SacFalcFan Posted August 31, 2008 Share Posted August 31, 2008 ACC should stick to basketballBy Terence Moore | Sunday, August 31, 2008, 12:46 AMThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionIf you go by what occurred for most of Saturday night inside the Georgia Dome, Clemson isn’t as good as advertised, which is wonderful news for Georgia Tech. In contrast, Alabama is significantly better than you could imagine, which is woeful news for Georgia.Then again, this is more likely: The ACC should stick to basketball. At least when it comes to its embarrassing matchups against the SEC.This was more about Clemson than Alabama. This was about whether the Tigers could go through an entire college football season without stopping along the way to play as if they had swallowed a large chunk of Howard’s Rock.This was about whether Clemson could start the process by spending the game in an absolutely ear-shattering environment doing what it had to do.It had to beat Alabama. Instead, Clemson was humiliated in a 34-10 loss, because Alabama kept doing what it had to do. Let’s just say there are a bunch of sore Tigers this morning. They were battered, bashed and bruised by an Alabama power game that was straight from Bear Bryant’s smash-mouth playbook. That’s why, for the longest time, Clemson looked sort of intimidated by it all.Scared, in fact. The famously precise Cullen Harper nearly threw an interception on Clemson’s first play. Then, on the next play, a jittery Jamie Harper fumbled the ball away to Alabama. The Tigers continued to replace any signs of a roar with a distinctive purr from there. Silly penalties. Dropped passes. This supposedly was the best team in the ACC taking its No. 9 ranking against a supposedly young and inexperienced No. 24-ranked team from the SEC that just hoped to improve each week.In other words, this was a brutal day for a conference that had Virginia Tech losing earlier to East Carolina from the mighty Conference USA. The Clemson game was worse, because given the decades-long inferiority complex involving the ACC in football regarding the SEC, Clemson also had to beat Alabama for that reason.Plus, this inaugural Chick-fil-A College Kickoff had the feel of a Bowl Championship Series game. That’s where the Tigers ultimately want to be. So, with a constant roar coming from the equally split crowd of red for Alabama and orange for Clemson, the Tigers had more than a few reasons to play inspired.It rarely happened.To hear the national pundits tell it, these Tigers are gifted and special. We’ve heard that before, especially during the past two seasons, when Clemson couldn’t keep from vanishing down the stretch despite a slew of talent everywhere. Two years ago, the Tigers were ranked No. 10 nationally after winning seven of their first eight games. They lost four of their last five. Then came last year, when they hinted of joining the elite by December after going from No. 25 overall in early September to 12 slots higher by the end of the month.Clemson lost two of its last three to become just another good team at 9-4 overall, 5-3 in the ACC.That said, such a collapse shouldn’t happen this time for the Tigers. Take it from their orange and noisy followers in T-shirts that declared, “If the thunder don’t get ya, the lightning will.” The thunder is power runner James Davis, and the lightning is his swifter partner, C.J. Spiller. If you add Harper and his usually accurate arm to the mix, along with seven of 11 starters back from last year’s defense, the Tigers should sprint beyond goodness.Unless an SEC team is nearby. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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