ACC Football has taken the crown from the SEC

The SEC has long been considered college football’s best conference, and for years perhaps it was. The ACC is poised to take that honor as college football’s premiere conference.

I said it earlier this season that the SEC was in for a fall from grace. I got a great deal of snarkiness from SEC fans for that statement, but dagnabit, I was right. No, I am not just referring to Clemson’s dramatic victory in the final seconds of the national title game this year, although that was all kinds of awesome. I am referring to the conferences as a whole, and how the ACC has been quietly winning important games all season.

It started early in 2016’s season with Florida State’s mind-blowing comeback against a loaded Ole Miss team. During bowl season, ACC teams finished with an 8–3 record. In addition, the conference managed two fundamental New Year’s Six wins by Clemson (with a blowout of Ohio State) and by Florida State (over No. 6 Michigan). For the first time in a decade, the ACC finished with a better record than the SEC, who finished 6-6.

While bowl records may not always be the best barometer for measuring the strength of a conference, consider this. During regular season play, the ACC racked up a 9-6 record against other Power 5 teams. And for you naysayers out there, this has not just been a recent phenomenon. In the past 5 years, the ACC has amassed a 7–3 record in BCS or New Year’s Six bowls. The SEC has only managed a 5–7 record. No SEC team other than Alabama finished the season with less than four losses.

The ACC has been building quality programs and hiring excellent coaches. As a result, the conference now boasts the best defenses in the country, two recent Heisman Trophy winners, and two recent national titles. Will the conference be able to maintain dominance? If recent recruiting efforts are any indicator, yes. And I say it’s about time.

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