Clemson Football: Is This the Best ACC Team We've Seen in Years?

William PenfieldCorrespondent IIOctober 22, 2011

COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrates the Tigers' 56-45 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

ACC football has been down lately, but Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers are ready to bring it back to prevalence in 2011. 

With a 59-38 victory over North Carolina earlier today, the Tigers are here to stay and give the ACC its first legitimate BCS National Championship Game contender since the Florida State teams of the late '90s and early 2000s.

So arises the question: Is this Clemson Tigers team the best ACC team we've seen in years?

Up to this point in the season they have knocked off Florida State (the preseason favorite to win the ACC), Auburn (the defending national champions) and Virginia Tech.

At 8-0, they are the clear favorite to win the ACC and could challenge for a national championship.

The young offense is the key to the Clemson Tigers.

Tajh Boyd, Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins make up one of the most dominating offensive trios in the country.

Boyd has tossed for 2,012 yards through eight games with 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Watkins has accounted for 728 of those yards and eight of those touchdowns. 

Ellington rounds out the trio to balance the offense with 740 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

But how do the Tigers compare to some of the best teams in ACC history?

In 1999, 2000 and 2001, the Seminoles reached three straight national championship games, winning one. 

Right now, there is no comparison between the teams. These Tigers have only won eight games and could still fall off. The Seminoles run of three straight BCS National Championship Games is something that is rarely accomplished.

In conference history, the ACC has only won two BCS bowl games: in 2000 when the Seminoles won the national championship and in 2009 when Virginia Tech won the Orange Bowl over Cincinnati.

The 2011 Clemson Tigers are on track to reach a BCS bowl game and possibly even the BCS National Championship Game. 

If Swinney leads these Tigers to a victory in either, they would go down as the best team the ACC has seen since Bobby Bowden's late '90s and early 2000s ACC dynasty at Florida State.