Just some quick random thought tonight after Clemson’s stunning 31-17 loss at Georgia Tech. Tomorrow I’ll post the usual ACC weekly awards. With Clemson losing this evening the ACC is virtually eliminated from the BCS Title chase. Sadly the general fan feedback was that was just Clemson being Clemson, and the ACC is just mediocre teams beating each other. That’s a shame, because I don’t agree with either.
First of all, contrary to popular belief it’s not easy to go undefeated in a season. Only 6 undefeated teams remain in college football, and after next week when LSU and Alabama play, there will be at most 5.
Clemson losing on the road at night to a 7-2 Georgia Tech team that will be ranked in the top 25 is not that shocking. The Tigers have more than proven themselves with wins over Auburn, Florida State, and at Virginia Tech. They are a very good team; just not a national championship caliber team that I believe will finish the regular season 11-1 and ranked again in the top 10.
Virginia Tech is 8-1 with their only loss to Clemson, and they ranked in the top 20. These are solid football teams. Where the ACC needs to prove itself is during late November when they play some good non-conference games, Clemson at South Carolina, Florida State at Florida, Georgia at Georgia Tech, Miami at South Florida, Boston College and Wake Forest are a couple of shots against Notre Dame, and Wake Forest gets Vanderbilt at home.
If the ACC can show well in these matchups, as they did in September with wins over Auburn and Ohio State, then the ACC can overcome a lack of a national title contender, and slowly build its national perception as an improving football conference.