Clemson finished the 2021 year with a 9-3 regular season record, but one writer believes the Tigers will win 11 games and return to the ACC Championship game this upcoming season.
With a win total of 10.5, Clemson is tied with Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State as the teams with the highest win totals in the Power Five conferences. In the ACC, NC State’s win total sits at 8.5, which is the second-highest in the conference.
CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson believes betters should buy into the Tigers this upcoming season and predict that Clemson will win over 10 games. Here are the games Patterson has Clemson winning and losing and his reasoning behind his selection.
wins: at Georgia Tech, Furman, Louisiana Tech, at Wake Forest, NC State, at Boston College, at Florida State, Syracuse, Louisville, Miami, South Carolina
Losses: at Notre Dame
analysis: With one of the best defenses in the country, Clemson might not even need the passing game to return to form in order to win the ACC after its six-year run of conference championships was snapped in 2021. However, beating this win total will require better play from the quarterback position and that’s something I expect we will see from either DJ Uiagalelei or Cade Klubnik. The Tigers have two of their three toughest opponents (NC State, Miami) coming to Death Valley, but the most challenging spot is against Notre Dame in South Bend, where the Fighting Irish beat No. 1-ranked Clemson – quarterbacked by DJU – in a 47-40 in double-overtime thriller in 2020. Pick: Over 10.5 (-125)
Even if Clemson loses to Notre Dame, the Tigers sweeping their ACC games would mean they would return to the ACC Championship game, likely with a College Football Playoff (CFP) spot on the line.
A similar situation happened in the 2020 season, which Patterson brought up. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Clemson only played in 10 regular season games that year, going 9-1 with the one loss on the road against Notre Dame. Even with the loss, Clemson still earned a spot in the ACC Championship game and got revenge against the Fighting Irish to receive one of the four CFP spots.