Thanksgiving week is a time to enjoy each other’s company. A time to be thankful for family and friends, and gather around the dinner table for fellowship and camaraderie. A time to put all differences aside and give thanks for those in your life.
But after the meal is cooked, the food digested and the kitchen cleaned, Thanksgiving week means only one thing in the world of college football. It means it is rivalry week.
No matter where you live – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, Arizona – it’s a week you think about the entire year. It’s a week about bragging rights, it’s a week about school pride and it’s a week where you want to humiliate your bitter rival.
But the Saturday after Thanksgiving for many in the Deep South also has become “Conference Bragging Rights Saturday” – four matchups involving eight teams that puts not only state bragging rights on the line, but also has the ACC and SEC in direct competition. It’s ACC vs. SEC in numerous households.
There’s Clemson-South Carolina, Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Kentucky-Louisville.
It had been somewhat trendy for SEC fans to refer to the ACC as the SEC’s little brother, but times have changed. Dating to 2014, Clemson is 3-0 vs, South Carolina, Florida State is 3-0 vs. Florida, Georgia Tech is 2-1 vs. Georgia and Louisville is 2-1 vs. Kentucky.
That puts the ACC at 10-2 vs. the SEC in the past three seasons on “Conference Bragging Rights Saturday.”
Why has the ACC owned these four rivalries in recent memory? The answer may be as easy as “coaching.” Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have had coaching turnover in the past three years. In that span, Clemson and Florida State have been national powers and participated in the College Football Playoff, with Clemson playing for the national title in each of the past two seasons (the Tigers are 1-1 in such games).
The interesting one is Georgia-Georgia Tech. Georgia had won five in a row before the Yellow Jackets got a win in 2014 in Athens. In fact, the road team in this series has won the past four meetings, which might be a good sign for Georgia this season because the Bulldogs travel to Atlanta on Saturday.
Can the SEC programs take back conference bragging rights during rivalry week? The folks in Las Vegas don’t seem to think so. The ACC is favored in three of the four games this season; Georgia is the lone SEC favorite.
Enjoy rivalry week, and Happy Thanksgiving.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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