Last month, Dabo Swinney and the Tigers had a high standing in the Athletic’s way-too-early 2024 rankings.
A month later, Clemson has fallen nine spots from No.10 to No.19. A lot can change in college football over the span of a month, with much of those changes revolving around the transfer portal.
As many of you know, Clemson has little to no activity in the transfer portal, opting to go all-in on recruiting. This hurt the Tigers in Stewart Mandel’s latest too-early rankings ($$$).
Another portal cycle came and went without Dabo Swinney signing a single transfer — though he at least pursued several O-linemen. It’s harder for me to envision a 9-4 team making a huge jump with no talent infusion besides freshmen. But Clemson won five straight to close last season and brings back QB Cade Klubnik, RB Phil Mafah, WR Tyler Brown, LB Barrett Carter and D-linemen T.J. Parker and Peter Woods.
While I understand the knock for lack of transfer portal activity, this drop is too extreme. I just find it difficult to believe it’s hard to envision a team improving over a year because they’re only bringing in freshmen… That’s simply not how things work.
Sure, it may have an effect, but saying that also insinuates that Clemson’s young roster, which returns nearly every starter on the offensive side of the ball, won’t improve. Maybe I’m the one who’s a bit off here, but I’ll leave that for you all to decide.
There’s a good chance Clemson will be a more competitive team in 2024, regardless of the transfer portal.