Clemson’s streak of six consecutive College Football Playoff appearances came to an end this past season as the Tigers finished 10-3, but several national outlets expect Clemson to start a new streak in 2022.
Even though the 2021 college football season just ended, polls for next year have already started coming out.
Clemson’s projection is all over the place with some expecting the Tigers to be right back in the top 4 next season. Others have Clemson inside the top 15 but not in serious contention for a playoff spot.
Here’s a look at several early polls for next season:
On3: Clemson is ranked No. 12 in On3’s early rankings. The top 4 is Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas A&M.
ESPN: Clemson is ranked No. 11 in ESPN’s way-too-early top 25. ESPN’s top 4 is also Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas A&M.
Sports Illustrated: SI has Clemson at No. 4 in its 2022 top 25. Sports Illustrated has Alabama 1, Ohio State 2 and Georgia 3.
CBS Sports: CBS has Clemson at No. 9 for 2022. No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Oklahoma are in the top 4 for CBS.
Sporting News: Clemson is ranked No. 4 in the Sporting News 2022 poll. The rest of the top 4 includes No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Georgia.
Fox Sports: RJ Young of Fox Sports has Clemson at No. 12. His top 4 is Alabama, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Georgia.
Athlon: Clemson is No. 4 in Athlon’s early poll. The Tigers are behind Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.
Clemson 2022 season outlook
While this past season didn’t go as planned, it wasn’t all bad for Dabo Swinney’s squad.
The Tigers won their final six games in 2021 and ended the year on the nation’s longest winning streak among Power 5 schools.
Offensively, Clemson should be improved in 2022. The Tigers return starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, their top three running backs in Will Shipley, Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah and all five starting offensive linemen.
The biggest loss on offense is receiver Justyn Ross leaving for the NFL.
There is more to replace on the defensive side of the ball as defensive end Xavier Thomas, linebackers Baylon Spector and James Skalski, cornerbacks Mario Goodrich and Andrew Booth Jr. and safety Nolan Turner are all moving on.
New offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter has the goal of improving the offensive output, while new defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin hopes to keep Clemson elite on that side of the ball.