USA TODAY writer predicts Clemson-Alabama title game, part 3

by - Staff Writer -

Clemson-Alabama, part III? USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken projects as much for this year’s College Football Playoff.

Wolken counts Clemson’s strength on the lines for meeting the Crimson Tide for a rubber match in Atlanta come January.

"Yes, they (Clemson) lost players and Deshaun Watson is a once in a decade type of quarterback,” Wolken told The Zone Sports Network, "but college football isn't necessarily about who you lose. It's about who you have. The way they've recruited at that program and the way they're built this year, they're going to be very, very good on the offensive and defensive line."

"Whenever you're really good on those two sides of the ball, you're going to be really good. They recruit plenty of skill always."

The publication’s official season projections released this week weren't quite as optimistic as Clemson had a projection of 10-2 overall with a 6-2 divisional record while finishing second in the ACC Atlantic division race.

Auburn leads Clemson's non-conference foes with an 8-4 projection, followed by South Carolina (6-6) and Kent State (2-10).

Ohio State was pegged as the only undefeated team in the nation while tagging Florida State the ACC favorite in a group with Alabama, Wisconsin and Southern California as one-loss programs.

Alabama starts the season ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY Preseason Coaches Poll, ahead of Ohio State, Florida State, Southern California and then Clemson rounding out the top-five.

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