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ESPN Analyst Has Bold Ohio State, Clemson Claim

An Ohio State player tackles Clemson's Tee Higgins.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 28: Tee Higgins #5 of the Clemson Tigers is tackled by Amir Riep #10 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

For years, Ohio State and Clemson have dominated their respective conferences.

During the season-opener of ESPN's College GameDay on Saturday, Chris Fallica said the Buckeyes will continue to expand their gap over the Big Ten this coming season -- leaving teams like Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa in the dust. But on the other hand, he believes the Tigers' gap is beginning to shrink as teams like North Carolina and Miami continue to improve in the ACC.

"The gap between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten is greater than that between Clemson and the rest of the ACC,” he said.

Both Clemson and Ohio State lost their star quarterbacks to the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but both also have solid replacements for this coming season. The Buckeyes are set to replace Justin Fields with redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud, a Heisman favorite for the 2021 season. The Tigers will replace No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence with another talented young player in sophomore D.J. Uiagalelei.

Fallica's comments are not so much an indication of a drop off in talent at Clemson, rather, an increased level of competition in the ACC. North Carolina (No. 10) and Miami (No. 14) were both ranked in this year's preseason AP top-25.

The Big Ten also has quite a few preseason top-25 teams, including No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 17 Indiana, No. 18 Iowa and No. 19 Penn State.

Even so, Fallica believes the Buckeyes' stranglehold on the conference will be too much to overcome.

"Ohio State, who are they going to lose to?" he said.