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Thursday, July 24, 2014

SEC vs ACC: Is the ACC Closing the Gap?

Is the ACC closing the gap on the SEC? Yes and no. The ACC is much better than it was but that is not saying much. There is this belief among some that the SEC is overrated, that their bottom teams are awful and just like any other conference they just have a couple of good teams at the top.

This is something that ACC fans are really starting to believe since Florida State won the national title last year. The ACC thinks they are just like the SEC now. They have a couple of really good teams at the top and equally bad teams at the bottom. Very simple, very easy. Not so fast.

Using Phil Steele's power ranking numbers, I decided to match up each SEC team with their ACC counterpart (Best SEC vs Best ACC, Second Best SEC vs Second best ACC etc.) to see who would win and by how many on a neutral field. The conclusion is that it is not close. Let me be clear, Phil Steele's numbers are not perfect but they are pretty accurate and the results are pretty staggering in favor of the SEC. The ACC is getting better but the depth of the SEC in comparison is no match.

1) Florida State -1 over Alabama

2) Auburn -13 over UNC

3) South Carolina -8 over Clemson

4) Georgia -7 over Louisville

5) LSU -7 over Miami

6) Ole Miss -9 over Virginia Tech

7) Texas A&M -6 over Duke

8) Missouri -6 over Georgia Tech

9) Florida -6 over Pitt

10) Miss State -7 over Syracuse

11) Tennessee -3 over NC State

12) Arkansas -6 over Virginia

13) Vanderbilt -9 over Boston College

14) Kentucky -3 over Wake Forest


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SEC/ACC Power Poll: Preseason

Welcome to the first SEC/ACC Power Poll of the season. This is something I tracked last year on my own using my own system as the season went along. While the system was not perfect, I did like the overall accuracy of it by the end of the season. I decided to publish the power poll this year as we go through the season. 

This is the opening power poll and these numbers and rankings are based on Phil Steele and his power ratings. While Phil Steele and his numbers are far from perfect, they are a great jumping off point. As the season goes on, my system will begin to change these numbers based on schedule, point differential and yardage differential.

The value for each team is significant in determining match-ups on a neutral field. Take the Clemson/Georgia game for Week 1. These power numbers suggest on a neutral field Georgia is 4 points better than Clemson. The game of course will not be played on a neutral field, instead it will be played between the hedges in Athens. Georgia gets a 5 point boost for playing home. The difference is now 9 points and if you look at the current point spread for this game the line is running with Georgia favored by 9 points. Pretty good huh? I do expect that spread to drop to about 7.5 by kickoff though.

I will post the updated rankings on Monday of each week. As you can see, the power poll definitely shows a difference between the SEC and ACC. The ACC has the best team but the SEC depth is strong. Six of the top seven teams are from the SEC while five of the bottom six teams are from the ACC. I do think the ACC has improved a lot from just last season and a ton from just a few seasons ago when a very mediocre Clemson team was able to win the ACC.

Florida State144
South Carolina135
Ole Miss129
Texas A&M126
Mississippi State125
Virginia Tech120
Georgia Tech120
NC State117
Boston College109
Wake Forest108

Saturday, July 19, 2014

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