Athlon Sports predicts Clemson to go 13-0 this year
It is no surprise Clemson is the odds-on favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. However, Athlon Sports’ preseason magazine did make a little news in its yearly publication, which hit newsstands this weekend.
The national magazine, one of the more popular preseason magazines in the country, predicts the Tigers will not only roll through the ACC for a seventh consecutive year, but they will also produce a perfect 13-0 season before hitting the College Football Playoff.
That means Athlon believes Clemson will knock off Georgia in the season opener on Sept. 4, when the two college football powers meet in the Duke’s Mayo Kickoff Classic from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Athlon ranks Clemson No. 2 in its preseason poll, behind defending National Champion, Alabama.
“Like the Crimson Tide, the Tigers can overcome the loss of a generational talent or two,” the magazine says in reference to the losses of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. “D.J. Uiagalelei might even outdo predecessor Trevor Lawrence and win a Heisman while also winning a title.”
As for the Bulldogs, Athlon has them ranked No. 5, behind Oklahoma at three and Ohio State at No. 4.
“Here we are at yet another season of Georgia’s attempt to surmount the gigantic challenge that is displacing Alabama atop the SEC pile,” Athlon writes. “JT Daniels looks like the quarterback the program needs to make the attempt.”
In case you are wondering, North Carolina joins Clemson in the top 10 of the preseason poll. The Tar Heels give the ACC two preseason top 10 teams with a No. 10 ranking from Athlon. Miami is ranked No. 14.
Notre Dame, who has gone back to being an Independent after its one-year stay as an ACC football member because of the pandemic, is ranked 12th. The Irish, of course, joined Clemson last year in the College Football Playoff.
But getting back to Clemson going undefeated in Uiagalelei’s first year as the starting quarterback.
Granted, the Tigers went undefeated in 2018, the first major college football program to go 15-0, and then started the 2015 and 2019 seasons 14-0 before losing in the national championship games. But going undefeated in the regular season or at all is not an easy task.
Through the years, when at least playing 10 games, the Tigers have posted undefeated regular seasons in 1948 (10-0), 1981 (11-0), 2015 (12-0), 2018 (12-0) and 2019 (12-0). Of those five teams, the 1948 (11-0), 1981 (12-0) and the 2018 teams finished the year with unblemished records.
For the record, Clemson also produced undefeated teams in 1900 (6-0), 1906 (4-0-3) and 1950 (9-0-1).
So, predicting another undefeated season for the Tigers is big news.
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