Experts differ on Clemson ranking through 3 weeks


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ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit moved Clemson down one spot behind Georgia in his rankings this week. (USA TODAY Photo)
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit moved Clemson down one spot behind Georgia in his rankings this week. (USA TODAY Photo)

We’re three full weeks into the college football season and have more of a sample size to rank the nation’s best teams.

Clemson entered the weekend No. 2 in the major top-25 polls and likely will stay there after a 38-7 win over Georgia Southern.

A trip around some individual ballots from CFB pundits is a little more skeptical of the Tigers’ start.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit moved Georgia, after its 49-7 win over Middle Tennessee, to No. 2 ahead of Clemson in his top-six, which was led by Alabama and rounded out by Ohio State, LSU and Oklahoma.

Four-letter network colleagues Joey Galloway and Jesse Palmer are on either side of that argument, with both impressed by the Tigers Saturday but Palmer slotting Georgia at No. 2 and Clemson, No. 3, and Galloway, vice versa.

Kelly Bryant got hurt and left the game against Georgia Southern and the true freshman Trevor Lawrence came in and looked really good,” Palmer said. “Sparked the offense. Defensively, they're great.”

CBS Sports analyst Kevin Carter pegs Clemson as the fourth-best team nationally behind Alabama, Ohio State and Penn State. He has Georgia at No. 5 and LSU, No. 6. Clemson is also No. 4 in College Football News' estimate, trailing Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel is among the lowest on Dabo Swinney’s group so far, ranking Clemson at No. 6 ($) behind an SEC trio at the top of Alabama, Georgia and LSU and then Ohio State and Oklahoma.

Looking ahead, ESPN's four panelists all have the ACC Tigers going to the College Football Playoff - pegged as high as No. 2 behind the consensus No. 1 Alabama and Mark Schlabach predicting a CFP semifinal rematch.


Galloway top-5: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Georgia 4. Ohio State 5. Oklahoma
Palmer top-5: 1. Alabama 2. Georgia 3. Clemson 4. Ohio State 5. LSU



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