Last season Clemson missed the College Football Playoff for the first time in six seasons.
Injuries decimated a Clemson offense that was already littered with inexperience. It also exposed a lack of experienced depth, and according to national analyst Phil Steele, the Tigers weren’t the only team that suffered from depth issues in 2021.
“Last year… was a year of tumult you might say in college football,” Steele told The Morning Show With John And Hugh on 92.9 FM The Game. “Clemson did not get even into the ACC title game. Ohio State didn’t get into the Big Ten title game. Oklahoma didn’t get into the Big 12 title game. You don’t usually think that even is possible.”
“Last year talking to the head coaches and going over the teams with them, almost every single one of them, 90-to-95%, said, ‘Phil, this is the deepest team I’ve ever had because of COVID. Everybody’s back.’ They said they were able to run three teams during spring practice. They weren’t able to do that (before).”
However, Steele is expecting a return to normalcy in 2022, with the main players returning to the playoff, including Clemson.
“I’ve got Ohio State making the playoff, Alabama making the playoff, Georgia making the playoff and Clemson making the playoff,” Steele said. “I think if you look at their rosters overall due to what we just talked about… was the recruiting classes that they brought in over the last five years have really got them the most talented teams.”
“This year, everybody’s on the same playing field. Everybody lost players unlike last year, and I think it’s a return to the powerhouses.”
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