We love hype and hyperbole that builds up to the college football season and conference media days are perfect for this. On Thursday, FSU boss Jimbo Fisher did not disappoint in “throwing down the gauntlet” on behalf of the ACC.
Backed with ammo of Clemson having won the national title last year and FSU having won one four years ago (both head to head against SEC foes), plus two of the last four Heisman winners, Fisher led the charge in Charlotte.
Here’s a clip of what he had to say during one of the media sessions:
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) July 13, 2017
When you consider that FSU and Clemson have made the first three College Football Playoffs, Louisville has the reigning Heisman winner (Lamar Jackson), and the ACC has won the Orange Bowl game five straight times, there’s even more merit.
But, here’s another truth, too: the conference has to be more than just FSU and Clemson duking it out for national relevance.
Part of that occurred a year ago when the Cardinals demolished FSU and put more points on the board than any opponent in previous history. That game paved the way for Lamar Jackson’s Heisman win, but Louisville also faltered badly being blown out by Houston and LSU in their bowl game with a devastating collapse to rival Kentucky sandwiched in between.
The UNC Tarheels behind QB Mitchell Trubisky also stunned FSU at Doak Campbell in October, but also got humbled by VA Tech the next week and had losses to rivals Duke and NC State. Then, also lost to Stanford in their bowl game finishing 8-5.
And finally, the Miami Hurricanes are still trying to work their way back under Mark Richt. His first year started with four wins, but then, incurred four straight losses. Now, they did turn it around winning the final four ACC games and wiping out West Virginia in the bowl game for a 9-4 finish. Still, they weren’t relevant on the national landscape by mid-October. And the Canes record against FSU and Clemson the last three years is 0-4.
So when the conference wants to brag, and there are facts and trophies behind them, you get to air it out:
— Michael (@MichaelGTBuzz) July 13, 2017
And Jimbo’s FSU team has won six straight against the SEC including their title win over Auburn in 2013. So, he has reason to boast in July.
But the Noles and Tigers can’t be the only ones doing damage.
And for Florida State, Alabama looms on September 2nd in Atlanta and no amount of talking will help in that battle.