Clemson ranks outside the top 5 of ESPN's remaining unbeaten team ranking

Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers 6-0 (4-0 ACC) are undefeated through six weeks of the 2022 college football season with multiple wins over top 25 opponents.

The Tigers have been good this season, with the team heading into Week 7 ranked as the No.5 team in USA Today Sports Coaches Poll and the No.4 team in the AP Poll.

There were a lot of questions surrounding whether this team would remain undefeated for this long, and the team responded by playing some excellent football.

Even though they are undefeated with rankings in the top 5 of both polls, ESPN’s Bill Connelly recently did a piece ranking every undefeated team in college football, leaving Clemson outside of the top 5 teams.

Rather than Clemson, Tennessee rounded out Connelly’s top 5 undefeated teams.

Here’s what Connelly had to say about the Tigers: SP+ and FPI rankings: 13th and 6th Odds of reaching 12-0, per SP+: 12.1% (last week: 9.5%)

What they did in Week 6: defeated Boston College 31-3.

The Tigers’ offense took its time getting going, but the defense never gave a terrible BC offense hope.

Week 7 opponent: at Florida State (SP+ win probability: 59%)

Why they aren’t ranked higher: The Tigers are in an interesting place — clearly good, far more well-rounded than last season, devoid of any killer weaknesses … but not really elite at anything either.

The defensive line isn’t as disruptive as I thought it would be, the secondary remains passive, and while the offense has improved dramatically, it’s not really better than anyone else’s in this list’s top 10.

The ACC is weak enough that shortcomings might not matter, but they would in a hypothetical CFP trip.

Why they aren’t ranked lower: We might not know how teams like Tennessee, Ole Miss, or Penn State will respond to high-pressure, high-stakes moments,

but the Tigers have been inundated with those through the years, and Dabo Swinney is the best close-game coach in college football.

(Clemson’s record in one-score finishes since 2011: 33-7.) Of the teams outside the top three, the Tigers don’t have the highest ceiling, but they might have the highest floor.

Do you agree with Connelly?

There are some solid points though it seems he is underplaying Clemson’s ceiling.

The team will have a big chance to make a statement this weekend with their away matchup against Florida State.


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