NCAA Football News

Hunter Renfrow vs. Alabama: Stats, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Hunter Renfrow came into Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Game with three receiving touchdowns on the season.

He was already close to matching that total after one quarter of play Monday.

The redshirt freshman caught both of Deshaun Watson's first-quarter touchdown passes, propelling the ACC champs to a 14-7 lead over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Watson has received most of the praise as the star quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist of the only undefeated team left in college football, but through the first quarter of play, as Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal noted, Renfrow was the hero:

His first touchdown grab came on a beautifully thrown ball by Watson as Renfrow got behind the secondary and helped Clemson tie the game at 7-7. College GameDay provided a Vine of Watson's throw:

As the first quarter expired, Watson found Renfrow in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown and a one-score lead over the favored Crimson Tide. SportsCenter shared this screenshot, which showed how much Renfrow had to concentrate to make the catch while going to the ground:

The national championship game is a time for stars to step up and shine, but the unknowns such as Renfrow were making a difference early Monday. Renfrow was not a lead character in many of the storylines across America leading up to the contest, but he's becoming a household name, per Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde:

CBS Sports' Jon Solomon thought Renfrow was having the time of his life:

Renfrow was in the right spots at the right time early in Monday's contest, and it benefited Clemson throughout the first half.

Other players will need to step up and make plays if Clemson wants to pull off the upset, but at least Watson has an extra weapon.

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Clemson QB Deshaun Watson Throws Perfect TD Pass, Celebrates with Archery

Passes don't get much better than the one that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw to get his Tigers on the board in the first quarter of Monday night's College Football Playoff Championship Game.

And throws that perfect deserve celebrating—especially by the quarterback.

With just over five minutes to play in the opening quarter, Watson answered an Alabama Crimson Tide score by connecting with Hunter Renfrow for a 31-yard touchdown. It was a beautiful throw, as it went over the top of the defense and hit the receiver right in the hands.

To celebrate, Watson went with the classic bow-and-arrow:

Perfect pass, perfect celebration.

Watson's touchdown tied the game at seven. 

[Vine]

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Samaje Perine Injury: Updates on Oklahoma RB's Recovery from Ankle Surgery

Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine will not be on the field until fall practice because of an ankle injury.

Continue for updates.

Perine Underwent Ankle Surgery Monday, Jan. 11

The Sooners' leading rusher in 2015, with 1,349 yards and 16 touchdowns, will miss spring practice after having surgery to repair a ligament in his ankle, which he hurt in the Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers, per ESPN's Matt Fortuna.

Clemson held Perine to 58 yards on only 15 carries in Oklahoma's 37-17 loss to the Tigers.

The good news for Perine is that he's handling the situation now and could be ready when the Sooners report to practice again after the summer. Perine was one of the biggest reasons why Oklahoma finished the season strong and earned a spot in the College Football Playoff.

He ran for 166, 188 and 131 yards, respectively, in Oklahoma's last three regular-season games, carrying the Sooners to the Big 12 championship.

Oklahoma tweeted an update on Perine's injury, followed by a short statement from head coach Bob Stoops:

Perine's absence will provide opportunities for others to break out in the backfield. Freshman tailback Joe Mixon ran for 753 yards as Perine's backup, with his best performance coming against Oklahoma State, when he had 14 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

While Mixon showed he's going to be great, having Perine in the backfield alongside quarterback Baker Mayfield is the preferred option for the Sooners.

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6'3", 242-Pound Derrick Henry Makes 5'9", 215-Pound Mark Ingram Look Like a Fan

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (5'9", 215 lbs) would look like a big dude compared to a common fan.

Next to Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry (6'3", 242 lbs), Ingram finds himself looking like just an ordinary fan. That's just what Henry can to do people.

Ingram—the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner—was an honorary captain for Monday night's College Football Playoff Championship Game. When he stood next to this year's Heisman Trophy winner during the coin toss, nobody could have guessed that the Saints running back played in the NFL.

Now, we have the greatest shot since Baylor's Shawn Oakman became an Internet sensation because of his massive frame at the 2015 Cotton Bowl.

[Twitter]

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Ohio State, Texas, Michigan Top Most Valuable College Football Team Rankings

Ohio State may have fallen short of repeating as national champion, but the Buckeyes will retain a claim among college football’s elite as the nation’s most valuable program.  

The Buckeyes are worth close to an astounding $1 billion, according to a study by financial professor Ryan Brewer at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (h/t Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal).

Last year the Buckeyes surpassed Texas, which this year placed a distant second at $855.05 million to Ohio State’s $946.61 million. Michigan ranked third at $811.3 million.    

Here is a look at the 10 most valuable programs:   

The survey was created to gauge what each program would be worth if it could be bought as a professional franchise. Valuations are determined by revenues and expenses, with cash-flow adjustments, risk assessments and growth projections, per Beaton.

As high a ceiling as these figures may seem, the overall value of the FBS has dropped an average of 1.8 percent, which Beaton elaborated on:

The reasons for the drop were concerns about concussions and football’s safety, declining youth football participation, lack of resolution over pay-for-play concerns, and the scheduling of the College Football Playoff, which saw ratings for the semifinals fall by nearly 40% when played on New Year’s Eve this year, as opposed to New Year’s Day. 

Alabama finished with the second-highest revenue at $120 million with a total value of $694.9 million, the highest in the SEC. That figure is almost three times higher than its national title game counterpart, Clemson, which is worth a reported $237.5 million, 30th in the FBS.

These mind-boggling figures for amateur athletics encompass just how strong the following has become for FBS football. 

To create context, Ohio State is worth more than half of the NBA’s 30 franchises, per Forbes.

This is in an era when most Olympic hopefuls—fellow amateurs—are so strapped for cash that Team USA launched a registry last year to help fundraising efforts to ensure qualified athletes can actually reach the Games in Rio de Janeiro this August.

But the buck clearly doesn’t stop here. Even in a decline, college football is still as prevalent as ever, and these values don’t appear like they'll dwindle any time soon. 

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