ESPN is predicting the Tigers to finish No. 1.
ESPN published a series of predictions for the rest of the 2017 college football season.
Among them: which team will finish the regular season ranked No. 1.
ESPN isn’t predicting Alabama.
Here’s the full prediction from ESPN:
Clemson will finish No. 1 though
Alabama will be the most dominant team in college football but not the most deserving of No. 1. That will be Clemson, which will earn its No. 1 seed with wins over ranked opponents Auburn, Louisville, Virginia Tech and, eventually, NC State and whichever team reaches the ACC title game.
Looking back, it was easy to roll your eyes at Dabo Swinney when he told anyone who would listen this offseason that losing Deshaun Watson wouldn’t be the death of the program. He kept pointing to his depth on the offensive line and how much he had returning on defense. Still, we didn’t listen.
Well, now we know. Kelly Bryant might not be the next Watson, but he’ll certainly do the trick. And that defensive line is the stuff nightmares are made of. Austin Bryant leads the team with 5.0 sacks, but the Tigers have spread the wealth with 12 different players with at least one full sack this season, the most in the ACC and second-most in FBS.
In a repeat of last season, Clemson will get matched up with Ohio State in the playoff semifinal game and move on to the national title game against Alabama.
You can view the full predictions here.