On tap: The ACC vs. SEC Challenge


As we brace for the ACC vs. SEC Challenge this weekend, it’s important to note that the sport of choice will be football.

My ACC colleague, Heather Dinich, gets that confused sometimes.

The SEC went 3-0 a year ago during the final week of the regular season, and this year, we actually have four games. Vanderbilt also takes on Wake Forest at home.

The other three: Florida at Florida State, South Carolina at Clemson and Georgia Tech at Georgia.

Of the three, I’d say Florida has the toughest task. The Seminoles have a rock-solid defense and really get after the quarterback. The Gators, on the other hand, have been pretty rotten for much of this season on offense.

South Carolina will be battling history on Saturday. The Gamecocks, who beat up on Clemson 34-17 a year ago, haven’t won two straight over the Tigers since winning three in a row from 1968-70.

Georgia will be trying to win its second in a row over Georgia Tech after upsetting the Yellow Jackets last season in Atlanta. Mark Richt has definitely had Georgia Tech’s number. He’s 8-1 against the Yellow Jackets since taking over at Georgia in 2001.

And for Vanderbilt, this may well be Robbie Caldwell’s last game as the Commodores’ head coach. It’s also a chance to surpass last season’s win total of two. It’s been a struggle across the board for Vanderbilt this season, but the Commodores meet up with a Wake Forest team that’s struggled even more. The Deacons have lost nine in a row.

The SEC already has a head start. LSU beat North Carolina. Auburn beat Clemson, and Alabama defeated Duke earlier this season to give the SEC a 3-0 record.

By late Saturday night, the guess here is that we’ll be looking at a 6-1 tally in favor of the SEC.

The bowl season will give us two more ACC vs. SEC matchups in the Chick-fil-A and Music City bowls.

Those were both ACC wins last season, so the SEC has some unfinished business in the postseason.

And no, Heather, we’re not talking about the NCAA tournament.