For a second straight week, and for a third time in four weeks, Clemson fell in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll on Sunday.
The Tigers, who beat Louisville 45-10 at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville on Saturday, dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 in this week’s top 25. Last week, they fell from No. 2 to No. 3.
Ohio State jumped Clemson this week after the Buckeyes beat a 1-5 Northwestern team on the road Friday night. LSU jumped the Tigers in Week 8 after it defeated a top 10 team in Florida.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney got a little sarcastic when asked if he was surprised the media continues to drop his team in the poll, despite the Tigers winning their last two games by 31 and 35 points respectively.
“Nothing surprises me,” Swinney said Sunday while chuckling during his weekly conference call with the local media.
Swinney pointed out the Tigers, who own the nation’s longest winning streak at 22 games, have won their first seven games by an average margin of 28.0 points, just about a half point below last year’s 28.7 margin of victory after seven games.
“That 0.7 is elusive, and we are chasing that,” he said sarcastically. “So, it is probably the greatest 0.7 out there, but we will keep working.”
When it comes to game control, it hard to imagine why Clemson keeps sliding in the AP Poll. The Tigers never trailed at any point against Florida State or Louisville.
Clemson (7-0, 5-0 ACC) scored the game’s first 42 points against the Seminoles on Oct. 12, and on Saturday had a 38-3 lead on the Cardinals before they scored their only touchdown of the afternoon.
In all, the Tigers have trailed just three times this season. They trailed Texas A&M 3-0 in the second quarter before scoring 24 unanswered points in a 24-10 victory. They trailed North Carolina 7-0 and 14-7 in the first half before coming back and winning the game, 21-20.
The UNC game is the only game of Clemson’s first seven in which it did not win by at least 14 points. Also remember, the Tigers led A&M by 21 points until the Aggies scored on a fourth-and-goal play with six seconds to go on Sept. 7.
“I don’t really worry about any of that stuff,” Swinney said. “We just try to take care of business week in and week out and work our tails off to get better. We got a lot to improve. Everybody can have whatever opinion they want. It does not matter. What matters is us trying to close out October in a strong way and get ready to try and win this division and win this league. Whatever happens after that, hopefully, we will be positioned well.”
The first College Football Playoff Committee Rankings for 2019 will be released on Tuesday, November 5. By the way, Clemson remained No. 2 in the Amway/USA TODAY Coaches Poll.
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