What a difference one week can make.
Last week after getting whipped up front offensively against Georgia, it was all over for Clemson. Or at least that’s what the talking heads said. Clemson was done, stick a fork in them. While the Tigers still have issues to fix offensively, here’s why their path to the playoff just got a little easier.
There are several teams that could be primed to make a playoff run. Of those teams, only 4 have been consistent in actually reaching the playoff: Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and now Oregon are also potential playoff teams as well.
Georgia and Alabama look to be on a collision course of the unbeatens. At least right now, in Week 2. Both do have a very good chance to claim a seat at the table. But Ohio State lost yesterday to Oregon. Clemson should leapfrog them in the rankings since the loss was not a good one.
The Buckeyes played at home, with Oregon basically playing a 9AM kickoff time due to the time zone difference. The Ducks without their two best defensive players: Kayvon Thibodeaux and Justin Flowe. From a talent standpoint, OSU should’ve controlled the game. They didn’t; the Ducks quacked, and had some good ole Bucknuts for breakfast.
Texas A&M narrowly escaped against Colorado, an unranked team. While they did lose their starting QB to injury, this should’ve been a mismatch. The talent level of these teams is nowhere close. Texas A&M came into this season with a solid ranking after narrowly missing the playoff last year. Expectations were high, production was low. Not a good look for a No. 5 team.
Oklahoma played well this week but struggled mightily in week 1 against a non-Power-5 team. Does anyone actually buy into Notre Dame this year? They barely beat Toledo, and Florida State. Both of those teams are less than stellar. Clearly, Notre Dame is struggling thus far. Wait until they play a team with a pulse.
While Oregon did enjoy a big win against OSU, it’s hard to imagine them escaping the season unscathed. The PAC 12 has only made 2 playoff appearances in the CFP era. It’s been 5 years since a team from that conference has made it in, and it’s because they generally have a head scratcher of a loss somewhere on that schedule.
All that being said, Clemson’s playoff hopes are looking better already. The Tigers chances are good, assuming they take care of their own business. Some will say it’s too early to be talking playoff, we should be focused on Georgia Tech. But that’s the beauty of being only a fan; we don’t have to focus on anything. That’s the coach’s job, why he makes the big bucks. It’s never too early to discuss the playoff to a fan.
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