A look at how the Tigers, who went 14-1 last year, can win the 2016 national championship:
1. Deshaun Watson
The best quarterback in the country and a Heisman Trophy candidate is primed for a huge season. He's got weapons around him, and this guy just wins. He's 18-2 as a starter.
2. Brent Venables
Can Clemson's defensive coordinator replace numerous moving parts and keep the Tigers near the top of the ranks nationally? He did it last year after losing members off a No. 1 defense.
3. Running game
Watson and RB Wayne Gallman already own the school rushing record for yards by a duo, and the rest of the backfield might be even deeper and more talented than last year.
4. Dabo Swinney
A master motivator who pushed a lot of the right buttons in 2015, Swinney fired up his team and fan base with all kinds of slogans and speeches. He will pull out all the stops to finish the climb.
5. Easier draw
This is an easier ACC schedule to navigate than last season. No Notre Dame or Miami this year. North Carolina, the best team in the other division, isn't on the slate either.
6. Offensive line
Mitch Hyatt might quietly be one of the top left tackles in the country, and he's only played one season. Jay Guillermo is a stabilizing force and leader at center.
7. Where are the QBs at?
The leading returning passer Clemson faces in 2016? It's Pitt's Nate Peterman. There's not much talent for Clemson to worry about. It's hard to beat a team like the Tigers without one.
8. Playoff committee
Those who determine the four teams are quite comfortable with the Tigers, and if they're undefeated when the first CFP ranking comes out, expect Clemson to fare well.
9. Manageable nonconference slate
Auburn doesn't have a quarterback in place. South Carolina, 3-9 last season, is in rebuilding mode while Troy and S.C. State are coming to Death Valley for the money.
10. Another receiver
Mike Williams, out last year with an injury, will make a huge impact with big catches and how he'll draw attention so others, like Hunter Renfrow and Artavis Scott, can make plays.