Red Flags: 5 college football teams on upset alert in Week 1

The Red Flags are already waving for these five college football teams in Week 1 of the 2023 season as they're firmly being put on upset alert.
LSU Tigers
LSU Tigers / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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3. Clemson Tigers

Opponent: Duke | Time: Monday, Sept. 4, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN) | Spread: CLEM -12.5

If you're buying in on the Clemson Tigers as Dabo Swinney has finally made an outside hire to help remedy the offense, I don't blame you. In fact, I'm more inclined to buy in long-term on the Tigers with the addition of offensive coordinator Garrett Riley (at least for as long he's there before getting poached), particularly this season.

But one thing we saw in the spring game is that this offense is a stark change from what we've seen at Clemson in recent years. So too is the starting quarterback with Cade Klubnik beginning his first season as the unquestioned starter now that D.J. Uiagalelei is in Corvallis.

Coming into the Monday season opener, though, it feels like too many people are quickly overlooking a Duke team that, if there are any slow starts out of the gates for the Clemson offense, could take advantage of that.

Duke quarterback Riley Leonard might be the best player in the country that almost no one is ready to talk about, but he's also surrounded by a top-of-the-ACC level offensive line and solid skill position players who have plenty of experience. More importantly in relation to the Clemson offense's potential early pitfalls, they have an experienced defense who was as opportunistic as they come as the Blue Devils won nine games last year.

The Blue Devils offensive line should at least somewhat mitigate the effects of the Clemson defense in this game, meaning it could come down to the Tigers offense. And until we see Riley's vision fully take shape on the field, I'm willing to put them on upset alert in that type of matchup.