Fake Clemson Tigers football Jerseys

Clemson The case for No. 1: This isn't a hard sell. The Tigers won last season's national championship and have Trevor Lawrence, Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins and Travis Etienne to lead their way back. They've made the playoff each of the past four years. They have a schedule that assures an astonishingly simple path the rest of the way. But perhaps the biggest bit of good news for Clemson is that the defense -- the one area where there was at least a tinge of concern after so many stars departed for the NFL -- has been exceptional thus far. Through five games, this year's unit has allowed fewer points per drive and forced a higher rate of three-and-outs than last year's D. And with young talent such as Xavier Thomas, Tyler Davis and Derion Kendrick just getting their feet wet, there's reason to think the Tigers' defense will be even better by the time the playoff arrives.

Fake Clemson Tigers football Jerseys

The case against: Two weeks ago, Mack Brown rolled the dice on a potential game-winning two-point try in the final seconds in Chapel Hill. The play failed, but North Carolina's near upset of Clemson proved just how thin the Tigers' margin of error can be. Lawrence has been off his game to start the season, and Etienne has been quiet after a monster opener. That's hardly reason to panic, even if the explanations feel a bit thin. Perhaps Clemson is bored. The schedule is awfully easy. Or maybe it was a typical Dabo Swinney September, when he tinkers with the personnel and the playbook just to get a feel for what his team can do down the stretch. Or maybe it's a little bad luck here and there. It can happen to anyone. The point, however, is that any of those things could be Clemson's undoing in any given week, and with such a weak schedule -- there's a real possibility that Clemson will finish the regular season with no wins against Top 25 teams -- it's easy to wonder if a one-loss Tigers team would be left out of the playoff.