Tuesday Question: After the tough but underwhelming win over North Carolina, where should Clemson be ranked?
Q: At the moment, where do you rank Clemson?
Right now, I would rank Clemson No. 2 behind Alabama, based on the fact I thought Alabama was going to be the best team coming in, and it’s done little to cause me to think otherwise.
I also thought Clemson would be nipping at their heels, and it s in a sense. I get that their strength of schedule isn’t great because of the ACC, but it wasn’t last year and we know how that story ended. The Tigers haven’t played to their peak yet, and it’s likely we don’t truly know how good they are until the first game of the playoff.
The rest of my Top 5 is Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State with LSU right behind. I think any combination of those six teams would make for a killer playoff field.
You have to look at this like you’ve been in a coma for ten years and just woke up on August 23rd. Throw out your preconceived notions, because when it comes to ranking teams right now, last year didn’t exist.
The whole idea that “you’re the champion until you lose” sounds quaint, but it doesn’t make any sense. Rankings are supposed to be about WHO THE BEST TEAMS ARE RIGHT NOW, otherwise, why play the season?
Okay, so you want to bring last year into this in your “champion until you lose” sort of way? Fine … North Carolina sucked last year, and Clemson needed to stop a two-point conversion to pull off the win.
Secondly, what if this wasn’t Clemson. What if this was Wake Forest with the exact same resumé, or Appalachian State?
Right now, is Clemson playing like one of the five best teams in college football? Of course it’s not.
Does that mean it’s out of the College Football Playoff chase? Of course not.
Could Clemson rise up and rock in a four-team, two-game format and win it all? Of course.
But at the moment, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma have been better than Clemson.
You see any of those five teams needing to fight to get out of a game against a mediocre team alive?
Right now, I’d have Clemson at the bottom of the top 5.
1. Ohio State
This is a complete overreaction however a bit concerning as its schedule is pretty soft. Outside of playing Texas A&M they won’t be challenged until the College Football Playoff, assuming they make it. Being undefeated in a major conference and being the defending national champion, there is no way the committee will leave them out if they go 13-0.
QB Trevor Lawrence is having issues compared to last year and is one of the reasons that the Tigers are struggling as he has more interceptions than all of last year, a lower completion rate and his QB rating is down. Maybe it is just a slow start but against this competition, Lawrence should be performing much better.
1. Ohio State
We all fall for what we thought a team would look like ahead of the season and then overreact to every performance. I’d have Clemson, though, at No. 5.
No. 1 Ohio State
No. 2 Alabama
No. 3 LSU
No. 4 Georgia
No. 5 Clemson
Still top-5 because of their running game and defense but facing Alabama or Ohio State with a struggling Trevor Lawrence won’t end well.
1. Ohio State
Right now, Clemson is No. 6 for me. The Tigers haven’t beaten anyone, and when they have it has not been terribly impressive. The Texas A&M win was nice, but it’s starting to look like a team that was way overrated coming into the season.
Trevor Lawrence is great, but has not wowed us yet. This team very well could win another College Football Playoff, and I don’t doubt that it’ll only get better, but right now, five teams have looked better to me.
Here’s my top-five:
1) Ohio State
Clemson had one poor game. Relax. Everyone has a game where they don’t bring their ‘A’ game, and the Tigers still found a way to survive and advance. I look at the rest of their schedule, and I see no trouble spots along the way. Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma have been better, but Clemson shouldn’t be penalized too harshly for a near-miss. The champs are still the champs until proven otherwise. No. 1 for me.
Clemson has to be ranked just behind Alabama. The Tide have shown to be the best team in the nation in the early going. Clemson has been quite rusty, but other teams behind are still figuring out their identities and beating each other up. Georgia is quite good and could challenge that number two spot.
5. Ohio State