CFP Championship Clemson Football

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney argued that his team faced tough competition, but the ACC is just 3-6 this postseason.

Happy trails, you big bully.

Good luck on the other side of the tracks.

That has to be the attitude of every other ACC football team, right? Clemson just spent three-plus months handing out beatdowns in this league yet again, spawning frustration, jealousy and unpleasant introspection.

But now the Tigers are somebody else’s problem — LSU’s, to be specific.

All right, then.

Go, Dabo, go!

Because Monday night’s national title game is the one we’ll all remember. Not those eight ACC regular-season games that Clemson won by an average margin of 35.8 points. Not the ACC championship game that turned into a predictable bloodletting. And not even Clemson’s 29-23 victory over Ohio State in the semifinals — a game that felt like it was played about 32 years ago.

If the ACC is lucky, Clemson also will help everybody forget the rest of the conference’s bowl performances. The league’s other representatives have gone 3-6 in the 2019-20 postseason, not exactly boosting Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s argument that his team was blasting tough opposition throughout the year.

The most recent Associated Press poll had exactly one ACC team in it: Clemson, at No. 3. Virginia was second in the also receiving votes category.

The Cavaliers might have a chance of sneaking into the final poll after their competitive effort against Florida in the Orange Bowl, but the voters will need to be feeling generous.

Nobody else in the league has a shot.

Last season, the ACC had only one team other than Clemson in the final poll — Syracuse, at No. 15. So the perception that this conference is the Tigers and the 13 dwarfs is very real.

Given that, the dwarfs might as well put some ice on their black eyes, swallow their pride and don their orange foam fingers Monday night.

Yes, the Clemson Tigers are bullies. But they’re the ACC’s bullies. That’s better than nothing, is it not?

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