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USA TODAY predicts Clemson Playoff path


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Clemson could get some redemption for a couple tough outcomes in New Orleans lately.
Clemson could get some redemption for a couple tough outcomes in New Orleans lately.

USA TODAY released its Playoff and bowl projections on Tuesday and they have the No. 1 Tigers returning to the national championship game for a third-straight season.

Your Playoff four? Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia.

They have Clemson returning to New Orleans to face Georgia for the first time since 2014. They are projected to meet Alabama after the Crimson Tide top Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.

Other ACC teams in the New Year's Six bowls include Virginia Tech in the Peach and Notre Dame in the Orange.

In other predictions Tuesday, CBS Sports unanimously picked Clemson to take the ACC crown. A number of the "bold" predictions say to watch out for Notre Dame tripping up the Tigers on Nov. 7 in South Bend, but they all picked Clemson to finish the regular-season first, so none are actually picking the Irish there it would appear.

"There might be one, but there probably won't be two (losses)," CBS' Chip Patterson writes of Clemson as ACC champ. "And if Clemson makes it to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game, it won't lose there because peaking in the postseason is what the Tigers do best. Dabo Swinney is 6-0 in Charlotte when the conference crown is on the line, and since I don't see the Tigers finishing with the third-best winning percentage and missing the title game, I'll write their name in pen as 2020 conference champs."

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