Apparently, the morning after doesn't bring any more sanity. Especially for Clemson and Carolina fans.
Even on January 2, Tigers and Gamecocks have a hard time getting along and can't bring themselves to give one another any credit. It is stunning that fans from both teams are still saying things that should never be said.
Everyone just stop for a second and think before you speak. I know, that's tough for Clemson and Carolina fans, but give it a try. And think for a few minutes about why the following things--which have been said--should never be said.
1. ESPN just hates Clemson, because all they can talk about is Clowney!
We live in a whatever-just-happened sports culture. Clowney is the last best thing, and it happened after Clemson beat LSU. That's why ESPN is talking about Jadeveon Clowney instead of Tajh Boyd. Oh, and the fact that Clowney may have offered the play of the year (and one for all-time) on the first day of 2013. And no, that's not an exaggeration.
2. Well, LSU just didn't care about the Chic-Fil-A Bowl! That's why Clemson won!
You're right, LSU didn't care nearly as much about that bowl game as Clemson did. And that's the SEC's problem. Their excessive arrogance is a huge weakness in the postseason, and Clemson exploited it to perfection.
Let's give credit where it is clearly due: Clemson dominated almost every facet of the game against LSU. If they did it because the other Tigers thought they were too good to be there, then shame on them.
3. Clemson beat LSU and LSU beat Carolina, and that proves Clemson is really better than Carolina!
Oh please. You took a beating by Carolina for the four straight seasons. Play the way you did against LSU and maybe that streak will end. Otherwise, let it go.
4. Clemson couldn't do it against the SEC every week!
Nope, probably not. But Carolina can't do it against the SEC every week either. That little three-game stretch in late September/early October proved it. Keep in mind that no one went unscathed in the SEC this year.
Clemson has recruited SEC-level talent and they have SEC-level coordinators. They wouldn't be SEC champs, but they're certainly more SEC than ACC in football.
5. The SEC is overrated, and Clemson proved it!
To some degree, this is true. But it still shouldn't be said, and here's why:
The SEC isn't as good as everybody thinks it is; but the ACC is clearly as bad as everyone thinks it is. Clemson's win or not, the ACC is an awful football conference and has no reason to knock any other conference. And no, Louisville and Notre Dame do not count (yet).
So let's all do what rivals typically refuse to do. Take a step back and give credit where credit is due. And it is due in both Columbia and Pickens County.
While we're at it, we can enjoy being the only state with two 11-win teams who should both be in the top 10 in the final poll this season.