Special thanks to James Henderson of www.packpride.com because I am obviously stealing the premise and the stats for this article from him.
Common themes this college football season:
The Big XII is sick…specifically at QB…the Big XII is what arena football wishes it was
The Big 10/11…whatever…is really boring
The SEC is down a little, mainly due to QB play
The ACC is bad
No doubt that the ACC lacks a marque team. No question that it has no national championship contender and has been without one from day one, when Clemson was spanked by ‘Bama in a godawful beatdown that cost yours-truly big $texas (NEVER bet on a Bowden).
However, a closer look at the numbers may surprise you at how competitive the ACC really is…
Seperated at birth?
As stated before, the Big XII is the obvious class football conference in the country, followed by the SEC…however the ACC is not far behind. Consider these stats;
The ACC has six teams in the USA Today top 30 – thats more than any other conference. The Big XII and the SEC have 5 each, Big 10/11 has 4, PAC 10 has 3 and the Big East follows with 3. Now, no question that those numbers are skewed some by the fact that all of the ACC teams in that ranking are 23rd or lower but it does speak to the parody within the league. Teams in the ACC play stiff competition week in and out. There are no easy wins.
If rankings arent enough to sway you, lets look at the ACC’s record against other conferences. Beatdowns by ‘Bama over Clemson and USC over UVA early in the season are what people remember the most, coupled with Maryland’s turd at Middle Tenn State. I offer no excuse for Maryland (I cant stand the Twerps) but in fairness to Clemson and UVA, they were both crushed by elite teams. Hardly unexpected if you matched them up today.
The ACC’s record against other BCS conferences is 10-7. Better than the SEC (5-4), Big XII (7-8), Big 10/11, Big East and PAC 10 all at (6-7)
Lets look at the robots…Jeff Saragin’s conference ratings put the ACC at #2 behind only the Big XII and ahead of the mighty SEC.
Finally, look at the talent in the league. According to Mel “my hairstyle is better than yours Jimmy Johnson” Kiper, Jr., 6 of the nations top 25 seniors play in the ‘lowly’ ACC, including 4 of the top 10. Only the Big XII has more (7) in the top 25.
Clearly, the ACC has no national title contender and will ‘limp’ into its BCS game with a team with multiple losses. I argue that is because of the parity of the league…not its lack of a good team. Whoever plays the eventual winner of the ACC in a BCS game will play a team that has been tested every week and will be ready to play.
If you couple these statistics with the considerable coaching turnover in the league over the past 2-3 years, its easy to think it wont be long before the ACC is again contending for the National Championship. Tom O’Brien, Butch Davis and Paul Johnson are all newcomers to the ACC with proven records. The football will only get better as these coaches continue to implement their coaching style and systems.
Watch out Big XII and SEC. “We hongry”