To quote the great American wrestler Ric Flair “To be the man, you got to beat the man… Wooo!” The SEC has been the top collegiate football conference for what seems like forever. They’ve earned it. 7 straight national titles, multiple top 20 teams each year. On and on… it actually can be a bit nauseating for the rest of country. The Big 10 plays the most high profile bowl games with the SEC, and year in and year out they’ve floundered badly in those games. So how do you start elevating your own conference while putting a chink in the mighty SEC’s armor.
It’s obvious, it’s not television revenue, stadium size, or who wins February. It’s who wins on the field. That’s the only way any perceptions that matter will start changing, and suddenly the much maligned ACC and it’s teams are standing up to Big Brother SEC, and coming out on top in some of these of games. Let’s review the last 6 games the current and future ACC has had with top 15 SEC teams.
W December 31, 2012 - #14 Clemson 25 #8 LSU 24
W January 2, 2013 - #22 Louisville 33 #3 Florida 23
L August 29, 2013 - North Carolina 10 #6 South Carolina 27
L August 31, 2013 - Virginia Tech 10 #1 Alabama 35
W August 31, 2013 – #8 Clemson 38 #5 Georgia 35
W September 7, 2013 Miami 21 #12 Florida 16
I don’t think we have to go into again why these results are so important. When an SEC team loses a game they always have a chance to get back into the national title chase. In essence they get a mulligan. Georgia lost by 4 touchdowns to South Carolina last year and came within a play of playing Notre Dame. With the 4 team playoffs coming as well as the access bowl, it becomes even more important. Your conference needs to show it has some quality depth. Even the SEC has Kentucky in football, but its imperative a conference is handful of good teams deep. This is critical going forward in the expanded playoff. Relative conference strength is and will be a factor going forward.
What better way to prove your conference is taking some positive steps than to start winning games against the top dog? Can I toot my horn as I predicted in this week’s ACC podcast with myself @TalkinACCSports and @HokieSmash that Miami would beat Florida? @HokieSmash called the North Dakota State upset of Kansas St. the week before.
For Miami this was the foundation win they’ve been looking for. Before anyone says the U is back, they aren’t… yet. I’m staying with my 9-3 prediction. Miami had a tough time with Florida upfront, but Al Golden’s opportunistic Canes came up with 4 timely red-zone turnovers to gain the victory and give the current/future ACC it’s 4th victory over a top 15 SEC in 6 tries.
This came from the Dabo Swinney. He knows how important it is for the ACC to win big OOC games.
Dabo: “How about that ACC? Spunky little old league?” Then he makes “The U” sign as he walks out.
The ACC got 2 major OOC wins over SEC heavyweights to start 2013. It doesn’t changes years of underachieving, but it’s start and you have to start somewhere.
I think John Swofford is feeling pretty good right about now.