CLEMSON FOOTBALL

The 2024 season sets up as a prove-it year again for Dabo Swinney's program.
The 2024 season sets up as a prove-it year again for Dabo Swinney's program.

Clemson football drops in ESPN power ranking


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ESPN's three-year college football outlook dropped the Tigers five spots.

Clemson fell to No. 12 in ESPN's Future Power Rankings, which places second-best among ACC foes behind Florida State (9).

The outlook pegged the Tigers with lower future rankings on defense (4), QB (24) and offense (unranked).

"The next three seasons will be fascinating for a Clemson program that finds itself an unfamiliar spot, outside of the FPR top 10," ESPN's Adam Rittenberg said. "Clemson is coming off of its first four-loss season since 2011 and has just one CFP win since its most recent national title in 2018. The transfer portal era has been bumpy, in part because of coach Dabo Swinney's resistance to adding transfers. Clemson's high school recruiting remains strong -- its 2025 class ranks No. 5 in the latest rundown -- but upgrades are needed, especially with an offense that ranks 45th nationally in scoring since the start of the 2021 season.

"The offense is in the spotlight under second-year coordinator Garrett Riley, who gets quarterback Cade Klubnik back with two years of eligibility left. Clemson has some insurance with Christopher Vizzina, an ESPN top-50 recruit in 2023, but lacks a ton of overall depth. Swinney is hoping to upgrade the offensive line with former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke now in charge. Clemson returns experience with seniors Marcus Tate and Walker Parks, and solid overall depth with non-senior options Tristan Leigh, Blake Miller and others. The team also has two ESPN 300 linemen committed for 2025. Clemson brings back notable skill players like running back Phil Mafah, tight end Jake Briningstool and wide receiver Antonio Williams. The key is building out the depth, especially at wideout, which has gone from a nationally elite group to a questionable one. If Williams and Cole Turner are healthy, they provide a strong multiyear tandem alongside Tyler Brown. Two top-50 national recruits should help in Bryant Wesco and T.J. Moore. Clemson needs a second back behind Mafah, and has a 2025 commitment from Gideon Davidson, ESPN's No. 50 recruit...

"The defensive outlook is why Clemson still finds itself close to FPR's top 10, as Clemson continues to pump out NFL players and recruit and develop top talent...Clemson's big unknown is whether Swinney will ever warm up to the portal or keep digging in on a personnel approach that, until 2021, had worked brilliantly but now falls under scrutiny."

In the ESPN FPR metrics, FSU ranks 11th on defense and 13th each with QB and the overall offense.

"The Seminoles have been a volume portal team, adding key transfers this offseason like quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (Oregon State), edge rusher Marvin Jones Jr. (Georgia), defensive lineman Sione Lolohea (Oregon State) and cornerbacks Earl Little II (Alabama), Davonte Brown (Miami) and Omarion Cooper (Colorado)," Rittenberg said. "My concern with FSU, and why the team isn't higher, is whether it can make similar gains in high school recruiting, where recent signing-day flips have stung."

The entire future Top 10 is Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida State and Penn State.

More ACC teams check in with Louisville (21), SMU (22) and Miami (24).

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spacer Look, until Dabo wins in the present era (NIL, portal) people will doubt.***
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spacer until dabo proves he can win at an elite era
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spacer FSU is diving into the transfer portal a lot the last 3 years.
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spacer Re: We Drop ..We Rise...We Drop...We Stay Put....We Get Jumped...... ---
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