The ACC/SEC Football Challenge
Posted August 29, 2014
Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe didn't mince words when discussing the current state of the ACC on 99.9 FM The Fan.
"[The ACC] is the defending national champion, we were the league with the most teams in bowl games and it's not by accident," said Cutcliffe with bravado. "We are the SEC's biggest rivals in recruiting and on the field. Trust me, there's no question."
Imagine what Cutcliffe would've said had the Blue Devils held on to beat Texas A&M in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl last season.
Cutcliffe claimed other ACC coaches would love the opportunity to challenge the SEC in more league-to-league showdowns. He didn't quite say it, but Cutcliffe was essentially proposing an ACC/SEC Challenge similar to the ACC/B1G Challenge in basketball.
Let's say the SEC wasn't scared and actually agreed to this event, what would it look like? In my little fantasy world, the ACC/SEC Challenge would replace all other opening week kickoff events. Each contest would be played in various neutral sites.
Traditional rivalries would also be preserved. That means Florida State vs. Florida, Clemson vs. South Carolina, Louisville vs. Kentucky and Georgia Tech vs. Georgia are still meeting up towards the end of the season. Considering the College Football Playoff will place high value on strength of schedule, these teams shouldn't be opposed to playing a second interconference game.
Again, this ACC/SEC Challenge will never happen. Doesn't mean we can't dream.
The ACC/SEC Football Challenge
Florida State vs. Alabama (Legion Field): Ideally, these marquee programs would meet in a national championship game, but let's place them in a historical stadium and watch Paul Finebaum's head explode.
Clemson vs. Georgia (EverBank Field): Relax in Jacksonville's new pool cabanas and watch the narratives typically associated with these teams unfold on their giant video board.
Virginia Tech vs. Texas A&M (U.S.S Intrepid): Just imagine all those cadets on an aircraft carrier watching football.
Miami vs. Florida (Joe Robbie Stadium): Home game for the Hurricanes? Think again. South Florida is really Gator Country.
Louisville vs. Arkansas (Georgia Dome): The unofficial Bobby Petrino Bowl should be played in the home of the Atlanta Falcons. The winning team gets a new motorcycle.
North Carolina vs. LSU (AT&T Stadium): An opportunity for the Tar Heels to avenge the lost season of 2010.
NC State vs. South Carolina (Bank of America Stadium): Appropriate for the Wolfpack to take on the "other" Carolina, which would give Steve Spurrier a tremendous opportunity to troll their fanbase.
Duke vs. Ole Miss (Superdome): David Cutcliffe's new team against the team that fired him appropriately played in Archie Manning's backyard.
Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee (LP Field): Two programs who wish outsiders would value their tradition more than they currently do, but this might be the most boring matchup in the history of matchups. They seem destined to play.
Virginia vs. Auburn (FedEx Field): Have fun telling the difference between uniform color combination.
Syracuse vs. Kentucky (MetLife Stadium): A rematch of the 1996 NCAA Championship. Wait, wrong sport!
Georgia Tech vs. Missouri (Busch Stadium): No logical reason other than we have to pair up these teams with someone else and all other programs are taken.
Boston College vs. Mississippi State (Boise): The blue turf in Boise is their home away from home during the postseason.
Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt (Bristol Motor Speedway): An incredible showdown of private school powers deserves a grand venue.