The Road to Atlanta is clearing, but there are a few more bumps for Clemson to hurdle

The Road to Atlanta is clearing, but there are a few more bumps for Clemson to hurdle


The Road to Atlanta is clearing, but there are a few more bumps for Clemson to hurdle


Wednesday Thoughts

Tuesday’s College Football Playoff Rankings were huge for Clemson.

Though the Tigers’ remained locked into their No. 3 ranking in the poll, the news of Ohio State jumping back to No. 1 in the rankings was significant. With LSU sliding back to No. 2 it could mean there is a good chance the Bayou Bengals could play Clemson in the CFP Semifinals if everything holds.

Why is that a good thing?

Because an LSU-Clemson matchup will likely be played at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, a destination Clemson, and more so its fans, have been hoping for.

However, there is still some work that has to be done on Clemson’s end and LSU has work to do as well. Plus, the ACC’s Tigers need Ohio State to hold on to the top spot. In other words, there is a lot of football to be played.

For Clemson (11-0, 8-0 ACC) it needs to take care of business on Saturday and beat rival South Carolina in Columbia, and then beat the winner of the No. 24 Virginia Tech-Virginia game on Friday in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 7 in Charlotte. If the Tigers do that, then they are most assuredly going to hold onto their No. 3 ranking.

Ohio State has a little tougher road to remain No. 1. The Buckeyes have to beat No. 13 Michigan on the road on Saturday and then knockoff either No. 8 Minnesota or No. 12 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.

LSU has a date with Texas A&M at home on Saturday and then will have to beat No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

For Clemson to be guaranteed a trip to Atlanta several things have to happen. First off, the Tigers have to continue to keep playing well to keep their No. 3 ranking. They are a 27.5 favorite to the Gamecocks as of Wednesday morning, so they’ll need to look impressive against their rival. Clemson should also be a heavy favorite in the ACC Championship game which means they’ll have to look impressive in that game as well.

With no wins over a ranked opponent at this time, the CFP Committee has made it clear the Tigers are No. 3 in the rankings because of the way they have looked on both offense and defense, especially in the last six weeks.

If Clemson takes care of business, like we think it will, it can still make it to Atlanta in three ways. The easiest way to get there would be for Ohio State and LSU to both lose and Clemson ascend to No. 1 in the rankings. However, the chances of that happening are slim.

The second path is LSU lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship game. That would mean Clemson would move up to No. 2 and Georgia, who is currently No. 4, would move to No. 3 and the two would meet in the semifinals in Atlanta.

The third is for Ohio State to remain No. 1. If the Buckeyes can hold on to that No. 1 ranking, then the Tigers are likely heading to Atlanta. However, this will be a big question going forward.

Ohio State already has three wins over teams ranked in the top 25 of the committee’s rankings, LSU also has three wins. However, a win over No. 13 Michigan on Saturday would assure a fourth, and a possible top 10 win over Minnesota or Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game would assure a fifth.

However, if LSU wins out, which would include a win over No. 4 Georgia, would the committee think a win over Georgia would be more valuable than Ohio State’s two wins over top 15 teams?

This to me seems to be the more likely scenario to play out, which means we will all be watching with anticipation trying to figure out where the Tigers will spending the holidays in the postseason.

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