Clemson beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl to deny college football fans of the Joe Burrow Bowl for the national title.
Trevor Lawrence led a last-minute comeback to beat Ohio State and deny fans a chance to see Joe Burrow take on his former team with a national championship on the line.
Burrow transferred from Ohio State to LSU prior to last season and blossomed into the Heisman Trophy winner in 2019. He’s coming off an eight-touchdown performance in the Peach Bowl vs. Oklahoma but he won’t get a chance to face off against his former Buckeye teammates.
No disrespect to Clemson who overcame a 16-0 deficit to win 29-23 against a Buckeyes team that looked like the most complete team all year and worthy of being the No. 1 seed. They earned their way and no one should ever doubt this team regardless of the strength of the ACC.
We all knew the team that got the No. 1 seed meant they got to avoid playing Clemson in the semifinal. Sure enough, that was Ohio State’s undoing. They were also the victims of a targeting call and an overturned defensive touchdown from the outcome potentially being different.
Nevertheless, Ohio State only has themselves to blame with unforced errors, including a pair of Justin Fields interceptions, targeting call and a roughing the punter penalty. The latter two penalties led to a pair of Clemson touchdowns.
It just wasn’t meant to be for Burrow to play the school he once called his dream school. Now, he’s living out his dream at LSU where he’s four quarters away from being the first Heisman-winning quarterback to win a national championship in the playoff era.
College football fans got the best semifinal game in playoff history with Clemson coming back vs. Ohio State. I don’t think there’s quite the same degree of Clemson fatigue as there was with Alabama fatigue in the last few years.
The Clemson-LSU game for the national title will be full of great storylines, including Burrow and Lawrence who should be the top two picks in the next two NFL Drafts. Clemson is also trying to go extend their winning streak to 30 games and win consecutive national titles. They would be the first team to do that since Alabama in 2011-2012.
But we can cross off the revenge factor for Burrow trying to beat his old school to give his new school their first title since 2011. Maybe that’s for the best. Do athletes play at their best when they’re out for revenge or when they’re in control of their emotions and playing within themselves?
Burrow has never let the moment get too big for him. He’s been unflappable all season and shown he’s got some dog in him too when he got beat up a bit earlier this year vs. Auburn. He’s got the perfect demeanor so there’s probably nothing that can throw off Joe Cool 2.0.
Clemson will try to throw him off his game with their quarterback who has yet to lose a game in two years.
It may not be the game casual fans wanted but it’s the game we got and it’s going to be fantastic.