Clemson has been at the forefront of all the quarterback controversy this season. Somehow beating out Alabama for most QB drama in a single week. This past week, Clemson Head Coach, Dabo Swinney, announced that freshman Trevor Lawrence had won the starting quarterback position over last year’s starter Kelly Bryant. Honestly did not see that coming. This left Bryant with a decision: transfer and explore options elsewhere or stay and lose any chance at going pro. He did the smart thing, which no announcer agreed with, and will be transferring to a destination to be decided later. Everything should be fine, right? After all, they do still have the better of the two quarterbacks. Nope, Trevor Lawrence was hit in the helmet Saturday vs Syracuse and taken into concussion protocol. Thankfully, it was only a strained neck and Lawrence is already back taking first team reps.
This was a close one for Clemson. Yes, then ended up winning the game with the third stringer, Chase Brice, but it was absolutely not his doing. The sole reason for the win was running back Travis Etienne who ran for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns including the game winner. If Lawrence was to not come back this week, Clemson would be in a world of hurt. Chase Brice would have had to start again and the whole weight of the offense would have been placed back on Etienne who has proven that he cannot run against a decent run defense. He only had 44 yards against Texas A&M. If in some terrible twist of fate Brice were to be injured, Swinney would be forced to play another freshman in Ben Batson or senior wide out and future New England Patriots slot receiver, Hunter Renfrow. Personally, I would love to see Renfrow back there.
Hot take alert: Clemson will not make the College Football Playoff. There is nothing impressive about this team. I realize Lawrence is a freshman and they will get better with him coming back, but they didn’t look very good with him either. Keep in mind that against Syracuse they were down 9 at halftime. Yes, they are undefeated, but you cannot tell me that my high school wouldn’t also be against the same competition. Furman? Georgia Southern? Georgia Tech? Syracuse? (who almost won) The only quality win (I guess) that Clemson has is against Texas A&M. An unranked team who, again, almost won. I am not the only one who is picking up on this either. Clemson started the season at #2 then dropped after playing nobody to #3, then dropped again to #4 after continuing to play some JV opponents. This is only going to continue since they only have one ranked opponent left on their schedule in NC State. Their toughest games include South Carolina with awful quarterback Jake Bentley (or as I like to call him, Jake Kia) and football powerhouse Duke.
Clemson’s strength of schedule could really come back to bite them in the ass this year. Normally, the playoff committee reserves strength of schedule arguments for teams from weaker conferences (ya know, the whole reason the playoff system was created), but Clemson could actually lose a spot to UCF. With how powerful the SEC is this year, there may not be any room for the ACC. If Clemson wants in, they can’t just win, they need to dominate. No more 4 point wins over Syracuse. You need a 40 point win over Wake Forest next week and a 30 point win over NC State the week after.
Regardless, if Clemson keeps playing the way they have, they will lose to Miami in the ACC Championship and none of the playoff talk will even matter. The Clemson Tigers are easily the worst top 5 team and I cannot realistically see them at Levi’s Stadium in January.
Categories: NCAA Football