CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Clemson looks to make a College Football Playoff return, as a narrow underdog to the reigning ACC champs Florida State currently.
Clemson looks to make a College Football Playoff return, as a narrow underdog to the reigning ACC champs Florida State currently.

Clemson moves up in another ESPN preseason college football outlook


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Clemson was one of a few top preseason teams to move more than one spot in the latest edition of an ESPN college football outlook ($).

Dabo Swinney's Tigers slotted up two spots to No. 14 in the SP+ (18 rating), joining Miami as the only Top 20 teams to move up multiple spots (the Hurricanes moved up to No. 19).

The noteworthy change in projections comes on the defensive side, which flipped with the offense (15th) as the most highly-regarded unit on the team and into the Top 15 (13). The special teams unit is pegged for right in the middle of the FBS pack (66).

For the ACC, Florida State sets the pace in the No. 12 spot, as a narrow favorite over the Tigers on a neutral field (1.6 points). Miami is third, and Louisville (28) and NC State (29) are also in the Top 30.

In the Top 5, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas and Alabama lead the way.

By the metric, the gap to the opener-opponent Bulldogs on a neutral field, like Aug. 31 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is 16.5 points. Georgia is currently a 13.5-point favorite by FanDuel odds.

A projected playoff by the ratings is Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State, Kansas State, Oregon, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, Ole Miss, LSU and Boise State.

Clemson scheduled opponents by SP+ (FBS only)

Aug. 31 vs. Georgia (1st; 36.3 rating)

Sept. 7 App. State (51st; 2.0)

Sept. 21 NC State (29th; 10.6)

Sept. 28 Stanford (84th; -5.6)

Oct. 4 at Florida State (12th; 21.4)

Oct. 12 at Wake (78th; -4.5)

Oct. 29 Virginia (77th; -4.5)

Nov. 2 Louisville (28th; 10.8)

Nov. 9 at Virginia Tech (32nd; 9.7)

Nov. 16 at Pitt (81st; -4.8)

Nov. 23 The Citadel (unrated)

Nov. 20 South Carolina (43rd; 5.3)

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