Cream of the crop: ACC coaches make their case for best conference in college football

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - SEC? Nope. Big Ten? No.

Day one of the ACC Kickoff's theme was similar to Drake's 'Started From The Bottom'. Coach after coach (and the commissioner) talked about where the conference was just five years ago, and then declared the ACC the top college football conference in the nation.

Fisher and the Seminoles won the national championship in 2013.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford opened the day by applauding the past athletic year for the conference as a whole. "I think it's pretty obvious, the past year, certainly was one of the most succesful years, and possibly the most successful year the league has ever had," Swofford said.

"I coached in the SEC for 13 years, I think it's a tremendous conference," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "I think they all are. But I think right now with what we've accomplished in the last five years...I think the ACC is as good a league as there is in football."

Clemson has appeared in the last two national championship games, winning in 2017.

The numbers don't lie, and the play in 2016 didn't either, as the conference matched up with any other conference, and more times than not, came out on top.

"There's one conference that had a winning record against Power 5 teams, the ACC. One conference had a winning record against ranked teams, the ACC," said Swinney.

Swinney's message to all of the ACC coaches when the BCS became extinct and the College Football Playoffs became alive, was simple. "We've got to go play people, and we've got to beat them."

They're hoping to do more of that as the season inches closer.