Clemson Wastes Opportunity, Falls to North Carolina State
Earlier today, The Confidential noted that the Oklahoma State loss could be a boon for the ACC, including the potential–however slim–in playing LSU for the national title. Sure, several things would have to go the ACC’s way, but that all became moot when Clemson decided not to show up at North Carolina State, losing 37-13. Well, so much for that.
I suppose it is possible for Virginia Tech to once again carry the banner for the ACC. If Virginia Tech can beat Virginia and then win its rematch against Clemson, then it would represent the ACC in a BCS bowl with a 12-1 record. In fact, Va Tech would probably be ranked in the top 5 in the BCS standings at that point. But Virginia Tech just doesn’t have the same opportunity as Clemson to put together an elite body of work. Clemson was the ACC’s best hope for a national title opportunity. Very disappointing.
Of course, the way Clemson played today, there is little reason to suspect that Clemson would have acquitted itself well against LSU. It is one thing to lose on a missed field goal (Boise State, Oklahoma State) or in overtime (Alabama, Oklahoma State). It is another to get drubbed by 24 against a team that just lost to Boston College. The Georgia Tech loss was bad enough.
The question that begs is when–nay, whether–the ACC is going to start being merely “better than the Big East” in football. The Confidential remains persuaded that only Florida State and Miami have the program dynamics to allow an ACC team to compete with the big boys, such as Alabama and LSU. Of course, the big boys just a few years ago were Ohio State and Texas. They have fallen on hard times recently. And before that, Tennessee, Michigan and USC were big boys. It appears that college football has become a sport of mini-dynasties with cycles. Perhaps an ACC team break through and rise to that level.
For now, it remains more of the same. The ACC rarely embarrasses itself on the football field. However, it just isn’t doing enough to get anyone to notice, much less care. Clemson could have changed that this year. That chance ended today.