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Clemson’s No. 1

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TIGERS ON TOP OF FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF POLL

Oops, Ohio State. Later, LSU. Another day, Alabama.

Baylor, Texas Christian and Michigan State?  Don’t even bother …

For the moment, Clemson University is the No. 1 football team in America … an astounding development given that 2015 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Tigers, who lost their top two defensive stars to the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

Nonetheless, Dabo Swinney‘s squad is ranked atop the first 2015 NCAA college football playoff rankings – ahead of SEC West behemoth LSU, defending national champion (and preseason No. 1) Ohio State and perennial contender Alabama.

Notre Dame – which lost to Clemson last month – is ranked No. 5, followed by Baylor, Michigan State, TCU, Iowa and Florida.

Swinney – whose remarkable recruiting run has keyed the Tigers’ rise to national prominence – says his team won’t celebrate until the final rankings come out.

“The only poll that we’re excited about is Dec. 6, and I promise you we’ll have the biggest poll party you’ve seen,” Swinney told reporters this week. “We’ll open up Death Valley and serve pizza to everybody. That’ll be a time to celebrate a poll. Until then, it doesn’t matter.”

Pizza for 80,000?

That’s Dabo for ya …

Clemson will put its No. 1 ranking on the line at Memorial Stadium (a.k.a “Death Valley”) this Saturday against No. 16 Florida State.  The Seminoles – who won the national championship two years ago – pasted then-No. 3 Clemson 51-14 during their last visit to Tigertown in 2013.  They escaped with a 23-17 overtime win in Tallahassee last year.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST with ABC televising the game nationally.  Odds makers have installed the Tigers as 12-point favorites.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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