Why Georgia Tech and the ACC need Clemson to win

That Spiller guy does one of those Spiller things. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

That Spiller guy does one of those nifty Spiller things. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

The ACC is above rooting for anything except a Carolina-Duke final in its basketball tournament (heh, heh), but the conference can be excused for breaking out the orange tiger paws this weekend. Because the ACC needs Clemson to oppose Georgia Tech in its championship game.

Through four installments, the ACC title game has been a raging dud. It has already moved from Jacksonville to Tampa, and the relocation hasn’t helped. Some 53,000 tickets (of 65,000 available) were sold for last season’s game between Virginia Tech and Boston College, and roughly half went unused. Next year the game is moving again: To Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, where the potential lurks for some chilly weather the first Saturday in December.

Already the ACC championship has given us The Worst Game Ever Played — Wake Forest beating Georgia Tech 9-6 in 2006 on a rainy day with no touchdowns scored and a placekicker named MVP — and consecutive episodes of Virginia Tech versus Boston College, which isn’t a marquee matchup in Florida. The SEC title game, staged the same day, dwarfs the ACC in quality, impact and passion. Which is where Clemson comes in.

Clemson is one of the few ACC schools that cares more about football than basketball. It’s one of the few that has a national profile in the sport, and it’s the only one that has C.J. Spiller enrolled in classes. The prospects of watching Paul Johnson’s offense try to outscore the multifaceted CJS might — I said “might” — draw a viewer or two away from the Big 12 title game, which will be played at the same time in the new Arlington Stadium the night of Dec. 5.

And, to be blunt, Tech also needs Clemson to beat Virginia on Saturday and thereby punch its ticket to Tampa. Otherwise the Jackets might have Boston College  as the opponent and, with all due respect to the Eagles, even Tech fans wouldn’t be pumped over that pairing. (Matt Ryan isn’t apt to discover a bonus year of eligibility. Nor is Doug Flutie.) Clemson at least has a rivalry aspect to it; it sits up I-85 and has a bunch of alums living here, and it also has C.J. Spiller.

Yes, Tech-Clemson would be a rematch, but it would be a rematch of a great game played almost three months ago. All things considered, a rematch is by far the preferable scenario.Nobody profits from a snooze championship game, not even the winner. This Saturday, even the Jackets should be daubing on the orange face paint and chanting, “Let’s go, Dabo!”

455 comments Add your comment

Bid Factory

November 19th, 2009
8:59 am

Paul H

November 19th, 2009
9:01 am

Is the ACC championship game going to beat it’s record of 5000 fans?? This could be a close one! Go ACC!

Bill Alexander

November 19th, 2009
9:01 am

Amen brother! We want the two best teams to play for the championship. That would be GT vs Clemson.

Just Sayin'

November 19th, 2009
9:02 am

It would be nice to play Clemson again, but scary. There are on fire!

Tech82

November 19th, 2009
9:02 am

As much as a rematch against Clemson scares me, I agree that they are the best opponent for both the conference and Tech. Plus, beating them would give us all the opportunity to tell Heather Dinich to enjoy a nice hot cup of STFU.

Just Sayin'

November 19th, 2009
9:04 am

It would be interesting, but scary. The Tigers are on a major roll. But, so are the Jackets.

A2K

November 19th, 2009
9:06 am

I could barely root for Clemson to not lose to Miami a few weeks ago even though it helped Tech. It will be real hard to do it again.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2009
9:06 am

There’s a chance Tech could lose to Clemson. But I don’t think it will.

RAMBLE ON!!!

November 19th, 2009
9:07 am

As usual, right again. Bring on ya ba da ba Daboo.

Plus, it never gets old beating Clempson.

Ralph

November 19th, 2009
9:07 am

Rematches are like kissing your sister, taking a shower with a raincoat, ……

Even the BCS computers ignore rematches.

Bring on a new team.

jacketsrollin

November 19th, 2009
9:09 am

I want Clempsun. I want the Jackets to humiliate CJ Spiller and make him regret coming back for his senior year.

TechKen

November 19th, 2009
9:10 am

I am glad you used the wording carefully when referring to CJ Spiller and classes; he is enrolled, but is he actually going to them during his senior season or is he simply living the life and thinking about “Women and Cadillacs”

RAMBLE ON!!!

November 19th, 2009
9:10 am

Ralph is right. Now I’m confused.

JoD

November 19th, 2009
9:12 am

Clemson +no spiller= below average team. Without Spiller, they are nothing. Lets just put 11 guys on spiller.

Technophobia

November 19th, 2009
9:12 am

If you don’t want a challenge, don’t compete for a championship. The teams were pretty evenly matched in September, lets see who has improved more.

Heather Dinich

November 19th, 2009
9:12 am

CJ SPILLER OMGZZZZ

TechKen

November 19th, 2009
9:13 am

Tech82 – What is a “nice hot cup of STFU.”

Frank's Rock

November 19th, 2009
9:14 am

Clempson should’ve won the first meeting…..a little home cooking by the refs saved GIT’s @ss.

CJ runs wild, Clempson’s defense throttles GIT’s option.

PJ pops a hemorrhoid and an official.

GIT loses.

It’s 2nd in a row.

Joe Schmoe

November 19th, 2009
9:15 am

I want to play and beat Clemson again, so there fans can go back to the caves they came from. Lord, half a season of good play, and they act like they can run over anybody.

Roswell Yellow Jacket

November 19th, 2009
9:16 am

Mark, I know what you’re saying is true, but it would be nice for Tech to get an ACC championship under their belt. Playing Clemson again makes me nervous.

jacketsrollin

November 19th, 2009
9:17 am

Frank’s Rock,

Suggesting UGA will beat GT is laughable at best. Dogs beat a very average Awbarn team and now they are world beaters!

Jeff Sanchez

November 19th, 2009
9:17 am

The bugs only won because of a bogus holding call against Clemson the first time they played

Eagle-Jacket

November 19th, 2009
9:17 am

Heck yeah let’s play Clemson. GT wins gets a bump in the polls, maybe to #5. Bring ‘em on.

KSEE

November 19th, 2009
9:20 am

…No matter who we face im sure CPJ will have our players.. ALL THE WAY TURNT UP!!!!!!!

Boss

November 19th, 2009
9:21 am

Guess how many teams the SEC had in the NCAA tourney last year.

1. LSU. An 8 seed.

But year in and year out the ACC is the best conference. Never a down year.

In football ACC is currently #3 in the Sagarin rankings. The SEC is the most overhyped, overrated conference in the nation. The games are so boring, and the refs are crooked. The ACC played the most exciting games in the nation this year.

Also the ACC title game will have a much bigger rating than the big 12 game this year.

Charlotte is going to be awesome for the ACCCG. It will be a sellout every year. The ACC really needs to just take the Dome away from the SEC for the game.

Just some final reminders.

GT – 4 national titles. UGA 1.
GT’s last national title 1990, UGA – 1980.
GT – 2 final fours, UGA 1.
GT – 1 basketball title game appearance, UGA – 0.
GT – one of the top schools in the world. UGA – party wooooooooooo.
GT – Leader, Boss. UGA – Follower, Employee.

collegeballfan

November 19th, 2009
9:23 am

Good points Mark.

The ACC championship game has been a disaster & should be an embarrassment to the Conference. If they cannot “fix” it they need to just call it off.

HAYWOOD JABLOME

November 19th, 2009
9:25 am

i don’t think GT wants any part of clemson. that D is tenacious.
DABO also brings a fire and a will to win that is unparallel.
we’ll see what happens but i believe clemson will win and
maybe even be favored. they’d get the +3 for the homefield
advantage. probably outnumber GT fans 4 to 1.

GT

November 19th, 2009
9:25 am

Once again couldn’t agree more. It will be even better than the first game because no one knew what they were watching. I felt that one might be a decider on Tech or Clemson getting to the ACC championship game but I didn’t think both of them would made it. Clemson started so poorly against us, I thought they would fire that coach at half time. Lots of questionable decisions on his part. They came out that second half and Parker looked like an All American, the half Tech has since been known to dominate, so in hind sight Clemson is even more impressive. I also think that big game took it out of Tech playing Miami which no one realized until now was that good. I sure Tech was wondering why those punches from Clemson hurt so bad. FSU did that to us last year and we went to Chapel Hill weak.

Brad

November 19th, 2009
9:25 am

Yeah that big 12 game sure will be great. If Kan st wins, they are in the title game. If they lose, they aren’t even bowl eligible. I’d say the acc champ game has fared better than the big 12 over the past 4 years. At least our games are close.

John

November 19th, 2009
9:27 am

Clemson will beat va easily. And they will destroy sc too as will Ga tech destroy ugag.

Then people will begin to realize the acc is just as good as the sec. I’d take ga tech over fla and clemson over bama at this point.

Jackette

November 19th, 2009
9:30 am

playing Clemson again is like 4th down and 1 and CPJ is going for it knowing if we fail, we lose…and CPJ, the team and fans wouldn’t have it any other way! Reckstyle BABY!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8GuH9oDHrU

StraightJacket

November 19th, 2009
9:30 am

I can’t deny that a Clemson appearance would be good for the conference, but as a GT fan, I like the match-up with BC much better. Having said that, the only way UVA beats Clemson is if Spiller only plays on defense (say, MLB) and Willy Korn plays QB.

Clemson and Tech totaled 57 points in September. I predict MORE points will be scored in Tampa.

A close game all the way to the end.

-SJ

Game On

November 19th, 2009
9:33 am

does anyone realize that we have played Spiller at least 3 times and gee I think we came out ok…why the fear? Take a look at the 2nd half highlights in Athens in 08, if Jackets can win there, they have the capability to wn in Tampa, grow some B@lls,CPJ did Jacketnation

James

November 19th, 2009
9:34 am

Mark this one isnt about what’s good for the “conference” this is about a 10-1 GT team trying to go 12-1. Get over your preaching. If Florida and Alabama could avoid playing each other in the acc champ, believe me they would. I’ll be pulling for the wahoos, as any sane GT fan would.

DABOISJV

November 19th, 2009
9:35 am

Even though clemson should win this game, Clemson this time of year lays an egg when it shouldn’t. I am sorry, Dabo is not the solution. I am calling the upset Virginia 23 Clemson 20.

Sorry Dabo, you’re still JV and do not get your payday.

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 19th, 2009
9:35 am

Tech

November 19th, 2009
9:38 am

Life is good for a Tech fan, Top 10 school, Top 10 football team, Top 25 basketball team, and Top 5 baseball team. Talk about well rounded.

Technophobia

November 19th, 2009
9:40 am

Even if Clem’s son loses, that’s no guarantee that BC wins its last two ACC games. Clem’s son is the more anticipated matchup and would be better for the conference.

Ga Tech Old Timer

November 19th, 2009
9:43 am

Let’s think back to that night in September when Tech played Clemson. Tech led 24 – 7 at half and scored 6 in the last qtr. After the first qtr. they went into a coast mode and didn’t come out of it until mid way through the 4th qtr. – just in time to pull the game out in the last few seconds. I want Tech to play Clemson again for all the reasons mentioned by Mark – and also because I think Tech is a much better team than the one that showed up to play Clemson the first time around. While Tech fans are worried that Clemson is hot and much improved – take a good look at your own Tech team since the Miami game and tell me we don’t have something good going on here and have been constantly improving. Clemson should be more worried about Tech than the other way around. Have confidence in what our team has accomplished. If you want to be the best and considered a champion you have to play the best. I don’t want us to “back into” the ACC championship by playing a potentially lesser opponent.

Sonny Clusters

November 19th, 2009
9:44 am

We was so impressed during our official visit to Clemson when they took us downtown and they was a drug store there with a soda fountain where we could order any kind of float we wanted. The closest Dairy Queen was in Pendleton so being able to get to a good float place was very important to us both.

F-105 Thunderchief

November 19th, 2009
9:46 am

I hear Notre Dame has its eye on Dabo Swinney to replace Charlie Weis.

Nate

November 19th, 2009
9:46 am

As an honest Tech fan and ACC fan, I will be pulling for Clemson to make it to the Championship game, no doubt. Clemson and GT will be a great matchup and definitely draw more GT fans than a BC matchup. I mean really, I would rather go see a potentially great game instead of a dud.

Go Jackets!
THWG and THWSEC!

Sonny Clusters

November 19th, 2009
9:50 am

We was never one to pull against Ga Tech but Clemson has a soft spot in our heart. They was some beautiful girls there during our official visit and one of them was looking this Clusters over very closely. We was making eye contact right when the coaches started teaching us about tobacco chawin’ and spittin’ and we never got back to it. We was taking to the instruction real well and was pretty sure we was going to get a scholarship if it wasn’t for baseball coming up right about then. We even had a lawn tractor picked out but that didn’t work out like we’d hoped.

Lavette 4066

November 19th, 2009
9:51 am

Mark – I have been saying this very thing for weeks. The vibe in Tampa will be huge with a Clemson/Tech rematch. The game will sell out and the the pre-game hype machine will generate a strong TV audience. Dwyer vs. Spiller! The ACC needs this to prove the whole ACCCG thing can work. We need both Tech and Clemsom to win out to create a bigger match up. A top 10 Tech vs. a top 15 Clemson.

Charlotte will be a much better venue in the future. Who cares if it is cold? The Big 12 has played out doors in Kansas City and I don’t expect snow in Charlotte. Doesn’t that thing in Arlington still have a hole in the roof?

Bottom line: A Boston College game will be a snoozer in term of image for the ACC. BC is an easier opponent, but people who prefer to play them over Clemson just don’t get the big picture.

strange but true

November 19th, 2009
9:51 am

F-105: TOO FUNNY. but i bet that DABO could have a
.583 win percentage as the other 3 NOTRE DAME coaches
had/have. heck, u or i could.

Not afraid

November 19th, 2009
9:53 am

what I admire about GT is that they played decent teams to get to #7 and didn’t lineup the 3: North Texas, Chattanooga and FIU such as Bama or Fl who played FIU, Troy and Charleston Southern. i can understand one of these teams for a mulligan game but 3 is ridiculous. These teams expect the country to crown them champions but yet too cowardly to line up DIv 1 opponents for these 3 games. That is what makes these rankings so bogus. And your right., if given a choice, they would not play each other either and share the national crown if they could get away with it. Bring the best team on and watch this ACC title game get the ratings. Your either a great team that can handle adversity week in and week out or your not.

reebok

November 19th, 2009
9:54 am

Clemson is playing great right now, and so is Tech. But if the Jackets don’t take care of business and beat the Puppies next Saturday, the ACC Championship game is going to taste a lot less sweet…GO JACKETS!

TML

November 19th, 2009
9:54 am

We want Clemons to win? I’m not so sure about that. At this point, I just want to win the game. I could care less who we’re playing. We don’t have a realistic shot at the BCS title game, so we don’t really “need” to have another “big” win. Not saying I’m scared of Clemons, but that I don’t think it matters to us so much as it does the ACC.

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BobinBuford

November 19th, 2009
9:55 am

Frank’s Rock:

I believe that after that so called “phantom” holding call, GT was called for a “phantom” holding call on their next drive. So the makeup call was made. But GT came back from that to kick the winning field goal.

The 2nd half team that played for GT that day is not the same one that has been playing defense the rest of the year. So I would not be comparing that game vs. the ACCCG.

GA Tech Insider

November 19th, 2009
9:58 am

Once again, anyone thinking about the ACC Championship right now needs to have their head examined, regardless of whether it’s GA Tech or Clemson. GA Tech has a tough game against UGA coming up before they’ll even start thinking about the game in Tampa, and Clemson has a game against Virginia this Saturday, and then another tough game against their SEC rivals, the South Carolina Gamecocks, before the ACC Championship will kick off.

There’s plenty of football to be played before then; let’s try to enjoy the rest of the season, shall we?