CFB Analyst believes Clemson football can be beaten in the ACC
The Clemson football team enters the 2020 season as one of the favorites to win the National Championship and the clear front-runner for the ACC.
The Tigers have won five-straight ACC Championships and things really haven’t been all that close for them in the past few years during the big game in Charlotte.
That being said, Fox CFB Analyst Matt Leinart said he believes there is a team in the ACC that could give Clemson football a run for its money.
Leinart said he knows that Clemson is ‘heads-and-shoulders’ better than every other team in the conference, but he still thinks the North Carolina Tarheels could be legitimate competition for the Tigers.
"“Look at last year and you have a star quarterback coming back who is phenomenal, and the sky is the limit for Sam Howell,” Leinart said. “You have a great receiving corps coming back… You have a lot of experience.”"
In addition to noting UNC’s returning talent and uptick in recruiting, Leinart spoke about the game last season between the two teams when the Tarheels had an opportunity to beat Clemson in Chapel Hill, but ultimately came up short late in the contest.
"“They had a chance to beat Clemson. They’re close. We all know it just takes a little shift,” Leinart said. “I don’t know how this offseason may affect North Carolina. But with Coach Brown, his championship pedigree, quarterback, the pieces they have back, I certainly believe they can make a run in the ACC and potentially challenge Clemson in the championship game.”"
Is UNC on the level of Clemson football yet?
While North Carolina certainly should be given respect, let’s not go as far as to say the Tarheels will beat the Tigers or be legitimate competition this season.
It’s not to say that UNC couldn’t knock off Clemson, it’s more to say that the talent gap and depth comparison between the two teams is still too wide.
North Carolina caught Clemson going through the motions last season, but it’s a guarantee that the Tigers won’t be doing that in the ACC Championship- the only time the two teams could meet assuming UNC wins the Coastal Division.
North Carolina has an opportunity to be a top-25 caliber team this year- and potentially even top-12- and that’s a good thing for Clemson because it will bolster their strength of schedule, but the Tarheels aren’t quite there yet.
Mack Brown has them trending in the right direction, no doubt, but Clemson football wasn’t built overnight and neither will Tarheel football.