Clemson Not Thinking CFP, ACC Championship Instead

CHARLOTTE — Will Putnam is not going to lie. He is thinking about winning another national championship for Clemson. However, he knows winning a national championship is not one of the Tigers’ goals.

The main goal for Clemson is winning another ACC Championship.


Because winning the ACC sets the Tigers up for everything else.

“Before we even think about the playoffs, we think about our first game, which is Duke, which is going to be a big game,” Putnam said from Day 3 of the ACC Football Kickoff at the Westin Charlotte in Uptown. “Then on top of that we think about getting back to Charlotte. That is our biggest thing. We can’t get to the playoffs if we do not win in Charlotte. I guess we can, but we do not want to bring it up for someone else to decide, roll the dice and see if we get in.

“We know if we win this conference, we come back to Charlotte, hoist that trophy in Bank of America Stadium, we will have a chance to go to the playoffs and that is what we want to do. I am not naive to think about (winning a national championship) because that is what everyone does, but that is not really on the forefront.”

Clemson has missed the College Football Playoff the last two years and has not played in the National Championship Game since the 2020 CFP. Prior to missing the 2022 CFP, the Tigers advanced to the playoffs a record six straight years, while playing for the national championship four times and winning two of them.

The Tigers’ six CFP appearances are second to Alabama’s 7.

With the ACC eliminating divisions, Clemson’s goals have changed just a little. They now are:

  1. Win the season opener
  2. Advance to the ACC Championship Game
  3. Win the State Championship
  4. Win the ACC Championship
  5. Win the closer

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