ACC Coastal strongest division in the country?

No, really.

Think about it. The ACC's Coastal Division has four teams ranked among the Top 25 in both the coaches' and Associated Press polls -- Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Miami and North Carolina.

My colleague, Mark Schlabach, Tweeted this week that the Coastal Division might be the toughest division in college football this year.

What other division out there is deeper?

Possibly the SEC West, where Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Arkansas are all ranked. You have to go outside the Top 20 in the Associated Press poll, though, to find Auburn and LSU. Same can be said for Auburn in the USA Today poll. (Hey C-low, trade you a defending national champ for two top 20 teams?)

As for the rest of the BCS conferences with divisions, you've got the Big Nebraska North. Texas and Oklahoma rule the Big 12 South. You've got Florida and Georgia in the SEC East.

Of course, debating with myself got old quickly, so I emailed SEC blogger Chris Low and Big 12 blogger David Ubben to see what they thought, and here were their responses:


It's close, especially at the top, but I'd take OU and Texas over every team in that division. The middle is muddled, but we'll see where they are at year's end. Texas A&M and Texas Tech could both be in the Top 25. Oklahoma State should be close behind. Five teams in the division got votes in the preseason poll.

At the bottom, I'd take the Big 12 South by far.

Every team in the Big 12 South has the capacity to win 7-8 games, but I'm not sure you can say that about Virginia or Duke.


The SEC West has four teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 and a fifth, Ole Miss, that will have a chance, especially with the addition of Jeremiah Masoli. The top dog is of course Alabama, the defending national champion. Arkansas will have one of the most potent passing games in the country, while Auburn is one of those teams talented enough to win nine or 10 games. Mississippi State just missed playing for a bowl game last season and will be even better this season. You never count out LSU's talent, either. Bottom line: You may well see all six Western Division teams in bowl games at the end of the year. That's what you call a power division.

Tony Barnhart says the ACC and SEC are the deepest conferences out there. Agreed, and for the ACC, it's all thanks to the Coastal Division. We'll find out if it's stronger than the SEC West when North Carolina takes on LSU in the season opener. After Virginia Tech's loss to Bama last year, it's SEC West 1, ACC Coastal 0. Low made a great point, though -- let's see who's playing in bowl games -- and who's winning them -- before we judge.