Clemson Football: Early ESPN FPI has Tigers as huge favorites vs. ND

The Clemson football team is an early favorite in the matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, according to the ESPN’s FPI.

ESPN’s FPI is a flawed system.

But, it’s still fun to look at when we don’t have any Clemson football for several weeks. The next time we see the Tigers play, they’ll be taking on No. 3-ranked Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff.

The winner of that game will face the winner of Alabama-Oklahoma in the National Championship game in January.

Here’s a look at the early ESPN FPI returns for the Cotton Bowl matchup, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29.

ESPN FPI favors the Tigers…

According to ESPN’s FPI, the Tigers have a 71.4 percent chance to beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.

That’s compared to Alabama’s 73.2 percent chance to beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

A 70 percent chance to win a game against a team ranked No. 3 in the nation is pretty good. I like the Tigers’ chances just because I think they’re the better team.

Notre Dame has more of that Big Ten mold, and I just don’t think that matches up well with a team like Clemson that has the athletes to spread the field.

It should be an interesting matchup and I’m intrigued to see Ian Book face that Tiger secondary and to see how he performs with the pressure coming from Clemson’s defensive line.

It also should be fun to see how Trevor Lawrence handles his first ever playoff game. The freshman will need to play a solid game and refrain from turning the ball over if the Tigers want a chance at winning.

Make sure you check back here on Rubbing the Rock for more coverage, updates and analysis as we head into Clemson’s matchup with Notre Dame in just a few weeks.