Clemson ranked No. 3 in final CFP rankings, bowl destination set


by - Staff Writer -
Clemson returns to the Playoff for a fifth consecutive year.
Clemson returns to the Playoff for a fifth consecutive year.

The 2019 season played out in a way that made for an easy decision on the Playoff top-four -- and not-so-much the seeding with three undefeated Power 5 conference teams left after 13 games.

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers stayed at No. 3 in the final Playoff unveiling on Sunday with a matchup set versus 2-seed Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28. No. 1 LSU heads to the Peach Bowl versus 4-seed Oklahoma the same day. Clemson and Ohio State are set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, with the Peach Bowl at 4 p.m. on the same network.

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Clemson travels to the desert for the third time in five seasons after a 31-0 win the 2016 season Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State and a 2015 season title game loss to Alabama (45-40).

Clemson is coming off of a second national title in three seasons and on a 28-game winning streak. It is the first time they’ve been seeded lower than second in the Playoff over five consecutive berths. Clemson won it all in each year they did not hold the top final CFP committee ranking (2016 and 2018) -- and the top seed is still looking to win a national title in the format dating back to 2014.

Ohio State and Clemson finished 1-2 in ESPN’s Football Power Index with the ACC Tigers holding the third-best mark in their ‘game control’ and moving up to a third-best rank in their strength of record metric. Ohio State ranked No. 2 in strength of record and game control behind LSU. Oklahoma cracked the top-5 in strength of record after the win over Baylor on Saturday (5) and rate seventh in game control.

Clemson finished with the No. 2 Resume SP+ (averaging 4.9 more scoring margin than expected for a top-5 team versus its schedule) -- Ohio State at the top (9.7), LSU third (2.4) and Oklahoma 12th (-8.9). According to ESPN, LSU had the top strength of schedule among the undefeated trio (11th), then Ohio State (15th) and Clemson (62nd).

The final CFP top 25 will come out later Sunday afternoon.

The National Championship will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana on Jan. 13.

The Tigers have spent the second-most weeks in the CFP top-5 rankings all-time (30), only trailing Alabama (34) since its 2014 inception.

This year’s CFP committee is Oregon AD Rob Mullens (Committee chair), Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, former sportswriter Paola Boivin, former coach Ken Hatfield, Robert Morris president Chris Howard, Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir, former USC All-American DB Ronnie Lott, Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, Iowa AD Gary Barta and Florida AD Scott Stricklin.

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