One of the big surprises of the College Football Playoff rankings for Week 12 of the 2017 season was the Clemson Tigers ranking in at No. 2 behind Alabama. Being in the Top 4 was no surprise, but getting the No. 2 spot was higher than Clemson was ranked in both the AP and Coaches Polls.
College Football Playoff chairman Kirby Hocutt was on ESPN to help parse out the rankings after their release, and Hocutt explained that Clemson was ranked over undefeated Miami thanks to their quality wins on the road, while Miami was lacking in that category.
While Clemson does have the “bad loss” to Syracuse earlier in the season, the Tigers also have beaten Louisville, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State all on the road. That is in addition to a win against current No. 6 Auburn earlier in the year.
Obviously Miami looks fantastic after back-to-back wins against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, but as Hocutt pointed out, both of those wins were at home. Miami’s next best win — likely their win over Georgia Tech — was also at home.