After 8 straight weeks of playing since opening against Georgia Tech on Labor Day night, Clemson football is off this weekend.
An off week is a good time to look back and take stock, but it’s also a good time to look forward and remind ourselves what’s still ahead in the regular season as the Tigers vie to complete a perfect season, state and ACC Championships and a trip to the College Football Playoff.
The ESPN FPI gives Clemson a 39.7% chance to win out in the regular season, a 99.7% chance to win the Atlantic, 81,7% chance to win the ACC, a 61.0% chance to make the playoff, 20.7% chance to make the championship game and a 7.4% chance to win it all.
With 4 games left and three of those at home where the Tigers have won 38 straight, the Tigers are in pretty good shape as far as the regular season goes.
Let’s take a look at the remaining games from easiest to toughest per ESPN’s FPI.
Certainly not what fans thought early on as Miami was thought to be on their way “back” (again). Things have fallen apart and the Hurricanes are 3-4 and 1-2 in the ACC and the lookahead line is Clemson -18.
If the Tigers make it to 11-0 you can bet the Gamecocks will be primed for an upset. In one game they could: end the Tigers undefeated season, end Clemson’s playoff hopes and end the Tigers home winning streak and end the domination in the series (at least for a season).
Before South Carolina and Miami, the Tigers take on the Lousiville Cardinals in Death Valley in what could be a tricky game coming off of Notre Dame.
The 4-3 Cardinals are 2-3 in the ACC with losses to Syracuse, Florida State and Boston College.
Louisville has won its last two, defeating Virginia and Pitt and perhaps we’ll know more after this week’s contest against Wake Forest.
It makes sense that the lone remaining road game is the lowest win probability left, but it still has a hefty win probability and a look-ahead line of 5.5, down from an earlier 8.5.
The Irish are currently 4-3 and play Syracuse this week in the dome, so that will give us a sense of where this team is in an up-and-down season.
This is a team that hung tough with Ohio State, then lost to Marshall, beat North Carolina and then lost to Stanford.
Oh yeah, the Marshall and Stanford losses were at home.
Still, I think this is a dangerous team, at night, on the road and is rightly pegged as the toughest on the remaining regular season schedule.