Well, here we are. Last week of College Football. A few more bowl games remain, but the final game, the one for all the marbles, looms daunting on the horizon. The National Championship. With Alabama out of the running for good with their two losses, Oklahoma smashed to Smithereens by Joe Burrow’s godlike talent, and Ohio State beat out just barely in the Fiesta Bowl, two teams remain. Clemson and LSU.
Am I surprised that Clemson has made it thus far? To not play a single ranked team and then face the second ranked team in the country is a shell shock. I hate to admit that I did have doubts throughout the game. In fact, while down 16-0, I felt utterly crushed. But overcoming that deficit, showing the country that Clemson can compete just as hard as any team, filled my entire living room with hope.
Now, many critics have claimed that the referees and their questionable calls were responsible for Ohio State’s loss. To them I say that no referee caused Ohio to give up a 16-point lead. Nor did they force Justin Fields to throw an interception during their last possession of the game. When plays don’t go your way, you have to adapt and play your game. Pointing fingers at other factors will only distract you.
Nevertheless, Clemson is in the final. LSU is looking pretty close to unstoppable. With their Heisman winner, Burrow, at the helm, there’s no question that they present a challenge ahead. I am confident in my Tigers, but even in years past facing teams like Alabama (who we’ve beat, twice, by the way), I’ve gone into the game with doubt and fear. Who’s to say that we can’t pull this game off too? January 13th should be a show, and I can’t wait to wrap up my last College Football season at home. Hopefully, next year I’ll be in attendance at every home game.
College Football, Clemson Football in particular, has taught me loyalty. It has taught me to stick by a team, even through the tough seasons, and getting through those are what makes you enjoy the 13-0 seasons. It helped me learn to accept new players out of high school, and cheer for the ones that move on and up to the NFL. The whole idea transfers to my real-life relationships, too. Getting through the tough times, so we can celebrate the good ones, and welcoming new friendships, while letting go of old ones. Clemson may have given me my spirit for athletics, but it gave me life skills that I didn’t realize I was gaining. So, going into the next week, win or lose, accepted or denied to Clemson, I am extremely grateful for growing up with a team that has become a part of my family. GO TIGERS!