Ask any Clemson fan about the "superiority" of the SEC, and you are likely to get an angry scowl and a Chris Carter-like "Come on, man!" And that's the Disney-rated version.
By the time the clock struck midnight last Saturday, there was little doubt that ACC fans get angry at that because the truth hurts.
The ACC may not be as bad as everyone says, but it's still nowhere close to the SEC. Not even in the ballpark. In fact, it's a lot closer to the Big East than it is to the SEC.
Look at the facts from Saturday. Clemson is at least the second-best team in the ACC, and they took on the fourth or fifth-best team in the SEC. The Tigers were crushed on Saturday night, giving up 34 points to a Gamecock team that could barely muster 20 points in most of their conference games this season.
"Twitter" Tajh Boyd has looked outstanding all season long, as has the offensive line and receiving corps for the Tigers. They looked like they couldn't tie their own shoes against a far superior South Carolina defense. Everyone mocked the Gamecock secondary as an inferior product, yet they held even the great Sammy Watkins in check.
Consider this: Two weeks ago, Wake Forest took the Atlantic Division champions to the mat in Death Valley. Saturday, the Demon Deacons lost 41-7 to Vanderbilt. VANDERBILT!
Clemson is clearly on the right track to being a terrific football team. But as long as they continue to take beatings against the SEC, and as long as their conference's BCS record remains 2-11, they can expect to hear the same line from Gamecock fans. No matter how good you are, you're not as good as the SEC.
It's mainly annoying because it's true.