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No. 23 Pittsburgh vs. Clemson matchup and 2021 CFP implications for Panthers win

Pitt stamped themselves as a serious ACC title contender with a marquee win over Clemson on Saturday. Could they sneak into the College Football Playoff conversation?

Clemson v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The No. 23 Pittsburgh Panthers captured a marquee victory on Saturday, taking down Clemson with a 27-17 home win at Heinz Field.

Pitt outgained the Tigers offensively, converted 10-of-18 third down attempts, and picked off Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei twice, prompting Dabo Swinney to briefly bench him for backup Taisun Phommachanh. Meanwhile, Panthers QB Kenny Pickett improved his Heisman odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, completing 25-of-39 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.

The team is now standing on top of the ACC Coastal but could they potentially sneak into the College Football Playoff conversation? Well, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Right off the bat, their early-season loss to Western Michigan is a huge albatross on their resume, so they’d obviously have to run the table and stack up impressive victories on their way to an ACC Championship. The Panthers can still pick up a few decent regular season wins against North Carolina and Virginia before potentially meeting Wake Forest in Charlotte for the conference title.

Even if they accomplish that, they’d need help in the form of chaos ... lots of it. We’re talking the powers in the Big Ten cannibalizing each other, Cincinnati losing, Alabama dropping another game, and other wild scenarios that would throw everything out of wack. Pitt is a long shot, but given the wackiness we’ve seen this season, you never know.