CLEMSON, S.C. (WIS) - For the sixth straight year, Clemson is headed to the College Football Playoff.
The ACC champion was ranked No. 2 in the final CFP rankings after a dominant 34-10 win over Notre Dame on Saturday.
“We’re excited about it,” Swinney told ESPN during the CFP Selection Show. “At the end of the day, you’re in the playoffs and our goal is to win the ACC Championship and, if we did that, we knew we’d have an opportunity to be in the playoffs. So, I’m just proud of this team and we’ve got one goal left. That’s to win the closer. If we can do that, it’s going to be a special, special ending.”
Clemson (10-1) will now turn their attention to No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes (6-0) come off a 22-10 win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game.
The Tigers and Buckeyes will meet in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Clemson’s last trip to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome ended with a 42-25 loss to LSU for the College Football Playoff National Championship.
However, history shows that Clemson has fared well against Ohio State. In the 2016 Fiesta Bowl, Clemson defeated the Buckeyes 31-0. The Tigers also beat OSU in the 2013 Orange Bowl 40-35.
Meanwhile, Alabama (11-0) remains atop the rankings. The Crimson Tide defeated Florida in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta 52-46. Like Clemson, this will be Alabama’s sixth appearance in the College Football Playoff. They will face Notre Dame, who dropped to No. 4 after their loss to Clemson in the ACC title game. Alabama and Notre Dame (10-1) will play in Dallas.
This year, the playoff semifinals were scheduled to be the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions in California which wouldn’t allow fans to attend, the semifinal in Pasadena has now been moved to AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
According to College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chair Gary Barta, 16,000 fans will be allowed to attend the semifinal in Dallas and 3,000 fans will be allowed to attend the semifinal in New Orleans.
Both games will take place on New Year’s Day.