So at this week’s sports staff meeting, the editors tried soto convince me the ACC is not the best conference in football — crazy, right?
I know, and I’m sure you do as well, that Duke and North Carolina are the future of collegiate football in America. Add in the incoming class of Pitt and Syracuse — the ACC won’t … the ACC can’t be stopped.
But in a Stalin-like rant I was told the SEC (I had to look it up) is the best conference in football. Solely out of self-preservation, for the rest of the article, I’ll pretend I agree.
Since the SEC is the best conference in football — claiming three teams in the top five and retaining the national championship trophy for six years in a row — the question is, will it be seven?
For the sake of argument, let’s say no. So who steals their throne?
The easy answer is Oregon. They are the last team from outside the SEC to get inside the ropes of a championship bout and they are currently the No. 2 ranked team in the country (although, it should be Duke).
However no team with a loss — except for a once-beaten SEC champion — will make the title game. Because the Ducks have to go through both No. 11 USC and No. 17 Stanford, as well as go on the road to face in-state rival Oregon State in a huge Pac 12 matchup, I don’t think the Ducks will get through November unscathed.
So if not the Ducks, then who?
Well the next highest ranked team outside of the powder-puff SEC is West Virginia. The high-flying offense is lead by the closest thing to a Heisman lock you can have in early October, Geno Smith.
The Mountaineers can put points on the board in a hurry (they’ve broken 40 points in all games except one, and have surpassed 65 points twice), but their Achilles heel is on the other side of the ball.
I believe the Mountaineers will finish the regular season with just one negative result, and it will come courtesy of my pick as the best bet non-SEC team to win a national championship.