The college football season is going to end on Monday night, and it will end with the same matchup the sport has had in its national title game in two of the three previous years: Clemson-Alabama. That’s prompted the question as to whether Clemson will make another appearance next year. As a result, BetDSI Sportsbook has posted odds on the prop:
Will The Clemson Tigers Make The 2020 CFP Title Game?
Related: College Football Betting Guide
The key for Clemson will be who is coming back and who is going to the NFL. They will almost surely lose defensive studs Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell, plus Dexter Lawrence, but they will be stacked on offense. Travis Etienne, their dynamic running back, is an underclassman. So are receivers Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross. Trevor Lawrence is a freshman who will naturally be back as well. This offense will be incredibly tough to stop. The Tigers should put up huge numbers and become prolific scorers. It might not be on the scale of Alabama’s offense this season, but if it is anywhere close to what the Tide have done this season under Tua Tagovailoa, Clemson will make the College Football Playoff and be back where it expects to be in January of 2020. This will be an offense-powered team in 2019, and the fireworks should fly.
In terms of how the ACC will look in 2019, this is another reason Clemson should thrive next year. The ACC was very, very weak in 2018, and even if a number of programs improve next year, they will improve to the point that they will be moderately good, not excellent. Only one team other than Clemson won 10 games this season. Syracuse won its tenth game in the bowl season after a 9-3 regular season. North Carolina State won nine games and will lose starting quarterback Ryan Finley next season. Florida State was 5-7 and does not appear to be significantly retooled. Miami finished 7-6 and did not do well on the recruiting trail. The Hurricanes have also had to deal with a coaching change due to the retirement of Mark Richt. Manny Diaz will take over at The U. Louisville is starting over after a 2-10 season. The Cardinals have a new coach, Scott Satterield, who will need time to adjust. Virginia Tech was 6-7 and has to rebuild its very young defense, which collapsed this past season. ACC Coastal Division champion Pittsburgh lost seven games. No Coastal Division team won more than eight games this past season, and none won more than seven games in the regular season — those eighth wins came in bowls. Even if any of these teams improve, they will not be at Clemson’s level. Syracuse is the only possible exception here.
Possible Playoff Semifinal Opponent
The usual suspects could play Clemson in the playoff semifinals: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, maybe LSU as a fresh face. Notre Dame should have a tougher season in 2019. The Pac-12 is so mediocre that its champion probably won’t make the playoff next season, but Washington and Oregon will both be in the mix. Remember that Clemson would be going on four straight appearances in the national title game if it had avoided Alabama in the 2017 season’s semifinal at the 2018 Sugar Bowl. As long as Clemson avoids Bama in the semis, it should get to the title game again.
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