The SEC has been the best, most consistent conference in college football for the last decade and beyond, winning eight of the last 11 national titles. Last year, however, the ACC went 10-4 against the SEC, including 4-1 in the postseason, which was capped by Clemson’s dramatic 35-31 comeback win over Alabama in the national championship.
Is the ACC better than the SEC, as many ACC coaches declared during Media Days?
“The last couple years, they’ve closed the gap,” ACC Network analyst Tommy Bowden said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I really didn’t think until this year that the ACC could say they were a stronger conference. I think the statistics back it up. I really think if you look at the head-to-head competition that the SEC and ACC play, the head-to-head competition versus Power Five opponents, everything – the ACC was better this year. I think they’ve closed the gap. I think this was the first year they could honestly back it up statistically. It used to be as a head coach you had to say that from a recruiting standpoint.”
But now coaches, such as Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney, can say it because it’s true – or at least it was last year. The ACC can potentially add to its argument in college football’s opening weekend, as Florida State will play Alabama at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sept. 2.
Bobby Bowden, who led the Seminoles to a pair of national titles, dropped by the show to share his thoughts on the matchup, among other things.
“I really think (Jimbo Fisher is) capable of beating Alabama,” Bowden said. “I don’t know that he will – because not many people do – but I think he’s capable. He’s got a veteran quarterback (Deondre Francois), I think he has about 17 starters back, and he’s recruited real well (and) has done a tremendous job there. I expect a good battle – unless stage fright gets them. A lot of times stage fight will get them when they play someone like Alabama, but it’ll be a good game.”
Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.