Yes, Clemson was undeservedly left out of the top four of the initial CFP rankings. No, it isn’t that big of a deal. At number five, Clemson is in prime position to make a fifth straight trip to the playoff. Assuming Clemson takes care of its own business of course.
Clemson doesn’t have a bigtime matchup during the regular season against one of the other teams ranked in the top four currently. Two games featuring top four teams facing off is something the committee hasn’t had before and there was no way they were passing that up. It’s a television ratings goldmine, and it is all about the ratings during the regular season.
Today we have #1 LSU and #3 Alabama facing off in Tuscaloosa. If LSU somehow manages to knock off the Tide, the Tigers are back in the top 4 next week. If LSU gets their doors blown off, the Tigers are back into the top four. If LSU drops a close one, maybe the Tigers move back into the top four is put on hold another week or two.
Unbeaten and fourth ranked Penn State is in Minneapolis today taking on PJ Fleck’s undefeated Minnesota team. If you want to talk about disrespect, look at the Golden Gophers. Unbeaten and only at #17. That is what disrespect looks like folks.
Penn State is a 6.5 point road favorite, but this Minnesota team is better than they are being given credit for. It isn’t unthinkable to think they knock off the Nittany Lions at home today. If not, Penn State still has to get through Ohio State, meaning one of those teams is going down and an unbeaten Clemson team will not be left out in favor of a one loss non conference champ from the B1G. That just isn’t happening. Despite the narrative, the Tigers have built up to much cache in recent seasons.
Clemson is in prime position here. While the top four teams will feast on one another over the next two weeks, the Tigers get to sit back and watch the carnage unfold. While it is possible that we could see two SEC teams in the playoff under certain scenarios, what isn’t possible is seeing two from the B1G and two from the SEC. As long as the Tigers win out, they’ll be right where they want to be, with a shot at winning a second consecutive national title.