AP voter explains why Clemson isn't a Top 5 team
The biggest upset to happen to college football in years nearly happened Saturday, but the No. 1 Clemson Tigers pulled out a one-point victory against North Carolina on Saturday.
Clemson was the consensus No. 1 team coming into the season, but they are far from that after a sluggish end to September. In fact, one AP voter, Sam McKewon of Omaha-Herald, had the Tigers ranked not only outside his Top 3 but outside the Top 5 at No. 8 in this week’s ballot.
“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 according to The Spun. “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.”
Tar Heels could have tied the matchup with the Tigers by kicking an extra point, but they elected to go for two and essentially the win with a little more than one minute left in the fourth quarter. Clemson stopped the try to keep its win streak intact, but they did drop to No. 2 in the AP Poll.
To see them fall seven spots after a win was never going to happen, but should they continue to struggle against a below average ACC, then McKewon is right in the sense that Clemson will continue to move down the rankings.