). Some questioned promoting him to Co-OC (with Jeff Scott)… I, again, said he’d do great. Actually, I said they would do great, I don’t mind giving Jeff Scott credit, too. All they’ve done since that last promotion is win (with the exception of 2 games). If there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that haters gonna hate and winners gonna win… and Tony Elliott is a winner.
As for the championship game… If anyone thinks Alabama lost that game (rather than Clemson winning it), you are blinded by Alabama/SEC love or Clemson hate. Why do I say this? Because I have listened recently to some sports analysts come up with excuses for Bama coming up short: Saben shouldn’t have changed OC’s when he did… The Alabama QB wasn’t good enough… The Alabama D was on the field for too many plays… Clemson should have had a flag thrown on them on that last TD play… Well, as Coach Hatley used to yell at me, excuses don’t change man’s love for the winner or scorn for the loser.
The Alabama offense scored more against a great Clemson defense than they did the week before against Washington’s defense. The change in OC’s didn’t slow them down.
The Alabama QB scored what would have been the game winning TD (had the top rated Alabama defense been able to get a stop). Is he the greatest QB? Of course not… but he was good enough.
The Alabama D was on the field for 99 plays… That’s a lot. Honestly, that is too many plays. But it’s their fault they were out there for that long. Do you know why the Clemson defense wasn’t on the field that long? They got stops. The Clemson offense turned the ball over twice… but people aren’t making excuses for the Clemson defense. Know why? Because the Clemson defense did enough to win.
It’s possible that the Clemson receiver wanted to pick the DB. It’s probable that was his intent. But that isn’t what happened. What happened was the Alabama DB grabbed the Clemson WR by his shoulders and threw him to the ground while the other DB went around them. Had he run into them, maybe it gets called (I’d still think it’s a bad call, but I’d understand it being called). But that isn’t what happened.
The bottom line is Alabama had a great team and they lost to a Clemson team that was just better. It happens. It happened to Clemson last year. And while Watson will get most of the credit (and he should… he was the best player on the field), it was a team effort for the Tigers.
I wanted yesterday’s post to be all about Uncle George, to I didn’t bring this up then… but I didn’t forget that yesterday was the anniversary of Da’s death and Lucy’s death. Two sad events in my life… but I’m thankful I got to know them.
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