Clemson Football: PFF undersells Tigers’ ACC Championships chances

Dabo Swinney, ACC Championship
Dabo Swinney, ACC Championship /

Is Pro Football Focus actually underselling the Clemson football program?

It seems pretty hard to fathom an ACC Championship game without the Clemson football program being involved, and the 2020 season shouldn’t be any different.

The Tigers, under the leadership of Dabo Swinney, has won five-straight ACC Titles and they don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

When Swinney took over the Clemson football program, he said one of his first goals was to bring the ACC back to what it used to mean: Another Clemson Championship.

He’s done just that.

Pro Football Focus ran 10,000 simulations of the 2020 season for the ACC and had the Tigers coming out with a 94 percent chance of winning the conference. North Carolina and Miami were tied for second with a 1 percent chance. Everyone else in the ACC is currently considered to have less than a 1 percent chance of winning the conference title.

Is Clemson football better than its chances?

In some ways, it just seems like that 94 percent seems low. Is there really any team in the ACC that can challenge the Tigers? Though 94 percent seems like its through the roof, in many ways those simulations actually undersell Clemson’s real chances of winning the conference.

As we head into the 2020 season, there isn’t but maybe two teams who have the amount of talent that Clemson possesses: Ohio State and maybe Alabama.

When you look in the ACC, it’s hard to find a team that should remain within single digits of the Tigers, much less be a legitimate competitor. We all know that College Football is an unpredictable game and that upsets happen- see Pittsburgh in 2016, or the near losses to Syracuse (2018) and UNC (2019) for reference- but there’s nothing on paper that would tell us anyone other than Clemson is going to win the ACC this year.

North Carolina is a program that is on the rise, but the Tarheels simply don’t have the talent to compete yet. When you couple that with the fact that Dabo Swinney and the entire Clemson football program will remember what almost happened in Chapel Hill back in 2019, it seems near impossible that UNC could pull the upset.

In all honesty, it seems very unlikely that any team would upset the Tigers in Charlotte. You have to go back to the 2009 season to find a loss in the ACC Championship game (six tries) for the Tigers.

Next. The Top 5 players Clemson will face in 2020. dark

94 percent may seem high at first glance, but it actually may be a bit low considering the circumstances.