For the 4th straight season Dabo and the Tigers are back in their rightful spot in the College Football Playoff and will be facing the #3 seeded Irish of Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on December 29th at 4pm ET. The CFB Playoff committee, as no surprise, selected Clemson as the #2 seed behind Alabama, which is where they have taken residency in the standings for the majority of this season.
The team’s 42-10 dismantling of Pittsburgh in their 4th straight ACC championship victory, displayed their readiness for a true worthy opponent. Notre Dame will finally fill that void, in what should be a great matchup between two undefeated teams in Texas at AT&T Stadium. Clemson is currently favored by 11.5 points, which is a lot for a playoff game against an undefeated foe.
On the other side of the coin, the Crimson Tide of Alabama are favored by 14 over the #4 Oklahoma Sooners, which will prove to also be an intriguing matchup with the two Heisman Trophy front runners Tua Tagovailoa and Kyler Murray going head to head. Alabama’s consistently great defense (currently #9), versus Oklahoma’s highly potent #1 offense will also be something to behold.
It would be a crime for Clemson to think past Notre Dame, as they have earned their place in the playoffs and gave Clemson absolute fits the last time these two teams met in 2015, when Clemson was able to stop the Irish on a would-be game tying 2 pt. Conversion with 7 seconds left. This is no longer 2015 and Notre Dame has not lost since last year.
Trevor Lawrence will have his hands full against Notre Dame’s #21 ranked defense, and Notre Dame will have their hands full with Clemson’s top 5 defense and offense. In the end the game may come down to the fact that Coach Swinney and the majority of his team have been here before and don’t just have to act like it.