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Not going to lie I was in the doom and gloom group a couple months ago that was all about an SEC move and while I would still prefer the SEC, I'm starting to feel a lot better of the future of the ACC. I realize one bowl season doesn't really mean anything the grand scheme of things, but it looks maybe the ACC is turning a corner. If you look at the NFL draft numbers, the ACC is always one of the top leagues in producing talent, but has always lagged behind in on the field performance due to poor coaching. I think the coaches coming into the ACC are excellent and as long as they stick around everyone will keep getting better.
I think the SEC has just been way overrated this year. You can only go so long before coaching turnover catches up to you (UF without Meyer is a good but not great, Auburn is a mess, Georgia is good but not great). Right now Saban is probably the only great coach in the conference (while Miles has won a championship, I don't think he is a great coach. more like a good coach and great recruiter). I think the lofty expectations coupled with the winning tradition the past few years has led to artificially high rankings across the conference. It just so happens that, outside of Alabama, the teams scheduled some cupcakes at the beginning of the season to elevate everyone's ranking to top 15 (LSU, Florida, Auburn, Georgia, etc) then they played each other in a conference slate that looked like everything was a battle of top 15 teams which just kept the top 2 - 4 in the conference ranked in the top 10 by the end of the season. I'm not saying they aren't the best conference top to bottom in football and definitely not saying that their national title winners weren't the best teams in the country but rather that their domination is succumbing to parity and soon the hype around them will slow down to the point where people don't look at the conference and think those teams are invincible.
If we can beat Alabama to start the season next year (I think this is possible; maybe even more than possible if the new OC does a better than average job with the offense this offseason) then 3 ACC teams (counting Louisville here) will have beaten the top 3 SEC teams in the past 3 matchups. That was pretty unthinkable about a year ago.
I've never been really high on a move to the SEC. If you consider these cons: we already can't stomach seasons where we lose 1 or 2 games, we can't handle the difficult or "cheating" nature of recruiting, and the path to a championship is harder in the SEC versus the pro of having a more attractive schedule and my preference would be to stay in the ACC. I think a lot of the argument for moving to the SEC becomes moot if we make (and God willing, win) the national championship.
I don't think the SEC was overrated at all, I think the issue is that other conferences were piss poor, so someone had to rise. What you had was a down year of elite teams, so the SEC like always had teams that would rise to the top. You had teams like Ohio in the top 25 simply because they hadn't lost. Heck, Louisville was such a bad champion that there struggles allowed a team like NIU to even be in a BCS game. I never saw Florida as a dominant team, so they quietly climbed to #3 simply because college football was lacking elite teams. Lets not forget that Florida bashed FSU on the road.
With all that being said, I thought the Louisville addition was a great sports addition, but it's a lie that we were told academics mattered in the ACC. I don't want to be in a Chapel Hill driven corrupt ACC that cares about basketball. You have to look at the overall commitment to football to have any sort of prediction for the future. The SEC is top notch as they have proven because the commitment is there. Even their average to below average programs like your Mississippi schools pack their stadiums. That's the difference.
FSU and Clemson are always on the rise, so the ACC has a good core of teams, but it has been underwhelming for years. The ACC has always been high with draft picks, but that's because Miami produces players that actually do well in the NFL. I don't see them getting back to where they were. Just look at conferences if you had to bet with your wallet, would you bet based on a few wins hand picked, or would you bet based on commitment of conferences and their football programs? It's easy to say the ACC is a few coaches away, I used to say that, but there's a reason they don't get the best. With more dollars going to coaching, the conferences and programs making the most cash will always get them. If an ACC coach becomes too good for the ACC, then those teams better pony up before a real football conference comes calling.
ACC could be a solid conference with the right person running it.
VT SCOOP'S "I HATE JO-UVA AWARD" WINNER 2012-2013
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