Now that Clemson won’t be playing for the ACC Championship after losing to Boston College last weekend, I started thinking about why I as a Clemson fan am frustrated about not winning the ACC. So I looked up the historical ACC College Football Champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference and it became clear: we’re used to winning it!
Below is a list of how many championships Clemson won per decade. In parenthesis beside it is who was either the best of the decade or second. If there is a * by a number, it indicates that they had a tie for the championship at least once in that decade. I counted a tie as .5 championships.
1950’s: Clemson had 3 (Duke had 2*)
1960’s: Clemson had 2.5* (NC State had 3*)
1970’s: Clemson had 1 (Maryland & UNC had 3)
1980’s: Clemson had 5 (Maryland had 3)
1990’s: Clemson had 1 (FSU had 7*)
2000’s: Clemson has 0 (FSU has 4)
Can you see the trend? I’m not as concerned about the number per decade, but how did we compare to the next best team that decade? We were competitive or won in each decade from the 50’s to the 80’s (okay, maybe not the 70’s). But the 90’s and 00’s we have been horrible in winning championships.
I think that’s one reason why, to me, it almost feels like losing to BC last weekend was so much more important than even beating USC this weekend. To me it’s almost as if the Carolina game doesn’t matter much.
By the way, something interesting: since the ACC Championship game started in 2005, the 4 teams that have played in it are FSU, VT, WF, and GT. This year BC will join them and either VT again or UVA. That means 1/4 were new expansion teams, and if VT beats UVA, it will be 3/6 teams from the expanded league (I’m talking of the recent expansion of VT, Miami, and BC).