Many can say the Clemson Tigers exceeded expectation.
They won yet another Atlantic Division title and are in position to win their first ACC Championship since 1991
And yet, things have never looked so bleak in Tigertown.
After putting so much toward beating their rival South Carolina Gamecocks, spirits and morale are drastically lower after a horrid 34-13 loss. The Tigers were not only again overpowered in the trenches, but also got outmatched psychologically by a team that had more drive and desire to win, despite not being in any sort of championship competition.
The Gamecocks looked like the team that deserves a place in a championship more than the Tigers.
This loss places the Tigers at 9-3, but the record does not tell the story of the lower morale that has plagued them since Georgia Tech, and led to Clemson losing three of its last four games. Like NC State, Clemson's performance was way under the higher marks they received earlier in the season.
Unless head coach Dabo Swinney can rally the troops and arouse the spirit of Clemson Tiger faithful, they will quickly find themselves without an ACC Championship, a BCS Bowl bid and be sitting at home in January with a 9-5 record wondering where to go next.