Prior to Saturday’s game at South Carolina, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney informed his team No. 1 ranked Alabama had gone down to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers already knew that second-ranked Miami had lost the day before at Pitt.
So the opportunity was laid out for the third-ranked Tigers to take over the top spot in the College Football Playoff Committee Rankings should it beat No. 24 South Carolina. The Tigers (11-1) did more than beat the Gamecocks, they steam rolled them, solidifying Clemson’s claim to No. 1.
So what does all of that really mean?
“It matters for just location. That is it,” Swinney said during his Tuesday press conference to preview Saturday’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. “It does not matter if you are one, two, three or four. You are talking about elite level teams and talent, so it does not matter as far as that goes.”
However, Swinney does get that some of it still matters. For instance, if the Tigers are indeed the No. 1-ranked team when the new CFP Poll comes out tonight, then Clemson will have an opportunity to look up not only a playoff berth with a win over Miami, but also could be the top seed in the playoff.
That would be good for Clemson because it means the Tigers would likely play in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans as opposed to playing in the Rose Bowl all the way in Pasadena, Calif. Obviously, that would benefit the fans who might want to attend the game.
“I guess if we were fortunate enough to win and were one (seed), I guess we could go to the Sugar Bowl. That would probably be easier for our fans and things like that, although the Rose Bowl would be amazing,” Swinney said. “We are four-quarters away from finding out.”
Clemson will officially find out tonight if it will be the top-ranked team when the CFP Rankings come out at 7 p.m.