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Where Clemson football ranks in new ESPN ranking

ESPN has released a list of all 134 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams and where each program ranks in returning production for the 2024 season.

Where Clemson ranks on the list might all depend on how you look at things — or whether you put much stock into such rankings. For instance, the Tigers rank only 12th among the soon to be 17 ACC football programs but are 54th nationally on the list, compiled by ESPN’s Bill Connelly.

While Clemson’s overall ranking is lower than 11 ACC schools, it’s also higher than such national powers as LSU (60th), Ohio State (70th), and Alabama (115th).

On offense, Clemson is 20th overall in returning production ranking at 79 percent. On defense, they’re 103rd at 49 percent for a combined percentage ranking of 64 percent.

Of the ACC programs rated ahead of Clemson, Virginia Tech is ranked No. 1 overall on Connelly’s list. Brent Pry’s Hokies have an 86 percent overall production, including 95 percent in returning offense. The Tigers will travel to Blacksburg on November 9 to face Virginia Tech.

Virginia, who the Tigers will face October 19 at Clemson Memorial Stadium, is the second highest-ranked ACC team at No. 5 (76 percent overall; 85 percent offense, 68 percent defense).

Syracuse rounded out Connelly’s top 10 list at 74 percent overall (81 percent offense, 67 percent defense). Defending ACC champion Florida State places 83rd on the list at 58 percent (56 percent offense, 60 percent defense). The Tigers will visit Tallahassee for a much-anticipated showdown with the Seminoles on October 5.

Georgia, who Clemson will face in the season-opener for both schools in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 31, ranks 47th on the list at 65 percent overall (76 percent offense; 55 percent defense).

Connelly’s returning production rankings are part of his overall SP+ projections, which he notes measures recruiting and recent on-field success as well.

“High or low returning production percentages correlate well with improvement and regression. They might not guarantee a good or bad team, but they can still tell us a lot,” Connelly notes in his rankings.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire