Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers ended up just a bit short of the National Championship title last season. They were unable to knock off Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Clemson ended up falling to the Crimson Tide by a final score of 45-40 to end their season last year.
Looking ahead to the 2016 college football season, the Tigers are hoping to replicate their regular season success and take the next step in the playoffs.
Clemson certainly appears to be the favorite to win the ACC at this point in time. There are a couple of other teams that could make a push to upset the Tigers, although the likelihood of that happening seems very slim.
There are very few fan bases that bring the kind of noise and passion that Clemson fans bring to Memorial Stadium each home game. They are loud and proud, and that will be the case once again this season. Due to their success last season, the Tigers’ fan base has high expectations for their team this year.
All of that being said, what five reasons support the statement that the Tigers will make the 2016 college football playoffs and win a National Championship?
Obviously, everything will start with the play of star quarterback Deshaun Watson for Clemson this season. He is widely viewed as one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy, as SBNation and Bovada showed. Watson is going to have a huge season in 2016 and will do everything in his power to bring a coveted championship home.
Dabo Swinney Is One of the Best Head Coaches in the Nation
Moving on to another obvious point, the Tigers have Dabo Swinney on their side. There are very few head coaches that have the ear of his players like Swinney has had throughout his career with the Tigers. He broke onto the scene last year in the spotlight and showed that he is one of the best coaches in the nation.
Clemson Has a Very Easy Road to Undefeated
Taking a quick look at Clemson’s schedule, it is easy to see how they could very well go undefeated. They have just two games against teams that are ranked in the top-25 at this point in time. Clemson should have a very good shot at going undefeated and earning an easy bid into the playoffs.
Wayne Gallman has gotten himself into the best shape of his life, as Campus Sports noted. He carried the football 283 times for 1,527 yards and 13 touchdowns last season for the Tigers. Gallman is one of the most underrated running backs in the nation and is going to have another huge season this year.
Above Average Defense
While the Clemson offense was the center of attention last season, their defense was extremely underrated. As Bleacher Report opined, the Tigers have one of the top defenses heading into the 2016 season. Clemson’s defense is well above average and will be very difficult for opposing offenses to score on.
Expect to see Clemson break through with yet another huge season in 2016. They will make the college football playoffs and have a very good chance to take home a championship to their diehard fan base. Swinney and company have a lot of work to do, but they are ready to live up to the challenge and get the job done.
Do you think the Clemson Tigers will win the National Championship this season? Is Deshaun Watson the Heisman Trophy front-runner? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley]