Comparing the ACC and Big 10 After Week 1
The SEC is the best football conference…. just look at the top 25. Even setting aside the rankings bias, there is still no comparison. But is the ACC ready to challenge the Big 10 in football as of 2014? Let’s take a closer look at this battle after Week 1.
The best programs in each conference are Florida State and Ohio State. We give the edge to the reigning champs, who looked better against Oklahoma State in Dallas than Ohio State did at home against Navy. Edge to ACC.
The second best programs in each conference should be Miami and Michigan. Neither are. So let’s compare them. Miami lost rather poorly to Louisville on the road. Michigan exorcised some demons in defeating App State at home. The foes are too different to give Michigan the edge just because of a win. Draw.
The real second best programs in each conference recently have been Clemson and Wisconsin. Both lost to SEC foes in Week 1. It is hard to criticize either. Draw.
This year, the second best programs in each conference this year are Louisville and Michigan State. Michigan State was not tested in Week 1–but they get Oregon in Week 2. Meanwhile, Louisville took care of Miami pretty handily. By the end of the year, this may be different, but for now the edge has to go to Louisville. Edge to ACC.
Nebraska and Virginia Tech have made a lot of football news historically, with most of the Hokies’ news coming in the past 20 years. Nebraska looked a lot better in Week 1 than Virginia Tech. We still wonder about those Hokies. Edge to Big 10.
Penn State and Georgia Tech have won national championships, but not recently. Georgia Tech looked pedestrian against Wofford, while Penn State narrowly defeated a much much better UCF team. Edge to Big 10.
The Big 10’s next foursome is Minnesota, Iowa, Rutgers, and Maryland, all of whom went bowling last year. For the ACC, it is Boston College, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Duke all went to bowls. Makes it hard to choose a Tier 4. Given that Syracuse looked worst in Week 1, we’ll drop them to Tier 4.
Pitt looked dominant in beating Delaware. Rutgers held on to beat Washington State on the road. Yes, the worst team in the Pac-12 is a “test” for Rutgers. All things considered… Draw.
Duke looked dominant in beating Elon, as well they should. Maryland looked dominant against James Madison, as well they should. This should change later in the year, but for now… Draw.
North Carolina looked OK, but not great, in defeating Liberty. Iowa narrowly defeated Northern Iowa. Edge to UNC and the ACC.
Minnesota looked pretty good in beating Eastern Illinois, while Boston College looked pretty good in defeating UMass. Draw.
The Final Four for each conference are Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, and Northwestern for the Big 10, and Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia, and Syracuse for the ACC.
Northwestern narrowly lost 31-24 to a California team that may or may not go bowling this year, while Virginia narrowly lost to a UCLA team that is expected to be in the top 10 and build on last year’s top 20 finish. Edge to ACC.
Syracuse looked dreadful in pulling out a narrow win over Villanova, while Purdue looked a little bit better in defeating Western Michigan. Edge to Big 10.
NC State looked almost as bad as Syracuse in defeating Georgia Southern, while Indiana did what it needed to do against Indiana State. Edge to Big 10.
Illinois was 11 points better than Youngstown State in its opener, while Wake Forest was a touchdown worse than its road foe, Louisiana Monroe. This sounds like it should be an edge to the Big 10, but it is not. Louisiana Monroe is a much tougher opening game. Draw.
The ACC has Notre Dame and the Big 10 doesn’t. Of course, the ACC only has Notre Dame for 5 games. Draw.
FINALLY TALLY: 4 Edges for ACC, 4 Edges for Big 10, and 6 Draws. Look pretty similar to me.
We’ll check in again later in the season. What do you think–would you do this differently???