|Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 7:06 AM- -|
Like many of you, I sat in Death Valley until the clock struck 0:00 and watched Florida State fans celebrate on Frank Howard Field. It was sickening. I was disgusted. It is so difficult to watch several thousand of the opposing team fans celebrate on our turf. Florida State had just destroyed third-ranked Clemson and I was tired of hearing their band and the War Chant.
It is hard to imagine that I would be pulling for that same enemy two and a half months later.
As many of you know I have never pulled for the "conference thing." In fact, I have been outspoken about how ridiculous that argument can be. But like many of you, I have overdosed on the SEC propaganda. ESPN's SEC agenda is sickening and eventually drove me to do the Tomahawk Chop Monday night.
In my mind, I would rather take a four iron to the ankle bone instead of hear Paul Finebaum try to convince me that the SEC could have defeated the Soviet Union in its prime. Had Reagan failed, Finebaum suggests we could have sent in Nick Saban to take down the Berlin Wall.
So like many of you, I was relegated to pull against the SEC Monday night. This was not an ACC vote or an FSU vote. Instead it was an anti-SEC vote. So the Noles won and they were my team Monday night.
Now that Florida State won its third national title, reality has set in. FSU is good. Really good. And now Clemson has a taller mountain to climb within the division. If FSU is set to return to its glory days then Clemson will have a much more difficult time beating the Seminoles, getting to the ACC title game and getting into the national playoffs.
Be careful what you wish for. FSU looks like it is set to join the nation's elite. It looks like they could be the next Alabama.
It is also true that Clemson has some holes to fill.
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So the task looks a little like it did when Clemson was facing the dominate Noles teams under Bobby Bowden. However, I am not ready to concede the rivalry for the next few seasons.
The uphill climb probably looked worse for UCLA a few years ago in their rivalry and division foe with Southern Cal.
Miami was the most dominant team of the last 15 years back in 2000 and 2001. Who could have foreseen the decline of the Canes?
When Texas won the national title in 2005 and played for the title again in 2009, who could have guessed that a mediocre Texas A&M rival would soon become the new power in the state? Do ya think Baylor thought they could have climbed their mountain they faced at the time?
Perhaps the best example can be found right in the almighty SEC West. When LSU was winning national titles Alabama faced a huge challenge. The Crimson Tide answered with three titles under the czar of college football, Saban. Throw Auburn into the equation. How could the little step brother compete with LSU and Alabama in their primes? We now know Auburn won one national title and played for another Monday evening.
The point is that college football has so much turnover in terms of players and coaches that instability is the norm. FSU does appear to be the next giant but Jameis Winston could have 14 more games in his college career, and who knows if Clemson's Deshawn Watson is the next quarterback sensation? How long will Jimbo Fisher hang around Tallahassee? How about his staff? How will FSU stand up to the extra eyes that will scrutinize its program?
The good news is Clemson has positioned itself to compete for years to come. Facilities, support, tradition and history are in place. Clemson is special. Not so special that it is immune to the factors that led to the decline at Southern Cal, Miami and Texas, but special enough that the program does not have to concede the Atlantic Division of the ACC to Florida State each year.
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