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Conference Superiority Battle or FSU vs. Alabama?

For years now there has been a debate around which conference in college football is the most superior. Two of the conferences that top the list every season are the ACC and the SEC. The SEC has historically been the leader of this debate, the ACC has recently found itself winning more and more games, titles, and recruits to make a case for themselves as the best conference. While we may not ever figure out the real answer, as things do change every year, we can certainly go off the past few seasons and decide with the facts and statistics to see who is currently leading amongst the conferences.

The 2016 season featured more ACC vs. SEC games than any other previous season. At the end of the season, the ACC held a 10-4 record against the SEC. The ACC even went 4-1 against the SEC in postseason last year, including a National Championship victory from Clemson over Alabama. Adding to two of those ten wins, Florida State won big games against Ole Miss and Florida last year.

This year’s Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game weekend will feature an ACC and SEC team for the ninth and tenth time with Florida State taking on Alabama, and Tennessee playing Georgia Tech. The SEC currently holds a 7-1 record in these kickoff games. But with the previous season’s uprising of success in the ACC, we could be seeing a better side of that record for the ACC after both of these games are finished.

Winning the game this weekend would mean a lot more to FSU than just any other regular win would. When facing an SEC opponent, FSU knows the kind of challenge they are up against. The SEC is historically known for having strong, tough, and overall extremely talented teams to play against. But with the team Jimbo Fisher has put together for the Noles, Alabama could be starting off right where they left the 2016 season – with a loss from an ACC team. Florida State has the strength and skill to win, especially with players like Deondre Francois, Derwin James and Jacques Patrick all returning to the field for the Noles. The key to winning this game for FSU will have to be keeping the offense hungry for more on every play, and making sure the defense stops Alabama from doing the same.

To win this game would mean for either team to start off on the right track. With Florida State being ranked No. 3 and Alabama at No. 1 for this opening game, there is a lot of talk going around that this is just an early glimpse of two teams that we could see later on in the College Football Playoff. With a win, this could potentially put FSU at an advantage when it comes time for the College Football Playoff Committee to cast their votes. But after winning a big game like this, the Noles would have to celebrate quickly and get back on track to complete the rest of the season with a renowned focus. That way they can solidify their chances as a playoff contender once again. To lose this game, Florida State or Alabama would more than likely have to win out the rest of their games. This will include winning their respective conference championship games, with little to no slip ups along the way. Even Coach Fisher has spoken out to the media about how whoever loses this game will have to be “pretty much perfect” for the rest of the season.

This Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game comes with a lot of high stakes for each team, and each conference as well. Another thing Fisher has spoken out about recently is the high regards he holds for the ACC. He spoke briefly about how he feels “the ACC has established themselves as the most premier conference in all of college football” at the ACC Media Days this summer. A majority of the past decade’s National Champions have come from either of these conferences. Winning this game for Florida State would be a giant step in the right direction for the ACC to claim themselves as the more dominant conference. While the CFB Playoff Committee has always selected an ACC and an SEC team for their Top 4, maybe this could be the season they select two from the ACC. As they are the only conference with two teams starting out in the AP Top 5, so it is definitely a possibility. The debate of which conference is more superior will probably never come to an end. But, whichever conference comes out on the winning side this weekend will surely be able to use that to make a claim for that title at the end of the season.

 


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