How Alabama exploited a tiny Clemson error into the Championship's deciding play

Rodger Sherman, SB Nation

The best two teams in college football met for the national title. They were pretty much equal. But Alabama got the ball 16 times, and Clemson only got the ball 15 times.

Football is based around the idea that the two teams trade possessions, but in the fourth quarter of a tied title game, Alabama decided it didn't want to give Clemson the ball back.

Alabama won by one possession. This surprise onside kick is how it got that possession.

On Alabama's sideline, Nick Saban let loose a wry grin, the first time any of us have ever seen Saban express happiness during a game. On Clemson's, Dabo Swinney flipped out on the referees.

Three days later, it's still clear Dabo didn't have a case. Nothing Alabama did was close to illegal. Swinney was frustrated, grasping at straws and hoping the play would be somehow overturned.

If there were a Wikipedia page for Outcoached, this would make a nice header:

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