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College football is just around the corner and the analyst community, various experts who cover the sport, and every fan who can't wait for the year to begin are releasing countless preseason predictions.

For Clemson, the goal is simple: to get back into the College Football Playoffs.

Whether that happens by winning the ACC or by performing enough during the regular season to earn a wild card doesn't matter, as long as they're in a position to compete for the national championship again.

It's been three years since the Tigers were in the CFP, and with the new 12-team format, they have more opportunities to get in.

This will depend on what happens on the field, but the teams' pre-game assessment can have a big impact on how the committee views the various programs across the country.

ESPN analyst Greg McElroy released his top 25 list and placed Clemson a little too low for comfort.

In his rankings, he places the Tigers 14th for the coming season.

“It's a little bit of a strange situation… We'll find out everything we need to know about Clemson in Week 1. They're playing Georgia… Clemson has a lot of presence in the ACC. I don't agree with the people who say they're dead, they're done. Clemson definitely has a chance to win the league next year,” he said.

Starting with the fact that they are currently ranked 14th on his list, there is cause for concern because if everything goes as he predicts for his best teams in the country, that would keep them out of the College Football Playoffs.

However, McElroy also noted that the Tigers are so far down because of the uncertainty surrounding Cade Klubnik and the potential shape of his offense.

Their young signal caller needs to take the next step if Clemson wants to be a contender, and since that isn't a sure thing, it's fair to put a limited ceiling on this team. However, their defense will once again be one of the best units in the country, so if they can find some consistency on offense, that will raise their ceiling.

For Dabo Swinney, a lot depends on this team.

He has been criticized for his approach to this new era of college football, but if Clemson can get back into the CFP, many of those concerns will ease somewhat.

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