ESPN analyst Joey Galloway said in the lead up to the College Football Playoff rankings reveal that Clemson’s position would be most interesting to him.

When the first rankings of the season was announced, Clemson being at No. 5 behind Ohio State, LSU, Alabama and Penn State was seen as a big disrespect to the defending national champions in the fans, coaches and players’ eyes. Many fans and some of the ESPN analysts saw this as a blessing for Clemson.

“There’s nobody on Earth happier than Dabo Swinney right now,” host Rece Davis said of the Clemson coach, referring to the ability to motivate his team. “He’ll use this. They don’t respect us.”

Added Galloway, “If you’re Clemson, you’re sitting there thinking it doesn’t matter. Because Ohio State and Penn State have to play. Alabama, LSU have to play, we’ve got to win out. We’ve got to beat Wake Forest.”

Kirk Herbstreit added a different ankle.

“It’s more of what it represents if you’re Clemson and Dabo Swinney as the defending champs,” he said.

CFP Chair Rob Mullens said Penn State being ranked over Clemson was because of the Nittany Lions wins over Michigan and at Iowa.

“Penn State’s been very consistent, I think they held seven of their eight opponents to 13 points or less,” Mullens said. “Clemson’s coming along and playing their best football, but after Week 10, I think the committee felt that Penn State was a notch above.”

Was this all to do with near miss against North Carolina?

“It’s a piece of it, when you compare resumes, you look at every single game,” Mullens said. “That was a game, but equally for Penn State, winning against a ranked (Michigan) and a ranked Iowa were good wins for them.”

Fans and media collectively agreed with Swinney using this for motivation: