Most important game: Clemson

Our series taking a look at the most important game on the schedules this year for each ACC school continues today with Clemson. For those of you just tuning in, this is a look at which games will reveal the most or have the biggest impact on the 2012 race.


Most important game: Sept. 22 at Florida State

Why it’s important: Both teams have legitimate chances to win the Atlantic Division title, and this game should produce the frontrunner. It’s the first league game of the season for Clemson, and the first of back-to-back road trips against division opponents. It will feature two of the ACC’s top quarterbacks in EJ Manuel and Tajh Boyd, but the key will be how Clemson’s offensive line handles Florida State’s defensive line.

On paper it’s a matchup the Noles should win up front, as Clemson has to replace three starters. In the bigger picture, both Clemson and Florida State have set the standard in ACC recruiting, and this game will help determine which program is making better use of that talent. If Clemson is going to defend its 2011 title, this is a game the Tigers can’t afford to lose.

More in this series: