We’ve reached the end of this series, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
1. #1 Florida State 34 #2 Auburn 31 – January 6, 2014
What else but this game could be number 1? It will end up being the most historically significant National Championship of the decade. This Seminole team was the SEC National Championship streak stopper that ended at 7. It also marked the end of SEC’s dominance over college football, and gave the ACC it’s first national championship in football in over 10 years. This Florida State team was a transcendent group, that achieved greatness.
2. #2 Clemson 35 #1 Alabama 31 – January 9, 2017
Clemson defeated Alabama in the national title game for their first national championship since 1981. Many thought this was Nick Saban’s best Alabama team ever, and the Tide were going for their 5th title in 8 years. Alabama is the current standard in college football, and they made the SEC their personal playground, but they couldn’t beat Clemson in this one. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson became a legend, and the game stamped the ACC as the best football conference in the country for 2016.
3. #2 Clemson 31 #3 Ohio State 0 – December 31, 2016
The final score of the national semi-final game between Clemson and Ohio State seems impossible. Clemson had beat an Urban Meyer coached Ohio State team 31-0. It is the single most shocking score of the playoff era. The Tigers dominated in every phase of the game. It was the first time Meyer had ever been shut out as a head coach, and it set the stage for a rematch against Alabama in the national title game. Urban Meyer at Ohio State has an astonishing 39-2 record in the Big 10, but he’s 1-3 against teams from the ACC.
4. #15 Clemson 25 #9 LSU 24 – December 31, 2012
If any game marked the beginning of the ACC and Clemson being able to compete with the elite of college football it was this one. At the time the SEC was still the standard when it came to college football. Clemson defeated a LSU team that was a handful of plays from the national title game. The game also proved Clemson had the potential to be a college football power. Since that game, Clemson has established itself as one of the premier college football programs in the country. This is where it all started.
5. #1 Clemson 37 #4 Oklahoma 17 – December 31, 2015
It was a bit surprising that coming into this Orange Bowl National Semi-Final game, that 13-0 Clemson was an underdog to Oklahoma. Those of us that followed Clemson, knew the Tigers were very good, but after this thrashing of the Sooners the rest of the country knew too. The win propelled the Tigers into the National Title Game against Alabama, and gave the ACC it’s second National Title participant in three years.