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

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debut

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debutZac Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 31 points, but it [more]

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XC

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XCA pair of Grand Strand brothers made strong showings at [more]

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crown

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crownAfter losing a hard-fought first set in Saturday's Class 4A [more]

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020ESPN Events is adding a new bowl game to its [more]

National champs highlight Chants' baseball schedule

National champs highlight Chants' baseball scheduleThe Coastal Carolina baseball team and head coach Gary Gilmore [more]

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneys

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneysCoach Joel Banta’s Coast 07 Red first received high praise [more]

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crown

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crownThe North Myrtle Beach Chiefs went to the Class 4A [more]

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bid

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bidArkansas Red Wolves totaled 454 yards of offense on their [more]

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over Lexington

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over LexingtonMarc Morris had already showed his hand. The Carolina Forest coach [more]

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first round

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first roundIn what could have been the final home game of [more]

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past Thoroughbreds

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past ThoroughbredsThe No. 10-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team had [more]

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football season

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football seasonAfter the lights went out, the Gators turned it on [more]

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semis

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semisA change in venue did not squelch the excitement in [more]

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous region

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous regionMickey Wilson didn’t use the term directly. But the Myrtle Beach [more]

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff test

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff testIn the last five years, Carolina Forest coach Marc Morris [more]

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions The North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team had this date [more]

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-on

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-onThe Burlsworth Trophy selection committee announced today that Clemson wide [more]

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victories

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victoriesSenior forward Zac Cuthbertson scored 18 points to lead six [more]

Local runners make strides at state cross country meet

Local runners make strides at state cross country meetMissing a month of the high school cross country season [more]

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donation

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donationCoastal Carolina’s football team put up a strong fight, but [more]

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB Invitational

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB InvitationalThe college basketball season tips off in earnest this week [more]

Knights knock off Tigers, top Panthers for 6-5A title

Knights knock off Tigers, top Panthers for 6-5A titleThe Conway High football team went into Friday night's regular [more]

Region 6-5A: Panthers run past Braves; Sharks falter

Region 6-5A: Panthers run past Braves; Sharks falterCarolina Forest kept its slim hopes at a Region VI-5A [more]

Hartsville hammers Myrtle Beach for Region 6-4A title

Hartsville hammers Myrtle Beach for Region 6-4A titleThe No. 3 Myrtle Beach High football team went into [more]

Chiefs shut out Bulldogs, capture third playoff seed

Chiefs shut out Bulldogs, capture third playoff seedThe North Myrtle Beach High football team had to have [more]

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debut

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debutZac Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 31 points, but it [more]

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XC

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XCA pair of Grand Strand brothers made strong showings at [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach