Gutsy play helps Alabama defeat Clemson 45-40 for national title

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AP: Alabama Tops Clemson in Title Game

GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) -- Alabama needed it all to win the toughest national title game it had ever played during the Nick Saban dynasty. All of its power. All of its speed.

Even one gutsy trick.

Derrick Henry, O.J. Howard and Kenyan Drake hit No. 1 Clemson with huge plays, and Alabama outlasted the dynamic play of dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson to win the College Football Playoff championship 45-40 on Monday night.

The Crimson Tide (14-1) won its three previous championship game appearances in runaway fashion. This game was an instant classic - and it turned on maybe the boldest call of Saban's career.

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With 10:34 left in the fourth quarter and Alabama having just tied the game with a short field goal, Saban took a gamble to try to keep the ball away from Watson and the Tigers. He called for a high-bouncing onside kick that Tide defensive Marlon Humphrey caught over the shoulder at midfield.

Tide ball.

See photos from Monday night's championship:

37 PHOTOS
Alabama defeat Clemson 45-40 for national title
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Gutsy play helps Alabama defeat Clemson 45-40 for national title
Alabama players celebrate after the defeated Clemson 45-40 to win the Playoff Championship NCAA football game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, AZ. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Alabama fan Alanna Jackson, of Foxboro, Mass., cheers after Alabama defeated Clemson 45-40 in the NCAA college playoff championship football game at Gallettes Bar, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, right, congratulates Alabama head coach Nick Saban after the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Confetti falls after the NCAA college football playoff championship game between Clemson and Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Fans cheer after Alabama defeated Clemson in the NCAA college playoff championship football game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama's Alphonse Taylor celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alabama players celebrate after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's Reuben Foster celebrates with fans after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama players celebrate with fans after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is dunked during the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alabama's O.J. Howard kisses the championship trophy after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
A fans cheers and crowd surfs after Alabama defeated Clemson in the NCAA college playoff championship football game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama defensive back Marlon Humphrey (26) celebrates with defensive back Ronnie Harrison (15) after recovering an onside kick during the second half the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Clemson fan Arsany Ghobrial reacts to an Alabama touchdown in the NCAA college football playoff championship game, at Tiger Town Tavern on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Alabama's Marlon Humphrey (26) breaks up a pass intended for Clemson's Artavis Scott (3) after the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama won 45-40. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alabama's Kenyan Drake gets past Clemson's T.J. Green as he runs back a kick off for a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's Derrick Henry gives a Heisman pose after rushing for a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's Ronnie Harrison (15) breaks up a pass intended for Clemson's Artavis Scott during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Clemson's Shaq Lawson, right, sacks Alabama's Jake Coker during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's Rashaan Evans (32) sacks Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Clemson's Hunter Renfrow catches a touchdown pass in front of Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick and Eddie Jackson during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's Derrick Henry runs for a touchdown during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Alabama's Marlon Humphrey breaks up a pass intended for Clemson's Artavis Scott during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Alabama's Reuben Foster tackles Clemson's Hunter Renfrow (13) during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Alabama's Marlon Humphrey, left, breaks up a pass intended for Clemson's Artavis Scott during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Alabama's O.J. Howard (88) is stopped by Clemson's Adrian Baker after a catch during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Clemson's Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, right, tries to call time out during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Clemson's Jordan Leggett catches a pass during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Alabama's O.J. Howard heads to the end zone for a touchdown reception during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Alabama's Derrick Henry, center, dives into the end zone for a touchdown run during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Clemson's Mackensie Alexander (2) is helped off the field during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Clemson defense huddles during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Clemson's Hunter Renfrow celebrates a touchdown catch with teammate Jordan Leggett (16) during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Clemson players huddle before the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Alabama players run onto the field during an NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Moments later, Alabama also took back the lead. For the second time, Clemson (14-1) lost track of the tight end Howard in coverage and Jake Coker hit him in stride deep for a 51-yard touchdown to make it 31-24 with 9:45 left.

Clemson and Watson proved to be every bit Alabama's equal. The Tigers just kept coming.

Watson led Clemson to a field goal to make it 31-27, and boom! Another Alabama big play. Kenyan Drake broke free and streaked down the sideline for a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown.

Watson threw his third touchdown pass to make it 38-33 with 4:40 left, and then Alabama went back to its workhorse Heisman Trophy winner. Derrick Henry plunged into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game to make it 45-33 with 1:07 left.

Watson threw another touchdown pass, but would not get another chance. Clemson's onside kick went out of bounds. Coker took a knee and Alabama's dynasty was very much alive and well.


The Crimson Tide (14-1) became the second team in college football's poll era, dating back to 1936, to win four titles in seven seasons.

Alabama joins Notre Dame, which won four titles from 1943-49. For Saban, it is his fifth national championship - four in his nine seasons at Alabama - leaving him only one short of former Tide coach Bear Bryant for the most all-time.

Watson gave the Tide all it could handle, throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns.

PHOTOS: Clemson and Alabama's 2015-16 season leading up to the matchup

56 PHOTOS
Clemson and Alabama, 2015-16 season, Championship preview
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Gutsy play helps Alabama defeat Clemson 45-40 for national title
Alabama quarterback Jake Coker (14) hands off to running back Derrick Henry (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Clemson running back C.J. Davidson (21) runs for yardage against Wofford during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 49-10. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) scores a touchdown in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed (90) and Alabama tight end Michael Nysewander (46) celebrate after a tackle during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 37-10. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Clemson's Charone Peake comes up short on a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Clemson fans raise their hands in a school gesture before the start of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 41-10. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Alabama quarterback Cooper Bateman passes the ball during first half of an NCAA football game against Mississippi, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Mississippi running back Jordan Wilkins (22) scores a touchdown during first half of an NCAA college football game, as Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee (25) watches, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2015, file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson looks for a receiver during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville in Louisville, Ky. In the ACC, No. 3 Clemson hosts No. 17 Florida State on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. Clemson would clinch the Atlantic Division with a victory. Florida State would take control of the division with a victory and work itself back into the College Football Playoff race. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
Clemson quarterback D3eshaun Watson (4) throws a pass under pressure form Louisville's Sheldon Rankins (98) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Kenyan Drake #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes against Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jake Coker #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass as he rushes away from Lorenzo Jackson #45 of the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson rushes for a 38 yard gain on the first play of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 24-22. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Clemson's Artavis Scott reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick #29 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates scoring a touchdown after blocking a punt against Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03: Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson drops back to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 43-24. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, Clemson's Jayron Kearse, center, and Richard Yeargin tackle Georgia Tech's Mikell Lands-Davis during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Clemson, S.C. No one pushes No. 1 Clemsonâs defense harder than its offense. The combination has led to an undefeated season, an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a spot in the national semifinals against No. 4 Oklahoma (11-1) at the Orange Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 31. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 10: Kenyan Drake #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide is tackled by Dwayne Eugene #35 and Jeremiah Ledbetter #55 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
An Alabama fan cheers in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 27-14.(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Boston College quarterback Jeff Smith (5) is tackled by Clemson safety T.J. Green (15) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs for yardage as Boston College defensive back Justin Simmons (27) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Alabama quarterback Jake Coker (14) hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) is hit by Texas A&M 's Myles Garrett, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in College Station, Texas. Alabama won 41-23. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, lower right, sacks Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya during the first half of an NCAA College football game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Clemson players celebrate after their 58-0 win over Miami in an NCAA College football game, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) catches a pass as he comes down on top of Tennessee defensive back Brian Randolph (37) and defensive back Justin Martin (8) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama won 19-14. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24: D.J. Pettway #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates their 19-14 win over the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson's Deon Cain, left, catches a touchdown pass as North Carolina State's Jack Tocho defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clemson's Artavis Scott (3) and quarterback Deshaun Watson celebrate Watson's touchdown against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Clemson won 56-41. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Jake Coker #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to escape the pocket against the LSU Tigers in the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Jake Coker #14 and Anthony Averett #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate their 30-16 win over the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson's Wayne Gallman leaps forward on his way to a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida State Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. Clemson won 23-13. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 14: O.J. Howard #88 of the Alabama Crimson Tide attempts to break a tackle by Taveze Calhoun #23 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 14: A'Shawn Robinson #86 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after sacking Dak Prescott #15 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the first play of the game at Davis Wade Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemsonâs Charone Peake, left, catches a pass while as defends Syracuseâs Cordell Hudson, right, in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Syracuse fans cheer in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Clemson in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 21: ArDarius Stewart #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide breaks a tackle by Zack Johnson #22 of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Wake Forest running back Isaiah Robinson (21) is tackled by Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley (25) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 28: ArDarius Stewart #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide fails to pull in this touchdown reception against Jonathan Jones #3 of the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 28: Adam Griffith #99 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after kicking his fourth field goal against the Auburn Tigers with Shawn Burgess-Becker #27 and Cole Mazza #55 at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson takes the field before the start of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Clemson won 37-32. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Clemson's Deon Cain pulls in a 55-yard pass for a touchdown while defended by South Carolina's Al Harris Jr.during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 5: Running back Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries the ball against linebacker Jarrad Davis #40 of the Florida Gators and defensive back Keanu Neal #42 of the Florida Gators in the third quarter during the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome on December 5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 5: Running back Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after defeating the Florida Gators 29-15 in the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome on December 5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball as North Carolina's Mikey Bart (45) tackles during the second half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Clemson's Jadar Johnson (18) reaches for North Carolina's Cameron Albright (31) during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2015, file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson celebrates after Clemson defeated North Carolina 45-37 in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C. Deshaun Watson is the Atlantic Coast Conferenceâs offensive player of the year and one of four Tigers on The Associated Press All-ACC first team. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide catches a six-yard touchdown pass against cornerback Jermaine Edmondson #39 of the Michigan State Spartans in the third quarter during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: Running back Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide stiff arms defensive end Shilique Calhoun #89 and then runs for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Michigan State Spartans during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Alabama running back Lawrence Erekosima (43) makes a 'confetti angel' after Alabama defeated Michigan State, 38-0, in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) attempts to evade Oklahoma safety Ahmad Thomas (13) on his way to a touchdown during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) can't take control of the ball as Oklahoma safety Steven Parker (10) defends, during the second half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws oranges to the crowd after his team won the Orange Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against Oklahoma, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Clemson defeated Oklahoma 37-17. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
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