N.C. State's late-season slide hurting Clemson in College Football Playoff?
|Wednesday, November 22, 2017, 1:01 PM- -|
N.C. State’s loss is Clemson’s loss, at least when it comes to the College Football Playoff.
Clemson dropped one spot to No. 3 in the latest College Football Playoff Poll released Tuesday night. Alabama remains first with an 11-0 record, while Miami (FL) moved from third to second. The Tigers dropped from second to third, while Oklahoma remained in fourth place. Wisconsin, still undefeated at 11-0, remained at fifth, while Auburn is sixth with a 9-2 record. One of Auburn’s losses is to Clemson. It is the highest ranked victory for a team currently in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff poll.
Clemson faces South Carolina, ranked 24th in this week’s College Football Playoff poll, this coming Saturday evening in Columbia, SC. The Tigers then face No. 2 Miami in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte on December 2. The final College Football Playoff poll will be released the next day.
College Football Playoff Chair Kirby Hocutt said the committee continues to evaluate teams on their season-long body of work.
“The committee voted Alabama as the No. 1 team in the nation, after a long discussion and working off a clean sheet of paper, which means that each week we rank these teams based on a full season of performance, not just what happened the prior weekend. The committee took note of Miami's increasingly impressive body of work, its unbeaten record, and it made the Hurricanes No. 2 by a very close margin over No. 3 Clemson. Oklahoma is No. 4; Wisconsin with its win over Michigan is No. 5, and Auburn is No. 6.”
Hocutt said undefeated Miami, which jumped Clemson, earned the second spot while hinting Clemson’s resume was dinged by N.C. State’s loss at Wake Forest. The Wolfpack have dropped three of last four games.
“Well, they're all taken into consideration. Each week resumes are strengthened or they're weakened, and I would say more than the Selection Committee focusing on Clemson's resume, and you're right, some things that occurred this past weekend could be seen as weakening Clemson's resume, but I'm not sure that was the focus of the Selection Committee,” Hocutt said. “It was more that Miami continues to strengthen their resume. They have shown progress, especially in these last three weeks. These last three weeks they've impressed the Selection Committee.
“They continue to protect that undefeated record; as I said on TV a few minutes ago, just characteristics of championship-caliber teams. When you get down the way Miami did to Virginia two times, once in each half, and you have the poise and the ability to come back and win in a convincing manner. That is special. That's what special teams do, and I would say it was the Selection Committee's view that Miami strengthened their resume just enough this week to give them that slight edge over Clemson.”
Clemson has a 10-1 record entering this Saturday’s game against South Carolina. The Tigers finished 7-1 in the ACC and will face a Miami team in the ACC Championship game that has a 7-0 league mark prior to facing Pittsburgh this Friday afternoon.
Clemson joins Alabama and Ohio State as the only schools to be ranked in the top 25 of all 23 College Football Playoff polls that have been released since the system began in 2014. This is the 16th consecutive College Football Playoff poll that Clemson has been ranked in the top four. That dates to the first poll of the 2015 season. Only Clemson and Alabama can make that claim.
Clemson has a 6-0 record against FBS teams with a winning record. Clemson, Georgia (6-1) and Notre Dame (6-2) are the only schools with as many as six wins over teams with a winning record. The Tigers can get a seventh by beating South Carolina (8-3) this weekend. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the top 20 entering the game this season. That includes three road wins over top 20 teams, most by the Clemson program in one season since 1950.