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Meet Clemson, BC's Closest Thing To An Atlantic Division Rival

Welcome to Clemson week. This week we'll take a look at BC's first big road test in ACC play. 

I've always thought of Clemson as the closest thing to a BC rival in the ACC Atlantic Division. See below the composite records and point differentials for BC's first six seasons in the ACC:

Program PF PA Delta W L
Florida St. Seminoles 132 136 (4) 3 2*
Clemson Tigers 114 125 (11) 4 2
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 161 137 24 5 1
Maryland Terrapins 172 136 36 4 2
N.C. State Wolfpack 189 139 50 4 2
Totals 768 673 95 20 9

BC has actually played Florida State the closest of any ACC Atlantic Division opponent, getting outscored by just 4 points. Though when you remove FSU's vacated win from the 2007 season, BC holds a slight 3-2 edge in the ACC series. 

After Florida State, Clemson is next on the list. BC owns the edge in overall record -- 4-2 -- but has been outscored by a slim 125-114 margin. Nearly every one of the six BC-Clemson games in ACC play have been instant classics.

The Eagles got the better of the Tigers in both 2005 and 2006, winning both in overtime. In 2005, it was a Brian Toal 1 yard TD that gave the Eagles a 16-13 victory in Death Valley. The following season in Chestnut Hill, it was JoLonn Dunbar blocking a Clemson XP and L.V. Whitworth / Ryan Ohliger scoring the game-winning points in double OT. 

In 2007, it was some Matt Ryan heroics that gave BC its third straight victory over the Tigers in conference play.

The following two seasons, the Tigers finally got in the win column, using a career day receiving from C.J. Spiller to give Dabo his first career win in 2008. In 2009, the only lopsided result of the series in the ACC, BC had a terrible offensive day en route to a 25-7 loss. Even the most lopsided result of the ACC series wasn't without its intrigue. The game in Death Valley was delayed twice for lightning. Finally, in 2010, BC notched its fourth win in the series with a 16-10 victory in Chestnut Hill.

With the exception of the 2009 game, the five other BC-Clemson ACC games have been decided by six points or less. The average point differential in BC's first six ACC games vs. Clemson -- 6.17 -- is the lowest of any ACC Atlantic Division opponent. Wake Forest comes in second with an average of 6.33.

I thought it was interesting to also look at some of the other rows in the above chart. I was surprised to see Wake has played BC the closest after Florida State and Clemson, and also surprised to see BC outscore N.C. State by 50, despite a 27 point loss last season.