Can the Clemson Tigers Jump to No. 1? Maybe.

Zach Lentz

The Clemson Tigers remained No. 3 in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings.  But after seven straight weeks of dominant football, the Tigers have rejoined the committee's conversations with regards to being moved back to the coveted No. 1 spot.

In fact, the only thing that is keeping the Tigers out of the No. 1 spot is wins over ranked opponents and their strength of schedule.

"We spend considerable time talking about that top-three," Mullens said on ESPN. "Clemson's a great team and been very dominant -- their last seven games extremely impressive. The difference between one, two and three is just the wins against top-25 opponents. Ohio State with their fourth win against a ranked opponent this weekend, LSU with their impressive resume -- those are the separators from one, two and three...

"There is plenty of conversation about Clemson but their schedule is just different. When you start to rack them up and see schedule strength, you see those teams at one and two that have wins against ranked opponents -- and highly-ranked opponents." 

Mullens reiterated the point of how impressed the committee has been with the Tigers during his post-release teleconference.

"Well, obviously Clemson has been very impressive, seven straight wins by at least 30 points, strong offense, strong defense, very balanced. When you're looking at the top three, you're looking at three outstanding teams. As I mentioned, the difference is just wins over ranked opponents, schedule strength."

The Tigers will get their chance at a ranked team this week, as they travel to Charlotte for the ACC Championship against the 23rd ranked Virginia Cavaliers. However, could that win be enough to jump the Tigers over No. 2 LSU and No. 1 Ohio State, even if both those teams win on championship Saturday? 


We don't project ahead. We'll watch the games. We'll go back in that room and discuss all options," Mullens said. "We're looking at Ohio State, LSU, Clemson, they're in that first grouping. We do that first grouping in groupings of three. We're still discussing them in great detail." 

Comments (3)
No. 1-2

I love it and I think the Tigers should be no.1 simply because they are the defending National Champions. I believe if you win the championship you should be no.1 until you get beat. The BCS doesn’t want Clemson there and the ACC doesn’t help. As bad I want Clemson to be #1 again it will not happen.

Johnny Football
Johnny Football

Not until the year is over. This is turning out to be the most competitive playoff in the CFP history