SI.com picks Clemson as a darkhorse playoff candidate


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How many wins do you think Clemson will have this year?
How many wins do you think Clemson will have this year?

SI.com's Stewart Mandel was asked to pick a possible darkhorse candidate outside of the preseason top 10 (basically someone like last year's Auburn team) to make it to this year's college football playoff.

He picked Clemson and also thought Texas A&M might be better than most experts think.

Clemson should have its most talented defense in years, led by All-American defensive end Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney has assembled four straight Top 15 recruiting classes and several of his most touted signees, like five-star linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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, are now seniors.

Of course, to buy in on Clemson as a playoff contender one has to overlook the fact the Tigers lost 51-14 at home to Florida State last year and hasn’t beaten South Carolina since 2008. But hey, you asked for someone less obvious. And I can’t even take credit for this one. Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com already picked Clemson to win it all.

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