One of the hottest topics during the offseason was the status of the SEC as college football’s premier conference. Boasting a National Champion, winning 10 of 14 games against Power 5 opponents and going 4-1 in the postseason, the ACC, a conference once known only for its basketball prowess, was now being mentioned as the best in the football.
The only people who weren’t drinking the Atlantic Coast flavored koolaid was the SEC. I imagine their players and old faithful had this season’s opening weekend, which would feature three head to head match-ups against their new conference foe including one of the most highly anticipated week 1 games ever against top ranked Alabama and then 3rd ranked Florida State, circled on their calendars the moment Dabo Swinney hoisted the championship trophy.
This was the SEC’s opportunity to silence the fickle fans and new pro-ACC media; a chance to remind folk why there has never been a question who is the best; a call to all the haters to put some respect on their name. And although it wasn’t in dominate fashion, with South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee all winning games against their ACC opponents, they haven’t completely silenced the haters, but have at least muffled them.
And if you’re reading this thinking there was never any doubt who was the best conference and that SEC fans and players weren’t thinking about their reign at the top of college football royalty, just look at what message Gamecock faithful sent to NC State players as they left the field after Saturday’s 35-28 defeat.
The SEC certainly sent a message, but it’s just week 1. They still have work to do to completely silence the doubters and prove their still the king of college football.