This offseason, one of the more popular talking points has been, “Has the S.E.C. been usurped as the most dominant conference in college football?”. The reigning national champions, Clemson, helped make the argument for the A.C.C.. The impressive A.C.C. bowl record also bolstered the statement. The “new” S.E.C., many argue, is Alabama and a bunch of average teams. The S.E.C. folks crow that Florida State and Clemson are just east coast versions of Alabama and Auburn. All four teams have won national championships in the past ten years, but is the S.E.C. starting to lose its stranglehold on the throne? Not according to the first A.P. poll released on 8/21.
The S.E.C. is represented by six teams. The A.C.C. is represented by five. Gobbler Country’s Jay Johnson broke down the A.C.C. representation in this excellent article. There are two A.C.C. clubs in the top five. The S.E.C. owns the top perch with Alabama. Virginia Tech landing at 21 seems a bit low for me. Tennessee landing at 25 is an absolute joke. The Vols conceivably had their best shot at the East title last season. Josh Dobbs is gone to the N.F.L., and there are whispers of Butch Jones’ job security in Knoxville. I think if the Battle At Bristol was this season, Virginia Tech would roll Rocky Top. We won’t have to wait long to see the top two programs in each conference face off. The ‘Noles and Tide kick off the season in Atlanta in just two weeks.