The road to college football "immortality"

Rondo Thompson, Associate Writer

College football has brought about many changes with the complete transformation of the bowl selection system that has major potential to expand. The old bowl system left the decision of who played in the National Championship game completely in the hands of a committee, which based their decision off number of wins, style and strength of each teams' schedule.

The new system is based on the same, except it allows the top four teams to battle it out in a four-teams playoff. The two teams left standing are sent to play each other in the title game. The new system was implemented last year, featuring the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks in the title game. Ohio State came out on top with a 42-20 final score.

This year's second annual game featured top-ranked Clemson Tigers vs. the no. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama defeated the Tigers 45-40 in the close “shoot-out.”

Now that the dust has settled the chase for “immortality” begins again.

 The Clemson Tigers went up against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 National Championship. Photo by Travis Blanks from TigerNet.com

The Clemson Tigers went up against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 National Championship. Photo by Travis Blanks from TigerNet.com

The "big dance"  is over and done with, and now the big question is: what roads lead to next year’s title game?

I believe that the journey begins in Baton Rouge, La. and Clemson, S.C. Louisiana State University is a respected program with championship caliber leadership from the head coach position held by Les Miles. The “Geaux Tigers” will return with most of their offensive line from this season and also a superstar (and Heisman hopeful) running back, Leonard Fournette, who has the potential to be the no. 1 pick in next year's NFL draft.

Even after suffering a tough loss in this year’s title game, Clemson will return again, despite a few key departures for the 2016 NFL draft like Shaq Lawson, Travis Blanks, Mackenzie Alexander and Charone Peake. The Tigers, through recruitment, will have more than enough talent to replace. The most valuable key to their successful return next year will be Heisman front-runner quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson's dual-threat and big arm abilities makes him an unstoppable match-up for the team’s opposing defenses next season.

The college football era is more alive and well today than ever before. With every passing year, the game grows larger.

Each year, 128 football bowl subdivision (FBS) teams set out on their journey with the same goal in mind: to go to the “big dance." Sadly, for 127 of those teams, there can only be one champion.