The king is dead. At least for now.
By knocking off Alabama for the national title, Clemson did more than just slay the crimson giant. It put a final stamp on the ACC’s rise to prominance in college football, supplanting the SEC as the best conference in the land.
Say what? The ACC? A basketball conference?
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
Actually, Virginia was one of the few conference members that didn’t play a contributing role in the ACC’s sudden accension, not only escaping the shadow of the SEC, but bringing the biggest and baddest football conference in the country to its collective knees.
But a whole bunch of the ACC’s other schools, including Miami and Florida State, formed a strong supporting cast.
How’s this for a little dominance? While the SEC was fumbling and stumbling to a 5-6 record during the bowl season, the ACC was flying high, going 9-3. In five head-to-head matchups, the ACC went 4-1 against the SEC.
ACC schools toppled the No. 1 (Alabama), No. 3 (Ohio State) and No. 6 (Michigan) teams.
It should not have come as a major surprise. The ACC was the only conference to post a winning record (17-9) against Power Five opponents this college season, and the victories kept on coming in December and January.
In addition to Clemson, Florida State and Miami, the conference’s other bowl winners included Boston College, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. The only losers were North Carolina, Pitt and Louisville, the latter of which had the Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson.
While it’s true the SEC has won nine titles since 2003, the ACC has claimed two of the past four.
Vegas has already made Alabama the favorite to win next year’s title. But Florida State is second on the list.