5th: 2015 National Championship: Alabama 45, Clemson 40
Clemson has been to six playoffs. They won two championships. Therefore, they have lost four times.
Three of those losses led off this list. They weren’t much fun for Clemson fans.
There might be no such thing as a moral victory, but Clemson was able to hold their head high after the 2015 Natty. The Tigers had spent much of that season trying to prove they belonged among the elite of college football.
When Clemson defeated Notre Dame in the infamous ‘Hurricane Game’, many pundits were more impressed by the Irish in defeat than the Tigers in victory. Many of those same pundits didn’t think the Tigers would get past Oklahoma in the semifinal.
Alabama found the end zone first with Derrick Henry, but Clemson answered with two touchdown passes from Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow. Suddenly, the Tigers held the lead and those pundits were slightly befuddled.
Yes, unfortunately for Clemson Nation, the Tide eventually found their footing, Nick Saban called that darn onside kick, and Alabama took control of the game. The silver lining was that it was here that Tiger fans first learned that you should never expect a Watson-led offense to mail it in.
The Tigers found the end zone at the end of the game to pull within a score. The onside kick did not go their way, but for the first time, the College Football Playoff had delivered a great championship game that went right down to the wire.