Originally posted on Only College Sports  |  Last updated 6/13/14
#488837195 / gettyimages.comAfter starting the season 6-0 and beating the Georgia Bulldogs, the Clemson Tigers showed that they were worthy of their preseason rank of No. 8. But after rising all the way to No. 3, the Tigers would eventually lose to the 2014 BCS National Champions, the Florida State Seminoles.Though the loss showed that they were not the best team in the country, Clemson didn’t end their season quietly. They went on to finish the season with an 11-2 record, beating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl.  When all was said and done, they finished the season at No. 7 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 8 in the AP. But, as with most college football programs, the Clemson Tigers won’t be happy with just another bowl win in 2014, especially with the inaugural College Football Playoff games starting this year.Clemson has undergone some major changes with their team, losing their star senior quarterback, Tajh Boyd, and all-world wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, the fourth overall draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. With the departure of the speedy wide receiver, Clemson is losing out on over 100 receptions from 2013 and over 1400 yards receiving, not to mention 12 TDs. However, Clemson has a lot of talent coming back to the team.   Stud defensive end Vic Beasley is returning for his senior season, and should be one of the most disruptive forces in the ACC and the nation.  In fact, Clemson’s front four have over 140 total tackles returning.  With that talent and a rebuilt defensive backfield, the Tigers look to challenge the Seminoles for the best defense in the ACC.  Clemson has also done an excellent job in recruiting under head coach Dabo Swinney, so more than a few highly talented players should emerge from their current unknown status.Clemson’s 2014 preseason rankings are quite a departure from 2013, not even being mentioned in the Sporting News Top 25, but that won’t deter the Tigers. Their goals remain the same: Make it to the College Football Playoff and win a national championship. This season may prove to be an uphill battle for the Tigers, but it isn’t without reason that Clemson has a shot at winning it all. For years, Clemson has been the team with all the talent needed to make it to a title game. Will this be the year they surprise people and put it all together?
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