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What If? Improbable narratives for Florida State vs. Clemson

(Tyler Smith/Getty Images) If Dabo Swinney gets a pet ostrich, it will surely bond with Clemson's mascot. (Tyler Smith/Getty Images)

There's a pretty big ACC game happening on Saturday. And not just one of those messes that may or may not keep the ACC from embarrassing itself like in years past. This one has possible BCS Championship implications.

Of course, you can look up and down both rosters and see talent all over and make predictions about on-field action until you're face down on the couch with your last word being "Raycom," but there is another way.

EDSBS's Celebrity Hot Tub (aka Run Home Jack) and I have explored every possibility under the sun, and we're here to help you go down the narrative rabbit hole. What if Clemson never shows up for the game? What if Florida State loses on a dirty play? What if Dabo Swinney owned an ostrich? Let's go.

Scenario: Clemson leads by more than a touchdown at halftime but loses due to a combination of conservative play and bad luck in the second half.

Martin: The Clemson fans don't stop letting Dabo hear about it. Clemson loses again before the end of the regular season, wasting the bright college careers of Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd. Clemson still recruits well, but FSU goes on to finish the regular season undefeated and takes hold of the ACC for good. FSU fans become so full of themselves that they break Tallahassee off as its own colony and refuse to play football against anyone, declaring actually playing the games "pointless" and a "waste of their time." Swinney buys a motorcycle.

MANDEL: Florida State-Clemson is finally the rivalry the Bowdens envisioned

Scenario: FSU goes up a quick two scores, but Clemson battles back thanks to some big plays on special teams and Boyd's Heisman Moment® (you can now purchase a Boyd's Heisman Moment® sandwich in Anderson, S.C., but don't tell the NCAA because technically this is frowned upon). The Tigers beat the 'Noles and take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. 

Hot Tub: Dabo Swinney is made the highest paid coach in college football. Not at the end of the year. Like, on Monday. Nervous in his new role as the richest coach in the game, Swinney starts wearing a tux to press conferences and riding an ostrich on the sideline. The ostrich is mean but surprisingly good at recognizing defensive formations. An angry Florida State goes straight to the gym and does nothing but shoulder presses. Around shoulder press number 850, Florida State forgets what it was mad about and spends the rest of the day watching Top Gun.

Scenario: Jameis Winston is knocked out of the game in the first quarter with an injury (though he returns the next week) and Clemson wins, but only by five points.

Martin: Florida State fans claim Winston was hurt on a dirty play. They start a letter writing campaign to the league office and petition the White House to nullify the ACC standings. With the government shutdown over, it is fast tracked to Congress. Jimbo Fisher is made the new director of the FDA, and it's the job he was born for. As for football, the rest of the season is canceled, and Clemson is left wondering why Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits are now considered a Class B illicit substance.

Scenario: Tajh Boyd gets hurt, but in a startling turn of events where he lines up wide, catches a touchdown and is knocked out on the play. Cole Stoudt leads an improbable come-from-behind drive, but on 4th-and-short with just over two minutes to play, Swinney opts to kick the field goal to tie. It misses, and FSU wins. It's later revealed Boyd will miss up to two games with a neck injury.

Hot Tub: Florida State makes it to bowl season undefeated, but consecutive 10-3 wins over Florida and Virginia Tech (dubbed "Tia and Tamera Ow-Ry") keep the Seminoles out of the top two spots in the BCS. Clemson finishes with four losses, and several draft experts accuse Tajh Boyd of having "selfish vertebrae."

Scenario: Florida State is awarded a victory by forfeit after the Clemson team buses never make it to the Hill. The team is found days later at South of the Border.

Martin: Pedro is named the new coach of the Tigers, and he leads Clemson to a win in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Pedro's impassioned late-season charge earns him the UConn job, and as for the tradition of buses to the hill, individual players are now led to the game in the first-ever Tiger Segway Tour.

Hey, anything can happen.

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