Clemson is top 5 team. They are in great position for the college football playoffs. They control their own destiny for the ACC Atlantic title, ACC Title, and a playoff spot. The Tigers are 8-0, and have averaged 57 points a game in their last two outings.
Standing in their way is the king of the ACC, the 3-time defending conference champion Florida State Seminoles. Florida State lost their first ACC game since 2012 last week against Georgia Tech, but make no mistake the Noles are still the standard in the ACC until someone else wins the ACC.
By virtually measure the Tigers are the better team. They are better at QB, better at most skill positions, better on defense. They are ranked higher, and they are getting the Seminoles in Death Valley. Clemson has dominated their schedule winning every game by at least 15 points except 1. Florida State has a handful of single digit wins, and the loss to Georgia Tech.
This should be Clemson’s best chance to beat FSU and win the ACC since they last did it in 2011, but that’s the question can Clemson conquer the king?
Saturday FSU was playing an undermanned Syracuse team, but QB Sean Maguire looked good throwing the deep ball. The Noles have been waiting for a WR to assert himself. Travis Rudolph did that today with 191 yards receiving and 3 TDs. Is there now a bit a QB controversy at FSU with Maguire and Everett Golson? While Clemson was offensively unstoppable against NC State, the defense and special teams were surprisingly shaky giving up 41 points to the Wolfpack. If there is one concern with Clemson’s defense, it is that I don’t think the linebackers are very good in pass coverage. Only in the 4th quarter of the Notre Dame game and today has this been exploited.
If you can control the front 4, you can throw over the middle on Clemson. Easier said than done, but FSU has the enough talent to possibly take advantage of this. Of course how the Noles stop the Tigers is another matter.
That said Clemson won’t have a better shot at dethroning the Florida State as they will this year, but don’t think for a minute FSU is just going to handover the crown.
As the saying goes to be the man you have to beat the man, and right now that’s still the Florida State Seminoles.