In a span of four quarters, Clemson went from a national title contender to an afterthought in the BCS standings. With the Tigers’ drop from No. 5 to No. 11 this week, no longer does the ACC have a top 10 team. No longer does the ACC have a realistic chance of getting two teams in BCS bowl games. And no longer is the anticipation of a weekly race with the other undefeated teams in the country one of the most interesting subplots to the ACC race.
On a lighter note, ACC fans can take solace in the fact that there are more teams ranked from Conference USA than the Big East. And you won’t find any Big Ten teams in the top five, either. The ACC isn’t alone. It’s not easy to produce a top five team and keep it there.
At No. 11 in this week’s BCS standings, Clemson is the ACC’s highest representative, followed by No. 12 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Georgia Tech. The good news is that the ACC has three ranked teams, compared to two last week, but the addition of the Yellow Jackets doesn’t compensate for the loss of a national title contender.
It’s important to remember, though, that Clemson did not "pull a Clemson” in Atlanta. Clemson was prepared. It was focused, but Georgia Tech was better, and the Jackets deserve their spot in the BCS standings this week.
Then again, so does Clemson.