The ACC will be sending more teams to a bowl game this year than any other conference. But not only does CBS sports writer Barrett Sallee say the Atlantic Coast Conference doesn’t have an argument as the best conference in the country, it’s not even in his top 4.
In the conference rankings he released on Tuesday, Sallee ranked the ACC at No. 5 behind all the other four Power 5 conferences. Here was his argument:
If the SEC was top-heavy in 2016, the ACC was close to toppling over in 2017. Sure, Clemson is a monster. But Miami turned out to be a bit of a paper tiger down the stretch, Virginia Tech and NC State were decent and Florida State fell off a cliff (no, it wasn’t just the loss of quarterback Deondre Francois that caused it). Only four of the 14 ACC schools finished above .500 in conference play.
Not surprisingly, the SEC was ranked first on the list, but quite frankly, the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 are almost interchangeable for the next three spots.
While Sallee’s point about only four teams having winning league records holds true, that’s a terrible way to judge a conference. Again, it’s worth repeating the ACC will have more teams in bowl games than any other conference. And with Clemson and Miami winning every conference game but one, that means the other eight teams won a lot of non-conference games, sometimes against the other Power 5.
And two of the four ACC teams that aren’t going to bowl games – Syracuse and Pitt – were the only ones that knocked off Clemson and Miami during the regular season. The Atlantic Coast Conference has as much depth as any conference in the country.