Let's look at the 10 ACC vs. SEC matchups this past regular season (2008):
- South Carolina vs. NC State. Winner: South Carolina (SEC 1-0)
- Alabama vs. Clemson. Winner: Alabama (SEC 2-0)
- Mississippi vs. Wake Forest. Winner: Wake Forest (SEC 2-1)
- Florida vs. Miami. Winner: Florida (SEC 3-1)
- Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech. Winner: Georgia Tech (SEC 3-2)
- Vanderbilt vs. Duke. Winner: Duke (SEC 3-3)
- Georgia vs. Georgia Tech. Winner: Georgia Tech (ACC 4-3)
- South Carolina vs. Clemson. Winner: Clemson (ACC 5-3)
- Florida vs. Florida State. Winner: Florida (ACC 5-4)
- Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt. Winner: Wake Forest (ACC 6-4)
The SEC also no longer has an argument that its in-conference schedule is tougher than the ACC's. In fact, four teams have a 2-6 conference record in the SEC where Florida and Alabama dominate. In the ACC, there is no one dominant team because all of the teams are so tough and competitive. In fact, the ACC has six teams with tied 4-4 in-conference records and four teams with 5-3 in-conference records. Only Virginia (3-5) and Duke (1-7, but who still beat an SEC team) have poor records, meaning there is less dominance and more competition. The ACC has 10 bowl-eligible teams compared to only eight in the SEC.
Now I'm not willing to say that the ACC is the best conference in the NCAA, and I am willing to acknowledge that those bragging rights will likely change from year to year. In fact, it looks to me that the Big 12 is the best conference this year. I will argue that the ACC is the toughest conference to play in now that schools such as UNC are actually putting together respectable teams. In another few years, a national championship contender will emerge from the ACC. The final argument I'll make is that the ACC, as a whole, is a better conference in 2008 than the SEC. Yes, Florida or Alabama will likely play in the national championship game, and both are SEC teams. However, taking into account the conference as a whole, the SEC isn't all its fans think it is — this year anyway.