In the big picture, does it matter? Either way, if we want to be crowned as the best in the country, we've got to beat two teams. Plain and simple. If Clemson is as good as everyone thinks (I'm not sold on that - they've faced no one), then we'd be facing them anyway. Now we just get to face them sooner rather than later.
What I'd love to see is us beating Clemson and beating them soundly. We need to get out on the field and show them what it's like to play a team that's faced actual competition. Dominate them like we've dominated everyone else so that there's no question.
Then, assuming everything goes as one might expect, we get to face LSU. Again. Beat them like we've beaten everyone else. Show them that the SEC isn't what people think it is - just like we beat Bama in 2014.
Simply put, if we're going to get excuses and less respect than we'd like, we can fix that. We need to beat the teams in front of us and beat them soundly. Then we need to do the same thing again next year. Keep this up for years and we'll no longer get the disrespect.
And in the end, nothing else matters but the wins. They can talk about other conferences being better, but what they can't do is take away our performance on the field, the wins it garners, and the championship. Therefore, what do we need to do?
Win two more games.