clemson college

Your 2017 college football national champions, the Clemson Tigers!

Clemson was the better team — on both sides of the ball. And while they say defense wins championship, having arguably the best quarterback in college football on your side helps, too. Over and over, Deshaun Watson put Clemson on his back and willed his team to stay in this game. Watson was battered, bruised and exhausted by the game’s final whistle, but it was all worth it. A year after falling just short of a national championship, Watson got to be the one covered in confetti with a trophy to raise.

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On the Road and in the Stadium with @samanthaponder

To see more of Samantha’s college football coverage, follow @samanthaponder on Instagram.

From legendary coaches to crazed tailgaters, College GameDay (@collegegameday) host Samantha Ponder (@samanthaponder) constantly travels to cover every aspect of NCAA football. “It’s a dream job, but definitely not what people think in terms of some pampered lifestyle,” says Samantha, who balances work by spending time with her husband, NFL quarterback Christian Ponder, and their 18-month-old daughter Scout, who often accompanies mom on the road. “This isn’t like covering pro teams where you stay in big cities and fancy hotels — we’re getting the full college experience.” That often means dorm-like hotels and a fast-food diet, but Samantha isn’t complaining — even when she finds herself sitting in the rain for hours before a Notre Dame versus Clemson game, like she did earlier this season. “The weather was miserable but the fans were insane and it really showed what I love about college football,” she says. “Those are always the most fun, when you can’t hear yourself think.”