Clemson, S.C.—On a historic day in college football, the #2, #3 and #4 teams in the AP Poll all lost on the same day for just the second time ever and first time since 1985. Consequently, the Tigers' repeat playoff hopes are alive and well. In fact, Tuesday night's College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings have Clemson in the #4 spot, so if the Tigers win their remaining 3 games, they are assured a spot in the playoff for the second consecutive year. Alabama is ranked in the top position for the third straight week, while Ohio State jumped three spots to number-two. Michigan was third last week and stayed third despite a loss at Iowa last Saturday. Clemson dropped from second to fourth with a 43-42 loss at home to Pittsburgh.
Louisville improved from sixth to fifth with a victory over Wake Forest, while Washington dropped from fourth to sixth after losing at home to Southern California. Wisconsin, Penn State, Oklahoma and Colorado finish out the top 10.
The Tigers fell to #5 in both of Sunday's polls, but the committee determined that it made more sense to rank Clemson above Louisville, the team it beat head-to-head. The Tigers have a much stronger schedule than the Cardinals and are 4-0 against teams in the AP top 25, while Louisville is just 1-1.
Clemson owns three wins over teams ranked in the top 25 of the College Football Playoff Poll, including two on the road. The Tigers defeated No. 5 Louisville, won at No. 15 Auburn and at No. 17 Florida State. The Tigers also own a win over Troy, ranked No. 25 in the nation in the AP poll this week. Clemson is the only school in the nation with four wins over AP Top 25 teams.
Clemson’s win over No. 5 Louisville is the highest ranked win among the top four teams in the CFP.
Clemson faces Wake Forest on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Wake Forest. A Clemson victory will give Clemson the ACC Atlantic Division Championship and a sixth straight season of at least 10 wins. Clemson would become just the 11th program in college football history with at least six consecutive 10-win seasons. A victory on Saturday would also give Clemson consecutive perfect road records of 5-0 for the second straight season, a first in school history.
The Tigers are certain to finish either #2 or #3 assuming they win the rest of their games and so does Alabama. If Ohio State beats Michigan, Penn State would win that division, meaning Clemson would jump Ohio State to #2 because the Tigers would be conference champs and the Buckeyes would not. If Michigan should beat Ohio State and go on to win the Big Ten, the Wolverines would likely end up #2 over Clemson at #3. Unfortunately for the Tigers and their fans, the possibility of occupying the #1 or #4 spot and playing in the Atlanta Peach Bowl Semifinal is very minute. The Tigers appear to be bound for a #2 or #3 ranking and a date in the Arizona Semifinal, where they lost the National Championship Game 10 months ago. The full CFP Rankings are below.