Clemson football: How Tigers finish ranked inside the top-25

Despite starting the season inside the top-5, the Clemson football team quickly fell off the face of the planet following two losses– one to UGA in the season-opener and one on the road at NC State– in the first month of the season.

The Tigers then went on to lose a third game to Pittsburgh on the road and currently sit at 6-3 heading into the final three games of the season.

It’s been quite a few weeks since we’ve seen a ‘number’ in front of the Clemson football name, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

Clemson football still has goals left on the table and can keep the Top-25 streak alive

Clemson has not finished ranked outside of the AP Top-25 since the 2010 season, Dabo Swinney’s second full season as the head coach.

That’s a streak of 10-straight years finishing inside the AP Top-25, but that streak is certainly in danger of being broken.

Right now, there’s not much talk about ranking Clemson. But, the Tigers still have some time to change that narrative and to get back into the rankings before the season comes to an end. We understand that many of you will say that rankings don’t matter, but we understand that finishing inside the top-25 this years helps Clemson next season in terms of preseason, so don’t pretend that they’re completely meaningless.

If Clemson football wins out in the regular season, the Tigers would have a 9-3 record– assuming they don’t win the ACC Atlantic– and likely would be ranked inside the top-25 (somewhere around 20-25) heading into the bowl game.

There’s a decent chance Clemson will get a ranked team in a bowl game– probably a team ranked somewhere between 13-22– and that would allow the Tigers an opportunity to cap off the season with a ranked win.

If they win that one, they’d finish the year 10-3 with a ranked win and would have won six straight to close out the season. That’d likely vault them inside the top-20 and we’d be looking at a finish somewhere in the realm of 14-19.

If, somehow, Clemson made it to the ACC Championship and won. The Tigers would be in a New Year’s Six Bowl and they’d be able to likely play a top-10 team to close out the season. A win there could vault them back into the top-10, definitely inside the top-15, and would set them up nicely as we move towards 2022.

The CFB Playoff is off the table. The ACC Championship might be gone soon, as well. But, this team still has some goals left on the table and finishing ranked would be at least a hopeful springboard for next season.