The ACC football title is staying in the state of South Carolina for a fifth straight season – but this win was much worse for the conference than others.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock in Saturday’s ACC football title game with the Clemson Tigers taking on the Virginia Cavaliers, it was clear that the four time conference champs would add a fifth title to their resume – well, actually that was made clear shortly after kickoff when the Tigers scored without a real challenge.
In actuality, there was no one in the country – except for maybe a few diehard fans of the Wahoos who just didn’t want to accept reality – who thought that the Coastal Division champs had a legit shot of breaking the Tigers’ current streak of winning the league.
At the same point, there is almost no one in the ACC football world who thought that Clemson was going to go out there and destroy Virginia to the tune of a 62-17 final score – by far the biggest margin of victory for Clemson over the five game span in which the Tigers set a record for most consecutive title game wins.
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Let me just say this since Clemson fans get really angry when you think that they are being talked smack about – the Tigers did nothing wrong. They did everything they were supposed to: arrive safely in Charlotte, wake up in the morning, don’t get food poisoning and arrive to Bank of America Stadium in one piece.
This also wasn’t Virginia’s fault. Hell, up until eight days before the ACC football title game the Coastal Division was still playing their game of rock, paper, scissors to decide who was going to be the…umm, “lucky” team to go out and take the butt whooping that was required when the conference split to two divisions.
In reality, the ninth straight win by the Atlantic Division – with Clemson winning in 2011 before FSU football took three in a row ahead of what we have seen the last half decade – is more the fault of the conference as a whole for not fixing the problem.
When the divisions were created in 2005 and the title game started, the thought was put FSU and Miami in different divisions so they would meet more times than not in the title game. In the 15 title games, the Seminoles have made five – winning four – while the Canes made it to their first title game in 2017 and got blown out by the Tigers by 35 points.
Something needs to change soon to figure out how to tame the Clemson machine come the first weekend of December in Charlotte. I’m not saying that anyone else in the conference, at this point, would compete with the Tigers – and that’s something that the other 13 teams in the league need to address themselves.
Should their be a divisional realignment? Move the Seminoles and Tigers into different divisions in hopes that FSU football gets back to what it once was? Maybe trade Miami to the SEC for someone like Georgia or Auburn?
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Something needs to change soon – because at this rate, Clemson is looking like they are going to run what is technically a Power Five conference the way the Seminoles did for the first decade they were in the league.