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Although Clemson stands with a perfect record, could they match up to an Alabama or LSU?
So we've marked off the field, the sprinklers are turned off. Our imaginary playoff search committee is fielding the applicants. Let's look to the ACC and the Clemson Tigers. Could this Tiger team—if challenged today—be No. 1?
They've climbed the ladder to No. 6 in this week's AP ranking, defeating the University of North Carolina in a 59-38 fan-pleasing and offensively excelling win yesterday at home, but have they actually played highly ranked teams? One could argue, yes. They beat No. 21 Auburn (38-24) and then, No. 11 Florida State (35-30), and pounded Virginia Tech (former No. 11) by a whopping 20 points.
Thirty years ago, a remarkably similar Clemson team won the national championship. Remember "The Fridge," aka William "Refrigerator" Perry? Today, Tiger fans are reliving that occasion after team members from that championship team were revered yesterday...inspiring them to forge on.
Clemson has started 8-0 for the fourth time in school history, and it has been 30 years since they won a national championship. They're hungry. Ironically, it's Tigers' head coach Dabo Swinney—a former walk-on wide receiver at Alabama— who has touched the crystal enough to know how sweet it is. He was a part of the Gene Stallings' '92 Tide National Championship team.
This weekend, the former Tide standout player-turned-coach carries his orange and white team into Yellow Jacket territory. Taking on a tough Tech team rebounding from their 24-7 loss to Miami, it will be Clemson's chance to show their worth as a No. 1 contender...or not.