Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ACC/SEC Comparison

The ACC made a major power move two years ago in football and should see the fruits of that move this season. The addition of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College bring the ACC to a level on par with the SEC. Some SEC people would disagree, but let’s take a closer look at top to bottom where the conferences rank against one another. Below is a ranking 1-12 of where each team falls in its conference. Pit 1 vs. 1 at a neutral site. Winners are in bold.

Head to Head

1. LSU -- Virginia Tech
2. Tennessee -- Miami
3. Florida -- FSU
4. Georgia -- Boston College
5. Auburn -- Georgia Tech
6. Alabama -- Virginia
7. Arkansas -- Clemson
8. SC -- NC State
9. Ole Miss -- Maryland
10. Kentucky -- North Carolina
11. Vanderbilt -- Wake Forest
12. Miss. St -- Duke

SEC is very top heavy, as in most years, and would win at least four of the top five matchups. None of these would be easy though. The gap here is very small, but I have to give the edge to the SEC. Once we get in the middle of the pack teams, the pendulum swings way in the ACC’s favor. Teams 6-10 all have good shots of making it to bowl games this season. One of the most lopsided matchups would be North Carolina vs Kentucky. A great basketball matchup, but not so great in football. UNC went to a ball game last year and beat Miami, but they have trouble winning games against the likes of Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Boston College (who beat the Heels in a bowl game last year convincingly).

Let’s look at another interesting scenario. Place the ACC and SEC in a 24 team tournament. Teams are ranked 1-12 in their conference and then play against the counterpart in the other conference based on rank. The higher ranked team is at home. The championship would be played in Atlanta. It would similar to how the SEC Basketball Tournament works now. Number 3 from one division plays number 6 from the other division in the first round.

8.NC State 1.LSU
9.Ole Miss 8.NC State
5.Auburn 4.BC
12.Duke 5.Auburn 5.Auburn 1.LSU

7.Arkansas 2.Miami
10.UNC 7. Arkansas 2.Miami 2.Miami

6.Virginia 3.Florida 3. Florida 1.LSU
11.Vandy 6.Virginia

8.SC 1.VT
9.Maryland 9.Maryland 1.VT 1.LSU

5.GT 4.Georgia 4.Georgia 1.VT
12.Miss St 5.GT
7.Clemson 2.Tennessee
10. KY 7.Clemson 2. UT 2.UT

6.Alabama 3.FSU 3.FSU
11.Wake 6.Alabama

Wow! There would be some great matchups come the third round and even a few really good ones in the second. The ACC would dominate the first round winning both 8 vs 9 matchups. The second round the SEC should have the upper hand due to its powerhouses at the top. BC and Auburn should be the best matchup of the second round with. Auburn would have to travel up to Boston having played the previous week while BC watched. Georgia-Georgia Tech would not be for the faint of heart either. Got to give the edge to UGA playing at home. The third round presents some matchups I am sure a lot of us want to see on a regular basis; Miami-Florida and Tennessee-FSU. Expect the home teams to prevail with Miami squeaking by the Gators. You might not find more speed on a field at one time in college than with LSU and Miami. The Hurricanes may for once actually be overmatched in terms of speed, depth, and size in this one. Virginia Tech and Tennessee presents an interesting game. Some will the champion will have been decided on the other side of the bracket, but Mr. Vick and Mr. Ainge may have something to say about this. Lane Stadium is one the toughest stadiums in the country, but the Vols will prevail thanks to a balanced attack on offense. So LSU and Tennessee meet in the Georgia Dome for the championship. Turns out the SEC proved to be dominant at the top again. LSU wins this one because they must just be the best team in the country this season.

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