For years, the battle for supremacy, in college football, between the ACC and SEC conferences has gone strong. There were years like 2014, when the SEC was so good, fans were waiting for the conference play to see who would end up with the victory. I stand firmly behind my statement that Arkansas was the best unranked team in the country that year and they went 7-6. They played fantastic football, they just happened to be in a conference where every game, week in and week out, was against one of the toughest competitors of the year in college football. Somebody had to lose and they continually did, by the smallest of margins and gracefully.
But, enough about that. Until last year, it seemed the SEC was the conference to beat, for the last several years. Alabama had been almost unstoppable (except by Ole’ Miss… two years in a row) and teams like LSU, Ole’ Miss, and Auburn have all had their years in the sun. However, as of last year, it looks like there’s a new conference to look out for. Or well, an old conference coming back for redemption. No one can argue that the likes of Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, and Miami are some forces to be reckoned with. No team is looking forward to playing any of these teams and they certainly aren’t saying to themselves “we can relax that week”.
No one is saying the SEC has lost their edge, though it does seem Alabama is doing a lot of holding the line, as of late. LSU, Auburn, and Georgia all may have their claim to fame this year. But I think it is safe to say that the SEC is no longer standing alone as the best conference in college football.
After the 2016 bowl games, where the ACC went 8-3 and the SEC went 5-5, it’s safe to say things could get very interesting this year. Jimbo Fisher went out on a limb to say he believed he was coaching in the best conference in football this year, and I may just have to agree with him. Either way the match ups this year will be intense and make for great Saturdays to come. Florida State will play Alabama along with Georgia Tech playing Tennessee in week one, and in week two Auburn will take on defending national champion, Clemson. There will be no shortage of ACC vs SEC match ups to watch.
Not to say that Florida State playing Alabama at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on September 2, is the deciding factor, but it will definitely set the tone for the upcoming year. Last year we saw many teams come out and play big games on week one, after several years of boring week one football. That being said, Florida State and Alabama just upped and anti and took on the challenge. Depending on how the season goes, it would not be hard pressed to think these two teams could end up in the top four and battling it out for the national championship.
Only time will tell which conference will reign supreme this year, but there is one thing we know for sure… when college football is on it makes it a great time of year!