The annual Clemson-Florida State matchup has consistently had major implications in the ACC, and more recently, the game’s impact has broadened on a national scale.
Each of the last six seasons, the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game has gone on to win the ACC Championship. The victor of Clemson-FSU has played for the ACC title in each of the last eight seasons.
Moreover, the Clemson-FSU winner has went on to play for the national championship in three of the past four seasons and win it twice in that span. The Seminoles claimed the national title in 2013, and the Tigers of course brought home the trophy in 2016.
“That game has turned into one heck of a game every year,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said on Thursday at the ACC Football Kickoff at the Westin Charlotte. “Whoever wins it has a chance to win it all. Not only win the ACC, but win a national championship.”
Last season, the Tigers pulled out a thrilling 37-34 win over the Seminoles in a primetime contest at Doak Campbell Stadium on Oct. 29.
Deshaun Watson, who accounted for 430 yards of total offense, hit Jordan Leggett for the game-winning, 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 remaining. Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Ben Boulware helped seal the game with sacks on Florida State’s final drive.
Looking back on it, Fisher said he felt Clemson would go on to compete for the national championship after beating his team.
“I knew Clemson would be in it when we played them,” he said.
Fisher had no hard feelings after the tough loss to Clemson. If Florida State couldn’t win the national title, he was glad to see Dabo Swinney guide the Tigers back to the top of college football for the first time in 35 years.
“Dabo has done a tremendous job coaching there — great players, they’ve got a great program, they’ve got great history,” Fisher said. “Football is very important there. You knew it was going to be good, and I was very happy for him.”
He was also happy to see Clemson represent the ACC’s second national championship in four seasons.
“I was very happy for our league, what they did,” Fisher said. “It restablishes our brand and what we do. You go top to bottom, our league is extremely competitive. I was very proud of those guys.”
–Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports