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Clemson Football

Clemson On Top in ESPN's FPI Preseason Top 10

April 29, 2019

Let’s face it, it is never too early to start talking about the 2019 College Football season. With spring ball coming to a close, the questions regarding what the upcoming season will hold start to surface.

Will an underdog team rise from the ashes and enter the playoff conversation for the first time? Which teams will dominate in September and October then sputter and burn out in November?

All of these questions, and then some, are fun to sit around and ponder about but there’s one big question to keep in mind. Does anyone, and I mean anyone, have the talent and potential to stop the reign of Clemson and Alabama?

According to ESPN’s recent FPI Preseason Top 10, the chances of any team, other than the Tigers and the Tide, have a slim chance of claiming the throne.

The Clemson Tigers, a team filled with seasoned CFP veterans and eager, not to mention indisputably talented, newcomers, sit at the top of the pack. No. 2 Alabama and No.3 Georgia, two out of a staggering five SEC teams in the preseason top 10, follow shortly behind. One interesting takeaway from the rankings is that in the No. 10 is filled by the Oregon Ducks, a team that has consistently been ranked high in the preseason before tanking and settling for a less than average record by the end of the season. Perhaps, their 2019 campaign could be one to keep an eye on. 

Out of the top 10, only 9 teams have a 1% chance or higher to win the College Football Playoff. Out of the nine, just two teams have over a 10% chance of claiming the title. Yep, you guessed it, Clemson and Alabama have a mile lead over the rest of college football’s best.

Looking at a smaller scale, Clemson is predicted to enter the season with a 36% chance of calling themselves back-to-back champs and Alabama holds a 27% chance of finding themselves taking back the crown in New Orleans. In terms of claiming a spot in the playoffs, the odds are even more impressive with Clemson looking at an 83% chance and the Tide following shortly behind with a 71% shot. 

With these kinds of numbers, the answer to whether or not a team can come from behind to knock off these two powerhouses from the top seems to become more clear. For the rest of college football, the odds seem to not be in their favor. Following Clemson and Alabama in ESPN’s CFP predictor, Georgia has an 8% chance of being National Champions and Michigan settles for a 7% shot. Teams like Oregon and Florida are looking at a 1% chance, while LSU, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame fall at a 4%-6% likelihood. 

With a little over four months to go until the stadiums are filled on Saturdays and the race to the CFP National Championship begins, Clemson vs Alabama V seems to be more like a reality than a possibility. However, anything is possible when it comes to the craziness of college football. So, start the conversations, watch the reruns of last season’s instant classics, and get ready. It’s going to be a wild ride. 

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Clemson On Top in ESPN's FPI Preseason Top 10

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