The good news and bad news about Clemson’s blowout of Alabama.
I sure hope everyone understands why Dabo Swinney replaced Kelly Bryant with true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence after four games of the season. Swinney knew his team could not beat the No. 1 Crimson Tide without an explosive offense it lacked in 2017.
Could Clemson win the ACC championship again with Bryant? Of course. But Alabama had become the measuring stick, and with the Tigers’ 44-16 romp over the Tide, their unprecedented 15-0 record, their 55th win over the last four seasons and their second CFP championship win over Alabama in three years, they have officially and unofficially become the No. 1 college football program in America.
The good news is that Clemson making the college football Final Four again means another million dollars or so from post-season revenue for UNC and every other school in the ACC, which after the bowl teams are paid expenses off the top split the rest among 14 schools. The bad news is Clemson gets the highest of the payout to fund its program and facilities, which are already like a Death Valley version of Disney World.
Good news is Clemson plays here next season and with the way the Paw fans travel it will be a sellout crowd in Kenan for sure. The bad news is Mack Brown has to face a program that is even better than Florida State was in his first stint in Chapel Hill. Against a 5-star team filled with underclassmen led by the 6-6 Lawrence, what chance do the Tar Heels – or anyone in the ACC – have to win such a game?
Good news is for the ACC Coastal, which at least gets to produce a champion to play Clemson for the conference title. Bad news, it is more likely to be closer to the 7-5 Pitt team this season than a true contender. Since Carolina’s contentious 35-27 loss in Charlotte in 2015, no Coastal team has been close to Clemson for the ACC championship.
Good news is that Swinney is the new king of college football, with four straight playoff appearances and two national championships, which will by extension boost the ACC’s football reputation. Bad news is that Alabama will likely offer Swinney a blank check to coach his alma mater when 67-year-old Nick Saban retires.
Or is that good news?
Featured image via Ben Margot/AP Photo