Nationally, the discussion rages on: Is the Atlantic Coast Conference the new king, or is the Southeastern Conference still the top dog?
In college football circles, that’s an argument prompted by a number of factors, but especially Clemson’s thrilling triumph over big, bad Alabama in last season’s national championship.
But to some of the coaches who had the floor Thursday at the ACC’s annual football kickoff media day, there’s just not much to say on that matter.
“We are in the ACC, the best conference in college football,” Boston College coach Steve Addazio. “That’s not even debatable anymore.”
“Right now, this is the best conference in college football, and it’s fun and exciting to be a part of it.”
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher — who has as much to gain or lose against the SEC as anyone, given his Seminoles open the regular season with Alabama and end it with Florida — took the same tack as his Boston colleague when asked if the ACC can truly claim it’s the “premier” league in the sport.
“Well, I would say two of the last four national championships have come from here,” said Fisher, noting Clemson’s last season and his own in 2013. Then he reeled off some numbers, such as the ACC’s 8-3 record in College Football Playoff and bowl games last season; two of the past four Heisman Trophy winners; and maybe a number that’s most relevant — the 13 seasons Fisher spent as an assistant coach in the SEC.
“I think right now, what we’ve accomplished in the last five years — and you’re talking about major wins, big wins, national championships, Heisman Trophy winners, coaches, everything that’s involved — I think the ACC is as good a league as there is in football,” Fisher said.
Alabama SEC favorites
Three-time defending champion Alabama is picked to win the Southeastern Conference title again in a preseason media poll.
Alabama was the preseason choice of 217 of the 243 people who cast ballots at this week’s SEC Media Days. The only other school to receive as many as 10 votes was Auburn with 11.
The predicted order of finish in the Western Division was Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Mississippi.
Georgia’s the favorite in the Eastern Division. Following in order were Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Missouri.
Alabama also had a record 10 first-team picks on the media’s preseason All-SEC team.
Virginia Tech wide receiver Cam Phillips certainly made a fashion statement at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s preseason media days.
The senior put together a bold look for Friday’s interviews, starting with the bronze double-breasted velvet jacket.
His ensemble included flip-up shades over round eyeglass frames to top off the ankles-exposed sockless look that accented his shiny black shoes.
Phillips casually mentioned they were a nod to Kadeem Hardison’s character on the TV show “A Different World” from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Ruling against coach
Connecticut ethics lawyers say the University of Connecticut violated the state’s ban on nepotism by hiring football coach Randy Edsall’s son as an assistant coach, but say Corey Edsall can serve out his contract.
In a draft to the State Office Of Ethics enforcement board, the lawyers recommend no action be taken against UConn if Corey Edsall’s one-year, $95,000 contract to coach the team’s tight ends is not renewed.
Randy Edsall briefly worked for the Lions before taking the UConn job. This is his second stint with the Huskies.