Clemson ranked No. 1 in revamped top 25
|Thursday, August 20, 2020, 11:31 AM-|
Yahoo Sports released its top 25 for the new-look college football season and Clemson leads the way.
Next up out of the Power...3 conferences is Alabama then Georgia, Oklahoma and LSU.
"While Clemson returns QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne for one more run at a national championship, the Tigers are needing to replace a lot of production on both sides of the ball," Yahoo said. "The offseason injury to Justyn Ross means that Amari Rodgers is the only returning receiver who had 30 or more catches in 2019. Defensively, Clemson has to replace four of its five top tacklers, including Isaiah Simmons and K’Von Wallace.
"But the Tigers are well-positioned with a bevy of four- and five-star recruits to make a run at an undefeated season and another potential matchup with Alabama in the College Football Playoff. If there is a playoff, of course."
Nov. 7 road Clemson opponent Notre Dame is No. 7.
"The new and temporary members of the ACC may have an easier schedule thanks to no games against Wisconsin, Navy, Stanford and USC," said Yahoo. "The Irish still play Clemson, however, in what could be one of the best games of the season. Ian Book is back at quarterback for his final season, but his top three receivers aren’t. Can Jordan Johnson and Javon McKinley emerge as top options at receiver? Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, after posting 13.5 tackles for loss in 2019, will be counted on to lead a defense that replaces six starters."
Home Clemson opponent Miami is No. 15 and road trip Virginia Tech is right behind them at No. 16 and the Tigers will host No. 23 Pittsburgh as well. Also out of the ACC, a Louisville team no longer on the schedule (22) and UNC (14) made the cut.
An Athlon set of predictions Thursday for Clemson's schedule has the Tigers running through it 11-0.
"The revamped ACC schedule still features a trip to Notre Dame in early November, but the rest of the slate is very manageable," Athlon's Steve Lassan said. "It will be a major surprise if Clemson loses a game before the CFB Playoff."