Right now after the games of October 30th, the Clemson Tigers have the best resume in college football. It is is better than Alabama’s who has one very good home win against Texas A&M. Tennessee, Arkansas and Ole Miss have all fallen apart down the stretch. Michigan hasn’t beat anyone of note other than maybe Colorado. Washington has a good win at Utah and little else. Clemson has wins at Auburn, and Florida State. Auburn is likely to be ranked in the top 10 when the polls come out later this weekend. FSU will be in the top 20, and Louisville is the highest ranked 1 loss team in country. That loss is to Clemson.
Clemson has taken a wealth criticism for not dominanting every opponent. Sloppy efforts against Troy and NC State come to mind. Who hasn’t had them though? Alabama nearly lost to 5 loss Ole Miss. Louisville had extremely shaky wins against Virginia and Duke. Washington nearly took an L in an OT game against Arizona. It happens to every top team in the country. If we’re going by resume only you can argue Clemson should be #1 when the playoff rankings come out, but I can accept Alabama being #1. They’ve looked like the most complete team in college football. These rankings matter though, because your seeding could place Clemson – should they make the playoffs in Atlanta, Georgia or Arizona.
Where do you think Clemson would rather play? Clemson should be ranked ahead #2 when the rankings, and in position to take the #1 spot should Alabama lose. That’s why even these early playoff rankings are important. Remember when undefeated Florida State got sent out West to play Oregon? That certainly did not help FSU.
These first rankings will be very interesting, how the committee weighs Clemson’s impressive resume against the other playoff contenders.
That doesn’t mean Clemson doesn’t have areas to improve. Against Louisville, NC State, and now FSU, Deshaun Watson threw a momentum shifting interception. As good as Watson is, he’s becoming a little to Brett Farve like. He believes he can complete every pass he throws. You like the confidence, but it’s pushing Watson into bad throws. The back 7 was abused in coverage and run pursuit against the Noles. When Dalvin Cook got to the edge he was blowing by Clemson back 7 defenders. The pass interference penalties kept FSU drives alive.
Clemson’s elite wins prove that they are a team that is playoff and even national championship caliber (at times), but to truly reach that level Clemson must find a to reduce the number of mental errors they are committing.
This a team that is so close to being great. Their pretty solid still is good enough to make them one of the best teams in college football.