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Nov
07
2015

Clemson dethrones ACC King Florida State; Playoffs are right there for the taking.

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Florida State has been a very worthy ACC king the last three years. There was an Orange Bowl win 2012, and national title in 2013. Last year the Seminoles went to the College Football Playoffs. Florida State was 39-3 in those 3 years, with 3 straight top 10 finished. Not only were they the ACC’s best team, they were one of the best programs in the nation.

There was no question this year’s version of Florida State probably was going to suffer a bit of a dropoff. There was a lot of inexperience after losing so many players to the NFL, and there were question marks at quarterback. QB Evertt Golson came in from Notre Dame, but appeared tentative most of the year. Sean Maguire is a decent game manager, and throws a nice deep ball but lacks mobility.

Florida State though had recruited too well to just assume they wouldn’t have a shot at the winning the ACC. You would need an exceptional team to knock them off their throne. The road to any ACC Championship still ran through Tallahassee, even after a loss to Georgia Tech earlier this year.

Clemson answered the bell Saturday. They were ranked #1, but had a three game losing streak to the Seminoles. After spotting FSU a quick 7 points, Clemson went on to outscore FSU 23-6 to win 23-13. They outgained FSU 512 – 361 yards, won the Turnover battle, and had more than twice as many first downs. Clemson seemingly controlled the game after early in the first quarter, but couldn’t put FSU away until midway through the 4th quarter.

Of course it wouldn’t be that easy, the Noles have too much pride. In the end Clemson is just a better team in 2015, and now the playoffs are right their for the taking for them.

As the #1 team in the nation, today did nothing to disprove that. They will remain easily in the top 4, and control their own destiny to the playoffs. Beat Syracuse, Wake Forest, South Carolina, and likely UNC in the ACCCG, and Clemson will be going to the college football playoffs.

If it’s a shootout, they can outscore you. If it’s a defensive battle, their defense can play near shutout football. Their best will get your coached fired ala Al Golden at Miami.

The Tigers may not get a better chance to make the playoffs. Behind play making QB Deshaun Watson, the playoffs are right therefor the taking. They can’t let the opportunity slip away.

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