Yes, the Clemson Tigers are 9-1 and still in complete control of the ACC, however I have been saying all year that the Tigers have been getting exposed and just simply aren't that good this year, and this Saturday, the hammer finally fell on Clemson as they lost on a late field goal 43-42 on an unranked Pittsburgh Panthers team in Death Valley.
Clemson started the season by barely beating a very young and untested Auburn Tigers team 19-13, then followed that close espace up with an even bigger scare as the Troy Trojans gave Clemson everything they wanted and then some, as the Tigers were barely able to eek out a 20-13 win. Most people I talked to simply wrote those results off as is just being early in the year and Clemson still trying to find their way. But to the Tigers dismay, the close calls didn't end after those two games.
Clemson should have gotten beat by a very tough Louisville Cardinals team in their fifth game of the season, but was able to pull out a win with a late drive to take a 42-36 victory. Now I'll give you that was a very good win for the Tigers and everyone expected that game to be a battle. But then just two weeks later, the Tigers showed again that they just can't be trusted as one of the best teams in the country, barely beating North Carolina State 17-14 in overtime. And for what it's worth, the Tigers really should have lost that game, as the Wolfpack had a shot to win on a last play field goal that they missed.
Then Clemson also had a very tough time with a good, but by no means great, Florida State team, squeaking out a 37-34 win late. To add even more legitimacy to my argument, all of these close games, that Clemson should have won easily came at home, in Death Valley, with the exception of the Auburn game.
Then on November 12th, the Tigers luck finally ran out as they were upset 43-42 by the Pittsburgh Panthers, and again, this game was in Death Valley.
Now I've said all year that Clemson is not deserving of the ranking they have been receiving, rankings which frankly they were getting based in large part to their very strong 2015 season. Now Clemson finds themselves outside of the top 4, and needing some help to be able to reach the college football playoffs in my opinion. But the Tigers do still have two regular season games to play, against Wake Forest and their biggest rival South Carolina. If Clemson loses one of those games, or doesn't make statements in both games, I don't think Clemson will be in the College Football Playoff this year. The strength of schedule and quality wins just aren't there. Clemson just doesn't pass the eye test, plain an simple.