Clemson Tigers Help Position ACC Football as Nation’s Best Conference
With the Clemson Tigers winning the national championship in a fantastic game against the SEC’s mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, the ACC can now lay claim to the nation’s best football conference.
The SEC is still a great football conference, and will still attract many of the nation’s top recruits in 2017. But the truth has now been exposed for all to see – the SEC isn’t the best anymore (at least not this year).
The ACC has nailed their protest of power to the door of the SEC offices in Birmingham, Al. and proclaimed their solidarity as the nation’s top football league. (Anyone have a picture of Greg Sankey in a papal-like pointed hat?)
For over a decade the SEC spewed out champion after champion in football, and bonded their rival fan bases together like nothing that had ever been seen in college football before. It was almost sickening for college football purists in other parts of the nation to see. What fan in their right mind cheers for their rivals to win?
SEC fans used stats and numbers to back up their claim that their conference was the best – the best at recruiting, the best at winning head-to-head games against other leagues, and the best team in the nation every single year.
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The numbers were hard to argue with, and even those who suffered from SEC-fatigue had to begrudgingly admit that the SEC had everyone beat on the gridiron.
Even noted Alabama homer and ESPN SEC mouthpiece Paul Finebaum got into the act, publishing his book My Conference Can Beat Your Conference in 2014.
Well, for those SEC fans who still want to believe their conference is on top (despite not fielding a champion two out of the last three seasons), here are some numbers to chew on, courtesy of your “little brother” conference, the ACC.
For the regular season, the ACC finished 23-10 playing out of conference in the FBS, with a 9-6 record against Power-5 teams, going 6-3 head-to-head with the SEC. By comparison, the SEC posted a 29-12 record out of their conference, going 6-8 against Power-5 schools.
In the 2016 bowl season, the ACC had 11 participants, going 8-3 in their bowl games. While the SEC did field one more team, they only finished 6-6 for the year in bowls, going 1-3 head-to-head with the ACC.
If you cap all those numbers with Clemson putting the ACC back on top as champions again, it’s clear which conference now sits as king of the hill.
What makes Clemson’s win (and season) even more amazing is that through the course of this year the Tigers defeated the national champions from the last seven seasons – Auburn (2010), Florida State (2013), Ohio State (2014) and Alabama (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) – winning every one of those games on the road or in a neutral site.
This was not a fluke year for the ACC, nor is Clemson and one-and-done team. For now, at least, the ACC – who finished with five Top 25 teams in both the AP and Coaches poll – has firmly planted themselves in control of the college football world, and now should be looked at as the conference to beat.
Certainly SEC apologists will make some excuses for the drop-off this season – several coaching changes, first-year head coaches and true freshmen quarterbacks. But the fact is that these chest-thumping fans never wanted to hear excuses from anyone else in the past.
Suck it up, SEC snowflakes, no one wants to stomach the excuses now.
Its certain this is a bitter pill to swallow for SEC fans who enjoyed picking on the ACC more than any other Power-5 conference. But the pendulum of power has swung the ACC’s way, and the future for this once-tabbed “basketball conference” looks pretty promising on the football field.
Don’t worry, SEC. You still have a shot at winning National Signing Day. That’s something…right?