Five things Tigers need to happen to win national title

Everything seems to be falling into place for Clemson to play for the national championship, but some things are beyond their control.

The Tigers are 8-0 with the worst part of their schedule behind them, yet they remain ranked behind four teams in the latest BCS standings. They must pass three of them without being jumped by another in order to play in the BCS national title game.

So for Clemson to play for their first and only national championship since 1981, here are the five things that must go their way:

1) Run the table: It seems obvious, but this year it looks like it’s going to take a perfect record to play for the national title. In addition to the six also-unbeatens, there are a lot of one-loss teams hot on their heels if they slip, such as Oklahoma, Oregon and Wisconsin. Clemson still has some tough games ahead, beginning with Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets can eat some clock on the ground and keep the Tigers from topping the 50-point mark for the third straight game. If they beat Georgia Tech, the Tigers get a week off to get ready for the stretch run – at home against Wake Forest, then at N.C. State and in-state rival South Carolina, which will be Clemson’s toughest test. The ACC Championship Game appears to be a rematch with Virginia Tech, which will be out for revenge. But even if Clemson can run the table, there are still some road blocks en route to the BCS title game in New Orleans.

2) SEC-ond chance: The first comes Nov. 5 when No. 1 Alabama visits No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The winner will have the inside track to the SEC and BCS title games, which have had the same winner for the past five years. The loser isn’t likely to drop very far unless the showdown in T-Town turns into a blowout. That would allow Clemson to leapfrog the loser and make a strong case that it deserves a shot at the winner instead of a rematch. Of course, the best case scenario would be for the winner of LSU-Alabama to get upset later in the season. That isn’t likely to happen, but Alabama has the easier route to an undefeated season. The Crimson Tide still faces Mississippi State, FCS school Georgia Southern and hated rival Auburn, which the Tide has a score to settle after last year’s comeback loss. LSU closes with Ole Miss, Mississippi State and No. 9 Arkansas in a 13-day period, so it is the most likely to lose in November. Of course, the winner will face either Florida, Georgia or South Carolina in the SEC title game, so the odds of both Alabama and LSU falling aren’t as far-fetched as they might seem. Clemson fans should probably root for its Bayou Bengal cousins.

3) Cowboy Down: A lesser known but possible bigger matchup of unbeatens takes place the same day as the LSU-Alabama game – No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 8 Kansas State. The Tigers have a dog in this fight (actually, a Wildcat), needing the Cowboys to suffer a loss in order to pass them in the BCS standings. Of course, there’s always the danger that a K-State win in Stillwater would vault it ahead of Clemson in the standings, so a close game would be best. But if OK State wins, as it is favored to do, there are still a few cow pies for the Cowboys to step in on the way to the Big Easy. Most notably is the Dec. 3 game against No. 9 Oklahoma. A win by the Sooners would drop both schools behind Clemson, and the winner still faces a tough test in the Big 12 title game. Until then, the Tigers must cheer for Kansas State to beat the Cowboys, but just barely.

2) Tim-ber!: Another important step for Clemson comes in the form of the Stanford Cardinal, whose mascot is a tree. For the Tigers to stay ahead of Stanford in the BCS standings, they need for a Pac-10 team to prove that Andrew Luck is not the second coming of Peyton Manning. Luck is a can’t-miss candidate for the Heisman Trophy, and many of the people who vote for the award are the same people who vote in the Harris Poll. They feel a strong connection to the winner of the little golden statue and it could be reflected in their votes in an effort to give the Golden Boy a shot at the national title. Fortunately for Clemson, the Cardinal still face Southrn Cal, Oregon State, No. 7 Oregon, California, Notre Dame and a TBA opponent in the Pac-10 title game. Clemson needs the Fightin’ Trees to fall in order to clear a path to New Orleans.

1) Battle of New Orleans: Clemson could face any number of teams in the title game, but in a perfect world with orange skies and paw-print covered streets, the Tigers are 13-0 and have leaped Alabama/LSU and Oklahoma State. That leaves just one other undefeated team, Boise State, which has the best chance of running the table this season, has been getting the run around from the BCS for the past few years. Assuming the BCS voters and computers will finally let Boise State into the top 2, Clemson should get a winner-take-all shot for the national title. Like Clemson, the Broncos have a high-powered offense for an entertaining national title game, but the Tigers get the best of this battle and finally scratch the 30-year itch.

Photo by Mark Sturgis

Comments

comments

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season North Myrtle Beach's record-setting season came to an end Friday [more]

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoops

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoopsFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina in the [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championships

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championshipsSixteen Coast  FA teams entered the Adidas Clash in Greensboro, [more]

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seed

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seedThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team clinched the number one overall [more]

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play Trojans

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play TrojansMarcus Jones returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a [more]

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney final

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney finalFrandzty Pierrott scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute [more]

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semis

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semisThe North Myrtle Beach High had to battle to keep [more]

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower Richland

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower RichlandShocking! That's the only word to describe Myrtle Beach's heartbreaking [more]

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second round

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second roundThis looked like it could be the year for Conway [more]

CCU men, women open seasons with big victories

CCU men, women open seasons with big victoriesCoastal Carolina University started the 2017-18 season in strong fashion [more]

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-South

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-SouthA trio of Horry County senior golfers are closing out [more]

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it counts

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it countsIt's not how you start, but how you finish. That [more]

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 schedule

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 scheduleHome games versus eight 2017 NCAA Regional teams and facing [more]

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signees

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signeesCarolina Forest and St. James had four student-athletes sign college [more]

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season North Myrtle Beach's record-setting season came to an end Friday [more]

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoops

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoopsFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina in the [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach