NCAA Predictions and Odds for Clemson to Repeat as Champions

NCAA Predictions and Odds for Clemson to Repeat as Champions?

Written by on July 19, 2017

While I almost literally bleed Penn State Nittany Lion blue, I’ll be the first to admit that over the last two seasons, I’ve also been one of the biggest Clemson Tigers fans in all the land. With the Tigers making consecutive national championship appearances against the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide and taking down Nick Saban’s supposedly superior squad in last season’s title tilt, it’s now quite evident that beloved head coach Dabo Swinney has built his program into one of the most elite in all of college football, so find out more about the updated NCAA predictions here. However, there will be plenty of change for the Tigers as they get set for the upcoming 2017 season without many of the stars that have led them to prominence the last two seasons, most notably, superstar signal-caller Deshaun Watson.

NCAA Predictions and Odds for Clemson to Repeat as Champions?

 
  With the fleet-footed former Tigers star now plying his trade with the Houston Texans in the NFL, Swinney is clearly going to have his work cut out in trying to get the Tigers to reach the same level of excellence they have the past two seasons. If you want to know whether the Tigers can reach their third straight championship game and pull off the repeat as national champs this coming season, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got the scoop on just how Clemson will fare in 2017, so pay attention. Clemson Tigers 2018 National Championship NCAA Predictions & Odds 15/1 Clemson Tigers 2017 NCAA Predictions Win Total Odds 9.5 Win Total Odds

Offense

The first thing you need to know is that Clemson has lost a whopping 77 percent of its offensive production from last season, starting with the incomparable Watson, who passed for a stellar 8,702 yards and 76 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 1,735 yards and 21 scores over the last two seasons. Not only that, but the Tigers also lost two other All-Americans on offense in gifted wide receiver Mike Williams and tight end Jordan Leggett.Clemson also lost another starting wide receiver in Artavis Scott, the school’s all-time receptions leader and underrated running back Wayne Gallman. All four players are now playing in the NFL, so clearly, they were all special talents that will be difficult to replace. The good news is that the Tigers have four returning starters on the offensive line and a bunch of hungry players according to Swinney. “Everybody keeps wanting to talk about last year’s team and what we don’t have, but what I’m excited about is what we do have,” Swinney said recently.

Clemson Offense Detailed

Clemson’s returning offensive players make up for just 22.7 percent of their offense from last season, which ranks an uninspiring 128th out of 130 FBS teams. More importantly, right now, no one really knows who’s going to replace Watson under center. Junior Kelly Bryant, redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper and five-star true freshman Hunter Johnson are all battling for the job. Bryant is the favorite to win it, but it’s not etched in stone by any stretch of the imagination. At running back either, C.J. Fuller, or for me, elusive sophomore Tavien Feaster, will start, but again, right now, it’s a toss-up. More good news comes in the form of junior wideout Deion Cain, who looks ready for a breakout campaign after snagging 38 passes last season for 724 yards and nine scores last season. Overall, the Tigers return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball and they’ll likely be very good for this season NCAA Predictions.

Defense

While Watson and the Tigers’ offense got the vast majority of the national attention for their excellence the past two seasons, Clemson’s defense was just as instrumental in helping the program reach two straight title tilts while bagging the 2017 national championship. The Tigers finished the season ranked a stellar eighth in total defense (311.5 ypg) and equally impressive 10th in points allowed (18/0 ppg). While Clemson loses star linebacker Ben Boulware, defensive end Carlos Watkins and defensive backs Cordrea Tankersley and Jadar Johnson, there’s still some elite talent waiting in the wings in the forms of defensive ends Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell. Overall, the Tigers return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball and they’ll likely be very good again seeing as how they have finished in the top 15 in defense four consecutive seasons. “If you recruit well and you develop well, then you can sustain consistency,” Swinney said. “If we can compete for this conference year in and year out, hey, we’re going to have those years where we get it done.”

The Schedule

The Tigers will open with a home win over Kent State and they should beat Auburn at home in Week 2, although right now, that’s not a certainty. I’m thinking they’ll fall on the road at Louisville in Week 3 to give them one loss before beating Boston College at home the following week. The Tigers could then fall on the road against an improving and dangerous Virginia Tech team before pounding Wake Forest senseless in Week 6 and Syracuse on the road in Week 7. A home win against Georgia Tech will follow after their bye week and another victory at NC State in Week 10. I’ve got the Tigers falling at home against Florida State in Week 11 before closing out the season with a home win against The Citadel and a road win over in-state rival South Carolina. In the end, I’ve got Clemson losing at least two games in 2017 and possibly three to keep them out of the four-team playoff. The Tigers will be playing with a first-time starter under center and that just doesn’t bode well for a team with national championship aspirations. Save your college football betting bucks if you’re thinking the Tigers could win consecutive national championships, even though they’re going to be a good team to back in certain weeks.