If there's one thing college football fans love almost as much as watching their favorite team play, it's probably debating the respective merits of their favorite team's conference.
No matter whether someone roots for Alabama or Auburn, you'll surely be able to find common ground if you assert the SEC is the greatest football conference in the land. The same goes for Michigan or Ohio State fans, who will likely agree that the SEC is overrated and the Big Ten is the superior collegiate conglomerate, and fans throughout the Big 12 and Pac-12.
And when their beloved alums graduate to the NFL, they'll stay loyal and follow those players at the pro level.
To that end, ESPN is encouraging further debate as they compile 22-man starting lineups for each Power 5 conference and one made up of players from non-Power 5 schools. The goal is to craft a team that would be "best suited to win the next Super Bowl."
So far, ESPN has unveiled the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 teams. Outside linebackers Bradley Chubb and Von Miller made the ACC and SEC teams, respectively.
"It's crazy, I was just talking about this with somebody the other day," Chubb told ESPN. "People look at the ACC now and maybe they say 'they don't have many great teams' or whatever. But you look at it when I was in there, there was a whole bunch of players with NFL talent making impact plays. Derwin James and Jalen Ramsey and Jameis Winston and Lamar [Jackson]. When you look at the talent some of those teams had and look at what some of those guys are doing in the NFL right now, you have to give some respect to that. It's right there for people to see. That team could play with anybody. You have the MVP at quarterback, two of the best pass-rushers in the league just to start in Chandler Jones and Aaron Donald. For me to even be in there somewhere is a blessing for sure."
The Pac-12 and non-Power 5 teams will be unveiled on Wednesday, and final they'll rank the teams on Thursday.
Below the Fold
As the Broncos approach the season, The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran has 10 questions about the team that he attempted to answer, including whether Melvin Gordon III and Phillip Lindsay will share carries almost equally. "If Shurmur wants, there is nothing wrong with a near-even split between Gordon and Lindsay," O'Halloran writes. "Even if the attempts are even, expect Gordon to play more snaps because of his third-down experience."
I can't say I agree too much with Peter King’s new power-ranking placement of the Broncos at 20th, but I can say I agree that the floor for the team should be around six wins and they could get to 11 if things go right. "This is going to be a fun team to watch. I could see the Broncos, in a rising division, anywhere between second and fourth, anywhere between six and 11 wins."
In Shelby Harris and A.J. Bouye, the Broncos have at least two guys who are much in the clutch. Pro Football Focus says those two Broncos defenders were among the best at their position group in the fourth quarter and overtime of one-score games. Harris "got his hands on a position-high three batted passes in the clutch" and Bouye allowed "just one first down while intercepting a pass" in 42 coverage snaps.