Monday Morning Quarterback
We are at the halfway point of the college football season and fourth-ranked Clemson is right where it wants to be. It is 6-0 and in first place in the ACC Atlantic Division.
That is where they want to be at this point.
What about the College Football Playoff?
That is not their focus right now. It might be the focus of the fans and the media, but it is not Clemson’s focus.
We are still three weeks before the CFP selection committee releases its first ranking. I can tell you from past experiences, Clemson will not care about that poll or the four others that will follow.
The only one it will care about is the one that is released on Dec. 2 … the final one. That’s the one that decides which four teams get to play for the national championship.
So, sitting here and worrying if the Tigers are going to make the playoffs is a moot point on Oct. 8.
I know. Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Georgia are undefeated, and will an undefeated Clemson team be able to get in, especially with Notre Dame likely going undefeated?
I don’t know. Possibly. But why worry about it on Oct. 8?
History has told me in the last 14 years I have covered college football that no matter what it looks like now, it is unlikely more than two teams will go undefeated.
We already know Georgia or Alabama will have a loss. If they win out in the regular season, they will play each other in the SEC Championship Game. So, there is one.
“What about Ohio State and Notre Dame? There is no way they’re going to lose in the regular season.”
I know that is what you are telling yourself. Granted, it is not likely, especially Notre Dame. But, I have seen stranger things happen before.
I thought that same way two years ago about Clemson. There was no way the Tigers were going to lose after beating top 10 teams such as Louisville and Florida State and winning on the road at Auburn. Then Pittsburgh came to Death Valley and did the impossible.
Who thought Syracuse would have beat Clemson last year? That’s right, no one. However, it happened.
There are still eight weeks left in the season, counting the conference championship games. That’s a lot of football to be played. A lot can happen between now and Dec. 2.
I can tell you right now, Clemson is not worried about any of that. Its focus is trying to figure out why it has allowed 10 sacks in six games. That is a real problem and it needs to fix it.
It’s trying to figure out how it is going to stop an NC State passing attack that is averaging 335.4 yards per game and has given up just two sacks in five games.
The Tigers are trying to figure out how they are going to win the next game and that is it.
To them, NC State is all that matters. It is truly the biggest game of the season right now. If they lose it, then all this College Football Playoff talk you are talking about will not matter.
Remember, if history has taught us anything it is this … it is unlikely more than two teams will finish the year undefeated after the conference championship games are completed. If Clemson is one of those two teams then it will be in the CFP.
So, let’s enjoy the next eight weeks of the season. Trust me, it is going to be a fun ride.