It’s how you many times you get back up. Always.
Alabama didn’t so much attack Clemson QB Deshaun Watson on Monday as maul him, the way a bear mauls a picnic basket. It chewed him up, then spit him back out, then went back for more. It sent him spinning like the propellers of a helicopter:
Monday track practice hits you like… https://t.co/0utzn9DSMv
— MileSplit US (@milesplit) January 10, 2017
Dude kept swinging.
When the Crimson Tide weren’t planting a helmet on Watson’s head, they were sticking it in between his ribs.
Dude kept smiling.
J.T. Barrett, take note.
You, too, Wilton Speight.
Clemson 35, ‘Bama 31.
It can be done.
The confetti doesn’t always love the smoothest quarterback. Or the prettiest. But funny how it tends to land on the one who’s always pushing, refusing to take his foot off the gas.
It’s a marathon, not a Jalen Hurts sprint.
Take heart in that, if you can. If you were a Big Ten fan late Monday night, you got a nice show — 21 Tigers points in the fourth quarter, three lead changes in the final 5 minutes.
Buckeyes faithful were, naturally, more torn. Which hate during the national championship game was stronger: against Clemson for that curb-stomping of the Scarlet and Gray in Tempe? Or Alabama, because Alabama?
part of me wants to see clemson succeed, but im also not into a team that gropes my buckeyes
— Tiffany Chen (@tiffanyyychen) January 10, 2017
— James Parkley (@jnarls) January 10, 2017
We’ll go with the latter take, on two fronts: First, that it might take a little of the sting out of Clemson 31, Ohio State zip.
Second, the look on Nick Saban’s face as Watson orchestrated one of the best 2-minute drills in recent FBS memory.
It can be done, even though the Big Ten’s teenagers look like teenagers, and Alabama’s teenagers look like they spend their summers deadlifting dragons in Westeros:
On the left: Bo Scarbrough in 10th grade…On the right: Me in 11th grade. Now I know why Alabama never called. pic.twitter.com/CS3IVIP9ib
— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) January 10, 2017
Dabo Swinney finally got his title, but a Big Ten guy — former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins — won the internet Monday night.
And like all good satire, Cousins served us a Twinkie stuffed with truth. From 2003-10, five different schools took turns manning the No. 1 slot in 247Sports.com’s recruiting composite rankings.
Since 2011, there’s been only one.
To start consistently beating the Crimson Tide in January, you — and by you, we’re talking Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, the South Central Louisiana State Mud Dogs, the Texas State Armadillos, hell, the free world — are first going to have to figure out a way to start beating them in February.
Dynasties start at the roots.
Reuben Foster? Five-star.
Mike Williams? Four-star.
Clemson’s 87-yard TD drive was only the third TD drive vs Alabama this year that went more than 80 yards.
— Brian Fremeau (@bcfremeau) January 10, 2017
Watson never let ‘Bama 45, Clemson 40 go. Ever. Never let go of the fact that he was five points away from paydirt last January. The belief, the hunger, the drive, all of it, started with vengeance.
It ended there, too, karma trumping kismet:
— SportSourceAnalytics (@SportSourceA) January 10, 2017
It can be done.
Odds be damned.
Where is Saban finding these kids?
— Dave Robertson (@DRBuckeyes86) January 10, 2017
Watson won’t be back. The Tide will. The fun part is going to be finding out who’s on the other side, rising, united to the last, making them work like hell for it. Again.