ACC/SEC rivalries: Let’s Get Hypothetical
Chad Floyd is a Pinehurst, North Carolina native. He conquered undergrad at UNC and is currently enrolled in UGA’s Sports Management Master’s program. He is employed as a PA announcer for various UGA sports and prides himself on being a full-time grad student posing as an undergrad. He describes his rooting interests as follows: North Carolina and Georgia are 1a and 1b, with the caveat that in the scenario that the two teams ever matched up, he’d be the the most obnoxious Carolina fan in the building.
I want to get this out of the way early, so there is no ugly truth uncovered by our readers in the coming months: I grew up in an ACC state in an ACC family on ACC football. I attended every collegiate football game contested in Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium from 1997 to 2011, and some that…
didn’t happen I have repressed. Given my background, I can be characterized as one of the world’s few bitter and tactless, yet irresponsibly effusive ACC apologists.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. As a current graduate student at UGA, I’m not going to break into Sanford Stadium and paint the ACC logo between the hedges if Clemson holds serve at home at the end of August. Not a fiber of my being buys into the ideology that many SEC fans share of cheering for the conference in nonconference competition. Alabama smoking Notre Dame in January did nothing for Georgia-fan-me other than a first good laugh at Manti Te’o’s expense. Clemson beating LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl taught me nothing about the relative strength of the two conferences, and I
didn’t draw a transitive scenario where UNC could’ve beaten Alabama (UNC beat NC State, who beat Florida State, who beat Clemson, who beat LSU, who beat Texas A&M, who beat Alabama) didn’t feel any urge to support either team based on conference affiliation. These schools are your primary recruiting rivals, people, valuable information to retain next time you see Jadeveon Clowney eviscerate your favorite offensive player.
Having said all of that, my name is Chad, and I have SEC Penis Envy (SIDEBAR: Did you know Charlie Weis echoed Bob Stoops’ ridiculous sentiments? The same Charlie Weis who went 1-11 in his first season at KU and is as averse to winning as he is gastrointestinal health? Yup). I chose to move to Atlanta in 2011 predominately so I could tour the SEC megaliths and tailgate in towns catered to college football. I hit Columbia, Tuscaloosa, Athens, Auburn, and Starkville (because, why not?) that first year. I chose to attend the University of Georgia over very competitive programs nationwide to continue living vicariously through the SEC’s rivalries, traditions, and elite competition. I pondered the last five words of this paragraph for 30 minutes over a glass of Woodford to no dramatic avail, so here we go: there’s nothing like SEC football.
Now that we have that out of the way, I’m going to break down some of the rivalries between ACC and SEC schools over the next few weeks. Regardless of your attitude towards the not-recently-competitive conference spanning the East Coast, this is a necessary exercise due to the overlap in the two conferences’ geographic footprints. We’ll get to developing rivalries next week (and the big ones after), but let’s start with some that don’t (but, in my mind, should) exist, for reasons making varying degrees of sense.
1) Clemson vs. Texas A&M. The Aggies don’t have a natural rival in the SEC, much less the ACC. That being said, matching these two up with names such as Johnny Manziel, Tajh Boyd, Chad Morris, Jake Matthews, and Sammy Watkins would cause carpal tunnel syndrome in scoreboard operators, referee death by exhaustion, and the world’s first three-day football telecast. This exercise only works under the current regimes, but no-huddle-college-football-marathon-7 on 7 drill-game needs to happen. This year. Let’s hope the Aggies drop a couple and this is your Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Years’ Eve.
2) South Carolina vs. Maryland. The ‘Institution and ACC Exchanging Middle Fingers as the Institution Leaves the Conference’ Bowl. Stage it at BB&T Field on Wake Forest’s campus (and right near the ACC offices in Greensboro) and award the winning team one of the other school’s old ACC Championship trophies and a 12-gauge shotgun. If Maryland ever amassed 5 wins in the series, it would be cancelled for eternity because they’d have no South Carolina trophies left to destroy.
3) Missouri vs. Boston College/Syracuse/probably Pitt. The fact that none of these games are slated for the B1G Network in 2014 blows my mind.
4) Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech. Okay folks, back to being somewhat serious here. Bristol, TN is less than two hours from both Knoxville and Blacksburg, and happens to have a racetrack that holds up to 165,000 people. There are plenty of logistical issues there, but can you imagine the spectacle?
5) N.C. State vs. Mississippi State. Cow College versus Cowbells. I’m not going to waste my good N.C. State ammo on my first post, but just trust me on this one. It would make anything less appear civilized. Hell, it’d make juggalos appear aristocratic. It’d be terrific.
For the first time, giving you the business (and providing context for the signoff)