Skip to main content

AP Voter Explains Why He Ranked Clemson No. 8 On Ballot

Trevor Lawrence throws up his hands during a college football game at North Carolina. He is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft as of now.

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 28: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers looks to the sideline during the first half of their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Clemson was one play away from being down 22-21 with just under a minute left on Saturday. But the Tigers stuffed North Carolina's two-point conversion, essentially ending the game. It was a victory, but an underwhelming one to say the least.

Plenty of national experts across the country think Clemson is overrated this year. The Tigers have been ranked No. 1 all season. That is, until the week six AP poll was released — the Tigers dropped to No. 2. But other voters think Clemson should be ranked much lower.

One voter, Sam McKewon of Omaha-Herald, ranked the Tigers No. 8 in this week's ballot. He offered his reasoning on Sunday afternoon.

"Clemson isn’t exactly playing poorly, but its 21-20 win at North Carolina, coupled with its first-half struggles and imperfections in many games, doesn’t quite measure up to the seven teams in front of it," McKewon said. "UNC isn’t a bad team, but it is a team that lost to Wake Forest and Appalachian State in the previous two weeks, and it’s a team Clemson barely beat. Similar teams – Texas Tech, Nebraska, Mississippi State – stood no chances Saturday in their games against Oklahoma, Ohio State and Auburn. None."

He's got a point. There's no doubt that Clemson looked vulnerable on Saturday. The Tar Heels were one play away from taking the lead with under a minute remaining. But the Tigers' defense stood strong and stuffed the two-point attempt.

The fact remains though that this Clemson team has elite talent at every position on the field. With an underwhelming schedule moving forward, the Tigers should be able to figure things out.

You can find the rest of McKewon's Week 6 ballot here.