Much has been made about the Tigers drop in the AP and Coaches Polls, despite the fact that neither poll has any bearing on who or who doesn’t make the CFP. Now that we’re on the verge of the initial CFP rankings being released, we will know for sure where this Clemson team stands.
Fortunately for college football fans, this committee is mostly made up of former coaches and administrators that know what it is they are watching when breaking down games. Through nine games, this Clemson team has done what it needed to do for the most part. Outside of the close call in Chapel Hill, the Tigers have steamrolled through the competition. Since that close call they have beaten their opponents by an average score of 52-11.
The problem Clemson faces however, is who they have beaten. Their best win came against Texas A&M back in week two, when the Tigers downed the Aggies 24-10. A&M was ranked 12th at the time but have since fallen out of the Top 25 completely. A game that looked like a resume builder in the preseason ended up being just another game.
Looking at the resume of each of the top teams, the Tigers don’t currently have one that will have them in either of the top two spots, but it is certainly good enough to be in that top four. If we’re being truthful, LSU has the best resume to date. They have wins over Florida, Texas, and Auburn, and even if those teams are overrated to a degree, no other team can claim three wins of equal caliber.
Ohio State will probably be in the number two spot. With a dominating win over Wisconsin and a shutout win over Cincinnati, they have a better resume than both Alabama and Clemson. It isn’t a strong resume by any stretch, just a tad better than the other two.
Alabama will likely come in at number three, and if that is the case, it will mostly be because of the “Bama bias.” Compare the Tide’s resume to that of Clemson’s and although they are fairly similar, what the Tigers have on theirs is just a little better. The Tigers have the close call and the Tide have the weaker schedule.
Both teams best win came over a very overrated A&M team. Neither team has a win over a team that is currently ranked in the Top 25. They both have weak schedules, with Bama’s actually being weaker. The combined winning percentages of teams the Tigers have beaten is .476, but it’s just .391 for the Tide. That also happens to be the worst of all P5 teams. However, Clemson has had a close call, Bama has not had one, and that will be why the Tide are third and the Tigers are fouth. In other words, that Bama bias.
What no one is discussing is the fact that Penn State might have a better resume than both Alabama and Clemson. Having wins over Iowa and Michigan gives them two better wins than either, but it likely won’t be enough to have the Nittany Lions crack the initial top four.
- Ohio State
- Penn State