Clemson VS SECThe Clemson Tigers are currently the top tier of the ACC. They have 10+ wins 8 years in a row. They have captured 4 straight ACC Championships. Clemson has lost exactly two (2) ACC games in four (4) years. Clemson has two (2) National Championships the last three (3 )years.
Yet, there are millions of college football fans that continue to harp on the same issues for Clemson every year. “Clemson plays in a cupcake conference.” “Clemson has an easy road to the playoffs.” “Clemson doesn’t have to play the rugged schedule of the SEC.” Clemson fans continually have to go toe to toe with fans from the SEC, B1G, and BIG12 almost daily on these issues. Clemson fans come back with “Hey, we are 14-1 the last 3 years against Top 25 teams.” “We just manhandled Alabama’s best team ever!” This goes on and on. Taking a look at the situation a little deeper is necessary.
The two (2) main constants for success in college football are money and recruiting. Money and recruiting. Let’s discuss the money disparity where Clemson and the SEC is concerned. Look at the figures below (they many not be totally accurate but close enough for government work)SEC Team Payouts Clemson Payout2018. 43.7 million 31.4 million2017. 40.9 million 29.8 million2016. 40.4 million 27.9 million2015. 37.3 million 26.6 million
Notice the difference? Every team in the SEC is getting $10million + per year over Clemson. Not to mention the rest of the ACC it’s even more. Money means higher paid coaches, better facilities, airplanes to recruit states like California, Texas, Ohio etc. It’s like the old saying goes “money can’t buy you love but it sure does make things a lot easier”. IF Clemson were in the SEC can you imagine the difference it would make? Adding another $10 million + to Clemson’s budget?Recruiting is another area where Clemson would benefit. When you look at the top recruits in the nation there are several teams dominating the rankings. Only recently has Clemson joined that list. In 2018 Clemson landed Trevor Lawrence and Xavier Thomas. Ranked 1 and 3 (according to Rivals). The “stigma” has always been “The SEC ranks #1 every year in putting players into the NFL.” It’s not really a stigma, it’s true. For example, the SEC had 64 players drafted this year, B1G 40, PAC 12 had 33, and then the ACC 28. In 2018 it was the SEC once again with 54 and the ACC close behind at 45. “The SEC puts players in the pros”. “Come to the SEC”!!” This is a recruiting advantage for the SEC when this type of information is highlighted by ESPN, announcers, the SEC channel (in essence ESPN IS the SEC channel) etc. Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Oklahoma and Texas are the highest profile teams that buck that theory. Clemson has jumped to the top of the recruiting rankings this year because Coach Dabo Swinney has created the perfect college football “culture”. Winning with class, developing players both on and off the field, AND putting players into the NFL. He has the successful blue print.
Bottom line given the finances and the recruiting advantage of being in the SEC would make Clemson even better than they are now. How much better can you get than 15-0, National Champions, and ranked #1 in recruiting for 2020. Scary, huh.
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