While Clemson has been picked by members of the media to reclaim its ACC crown in 2022, not everyone is a believer.
After the Tigers ‘down’ 10-3 season in 2021, mostly due to an inept offense that struggled to consistently move the ball, many are questioning whether or not Clemson can rebound and reclaim its perch atop the conference standings.
One example would be CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, who has Dabo Swinney’s team as the most ‘overrated’ in the ACC.
“The Tigers may indeed win the ACC. Maybe last year was a speed bump, but I really need to see it first. As well as the defense may perform — and it’s good — Uiagalelei will have to live up to his expectations. If not, well, the ACC is too strong now for the Tigers to be able to slog through mediocrity. Watch out for Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State and Miami. It is unwise to grandfather Clemson into the title game just yet.”
Another example would be Brett McMurphy, of the Action Network, ranking Clemson No. 11 on his preseason AP ballot. He had Miami, NC State and Baylor all ranked ahead of Clemson. McMurphy actually ranked the Hurricanes No. 4.
Then there is this gem. During one of the ACC Networks All Access episodes featuring NC State. Wolfpack linebackers Payton Wilson and Damon Moore appear to throw a little shade the Tigers way.
These are just three of the most recent exapmles. If you are a Clemson fan, you have likely seen some of the doubts from members of the media throughout the summer.
With the start of the season now less than two weeks away, talking season is almost over, and Clemson will finally have a shot at putting the struggles of a season ago in the rear view mirror once and for all.
The Tigers will begin the season ranked No. 4 in both the AP and Coaches’ Polls. However, in the eyes of Swinney, it’s always about where you finish, more so than where you start.
“It’s just something to talk about right now, it doesn’t have anything to do with December or November,” Swinney said recently about the preseason rankings.
“All that will be determined by what happens on the field, kind of like those recruiting rankings. They do that re-rank every year, somebody does it, and very seldom have we not been ranked higher four years later than we were when we signed ’em.
“That’s all based on performance and not potential. I think we’ve got a chance to be a good team, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
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