Clemson wins, ACC loses
Clemson's upcoming game against Auburn has taken on a whole new meaning after the events of this past weekend.
Instead of it being the Tigers' first chance to prove themselves this season, it has become the last chance for the ACC to achieve anything resembling national credibility.
After Clemson notched an expected win over Presbyterian on Saturday, they sat back and watched the entire conference implode.
It started early with Virginia Tech falling at the hands of FCS opponent James Madison. This left perhaps the ACC's only possible national title contender at 0-2 and about as close to the national title as the school's best intramural flag football team.
Then Georgia Tech, the defending conference champion, lost to lowly Kansas in the same stadium where FCS North Dakota State had earned a 6-3 win over the Jayhawks a week earlier.
Even after these two embarrassing losses, the ACC still had a chance. Miami and Florida State had showdowns with Ohio State and Oklahoma, and could prove the conference's worth by knocking off two national powers.
And then they played the games.
Miami competed with the Buckeyes for most of the game, but lost 36-24 behind a four-interception performance by "Heisman hopeful" Jacory Harris. The Canes looked good, though, compared to Florida State.
The Seminoles were run out of the building by Oklahoma, as their own supposed Heisman candidate, Christian Ponder, was just 11-28 for 113 yards and two interceptions in a 47-17 loss.
And so concluded the most horrific weekend for the ACC in recent memory. Two inexcusable upset losses combined with two massive failures on the big stage has produced an image that will be nearly impossible to shake as the season continues.
But Clemson still has a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the conference. If they can step up and pull off a win at Auburn, they could possibly avoid being lumped in with all of the failures of the ACC.
College Gameday will be in town and it will be a tough atmosphere to conquer, but if Clemson can spur the upset, they would suddenly be the best team in the ACC, at least in the nation's eyes.
Although, at this point, that title may sound like more of a joke than a compliment.