Clemson makes Playoff ranking season debut


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Clemson debuts at No. 23.
Clemson debuts at No. 23.

Clemson is back in among the College Football Playoff committee’s top-25 teams.

The Tigers (8-3) made their season debut at No. 23, cracking the top-25 tier after a win over the CFP’s previous No. 10-ranked Wake Forest at home over the weekend, 48-27.

CFP committee chair and Iowa AD Gary Barta talked about the close calls Clemson has had in losses and their resume this season on Tuesday.

"We definitely talked about it (close losses), and we did talk about how Clemson played Georgia in that first game, their other losses against Pitt and North Carolina State," Barta said. "To your point, they played -- they didn't have a bad loss. Their best win was the win this weekend. Prior to that, they really didn't have a signature win.

"One of the things, though, the committee has been impressed with, Clemson has been playing really strong defense all year, so even though they haven't been in the top 25, the committee has been watching them every week."

Clemson had been in each Playoff ranking from its start in 2014 to last season, but it was 5-3 when the CFP ranking debuted this season to end the run at 42 consecutive polls.

The Tigers seek to stretch their winning streak to five games this season -- and seven in the rivalry series -- at South Carolina on Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. broadcast start on SEC Network.

In the ACC, Coastal Division champ Pittsburgh leads the way at No. 17, just ahead of Wake Forest (18) and NC State rounds out the top-20 (20).

CFP Rankings - Nov. 23

1. Georgia

2. Ohio State

3. Alabama

4. Cincinnati

5. Michigan

6. Notre Dame

7. Oklahoma State

8. Baylor

9. Ole Miss

10. Oklahoma

11. Oregon

12. Michigan State

13. BYU

14. Wisconsin

15. Texas A&M

16. Iowa

17. Pittsburgh

18. Wake Forest

19. Utah

20. NC State

21. San Diego State

22. UT-San Antonio

23. Clemson

24. Houston

25. Arkansas

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