Is the ACC Stronger than the SEC after 4-0 Weekend?
The ACC and the SEC both have two divisions. If I want to be overly generic, each conference has a strong division and a week division. In the ACC, the Atlantic division is Strong and the Coastal division is Weak. In the SEC, the West is Strong and the East is Weak.
With that—and external data like division standings—in mind, the ACC’s “Sweep” of the SEC was really rather mundane this past weekend.
Here’s how the games looked at first glance:
- ACC Florida State defeated SEC Florida.
- ACC Clemson defeated SEC South Carolina.
- ACC Louisville defeated SEC Kentucky.
- ACC Georgia Tech defeated SEC Georgia.
But with some context, here’s what actually happened:
- ACC Strong No. 1 defeated SEC Weak No. 3 by a score of 24-19 at home.
- ACC Strong No 2. defeated SEC Weak No 4. 35-17 at home.
- ACC Strong No. 3 defeated SEC Weak No. 6 44-40 at home.
- ACC Weak No. 1 defeated SEC Weak No 2. on the road in overtime.
Which of those games was stunning? Which of those outcomes were unanticipated? Maybe all of them, but we aren’t comparing apples to apples in these matchups. If we were:
- Florida would have played 6-6 North Carolina instead of 12-0 Florida State.
- South Carolina would have played 6-6 Pittsburgh instead of 9-3 Clemson.
- Kentucky would have played 6-6 Virginia Tech instead of 9-3 Louisville.
- Georgia would have played 9-3 Duke instead of 10-2 Georgia Tech.
Oh, and three of the four games wouldn’t have been on the road for the SEC.
So before you rally behind the ACC, ask yourself:
- Would Florida State, the best team in the better division of the ACC, really beat Alabama, the best team in the SEC’s best division? It’s possible, but Alabama beat the tar out of Florida (42-21) and FSU did not.
- Would Clemson, the second-best team in the ACC’s weaker division, beat up on Georgia, the second-best team in the SEC’s weaker division? No. We don’t have to guess on this one. Georgia beat Clemson 45-21.
- Would Louisville, the third-best team in the ACC’s weaker division, really run through Florida, the SEC East’s third-best team? I have no clue. But seeing as Florida beat Kentucky by a larger margin than Louisville and played Florida State closer than Louisville, I can’t quite bet against the Gators.
- And would Georgia Tech, the top seed in the ACC’s weaker division, whoop up on Missouri, the top contender from the SEC East? To be speculate: it’s unlikely. If there’s one thing we know about Missouri after the past six games, it’s that the Tigers don’t make stupid mistakes—you know, they type Georgia made time and time again against the Yellow Jackets. Mizzou needed to go 6-0 in conference play to close out the season, and they did just that. There was no margin for error and they made no errors.
So congratulations to the ACC. You swept the weekend. Teams much higher in your hierarchy beat lowly SEC teams. You win.
That’s all I got/
Posted on December 2, 2014, in ACC, Alabama, Blog, Clemson, Duke, Florida Gators, Florida State, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech, Missouri, North Carolina, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, The UGA Vault. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.