Posted by: Paul A. Forsyth | December 6, 2014

College Football and Bowl Speculation

1. Living in Knoxville, I am surrounded by a fair amount of SEC bias, most especially during college football season. So, I thought it was worth noting that, last Saturday, four SEC teams played four ACC teams, and in all four games, the ACC team won (i.e., Clemson beat South Carolina, Florida State beat Florida, Louisville beat Kentucky, and Georgia Tech beat Georgia).

2. Andrea Adelson: “ACC delivers message to SEC”:

There is fact. And there is spin. And there are those who want to discredit facts with spin.

Fact: The ACC went 4-0 against the SEC on Saturday, the first time in 14 years it swept its conference rivals.

Spin: But it was against the miserable SEC East.

Fact: The ACC has more wins against Power 5 teams in 2014 than any other Power 5 conference, including four against teams ranked in the top 10 when they played.

Spin: But five of those wins came against teams with six or fewer wins.

Fact: Florida State has won 28 straight games.

Spin: But just look at the Seminoles. They have played too many close games to be the No. 1 team in the country.

Fact: The ACC has 11 bowl-eligible teams for the second straight season.

Spin: That just shows parity is alive and well in the ACC! You know what is truly impressive? Having 12 bowl-eligible teams, just like the SEC.

No other Power 5 conference is held to such a ridiculous double standard.

Please do read in full.

3. For an opposing viewpoint, see Eric Murtaugh, “SEC Bias: Why the Southeastern Conference Earns More Hype than Other Leagues.” (“Earns” seems like a pretty strong and loaded term in this context, imho.)

4. Explaining why undefeated Florida State is ranked at #4 (emphasis added):

Dropping Florida State to No. 4 means a semifinal in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans against No. 1 Alabama. That is the dream matchup everybody wanted to end last season, a delicious pairing between mentor Nick Saban and mentee Jimbo Fisher.

Even if the committee decided to credit Florida State for winning all its games and place the Noles at No. 1 — WHAT A CONCEPT! — there is no way the committee could explain dropping Alabama to No. 4 without looking more foolish than it already does. Florida State playing so many ugly games gives the committee the perfect excuse to drop Florida State to No. 4 and set up the semifinal matchup everybody wants.

Interest would be off the charts. Ratings would be off the charts. Ticket sales would be greatly helped, as both fan bases can get to New Orleans without flying.

And the winner would guarantee that ratings for the national championship game would be off the charts no matter the opponent. Because both Alabama and Florida State move the needle as Darth Vader-like teams everybody outside their respective fan bases wants to lose.

Certainly a 2 vs. 3 matchup between Oregon and Florida State would be appealing, but not nearly as much. …

5. Nate Silver: 7 Teams Competing For 4 Positions.

6. Matt Hinton: Yes, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota Is That Good. (IMHO, Oregon’s fast-tempo offense could give Alabama problems; Alabama’s defense is not at its best if they can’t make substitutions).

7. SEC’s best college football memes.

8. If I had my druthers, Duke (9-3) would be playing Tennessee (6-6) in the Music City Bowl in Nashville on December 30.

A Music City Bowl with Tennessee vs. Louisville (9-3) would also be a fun game to watch.

But I hear that the Liberty Bowl (in Memphis) really wants to pick Tennessee. That could be cool, especially if it meant a Tennessee vs. West Virginia game.

I’m not excited about the prospect of Duke going back to the Belk Bowl (Duke went to that bowl in 2012).

For some ACC bowl projections, see this Patrick Stevens post. See also here. (H/T for the second link: Jared Shanker, ESPN.)



  1. I would like to see Mariota vs Winston, myself.

    • It could happen in the final, if Oregon beats TCU and Florida State beats Bama.

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