The Clemson Tigers have been ranked No. 1 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches’ Poll all season – mostly because they’re the defending national champions and they haven’t lost yet this year. College football fans are wondering if they will still be on top after this week’s performance.
Clemson struggled mightily on the road against North Carolina, and could have lost if not for a questionable play call on a two-point conversion in the final two minutes. The Tigers did not look like the No. 1 team in the country.
Alabama, meanwhile, steamrolled Ole Miss, looking every bit the part. The Crimson Tide could, in theory, jump the Tigers in the rankings.
Clemson dominated Alabama the last time the two teams met on the field. But every year is different.
WHAT. A. GAME.
No. 1 Clemson hangs on to defeat UNC 21-20 in Chapel Hill. pic.twitter.com/ImC2UQG2fs
— ESPN (@espn) September 28, 2019
Clemson survives, but now everyone will say they're not the No. 1 team in the country, so Dabo can go back to playing the underdog card.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 28, 2019
Clemson should not be ranked No. 1 next week and I don't think it will be.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) September 28, 2019
You can argue all you want about who's No. 1. Clemson is still undefeated. It feels a little like Notre Dame last year, though I would argue Irish sked last year might've been tougher than Tigers this year. Have to go back and look.
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) September 28, 2019
In reality, it doesn’t matter all that much. The polls don’t influence the College Football Playoff rankings, and if Clemson finishes the year undefeated, it will be one of the four teams selected.
That said, Clemson clearly has some issues to fix on both offense and defense. The Tigers have a bye week coming up before hosting Florida State in two weeks.