Clemson Earns Another Top Ranking
In an interview with the Big Ten Network, former head coach Urban Meyer said a favorable early season schedule is a key to having a successful season.
Meyer said Clemson's schedule is an advantage going into the 2020 season.
247Sports.com recently released its rankings of most favorable schedules, and the Clemson Tigers are at the top of the list.
Clemson's only definite preseason top-25 opponent is Notre Dame. The Tigers will travel to South Bend in November. The Fighting Irish also made the list at No. 9.
The Tigers also miss ACC Coastal favorites North Carolina and Virginia Tech in the regular season but could see either team in a possible ACC championship game.
Head coach Dabo Swinney has defended his team's schedule on a number of occasions. Last year at the College Football Hall of Fame when Swinney was asked about his team's schedule and in-state rival South Carolina's, Swinney said there was no lack of competition in the ACC.
"There’s a reason we’ve won two out of the last three national championships and it’s not because we don’t play anybody," Swinney said. "We’ve played everybody. We’ve played Alabama three times in national championships. We’ve played Ohio State, Oklahoma, we play Texas A&M, we play South Carolina every year."
“Our league, I think we had 11 bowl teams this year, 10 the year before, 11 the year before that. Our league is incredibly competitive and deep.”
The ACC did have 10 bowl teams last season but finished with a record of 4-7, including Clemson's loss to LSU in the CFP National Championship. The .364 winning percentage was near the bottom of the conference standings.
When the first CFP rankings were released last season, Swinney again defended his team in an interview with AllClemson.com.
"If I were thinking about that, do you think Travis Etienne would have had the carries he had last week? I couldn't care less," Swinney said. "That rhetoric? We've played the same schedule since I've been head coach here. We've played the same conference schedule and two SEC teams. Every year ... it's we don't play anybody. We've become a dominant team in the postseason and now they're saying that's because we don't play anybody in the season. I just laugh. It's the same old spin."
247 Sports ranking of most favorable schedules:
9. Notre Dame