SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Clemson Tigers coach Dabo Swinney claimed “there’s no doubt” his 15-0 national championship team that routed No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night should be in the conversation for college football’s best team ever.
“There was a lot of talk about ‘best ever’ all year long,” said Swinney, who won his second national title. “We were never in that conversation. But tonight, there’s no doubt. First 15-0 team — to beat Notre Dame and to beat Alabama to do it. This team won 13 games by 20 points or more … led by an unbelievable group of seniors. Amazing group, and I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”
Although Clemson’s place among the sport’s greatest teams could be debated, it was undoubtedly a historic night for the Tigers, who became the first Division I/FBS team to finish 15-0 since Penn in 1897.
With the convincing win, Clemson also became the first undefeated national champion in the five seasons of the College Football Playoff.
Clemson’s senior class finishes 55-4, tied with the current Alabama senior class for the most wins by a class in FBS history.
“I feel like it’s not really up for debate,” Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen said. “I feel like we’re the best team ever — 15-0, most wins by a senior class and we beat the team that was considered the best team in the history of college football.”
Clemson outscored Notre Dame and Alabama by a combined margin of 55 points in its two playoff games — the highest scoring margin in the five years of the playoff.
Clemson’s 28-point margin was the largest against a Nick Saban-coached Alabama team. The Tide were held scoreless in the second half.
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