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Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
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Pervis_Griffith Offline
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Post: #1
Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Clemson is the class of the ACC, and it's not even close. Hell, Clemson is probably the class of all of college football. Dabo's got it rolling, and it's good to be a Clemson football fan right now.


Looking at the rest of the conference, things seem to be kinda messy ... there is NO real clear second fiddle to Clemson. Lots of coaching turnover, and traditional powers are in flux.

So my question (or questions, I guess), is who will start to challenge Clemson, and why? And ... when?


- Feels like Florida State and Miami should perenially be in position to do so. In talent rich Florida, with incredible history and tradition behind them. But FSU seems like a mess. And Miami has a new coach leading them.

- Virginia Tech should be better positioned than maybe they are, with some weird player turnover going on there. Not sure if that is fatal.

- Syracuse is coming off their best season is years, but have some key players to replace. Is Dino in a re-load position already, or do they take a step back, before bringing on another season like last year?

- Louisville cratered horrifically last year. The team basically gave Bobby the finger on his way out. They're (or I should say WE'RE) a couple of years away from challenging anybody. But I like Satterfield a lot, and am confident he will build something here in time.

- Mack Brown does have a national title on his resume, but can he do it again at UNC?

- I think next year Bronco Mendenhall will have Virginia playing it's best football in forever. They return a lot off a team that played well last year. Is Bronco building something sustainable? I've always liked him as a coach.

- NC State has been churning out NFL draft picks the last few years. Can they keep it up? Will they challenge Clemson in the Atlantic next year? Or do they take a natural step back?

- Boston College has had a good couple of years, and put some dudes in the NFL this past draft. They return some nice talent. Have they turned the corner? Can they challenge?

- Georgia Tech with a new coach, and new scheme, in talent rich Atlanta and Georgia ... I expect them to become pretty good, pretty quickly. But is probably a couple of years away from truly being there.

- Duke, has to replace Daniel Jones, which are big shoes to fill. But Cutcliffe is a damn good coach.

- Wake Forest has built some tough teams, but still seems like a bit away from being in the same conversation as Clemson ... not a slight to them in the least.

- Pitt beat Clemson in the past year or two ... so they can do it. But where are they going into next season as a program?
05-07-2019 04:00 PM
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TexanMark Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Cuse has the best chance for a victory over them. Did it in '17 and came within a whisker in '18. They have the DE's that can pressure Sunshine. I fear Clemson will be able to run at will against us.

However, I expect a sellout (ESPN Game Day) along with a prime-time ABC kickoff on September 14th in a non air-conditioned Dome to create a huge issue for Clemson.
05-07-2019 04:14 PM
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Hokie Mark Offline
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Exclamation RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Teams have demonstrated the ability to beat Clemson in a 1-game win-or-lose situation:

Florida State
Georgia Tech*
Miami
Pitt
Syracuse

In addition, I believe NC State and Virginia Tech both COULD get it done, they just haven't actually done so under their current head coaches. (* TECHnically, neither has Georgia Tech, FSU or Miami - although GT is undergoing a MAJOR retooling).

Now, in order for an Atlantic division team to unseat Clemson, they not only need to win head-to-head, but also have as good or better conference record (which means not losing to anyone else). For the Coastal division winner, they just need to get to the ACC CG and win it - easier said than done.
(This post was last modified: 05-07-2019 10:43 PM by Hokie Mark.)
05-07-2019 04:31 PM
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Statefan Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
NC State blew a point blank fg to win the game in 2016. They lost a winnable game in 2017. Typically Clemson has a better player at 18-19 positions than State, even if State's player is 2nd team all ACC. Clemson will not be caught napping against State and CF Stadium is not a unique home field advantage like the Carrier Dome. Additionally, NC State has to beat FSU and WF in the same year for a Clemson win to even matter and State has the propensity to not show up in Winston Salem or at home against WF. The only way for State to "challenge" Clemson is to to be in their division.
05-07-2019 07:05 PM
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nole Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Nobody is even close in the ACC.

I think the better question is, who could be hypothetically someday. Who has the recruiting territory, resources, $$$, or desire in football to someday get in that universe.

IMHO, only Miami and FSU. Mainly due to recruiting territory, but both are far....far away from it due to leadership, $$$, and dysfunction.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2019 09:46 AM by nole.)
05-08-2019 08:31 AM
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Topcat Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
I'm gonna say… Wake Forest.

Why not. They've got just as much chance as any of the others.
05-08-2019 12:03 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
It starts with recruiting. Clemson's greatest liability is that lacks sufficient talent in home turf to simply use locals. I-85 in SC is *vastly* underrated for producing football players, though. Based upon proximity to recruiting grounds and willingness to go after them ... I'd probably say Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State. That being said you don't have to win at recruiting to take down another program living off players that aren't local to them. Look what Mike London did to VT in the Tidewater. If Mack Brown keeps on redirecting 4* in state talent in NC to UNC it will hurt Clemson. It won't be enough to make UNC a power again, but it will cut off a major source of life blood to Clemson. Same with GT recruiting in Atlanta. Same with Miami recruiting in South Florida. It's borderline impossible for a program to stay on top at a high level if they're living off players that aren't local to them. Eventually other people press home the locality in recruiting to their advantage and your pipelines become dripping faucets. If you miss just one year you've got a 2-year timebomb in your roster. Think of all the programs with historic runs that can't keep it up because they are absolutely relying on outside talent infusions every year. Nebraska. Michigan. Notre Dame. Oregon. Florida. Virginia Tech. Tennessee. You can recruit sustained at a high national level, but you need to have something special that most people simply cannot have. Be that filthy piles of lucre you use to build laser tag pavilions for recruits to drool over, be that a pervasive culture that consumes the place from top to bottom, or world class academics that actually can promise you a millionaire future regardless of your athletic career. But there's maybe ... MAYBE .... a dozen places that could fit that bill. And not all of them are up to the challenge all the time.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2019 12:36 PM by georgia_tech_swagger.)
05-08-2019 12:34 PM
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HtownOrange Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Syracuse has the offense to outscore Clemson. Tommy DeVito is under center, has a cannon, accuracy, and zip. He is faster on a ruin but not as shifty as Eric Dungey. We also get our RB (the OU transfer!) who is the real deal. Defensively, the D-Line will be good, DBs will be great, the LBs will be the unknown; Sunshine will have to earn a victory.

This by no means guarantees a win, but with the Tigers graduating many starters and SU catching them in week 3 in the Dome (who could imagine TAMU as a trap game for Clemson?), there are few teams that can match up with Clemson as well.

Miami and FSU have the talent but the coaching has not proved itself at either school, yet. I am not convinced anyone else is close enough, yet, to stand toe to toe with Clemson.


For the record, I am leaning towards Clemson winning the ACC, the above is simply a response to the OP.
05-10-2019 10:24 PM
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DawgNBama Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
(05-07-2019 04:00 PM)Pervis_Griffith Wrote:  Clemson is the class of the ACC, and it's not even close. Hell, Clemson is probably the class of all of college football. Dabo's got it rolling, and it's good to be a Clemson football fan right now.


Looking at the rest of the conference, things seem to be kinda messy ... there is NO real clear second fiddle to Clemson. Lots of coaching turnover, and traditional powers are in flux.

So my question (or questions, I guess), is who will start to challenge Clemson, and why? And ... when?


- Feels like Florida State and Miami should perenially be in position to do so. In talent rich Florida, with incredible history and tradition behind them. But FSU seems like a mess. And Miami has a new coach leading them.

- Virginia Tech should be better positioned than maybe they are, with some weird player turnover going on there. Not sure if that is fatal.

- Syracuse is coming off their best season is years, but have some key players to replace. Is Dino in a re-load position already, or do they take a step back, before bringing on another season like last year?

- Louisville cratered horrifically last year. The team basically gave Bobby the finger on his way out. They're (or I should say WE'RE) a couple of years away from challenging anybody. But I like Satterfield a lot, and am confident he will build something here in time.

- Mack Brown does have a national title on his resume, but can he do it again at UNC?

- I think next year Bronco Mendenhall will have Virginia playing it's best football in forever. They return a lot off a team that played well last year. Is Bronco building something sustainable? I've always liked him as a coach.

- NC State has been churning out NFL draft picks the last few years. Can they keep it up? Will they challenge Clemson in the Atlantic next year? Or do they take a natural step back?

- Boston College has had a good couple of years, and put some dudes in the NFL this past draft. They return some nice talent. Have they turned the corner? Can they challenge?

- Georgia Tech with a new coach, and new scheme, in talent rich Atlanta and Georgia ... I expect them to become pretty good, pretty quickly. But is probably a couple of years away from truly being there.

- Duke, has to replace Daniel Jones, which are big shoes to fill. But Cutcliffe is a damn good coach.

- Wake Forest has built some tough teams, but still seems like a bit away from being in the same conversation as Clemson ... not a slight to them in the least.

- Pitt beat Clemson in the past year or two ... so they can do it. But where are they going into next season as a program?

Florida State’s recruiting has seemed to really pick up lately. The Dawgs & the ‘Noles have been duking it out for state of Georgia recruits again it seems like. The ‘Noles could be a factor in the future.

Miami is a wait & see. The indoor practice facility is definitely a huge plus, but we have not seen Diaz as a head coach before. I am not saying that he is a bad coach because he has been a very good assistant coach everywhere he’s been and Temple was willing to give him a chance before Miami decided to. But, we still have not seen Diaz as a head coach yet.

Not sure what is going on at Virginia Tech, but I think the Hokies could challenge Clemson soon.

I do see Syracuse giving Clemson fits, and I can see the Orange becoming a real power in the ACC if they are able to hang on to their head coach for a while.
05-11-2019 04:46 AM
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XLance Online
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Post: #10
RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
Clemson is the class of the ACC in football and has been so for the majority of the ACC's history. That title was taken over by Florida State when they came into the conference, but things have a way of righting themselves over a period of time.
Challenges will come from programs who hire dynamic coaches that can recruit, maybe not at Clemson's current level, but those that can assemble teams that have a chance to be competitive with the Tigers.
05-11-2019 11:54 AM
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Hokie Mark Offline
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RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
(05-11-2019 11:54 AM)XLance Wrote:  Clemson is the class of the ACC in football and has been so for the majority of the ACC's history. That title was taken over by Florida State when they came into the conference, but things have a way of righting themselves over a period of time.
Challenges will come from programs who hire dynamic coaches that can recruit, maybe not at Clemson's current level, but those that can assemble teams that have a chance to be competitive with the Tigers.

Essentially, I agree - but don't think for one second that FSU was a fluke. Flukes don't last that long.
05-11-2019 02:22 PM
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XLance Online
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Post: #12
RE: Clemson clearly the class of the ACC in football ... who can challenge them, and why?
(05-11-2019 02:22 PM)Hokie Mark Wrote:  
(05-11-2019 11:54 AM)XLance Wrote:  Clemson is the class of the ACC in football and has been so for the majority of the ACC's history. That title was taken over by Florida State when they came into the conference, but things have a way of righting themselves over a period of time.
Challenges will come from programs who hire dynamic coaches that can recruit, maybe not at Clemson's current level, but those that can assemble teams that have a chance to be competitive with the Tigers.

Essentially, I agree - but don't think for one second that FSU was a fluke. Flukes don't last that long.

I never said that Florida State was a fluke.
What I did say was that Clemson was the traditional class of ACC football and has been for much of the ACC's 66 year history, therefore it's no surprise to see them in that position again.
05-11-2019 03:05 PM
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