Regardless of which team prevailed in the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night, Jesus was going to get some credit.
Both Alabama’s Heisman Trophy runner-up quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, and his Clemson counterpart, Trevor Lawrence, are known for giving the glory to their Lord.
As it turned out, Clemson cruised to a 44-16 win, putting the focus on the team’s coach, Dabo Swinney, as well as its heralded freshman QB, Lawrence, neither of whom is shy about emphasizing his strong Christian faith.
Coverage of Clemson’s national title run that ignored that fact missed an important angle.
But I was pleased to see a number of reports that caught the relevance of Swinney’s mention of God, including this one from the Sporting News:
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Dabo Swinney insists no Hollywood movie producer — not even Steven Spielberg — could write the script for what the Clemson football program accomplished in the last 11 seasons.
No. 2 Clemson had just won its second College Football Playoff championship in three years with a stunning 44-16 blowout against No. 1 Alabama at Levi’s Stadium on Monday. The Tigers became the first team since 1897 to finish 15-0. Swinney, wearing an oversized black shirt that said "Ring Season" wore a smile and stared at a half-full Diet Coke bottle while riffing into his best explanation for how this could be possible again.
"It's just the grace of God to have the opportunity to experience something like this once in a lifetime," Swinney said. “To have a chance now to do it two times in the past three years is just amazing.”
By the way, if you’re not familiar with Swinney’s back story, check out this 2016 column by the National Review’s David French.