Clemson, FSU, Virginia Tech and Miami have some hard thinking to do

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman (97), right, tackles Virginia Tech running back David Wilson

Clemson defensive end Malliciah Goodman (97), right, tackles Virginia Tech running back David Wilson

Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami have some hard thinking to do.

The SEC’s agreement with the Big 12 to pair off their champions in a new bowl game has changed the landscape of college football, even as the BCS’s powers-that-be prepare to devise a four-team national championship playoff out of a convoluted combination of conference champions, polls and computer rankings.

While the SEC and Big 12 acted, the ACC held its annual spring meetings and engaged in a lot of talking, but not much else. The new ‘playoff’ was discussed, and ACC coaches and administrators put their consensus stamp of approval on a ‘conference champions’ model.

The problem, though, is that in any version of a four-team championship model, the ACC is likely to end up on the outside looking in – almost to the same degree as if the playoff were to evolve as an exclusive four-conference affair among the new Big Four (SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12).

All the posing and posturing in the world doesn’t change the perception that the ACC is currently fifth in the pecking order – a step ahead only of the uncertain Big East.

The ACC has dug itself into its current dilemma, of course, by going 2-13 in BCS bowl games, as well as by winning less than its share of regular-season head-to-heads against major conference teams.

The Greensboro News and Record last week looked back at the 2005-2011 seasons to see which teams would have qualified for a four-team playoff, comparing the BCS Standings model with the ‘conference champions’ model now in favor.

During that seven-year period, the ACC would have been represented only once (out 28 slots) – by Virginia Tech in 2007.

A third of the ACC’s current membership – Clemson, FSU, Virginia Tech and Miami – have legitimate national football championship aspirations. College football’s new order diminishes those possibilities.

Given what seems to be a unanimous lack of interest in a real national championship playoff – eight, or even 12, teams, with the champions of all six BCS conferences included – it looks to be time for those schools to begin acting in their own self-interest.

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Comments » 3

lhaselden writes:

Those 4 teams simply need to schedule quality opponents out of conference like Clemson has done the last 2 years with Auburn, and win those games plus all conference games and they will be in the 4 team play off. None of them will get there by being blown out by Alabama, LSU, Florida. Georgia, SC.
If GaTech beats Georgia, Clemson beats SC, FSU beats Florida, VaTech and Miami beat quality out of conference competition then the ACC champ will be in the play off.
FSU has not won the ACC in 5 years, Clemson once in 15 or so, VaTech wins the ACC but gets blown out in one game a year or the bowl game anyway.
If we are good enough we will be invited, we ain't been good enough in 30 years! Maybe this year or next year, maybe not. I have trouble imagining an undefeated ACC team not getting and invite to the dance, unless their only out of conference opponents were the sisters of the poor U.

MoncksTater writes:

I agree . The ACC has produced undefeated teams before , Clemson beat 3 ranked opponents in 1981 , 2 of which were top 10. If you are unbeaten or even a 1 loss ACC team , but you have the schedule that we had last year or again this year , you will not be passed over in the plus 1...even the so called "experts" who will judge this thing want the variety of teams and conferences.

cudude98 writes:

What is the hard thinking to do here? That Clemson will trail Texas by 700 Million dollars in athletic spending over the next 10 years or Oklahoma by 300 Million. Those $$ bumps we get they get it too.

Is it the Championship games will be held in San Antonio and Kansas City?

Before using the Virginia Tech 07 example, please take a look at the last BCS standings back to 2005 and estimate where a 1 loss ACC team would be. They would be in the mix for the national title every time.

This is short term gain for a long term mistake.

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