The Crimson Tide have now won four national titles in the past seven years, all under coach Nick Saban. His other titles at Alabama came in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
In the 50th game between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Alabama (14-1) outscored Clemson 24-16 in a frantic fourth quarter to win the game. The Tide earned all 61 first-place votes from the AP panel.
Alabama became the fourth team to win the national title after trailing entering the fourth quarter of the championship game, joining Florida State (1999, 2013) and Texas (2005).
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Crimson Tide have won 11 overall national championships in the poll era (since 1936), which is the most of any team.
The Tigers (14-1) were ranked No. 1 coming into the game and finished second after their first loss of the season. Clemson won its only national title in 1981.
Stanford, 45-16 winners over Iowa in the Rose Bowl, finished third in the final poll, followed by Ohio State, Oklahoma and Michigan State.
This is the fifth time Alabama has won a national title without being ranked No. 1 during the regular season.
Derrick Henry is the 16th Heisman Trophy winner to play for the national champion.
The Big Ten led all conferences with six teams in the final rankings: Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern.
The SEC had five: Alabama, Mississippi, LSU, Florida and Tennessee.
No. 2 Clemson had its highest finish since the 1982 final poll.
No. 3 Stanford had its best final poll finish since being No. 2 in 1940.
No. 8 Houston had its highest final poll finish since being No. 10 in 1990.
No. 10 Mississippi had its best final poll finish since No. 8 in 1969.
No. 18 Navy had its best final poll finish since being No. 2 in 1963.
No. 19 Oregon had its lowest finish in the final poll since it was No. 23 in 2007.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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