Think the SEC was the nation’s best conference last season?
Phil Steele says you’re wrong.
In an interesting breakdown for ESPN, the college football guru used a number of factors to explain why the ACC was the country’s best in 2016. Click here to read his entire explanation — it’s well worth your time — but his method leads him to argue that the SEC was the nation’s second-best conference last season, with the Big Ten and Pac-12 tied for third. It’s no surprise, but the Big 12 comes in fifth.
Steele takes into account a conference’s record against Power 5 nonconference teams, bowl records, the number of picks a conference produced in the 2017 NFL Draft and the number of ranked teams a conference featured at the end of the season. And, yes, he said the ACC was the cream of the crop after he crunched all those numbers.
There are passionate opinions on both sides of the SEC-vs.-ACC argument, but it’s hard to argue with the ACC’s success last season. Clemson’s victory against Alabama in the national championship game was icing on the cake for the conference in what was a memorable 2016.
Will the SEC climb to the top once more this fall? It’s possible, especially with Alabama primed to enjoy another successful year. But it would help the conference if others rose quickly to create greater depth.