The last thing college football fans saw the Clemson Tigers do on the football field was lose to an unranked Syracuse Orange team. The loss came on the road for Clemson, but it was a bad loss nonetheless.
The defeat knocked the Tigers from their No. 2 perch in the Coaches Poll and AP Top 25, but CBS Sports hasn’t lost faith in Clemson. In its latest bowl projections, CBS Sports predicted the Tigers would finish No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings and face Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Should that come to fruition, the Tigers and Crimson Tide would square off for the third straight year in a bowl game. It would also mark the third year that Clemson was in the College Football Playoffs since its creation in 2014. Assuming the Crimson Tide get there as well, only Alabama has more final four appearances with four (or every year).
After its loss to Syracuse, Clemson’s margin of error is zero, as another defeat would eliminate them from the playoff race. The Tigers most difficult games remaining might very well be the next two weeks when they host Georgia Tech this Saturday and then visit N.C. State on Nov. 4.
The Tigers will also likely have to face Miami or Virginia Tech again in the ACC Championship.