When the preseason AP Top 25 college football poll was released Monday, Clemson checked in at No. 4 behind only No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Georgia.
This national writer believes that preseason ranking is too high for Clemson.
Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports wrote in his AP Top 25 reactions that the Tigers are “overrated” in the preseason poll and pointed to Clemson’s coaching changes as one of the reasons he feels that way, writing that Brandon Streeter and Wes Goodwin “have never called plays at the FBS level,” even though those two did in fact call plays for the Tigers in the Cheez-It Bowl victory over Iowa State last December.
“With perhaps the best defense in the nation coming back, along with a few promising pieces on offense, it’s fair to believe that a disappointing three-loss campaign in 2021 was simply a blip for one of the most consistent programs in college football. But No. 4 in the country? That’s a little much,” Jeyarajah wrote.
“The Tigers are starting from scratch at two key coaching positions following the departures of offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and defensive coordinator Brent Venables — both of whom served served in their roles since 2015 — to Virginia and Oklahoma, respectively. Clemson promoted internally, with QBs coach Brandon Streeter and senior defensive assistant Wes Goodwin taking over those vacancies. However, there’s no guarantee it will be smooth sailing for two coaches who have never called plays at the FBS level.”
Jeyarajah also cited Clemson’s uncertainty at the quarterback position as another reason he believes the Tigers are ranked too high in the preseason AP Top 25.
“Additionally, Clemson has a big question mark at quarterback after DJ Uiagalelei ranked last among 15 qualified ACC quarterbacks in passing efficiency last year,” he wrote. “Freshman Cade Klubnik could push for playing time, but it’s not clear yet if he’s the Deshaun Watson or Trevor Lawrence type to help Clemson reach national contention.”
Clemson, which finished No. 14 in the final AP Poll last season after finishing in the top four of the poll every season from 2015-20, is also ranked No. 4 in the preseason Coaches Poll.