Clemson ranked preseason No. 1 by NCAA.com
|Friday, March 20, 2020 4:37 PM-|
We're over five months from the scheduled start to the 2020 season at Georgia Tech in Atlanta (Thursday, Sept. 3).
That doesn't stop the early rankings -- not much else going on in sports these days -- and Dabo Swinney's Tigers could very well be ranked No. 1 come kickoff at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
An NCAA.com preseason ranking had the ACC's Tigers on top, followed by Ohio State, Alabama, LSU and Georgia. The title game had no bearing on Clemson's place at the top:
"This was set regardless of what happened in New Orleans. QB Trevor Lawrence could be the clear Heisman favorite going into 2020, plus he'll get to throw to Justyn Ross. And in big news, RB Travis Etienne, the Tigers' all-time leading rusher, said he's coming back for 2020. There will also be turnover on the offensive line and with losing key defensive standouts, but DC Brent Venables will keep this a powerful unit. The incredible recruiting class will help."
Clemson's top-ranked opponent checks in at No. 11 in Notre Dame:
"After a blowout loss to rival Michigan, the Irish quietly won out to go 11-2 one season after making the College Football Playoff. With QB Ian Book's return, Notre Dame should be potent on offense. And the defense should be strong, though the secondary is the biggest question mark there."
The ACC's other rep is UNC at No. 17.