Students and fans of Clemson University celebrate championship

Posted January 11, 2019

One Alabama radio station got a little ahead of itself late Monday night. Alabama scored once more in the first quarter to make it the highest scoring opening 15 minutes of a national championship in the CFP and BCS eras.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers blasted the Crimson Tide, 44-16 in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Santa Clara, California.

For a while, catching Alabama has felt hopeless.

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Clemson's football program had quite a Monday night.

The Tigers throttled the Tide 44-16 at Levi's Stadium, Doubling the worst loss Alabama ever suffered in Nick Saban's 12-years at the helm. Justyn Ross caught six balls for 153 yards and a score for Clemson, which shut out 'Bama after leading 31-16 at the half. ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports all have the Tigers as their No. 1 team in their early rankings.

Prediction: This will be the best team Alabama has faced all year, better than the Georgia team that gave them trouble in the SEC title game.

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It's pretty rare to see a Saban-coached team get manhandled. 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. Clemson was second in total defense, Alabama was 13th.

The previous worst loss for a Saban-led Alabama team was by 14 points, which happened three times - the 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to Utah (31-17), the 2010 regular-season loss at SC (35-21), and the 2014 Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma (45-31).

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