Why, someone asked on Twitter, would you kill off your main character 30 minutes into a movie?
The ACC did just that when, for the third time in four years, it chose to match Clemson and Florida State in a September ACC opener.
For five straight years, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game has gone on to play in the ACC Championship Game.
Last fall's mid-season meeting became the first-ever game between top-five ACC teams, and drew ESPN's College Game Day to Clemson's campus for the second time in two months.
So why play on September 20?
The only logical explanation is that the ACC office decided to give the league perhaps its best opportunity to put its two best teams into position to compete for a spot in the new College Football Playoff.
From the league's perspective, a best-case scenario would be for FSU and Clemson to win their high-profile openers against Oklahoma State and Georgia, and then, after an FCS detour, play for the early-season pole position.
Assuming that the defending national champions get the nod as the nation's preseason No. 1 team, the Seminoles would strengthen that position with a victory over the Tigers. On the other hand, a Clemson victory would likely propel the Tigers well into the top 10, while keeping the Seminoles there.
Either way, both teams would have nine weeks to build their playoff resumes.
The cost of the early meeting is the forfeit of what potentially could have unfolded as the 2014 season's highest-drama race to the wire, extending conference and national championship storylines deep into the season.
The ACC made its curious call, and now it's up to the Tigers and Seminoles to make the most of it.