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Clemson Continues to Flex Its Muscle

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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What the Tigers did in Tallahassee was make a statement and stake their claim.

As College Football Playoff results will confirm, two teams are the modern standard: Alabama and Clemson. For the Tigers, who have advanced to three straight final fours and won the national title in 2016, Dabo Swinney's success has been remarkable; Saturday included, Clemson has gone 51-4 over its past 55 games, more recently 25-2 since mid-November of two years ago. In a season where the Crimson Tide are setting marks with their dominance, the Tigers, as they showed in a 59-10 win at Florida State, are right alongside.

Clemson absolutely overwhelmed the Seminoles on their home field, with the end result matching the worst loss in program history and becoming the most-lopsided defeat ever at Doak Campbell Stadium. It took a late touchdown for Florida State to even get to that point. The Tigers more than doubled the Seminoles in total yards, 524 to 247, holding the home team to a stunning -21 rushing yards. In the second and third quarters, Clemson scored 52 points.

Saturday wasn't just triumphant, it was a trend. Since rallying to beat Syracuse to close out September, the Tigers have outscored their past three opponents, Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Florida State, by a total of 163-20. For point of reference, Alabama, in that same span, has won by a combined margin of 162-62. Clemson is currently college football's hottest team.  

What the Tigers did in Tallahassee was make a statement and stake their claim. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four touchdown passes, Tee Higgins and Amari Rogers had a pair of scores and the Clemson defense forced 12 punts, compiled five sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Following a scoreless opening quarter, the contest was no competition. Simply put, the Tigers were a team on a different level.

Red-hot, this big orange machine finishes the regular season with Louisville, Boston College, Duke and South Carolina, with three of those games coming at home. Clemson appears to be a lock for the College Football Playoff, fitting given their current run. The Tigers, this year, are peaking at the right time, showcasing a big play ability on both sides of the ball that very few teams can match. In many ways, it looks like a fourth-consecutive Alabama vs Clemson postseason pairing may be on the horizon.      

The Tigers, fresh off a historic performance, continue to show both how good they are and exactly where they belong.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports