Clemson Tigers rank 5th in initial College Football Playoff rankings

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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If you need an example of why you shouldn’t use previous year’s results to judge a team, look no further than the Clemson Tigers. Last year, they won the national championship, but this year’s team isn’t that same team. The 2018 season has zero impact on the 2019 squad, and the committee knows that. With a weaker schedule, the Tigers figure to be one loss away from elimination, but that doesn’t look like it will happen. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t looked the same as a sophomore as he did as a freshman, but the Tigers are still managing to pull away from bad teams. The question becomes if they can continue doing so in the future. Their schedule isn’t what it once was (thanks largely to a struggling conference), so winning out is the only way this team gets into the playoff this year.

Clemson Tigers ranking: 5th

Where they should be ranked: 4th

Thoughts: Clemson never deserved a Top 3 spot, but they also don’t belong out of the playoff. Their slow starts against poor teams are a concern, but they are still wildly talented. It’s tough to win back-to-back national championships, but it’s also tough to see Clemson slipping up anywhere going forward. We’ll see what that means come playoff time, but you can pencil the Tigers in to the playoff right now (again, emphasis on “pencil” and not pen). Since these rankings don’t mean much compared to the final set of rankings, we won’t look too much into this game. There’s still over a month left of football for the Tigers, and we will see plenty of change in the rankings and from this team. The Clemson faithful are hoping that it’s a change in the right direction, because right now there are some uneasy feelings towards this team.

Putting Penn State ahead of the Tigers won’t produce a ton of arguments, but there are people who’ll be upset. Clemson’s only strength right now is the eye test, but that can change. The Tigers struggled at times, but also remain undefeated. Winning out remains the goal, and a loss pretty much eliminates them.

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