SEC vs ACC, I’m sure most have heard by now the argument for the ACC to be passing the SEC as the best conference in football. Clemson is having a historic rise to prominence and they are dragging the ACC to the top with them. The problem is, the two aren’t even close and most fans along the coast don’t want to believe it.
The ACC has had some success in the last two decades and could be a reason for the argument. Clemson has only gotten elite recently, but Miami of the early 2000’s and Florida State soon after kept the ACC relevant. Lets look at National Championships since 2000.
The SEC has taken home 10 titles since the year 2000 while the ACC only has four. Even if you take Alabama out of it, the SEC would still have one more National Championship. So yes, Alabama has put the SEC on a pedestal for the last 10 years. But the SEC still has more titles then the ACC without Alabama. What if you took Clemson out of the ACC?
Another stat to look at is the number of Heisman winners since the year 2000. The SEC has five Heisman Trophy winners since the year 2000 while the ACC only has three.
The Playoff Era
So the last 18 seasons doesn’t always work for the discussion of today. Clemson has only recently hit the top spot in college football so lets look at the last few years to see how the two conferences compare:
- SEC – 14-9 overall against other power five conferences, 6-4 vs ACC
- ACC 7- 13 overall against other power five conferences, 4-6 vs SEC
- SEC 10-12 overall against other power five conferences, 7-5 vs ACC
- ACC 10-14 overall against other power five conferences, 5-7 vs SEC
- SEC 11-14 overall against other power five conferences, 4-10 vs ACC
- ACC 17-9 overall against other power five conferences, 10-4 vs SEC
- SEC 14-7 overall against other power five conferences, 6-4 vs ACC
- ACC 9-13 overall against other power five conferences, 4-6 vs ACC
That puts the SEC overall record against power five opponents at 49-42. The ACC has a record of 43-49. Head-to-head they are tied with a record of 23-23. But the outlier in there is 2016 when the ACC put up 10 wins to four losses on the SEC. The SEC held a winning record over the ACC three out of the four years.
Removing The Two Powers
If you take Alabama and Clemson out of the equation and just look at what is left, it gets even worse. LSU, Florida and Georgia are all right near the top of the rankings. The ACC has Syracuse who had a great season but was also blown out by Notre Dame last season. The Same Notre Dame team that was ran off the field by Clemson.
Clemson is arguably the best team in the entire country. But that doesn’t hide the fact that Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech are not close to what they once were. If this was a discussion about which conference was the best in the 1990’s, there could be an argument. But if you remove Alabama, the SEC would still be a top conference. The same can’t be said about the SEC.
It Isn’t Even Close
The SEC has the most NFL draft picks, more Heisman winners and National Championship’s since 2000. They have a winning record three of the last four seasons against the ACC and have more talented teams top to bottom.
For the people that want to scream “It is all SEC bias!” it isn’t. The SEC has a winning record against other Power Five opponents, the ACC doesn’t. People were up in arms because Paul Finebaum called the ACC a clown conference.
Those same fans will claim the SEC is only good because of Alabama. The ACC doesn’t have the talent or the success to claim they are just as good. End of discussion.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.