LSU 42, Clemson 25
LSU knocks off Clemson 42-25, completes one of the most historic seasons in college football history
The LSU Tigers are national champions. And their season is one that might not be topped for a long time.
The Bayou Bengals knocked off the defending champion Clemson Tigers 42-25 on Monday night, and the celebration in Louisiana is likely to last a while.
While LSU fans revel, they should also recognize what might have been the greatest single-season run in college football history.
While any list is subjective, many consider what the 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers did to be one of the most impressive single seasons in college football history before this year. That team finished No. 1, and beat Oklahoma, Colorado and Alabama, the teams that finished 2-3-4.
Realistically, however, the modern era (post 2000), the teams that are most impressive start with 2004 USC. The 13-0 Trojans featured Heisman winner Matt Leinart, and destroyed Adrian Peterson and Oklahoma in the championship game 55-19. That group would lose the next season to another team worth considering, the 2005 Vince Young-led Texas Longhorns. The Horns averaged 50.2 points per game that season. Of course, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes had perhaps the greatest collection of talent on one team, with stars like Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Vince Wilfork, Ed Reed...They were simply loaded.
But this LSU team takes a back seat to no one. Of the Tigers 15 wins, SEVEN were against teams ranked in the Top 10 when they played - Texas, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Clemson. Four of those teams were in the top 5 at the time they played. They faced 11 teams that played in a bowl or the playoff.
Heading into the championship game, the Tigers averaged 48.9 points per game, most in the nation. Quarterback Joe Burrow had a historic season, throwing for over 5,000 yards, completing nearly 80 percent of his passes and winning the Heisman Trophy. He set an NCAA single season record for touchdown passes.
LSU had two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja'Mar Chase and Justin Jefferson) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Clyde Edwards-Helaire) to go with their 5,000-yard passer. They scored 726 points, most in FBS history. They have four projected first-round picks in the NFL Draft this year alone and several others over the next two years. With all that, they deserve to be in the talk for best single season team ever.
When it counted most, they finished it by beating a near dynasty - a team that had not lost in 29 games - for a national championship.
With a season for the ages.