Tom Magazzu

Tom Magazzu - Editor

Most football fans enjoyed watching last Monday’s NCAA Playoff National Championship Game between Clemson and LSU.   The Bayou Bengals’ 42-25 win is important to fans of the respective teams.  However, to the football fans without a favorite, it was a great game!  It was not as close as many thought it would be, but for build-up and story lines, it was hard to beat.  It was a good way to close out a great season with the Courier Journal’s Game Day Scorecard Contest as well.  It was yet another week where a tiebreaker was needed to determine our winner.

On the way to the title, LSU defeated the top four teams in the preseason poll, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Oklahoma.  

Quarterback Joe Burrow came out of obscurity this year to put a Championship Game exclamation point on LSU’s record-breaking offensive season and validate his Heisman Trophy. 

LSU joined Clemson (from last year) in college football’s exclusive 15-win club.  They are the only two teams since the 1800’s to win 15 games in one season. Clemson’s 29 game win streak was snapped in the process.

The President and First Lady received a rousing and extended welcome from the crowd as they made their way onto the field prior to the national anthem.  

Who can’t be happy for LSU head coach and Louisiana native, Ed Orgeron?  Football fans know he has had a difficult time in some previous coaching stops.  He has always been enthusiastic and humble, and his dream job has always been to get back in state and coach the LSU Tigers.   Plus, how can you not love that voice?

Orgeron re-evaluated himself after three modest seasons at LSU, made some great assistant hires, and the results this year need no explanation.

This was LSU’s fourth national championship game appearance since 1998 when the BCS/CFP era began.  The championship games rotate around some of America’s top football venues and are set years in advance.  Amazingly, all four of LSU’s appearances were played at the Superdome down the road from its Baton Rouge campus.  LSU is now 3-1 in national title games.

Clemson sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence shouldered the bulk of the blame for his team’s loss. 

Perhaps one of the most resonating images  centered around Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s comments during his brief post-game interview outside the locker room. 

He was incredibly gracious and generous with his praise and compliments for the winners.  He seemed genuinely happy for LSU as a team and for coach “O.”

Dabo was appreciative of his players and for what they managed to accomplish over the last two years.  He was also looking forward to getting back to work with an eye on next year.   

Dabo expressed thanks for God’s grace in allowing him to be part of such a special situation with this special group of people. 

I am not a Clemson fan, but I am a Dabo Swinney fan.  He’s a winner and a great example of humility and perspective.  I would love to have my student athlete play under his tutelage for four years.