Year over year, sure, but game-to-game not even Clemson/Alabama "improve the more they play". It's football. Sometimes you pick up 450 yards and score 48 points and sometimes you pick up 450 yards and score 17 points.
Clemson had that incredible 2018 season where they went undefeated and knocked off Alabama 44-16 in the title game yet even they had two "why isn't anything working?" games. The fact that they fell from #2 to #4 after the 27-23 scare against Syracuse drove me insane. College football is about surviving that inevitable game and yet the pollsters were all "hmmm.. maybe Clemson isn't all that good". They then won their next three 63-3, 41-7, and 59-10 - two road games and a home game against #17.
These are the two worst teams in the Big Ten, so in my mind, it's something like this: Illinois is going to have six "why isn't anything working?" games this season and Rutgers is going to have five. We've already played two of them, Rutgers hasn't really played one yet, so meep moop morp Illinois 30, Rutgers 20.