Clemson cleared a hurdle last season. The Tigers got past the cynics–looking for a “Clemson moment” when the Tigers would self destruct just when they appeared ready to make the giant step forward to the top of the mountain.

They won all of their regular season games. They won 14 games overall, which was the most of any Clemson football team–ever. They overcame mistakes. They stepped into the Orange Bowl in the Final Four semifinals and blew past Oklahoma.

And they gave Alabama all it could handle in the title game, coming up short in a 45-40 loss.

No, Clemson earned the respect it wanted. Now it wants respect and its first national title in 36 seasons, It has arguably the best QB in the country in Deshaun Watson, who is every bit as good as his reputation.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.