ACC vs. SEC Football: The Middle of the Pack Is Where the Similarities Start

Isaac ScheidtCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2009

One of the greatest debates of all time in the South is the never-ending argument between ACC and SEC football fans. While the SEC has laid claim to the last three National Titles, the ACC is not far behind the best conference in the nation.

One way to analyze the contrasts and similarities of the two conferences is by matching up the teams one through twelve and comparing the talent level and recent statistics in history.

At the top and bottom of the conference, the SEC is superior to the ACC. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech are at the top of the ACC, but they do not have the talent level to beat teams like Florida and Alabama. The SEC is also dominant at the bottom of the conference when compared to its counterpart. The ACC's worst teams: Duke, Maryland, and Virginia, still lose out to the bottom ones in the SEC: Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt.

The Middle of the Pack

The ACC matches up well with the SEC in the middle of the pack.  Teams three through nine in the ACC have the same or better talent level as any other conference in the nation.

For the purpose of this debate see the ACC/SEC Football ACC Power Rankings and SEC Power Rankings.  Comparing the middle of the pack in the ACC to those teams in the SEC gives us good perspective on just how close these teams are to each other.

Mississippi, LSU, and Georgia all have similar strengths and weaknesses. 

While Mississippi and LSU are expected to dominate on offense this year, all three of these SEC teams have big question marks on defense. Miami, North Carolina, and Florida State match up well with these teams as they all feature strong passing games. These high-powered ACC offenses would give the similarly ranked SEC teams a run for their money if these games were played.  They would be a special treat to fans who love to watch the offensive aspect of the game.

In the bottom half of the conferences, Clemson, N.C. State, and Boston College line up against Arkansas, Auburn, and South Carolina.  In contrast to the top half of both conferences, the lower side lacks a strong offensive presence. 

Clemson and Arkansas have potential to develop into high-scoring offenses while the other four teams struggle to put points on the scoreboard. While we have already seen South Carolina beat N.C. State 7-3, we know that all of these games would be very close matchups.

While the debate rages on between ACC and SEC fans, it is worth noting that the Big-10 and Pac-10 seem to fall below the ACC after the top two teams.  After USC and California, the ACC has very comparable talent to the Pac-10 and the same is true of the Big-10 after Ohio State and Penn State are removed.

While there is no doubt that top to bottom the SEC is superior, the ACC is arguable the most talented conference in the range of their middle teams.

For more articles and discussion visit ACC SEC Football.

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