ACC, SEC battle big early
Posted July 23, 2013
Greensboro, N.C. — In a few months area football players will be at each other's throats, but at the ACC Kickoff players and coaches stood side-by-side.
United in one common cause, against a common opponent they hear all too much about.
"The SEC, yeah, is the greatest conference ever, well, right now they are," said Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer.
"The SEC is kind of carrying the torch right now, and they've earned that," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
No one wants the level the balance of power more than the boss, ACC commissioner John Swofford.
"I like to win, so I get a little nervous, a few knots in the stomach," said Swofford, in regards to the upcoming series of games.
His league gets a few more cracks this year against the perceived end-all, be-all of college football, eight in total.
"At the end of the day we've got to win our share of those games so maybe we can change that perception," said Swinney. "This conference is well positioned to make a great run on the national scene."
Opportunities knock immediately, with three inter-conference clashes in week one – Clemson/Georgia, Virginia Tech/Alabama and the battle of the Carolinas, UNC vs. USC.
"Being able to start with a Top-10, SEC team, it can really elevate us," said UNC defensive end Kareem Martin.
"We expect to beat teams like Alabama," said Virginia Tech linebacker Jack Tyler. "Some teams might go into that game thinking, 'you know, if we lose, we'll win next week.' Yeah, no, we expect to beat them."
And while commissioner Swofford says a season's not defined by one weekend, a sweep, or even two out of three won't be too bad.