The Clemson Tigers enter the 2019-2020 College Football Season either ranked first or second in the nation depending on the poll. The defending National Champions have solidified their position as one of the top two college football programs in the nation. Winning a National Championship is huge. Repeating as National Champions is where true glory exists.
Can Clemson do it? Keep reading for reasons why the Tigers once again win the College Football Playoff and reasons why the Tigers don’t take the trophy this season.
Can Clemson Repeat as Champion?
Reasons Clemson Can Repeat as National Champions
Dabo Sweeney has built a dynasty
The College Football Playoff began in the 2014-2015 season. Since that time, Sweeney’s Clemson Tigers’ squad has made it to 4 straight College Football Playoffs. They made it to the Championship Game in 3 of those 4 CFP appearances. They’ve gone 2-1 straight up versus Alabama in those 3 championship games, including the 44-16 beat down of Bama in the 2019 College Football National Championship.
Dabo Sweeney has built a college gridiron dynasty. Why wouldn’t Clemson repeat as National Champions?
The ACC should have a down year
Other than Clemson, the ACC is a mess. The conference doesn’t have a single team that should finish the season in the Top 10. Miami appears to be going through a transition year, Louisville will be a mess while Virginia Tech hasn’t yet returned to it’s glory years of the early 2000’s.
Florida State? The Seminoles could either surprise or be one of the worst teams in the ACC. Syracuse could be the second best team in the conference. That means Clemson should easily win the ACC.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence returns
As a freshman, Trevor Lawrence played like the best quarterback in college football. As a sophomore, he’s expected to battle Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa for the Heisman Trophy. If Lawrence doesn’t take a backward step, Clemson should average over 40 points per game for most of the season.
Reasons Clemson Can’t Repeat as National Champions
Tigers lost a lot on defense
Clemson returns linebacker Isaiah Simmons and safeties Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace, but other than those three players, the defense is in rebuild mode. The entire defensive line, the heart and soul of last season’s National Championship squad, is gone.
That includes Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, and Austin Bryant. Dexter Lawrence is also now in the NFL. Sweeney and defensive coordinator Brett Venables are master recruiters and motivators. The defense should be okay eventually, but the lack of experience could cost the Tigers this season.
Lawrence must play behind a new left tackle and new center
The two most important positions along the offensive line are left tackle and center. The center calls out the offensive line plays while the left tackle usually protects a quarterback’s blind side. Clemson must replace both this season.
Although many feel the Tigers won’t have any issues replacing left tackle Mitch Hyatt and center Justin Falcinelli, nobody knows how the replacements will fare until Week 1.
It’s tough to repeat in the Age of Alabama unless you are Alabama
Alabama has made it to every College Football Playoff since the very first in 2015. In their 5 appearances, Alabama has won two National Championships. Clemson used a strong defensive line, led by Wilkins, Ferrell, Bryant and Lawrence, to beat the Crimson Tide in the 2019 College Football National Championship.
Nick Saban won’t just sit around this season and wait for Clemson to beat him again. If it’s Alabama-Clemson, Saban will ensure his squad can protect quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
A single game hasn’t been played during the regular season, but already Alabama is the biggest threat to Clemson’s changes of repeating as National Champions. Saban will make the necessary adjustments. If the two teams battle for the title again, will Clemson hold up? We shall see!