Wasn't it footballoutsiders that had them 12th ranked overall?
I think both Saban and Dabo have stated several times that recruiting is important, but rankings are not so important. Dabo has been adamant that his staff's evaluation of their incoming talent is going to be much more accurate than some publication trying to sell subscriptions. Clemson has never received a top 5 rating but their talent and on field results has been impressive for the last 4 or 5 years. Places like Georgia, LSU and even Tennessee has had some top 5 ranked classes and because of on field results, those coaches are not even there anymore. If Saban or Dabo want a recruit, I am sure that they are a very very good high school player. Another way to put it - it really doesn't matter what 247 thinks.
A post season ban is not that big a deal - a lot of teams/players don't want to be there anyway.
SEC defenses? Offensive minded teams torched even some of the so called best defenses this season. And, didn't Georgia have better talent than 100% of their (or anyone else's) schedule?
In a top to bottom matchup with the ACC, you wouldn't have any shot.
I could say unsubstantiated stuff similar to yours, but I'll stick to the 30-25 real head to head numbers that I mentioned. Those numbers reflect this season's numbers. Thirty losses are a lot of losses over a 5 year period to a weak conference. Is it not?
I think the ACC was down this year but the ACC is 30-25 versus the SEC in all games played during the playoff era. Of course, that is actual on field results as opposed to things like rhetoric. Bama has a great team and the SEC has some good teams just like other conferences do. But, it hasn't been very hard for Bama to dominate the SEC. Has it?
Bama is resting their players after the 1st quarter in most of their "rugged" SEC games. Well rested by the end of the season, but untested.
There is no dispute who the dominant team is in the SEC. Who the hell is challenging Bama in the SEC? Nobody. Bama doesn't even have to win its division, much less conference to make the playoffs. What easier path can there be?
Part of Georgia lore. Spurrier was losing before the Georgia game and AFTER the Georgia game. Neither Georgia or their QB ran Spurrier off.
I believe that both teams have dominated their respective conferences almost equally - 55-4 over the last 4 years???? And, it's been proven that Bama doesn't even have to win their division, much less conference, to get in the playoffs. Maybe they have earned that, but what easier path can there be? Saban is the best coach ever and as long as he is at Bama, they will be a force. But, this Clemson and easy path thing is all rhetoric, especially when you consider on field results instead of recruiting "rankings"