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Clemson is College Football’s Hottest Team

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Ahead of wrapping up the division slate at Boston College, Clemson's current run is beyond compare.

Clemson might have just completed, and may soon be extending, the most-dominant month in modern college football history. The Tigers, in four consecutive games against Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State and Louisville, won by a combined score of 240-36. The absolute dismantling of four straight ACC Atlantic opponents was, in some ways, actually worse that it looks; the only touchdowns scored against the Tigers in that stretch came in each game's final 16 minutes.

Ahead of wrapping up the division slate at Boston College, Clemson's current run is beyond compare.  

While the nation has been focused on top-ranked defending national champion Alabama, and understandably so, the game's second-ranked team has arguably been the most-impressive as of late. The Tigers' margin of victory over the past four outings stands at +204; the Crimson Tide's best four-game stretch at any point this season measures in at +169. Those numbers aren't meant to discredit Alabama in any way, rather to provide a frame of reference for all that Clemson has done. We may be watching two all-time superpowers this fall.

Since edging Syracuse to close out September, time has been the Tigers' only true competitor.

Four games running, Clemson has outgained foes 2,354 yards to 1,105, more than doubling up the other side. Taking control of these contests early, the Tigers, mind you, have limited play-calling selections and inserted countless reserves. Reportedly, 88 players got on the field against Louisville alone. Given quarterback Trevor Lawrence's injury in the showdown with the Orange, one could make the case that we haven't seen four quarters of this Clemson team yet.

In a 66-3 win at Wake Forest, the Tigers came a stumble shy of 700 total yards, rushing 40 times for 471 yards and six touchdowns, with three different backs topping 125 yards. Clemson, hosting 18th ranked NC State, held likely first round NFL Draft pick Ryan Finley to 156 yards with two interceptions in a 41-7 victory. The next week, the Tigers handed Florida State its worst home loss ever, 59-10, with the Seminoles rushing for -21 yards and punting for 499. An encore performance saw Clemson drop 77 points on Louisville.

Over the past four games, the Tigers have allowed three total touchdowns; Clemson's back-up quarterback, Chase Brice, has scored four and defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, used as short-yardage running backs, have combined for two. The Tigers, the last month, have had to find ways not to score. 

Clemson, for October, led college football with both 54.3 points per game and 6.7 points per game allowed, measures which don't include the recent 77-16 win over Louisville. Since the start of the month, the Tigers have scored more touchdowns than the likes of Auburn, Southern Cal and Washington have all season -- and that is with a bye week included. Simply put, Clemson has been on a different level.

This Saturday may ultimately prove to be the Tigers' toughest conference test. Boston College, boasting stars like running back A.J. Dillon, defensive end Zach Allen and safety Lukas Denis, are nationally-ranked and fresh off a double-digit point triumph over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. ESPN College Gameday will be in Chestnut Hill for a primetime bout set to determine the leader in the ACC Atlantic Division. In recent weeks, no other contender has even come close.  

Remarkably, Clemson is on the verge of a trip to the College Football Playoff for the fourth year in a row. Dabo Swinney's latest team looks as ready as ever.

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