Well I guess we are all in agreement although I will argue the semantics. If you look at history, South Carolina had it going when they left the ACC. They thought they could handle the independency and become the Notre Dame of the South. The won the ACC football and basketball titles when they jumped ship and had name coaches in both sports. They left because the ACC had higher academic admissions standards which they felt limited their recruiting, and Frank McGuire thought they needed to get out from the percieved NC dominated ACC. It did not work.
Meanwhile, Clemson had the ACC to provide opponents every year and shared revenue and bowl access. Conference affiliation had alot to do with Clemson being able to stay ahead of South Carolina over the 70’s and 80’s. The ACC has been beneficial to Clemson whether you are willing to admit it or not, and I contend the worst decision the ACC ever made was not letting South Carolina back in 1990. That allowed the SEC to get in the ACC’s footprint for the first time whereas GT and FSU got the ACC in the SEC’s market.
We can all thank Maryland for that as I am pretty sure they were the veto over South Carolina. So lets collectively hate on Maryland for a little bit.