TAMPA, Fla.—Clemson waited 35 years to celebrate a national title, so what was one more clock tick at the end of a game that wasn’t put to bed until half past midnight?

This wasn’t like 2002, when Miami rushed the field in Tempe thinking (knowing) it had defeated Ohio State, only be told by a ref located in another county it was being called for a pass interference penalty that would prematurely blow $50,000 of fireworks into the Arizona sky.

This wasn’t like that because Miami ended up losing that championship, in overtime, and has lived with that awful outcome for 14 years.

Clemson’s joy was only deferred so that bookkeepers could settle the final accounting for the bureau of NCAA statistics. It was like waiting on the final paperwork to receive the keys to your new Mercedes.

The ACTUAL national title was claimed with one second left, when Deshaun Watson hit Hunter Renfrow on a two-yard scoring pass in the right corner of the end zone. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.