ESPN's Herbstreit: Clemson should be ranked No. 1


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ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is impressed with the balance in the Clemson offense.
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is impressed with the balance in the Clemson offense.

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has seen enough to move Clemson up after two top-15 wins.

All the way to the top.

"I would put Clemson - after seeing them on the road - how about Clemson (No.) 1," Herbstreit said on the ABC broadcast of Clemson's 47-21 win at No. 14 Louisville. "Oklahoma, (No.) 2. Alabama, (No.) 3. Penn State (No.) 4. You've got to react to what you've seen through three weeks of football."

Clemson was ranked as high as No. 2 going into the week by the Coaches Poll, while staying at No. 3 in the Associated Press rankings behind Alabama and Oklahoma.

Herbstreit was impressed by the balance of the Tigers behind a "masterful" start from Kelly Bryant.

"It wasn't just that they scored 47," he said. "That Kelly Bryant had a great game throwing the ball. It was that they can run the ball when you're going to give them a run (defensively). And they can throw the ball.

"It feels like a different offense. With Deshaun Watson, it was about No. 4 (Watson). He's going to do something magical at some point. With this offense under Kelly Bryant, it feels like Kelly Bryant is more of a factor in the run game and you've got to stop him from running.

"And then what he showed tonight is when you spend too much time worrying about that, the kid can throw the football. He's got some dynamic receivers despite all of the losses (to the NFL) ...Here comes the next wave of talented guys and even true freshmen getting a chance. Their offense is only going to get stronger and better by the week with the experience they're gaining."

Oklahoma downed Tulane 56-14 this week, while current No. 1 Alabama beat Colorado State 41-23 at home. The pair each have a win over one top-five ranked team and two non-Power Five schools.


Tags: Deshaun Watson, Kelly Bryant
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