Nick Saban looked miserable on the Superdome sideline after smiling through a pregame national TV appearance that kept his Alabama program front and center even as the Crimson Tide spent their New Year’s Day in Central Florida.
Understandably, Dabo Swinney just seemed sad Monday night as Clemson lost its first game in two years to Ed Orgeron’s freshly crowned national champion Louisiana State Tigers, who steamrolled their path to 15-0 by knocking out a record seven top-10 teams.
After watching Alabama and Clemson split the last four College Football Playoff titles and compete against each other in three of the last four championship bouts, a nation of passionate observers began the season with a simple request — could someone, anyone, please beat these guys?
LSU began the season ranked No. 6 with a returning starter at quarterback who completed 58% of his passes and threw just 16 touchdowns. Joe Burrow was an afterthought, but everybody knew that Orgeron had recruited talent up and down the roster, so the preseason billing felt about right.