These two truths were solidified with No. 3 Clemson's 47-21 drubbing of No. 14 Louisville on Saturday night: the ACC remains the Tigers' playground and Lamar Jackson's Heisman Trophy repeat bid is all but over.
Of course, it goes a little deeper than that for the Cardinals after this setback. The have yet to beat Dabo Swinney and Co. in four tries since joining the conference, and -- without a little help from -- that hurdle could keep Louisville from climbing any higher than second in the Atlantic Division standings.
But on the topic of the Heisman and the Cardinals quarterback's attempt to equal Archie Griffin as the only two-time winner ... Jackson as the defending winner will surely end the regular season with monster numbers and will appear on enough ballots come December to find himself once again at the ceremony.
Another win, at least as a junior, isn't likely. Not after a loss like Jackson suffered at the hands of the Tigers.
Louisville looked like a one-man offense coming in -- Jackson providing nearly 83 percent of its yardage (a year ago, he was at 73 percent) -- and Tigers coordinator Brent Venables' defense exposed the Cardinals as such.
Jackson had 381 yards, three touchdown passes and an interception, but the reality is much of that yardage came with the game already well out of hand. He didn't get much help either, with the Cardinals getting a combined 52 yards out of Malik Williams and Reggie Bonnafon on the ground, and the lone fear-inducing deep threat, Jaylen Smith, didn't find the end zone until the fourth quarter with Louisville making it a 16-point game.
In the past 16 seasons, only four players have gone on to win the Heisman after suffering a loss in the first month of the season: USC's Carson Palmer in 2001, Florida's Tim Tebow in 2007, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel in 2012 and Alabama's Derrick Henry in 2015.
None of them, though, had suffered a loss to a team ranked higher than 12th. Jackson not only lost to the nation's No. 3 team, but he did so with numbers that were well below the baseline we've come to expect from him.
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A year ago, he lost to Deshaun Watson and the eventual national champion Tigers, but still had 457 yards. This time around, he was largely out played Clemson's new starting QB Kelly Bryant, who threw for 316 and two scores and ran for another two TDs and 26 yards.
Jackson didn't break 300 passing yards until the 1:29 mark in the fourth quarter.
With just one more ranked opponent on the schedule -- the enigma that is No. 11 Florida State, which because of the impact of Hurricane Irma hasn't played since Sept. 2 and has yet to take the field with James Blackman at QB -- there isn't likely enough opportunities to wipe this loss on a prime time stage from voters' minds.
Just three games into the season, talks of legacy may be more than a little heavy handed. But in the way that Robert Griffin III helped to elevate Baylor's program and take it to new heights without contending for a national title, that may be what Jackson eventually walks away from Louisville as (barring a return as a senior).
A trip to the College Football Playoff was the needed next step in his career progression, but instead he watched Clemson roll to its 18th straight game against the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, Clemson has once again shown its the team to beat in the Atlantic, with the Seminoles' loss of Deondre Francois putting a damper on the usual headliner on that side of the ACC.
Challenges remain, the first of which is a Sept. 30 trip to Lane Stadium vs. unbeaten and 16th-ranked Virginia Tech, but that's a Coastal crossover matchup. The development of Bryant and the continued dominance of a defense that allowed a total of 350 yards, sacked Jackson four times and limited Louisville to 4 of 14 on third downs, all making the Tigers a team with fewer questions than any of the Atlantic's would-be contenders.
A hurdle was cleared by Clemson, and Louisville hit a roadblock, one that history and perception will likely keep its quarterback from chasing down another Heisman.