ESPN analyst ranks LSU ahead of Clemson for No. 1
|Friday, September 20, 2019, 2:46 PM-|
We're three full weeks into the college football season and going into week four action for ranked teams starting Friday (No. 10 Utah at USC; No. 20 Boise State hosting Air Force).
So far, there hasn't been a large amount of debate over Clemson's spot atop the polls, but ESPN's Emmanuel Acho has a different Tiger on top.
"I'm going to blow some people's minds with this one. (The best team is) LSU," Acho said on ESPN's 'Get Up' on Friday. "LSU is the best team I've seen. Why? Because I've seen it. Alabama, we assume they're great but who have they truly played? ... Clemson, they played Texas A&M, but like we have talked about, Trevor Lawrence hasn't looked great. LSU went to (Texas) and (LSU QB) Joe Burrow threw for 471 yards ... They have an offense that's firing with three legitimate receivers and Joe Burrow is playing like a Heisman candidate. So LSU is the best team right now.
"Not to say they're the best team in January, but LSU has proven it and give them credit."
LSU is currently No. 4 in the AP Top 25 after a 45-38 win at No. 9 Texas in week two and victories over Georgia Southern (55-3) and Northwestern State (65-14). Clemson, which holds 57 of the 62 first-place votes in the AP poll, topped No. 12 Texas A&M 24-10 in week two and has also grabbed Power 5 conference wins over Georgia Tech (52-14) and at Syracuse (41-6).
Clemson is narrowly ahead of LSU in ESPN's SP+ ranking, with the ACC's Tigers essentially a 3-point favorite on a neutral field. Clemson has top-10-rated efficiency groups on offense (8) and defense (2) and not so much on special teams (92). LSU is assessed the No. 3 offense, No. 33 defense and No. 2 special teams group.
Also on the four-letter network, the Football Power Index has Clemson two spots ahead of LSU (No. 2, 29.2; to No. 4, 23.8). Dabo Swinney's Tigers are given a 62 percent chance to win out, while Ed Orgeron's group is only given a three percent shot to do that same.