The third season of the college football playoff year is over and after countless underdog victories, nail-biting comebacks and plenty of thrills, there is one giant question that has been left in the minds of many fans: Was this one of the most exciting seasons in college football history?
The 2016 season offered us one of the most intense national championship games ever, endless breakout performances, like sophomore Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and countless plays that could go down as the play of the year, but more importantly, what was the game of the year?
One of the best games that the 2016 season saw was the national championship game between the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which happened to be a rematch of the 2015 national championship game. The game lived up to its hype when Clemson beat the undefeated, reigning national champions 35-31. Going into the fourth quarter, Alabama had a 14-point lead over Clemson, but on that day, not even the most dominant defense could stop Clemson’s stud quarterback, junior Deshawn Watson.
In the closing minutes of the game, Watson threw two touchdown passes, one of them being the historic two-yard game-winning pass that ended Alabama’s perfect season and brought the Tigers their first national championship since 1981.
Not every team can have a season like Clemson and Alabama did, but there were plenty of other teams who were able to come close, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines being two others. On Nov. 26, these two rivals faced off in one of the most suspenseful and exciting games of the 2016 season and in the rivalry’s history. After two overtime periods, the Buckeyes were able to throw a 15-yard touchdown to junior Curtis Samuel, after barely converting on a fourth-and-one the play before, thereby winning the game 30-27. This game will go down in the history books as the first game to go into overtime in the 113-game history of the rivalry.
Although neither team had the season that they had hoped for, the Tennessee Volunteers and the Georgia Bulldogs still put on a show for their fans in their Oct. 1 match up. The closing minutes of the game had enough excitement to make it one of the best games of the 2016 season. The Volunteers struggled early in the game, but were able to overcome a 17-point deficit and defeat the Bulldogs 34-31. With a little more tan two minutes left in the game, Tennessee took its first lead. However, it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to take the lead back by marching down the field and throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass. With only 10 seconds on the clock, it looked like the game was over for the Volunteers. That was until the next play where Tennessee’s quarterback, sophomore Jauan Jennings, threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to senior Joshua Dobbs as time expired.
These three games weren’t the only games that left fans sitting on the edges of their seats as the 2016 season had endless amounts of thrills and suspense. Since the memorable 2016 college football season is over, the only thing left for fans to do is look back on the chaos and hope that the 2017 season is able to offer more excitement and nail-biting moments.