“I don’t know what else we can do on the field. We have the best
offensive production we’ve ever had. Ever. College football has only had two defenses in 20 years that have held nine opponents to less than 300 yards, so if it’s about what’s on the field, I don’t know what else we can do. We’re playing pretty good. We just have to keep playing well. We’ve had four games in a row that we’ve played pretty clean but that’s a sign of maturity. If we’re playing our best
football in September and October and then (you kind of dip), that ain’t
the recipe. You want to build depth. You want to build confidence. You
want to stay healthy and you certainly want to dominate your opponents,
and I think we’ve done that every game but one.”
That was Dabo Swinney speaking with local media tonight in Clemson. It can’t be said any plainer than that. However, he knows that it will all work itself out over the next month.
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way to begin with. I do not see any scenario in which an unbeaten Clemson team is left out of the playoff. Even if the LSU/Bama and Penn St/Ohio St games are close. ‘To do so would mean they are left out in favor of a one loss team that didn’t win its conference. If they were to leave out the defending national champion who was in the midst of a 28 game winning streak, the credibility of the whole process would take a serious hit.
The Tigers being at five right now does bring with it some advantages. With the four teams ahead of them set to face off over the next couple of weeks, Clemson is in prime position to jump up to 2nd or 3rd spot. If it plays out that way, they avoid having to play the one seed in the semifinal round.
It also puts an even bigger chip on the shoulders of not only the players, but the coaching staff as well. Throughout the CFP era, there has been no program in the country that plays better than Clemson when they feel as if they have something to prove. No coaching staff is better at using doubt and disrespect as a motivating factor. This team had already started to peak over the last couple of weeks, and now they have thrown gasoline on the fire.
If this team is as good as we think it is, the last few weeks of the season will be fun to watch unfold. Those rankings last night made the challenge NCST, Wake Forest, and UofSC were facing when playing this Clemson team that much tougher.
So jump on board and take your seat in the very back of the ROY bus. Sit back, relax, and enjoy every minute of the beatdowns that are likely coming for Clemson’s opponents over the next month. Enjoy the two regular season matchups between top four teams that this committee so desperately wanted. Then after the smoke clears, and after all the carnage has been cleaned up, soak it all in. Because this Clemson team will be right where it wants to be, and that is getting set for a fifth straight appearance in the CFP.