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Which College Football Conference's All-Star Team Would Win in a Playoff?

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMarch 6, 2014

Which College Football Conference's All-Star Team Would Win in a Playoff?

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    Former Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
    Former Florida State WR Kelvin BenjaminRobert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

    The College Football Playoff era is now upon us, as the final second ticked off the BCS clock in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 6 and ushered out the former postseason in favor of a four-team playoff in the top division of college football.

    But what if we took it a step further?

    What if the nation's all-conference teams as selected by the coaches from last season's six automatic qualifying conferences were put into next season's four-team playoff and squared off for conference supremacy?

    Let's take a look at what might happen in our hypothetical all-conference team playoff.

     

     

Coaches All-AAC Team

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    Former UCF QB Blake Bortles
    Former UCF QB Blake BortlesMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Offense (courtesy: American Athletic Conference)

    QB: Blake Bortles, UCF

    RB: Storm Johnson, UCF and Paul James, Rutgers

    WR: Deontay Greenberry, Houston and DeVante Parker, Louisville

    TE: Blake Annen, Cincinnati and Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

    OL: Eric Lefeld, Cincinnati; Jamon Brown, Louisville; Jordan McCray, UCF; Justin McCray, UCF; Jake Smith, Louisville

    K: Jake Elliott, Memphis

    Return Specialists: Ralph David Abernathy IV, Cincinnati and Demarcus Ayers, Houston

     

    Defense

    DL: Jordan Stepp, Cincinnati; Marcus Smith, Louisville; Martin Ifedi, Memphis; Aaron Lynch, USF

    LB: Terrance Plummer, UCF; Yawin Smallwood, UConn; Tyler Matakevich, Temple

    CB: Jacoby Glenn, UCF and Charles Gaines, Louisville

    S: Calvin Pryor, Louisville and Hakeem Smith, Louisville

    P Tom Hornsey, Memphis

     

Coaches All-ACC Team

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    FSU QB Jameis Winston
    FSU QB Jameis WinstonJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Offense (courtesy: Atlantic Coast Conference)

    QB: Jameis Winston, FSU

    RB: Andre Williams, Boston College and Devonta Freeman, FSU

    WR: Sammy Watkins, Clemson; Rashad Greene, FSU; Jamison Crowder, Duke

    TE: Eric Ebron, UNC

    OL: Cameron Erving, FSU; Brandon Thomas, Clemson; Laken Tomlinson, Duke; Tre' Jackson, FSU; Bryan Stork, FSU

    PK: Roberto Aguayo, FSU

    Specialist: Jamison Crowder, Duke

     

    Defense

    DL: Vic Beasley, Clemson; Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech; Aaron Donald, Pitt; Timmy Jernigan, FSU

    LB: Telvin Smith, FSU; Denzel Perryman, Miami; Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College

    CB: Lamarcus Joyner, FSU and Kyle Fuller, Va. Tech

    S: Terrence Brooks, FSU and Anthony Harris, Virginia

    P: Pat O'Donnell, Miami (Fla.)

     

Coaches All-Big 12 Team

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    Former Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk
    Former Baylor RB Lache SeastrunkRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Offense (courtesy: Big 12 Conference)

    QB: Bryce Petty, Baylor

    RB: Lache Seastrunk, Baylor and Charles Sims, WVU

    FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma

    WR: Antwan Goodley, Baylor; Tevin Reese, Baylor; Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

    TE: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

    OL: Spencer Drango, Baylor; Cyril Richardson, Baylor; B.J. Finney, Kansas State; Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma; Parker Graham, Oklahoma State

    PK: Anthony Fera, Texas

    Specialist: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

     

    Defense

    DL: Chris McAllister, Baylor; Ryan Mueller, Kansas State; Charles Tapper, Oklahoma; Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State; Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

    LB: Eddie Lackey, Baylor; Jeremiah George, Iowa State; Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State

    DB: Ahmad Dixon, Baylor; Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State; Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma; Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State; Jason Verrett, TCU

    P: Spencer Roth, Baylor

     

Coaches All-Big Ten Team

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    Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
    Ohio State QB Braxton MillerStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Offense (courtesy: Big Ten Conference)

    QB: Braxton Miller, Ohio State

    RB: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska and Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

    WR: Allen Robinson, Penn State and Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin

    TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

    OL: Corey Linsley, Ohio State; John Urschel, Pen State; Ryan Groy, Wisconsin; Brandon Scherff, Iowa; Taylor Lewan, Michigan

    PK: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern

     

    Defense

    DL: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota; Randy Gregory, Nebraska; DaQuan Jones, Penn State

    LB: Max Bullough, Michigan State; Ryan Shazier, Ohio State; Chris Borland, Wisconsin

    DB: Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State; Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State; Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State; Brock Vereen, Minnesota; Ciante Evans, Nebraska; Bradley Roby, Ohio State

    P: Mike Sadler, Michigan State and Cody Webster, Purdue

Coaches All Pac-12 Team

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    Former UCLA LB Anthony Barr
    Former UCLA LB Anthony BarrGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Offense (courtesy: Pac-12 Conference)

    QB: Marcus Mariota, Oregon

    RB: Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona and Bishop Sankey, Washington

    WR: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State and Paul Richardson, Colorado

    TE: Chris Coyle, Arizona State

    OL: Evan Finkenberg, Arizona State; Hroniss Grasu, Oregon; Marcus Martin, USC; Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA; David Yankey, Stanford

    PK: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State

    Specialist: Ty Montgomery, Stanford

     

    Defense

    DL: Ben Gardner, Stanford; Trevor Reilly, Utah; Will Sutton, Arizona State; Leonard Williams; USC

    LB: Anthony Barr, UCLA; Trent Murphy, Stanford; Shayne Skov, Stanford

    DB: Deone Bucannon, Washington State; Alden Darby, Arizona State; Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon; Robert Nelson, Arizona State; Ed Reynolds, Stanford

    P: Tom Hackett, Utah

    ST: Soma Vainuku, USC

     

Coaches All-SEC Team

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    Former Auburn RB Tre Mason
    Former Auburn RB Tre MasonJeff Gross/Getty Images

    Offense (courtesy: The Southeastern Conference)

    QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

    RB: Tre Mason, Auburn and T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

    WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M and Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

    TE: Arthur Lynch, Georgia

    OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M; Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama; Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State; Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt; Reese Dismukes, Auburn

    PK: Marshall Morgan, Georgia

    All-Purpose: Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU

    Return Specialists: Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU and Christion Jones, Alabama

     

    Defense

    DL: Michael Sam, Missouri; Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; Dee Ford, Auburn; Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina

    LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama; Ramik Wilson, Georgia; A.J. Johnson, Tennessee

    DB: Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama; E.J. Gaines, Missouri; Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

    P: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M

The Seedings

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    Former Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
    Former Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielScott Halleran/Getty Images

    With six AQ conferences and only four playoff spots, something's gotta give.

    We'll go ahead and eliminate the American Athletic Conference. I know, I know, UCF looked great in the Fiesta Bowl over Baylor, but there's no way the all-AAC defense would be able to slow down any of the other five offenses. Louisville's defense was great, but the talent simply isn't there for the AAC to hang with the big boys—which is part of the reason why it won't have an automatic bid to the new CFP.

    That leaves the power five conferences left, with only four spots in the playoff.

    Even though the SEC lost its two BCS games and is missing out on style points, the selection committee of one—me—still thinks that the defense is the best in the country and with an offense led by Johnny Manziel and running backs Tre Mason and T.J. Yeldon, the team is too much to stop. SEC gets the No. 1 seed.

    In the second spot is the Pac-12. With an athletic defense and a versatile offense led by Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, that Pac-12 team is stout.

    The ACC chimes in at the No. 3 spot, thanks to Heisman winner Jameis Winston at quarterback and a stifling defense. It got style points late when Florida State hoisted the crystal football, and it hopes to carry that momentum into our hypothetical all-conference team tournament.

    Our last team in is the All-Big Ten team. The offense is effective with Braxton Miller at the helm and a talented offensive line, and the defense—whew—is just scary. Six of those defenders are Michigan State defenders, which should tell you all you need to know about that Spartan defense in 2013.

    That leaves the Big 12 out. Sure, Oklahoma looked great against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but conference champ Baylor cost the conference style points in the Fiesta Bowl and I'm not sure that defense could stop any of these offenses. 

    Sugar Bowl: SEC (1) vs. Big Ten (4)

    Rose Bowl: Pac-12 (2) vs. ACC (3) 

Sugar Bowl: SEC (1) vs. Big Ten (4)

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    Former South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
    Former South Carolina DE Jadeveon ClowneyScott Halleran/Getty Images

    South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney didn't exactly have a great season, but how awesome would a Clowney vs. Taylor Lewan rematch be with a side of Dee Ford and Michael Sam thrown in along the SEC's defensive line?

    Yes, please.

    On top of that, those athletic defensive linemen would be chasing after Ohio State's Braxton Miller and a running back corps that includes Carlos Hyde and Ameer Abdullah. 

    That SEC linebacking corps (C.J. Mosley, Ramik Wilson and A.J. Johnson) is fast, athletic and has a nose for the football, and would be able to neutralize that dynamic Big Ten offense.

    I don't just like the Big Ten's defense, I love it. But can it stop Johnny Manziel? Not enough to spring the upset.

    SEC moves on to the title game in a close win over the Big Ten thanks to a late Manziel to Mike Evans touchdown over Darqueze Dennard.

    Hypothetical final score: SEC 31 - Big Ten 28

Rose Bowl: Pac-12 (2) vs. ACC (3)

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    Oregon QB Marcus Maroita
    Oregon QB Marcus MaroitaScott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

    Can you say shootout?

    That ACC defense is sick, but Marcus Mariota and the All Pac-12 team is loaded with playmakers who can create mismatches against an ACC defense that has seen it all.

    On the flip side, Jameis Winston is back in the friendly confines of the Rose Bowl, where he won the national championship with a last-minute touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin. Can he win on the west coast again?

    Yes, he can.

    The ACC offensive line is filthy, and will give Winston plenty of time to find a receiving corps that includes Sammy Watkins, Rashad Greene and Jamison Crowder.

    It'll be point-a-minute football in the Rose Bowl, but Vic Beasley, Jeremiah Attachou, Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan will wear down that Pac-12 offensive line and force Mariota into two fourth-quarter mistakes that allow the ACC to pull away late and spring the mild upset.

    Hypothetical final score: ACC 52 - Pac-12 48

CFP National Championship Game (Arlington, Texas): SEC (1) vs. ACC (3)

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    Former Alabama LB C.J. Mosley
    Former Alabama LB C.J. MosleyChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    The ACC got the best of the SEC in the final BCS National Championship Game of the BCS era when Florida State topped Auburn 34-31, but the SEC has the chance to get revenge in our hypothetical all-conference playoff.

    Auburn rattled Winston in the real title game, and with three Seminoles on the all-ACC offensive line, the SEC's superstar defensive line (Sam, Clowney, Ford and Quarles) will have a field day with Winston.

    On top of that, an SEC secondary consisting of Cody Prewitt, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, E.J. Gaines and Vernon Hargreaves will lock down those talented ACC receivers and take advantage of pressure generated on Winston from the front seven.

    Watching ACC and FSU linebacker Telvin Smith try to keep quarterback Johnny Manziel in check will be a lot of fun, but the running ability of Manziel and running backs Tre Mason and T.J. Yeldon will be too much for this ACC defense to overcome.

    Toss in first-team "all-purpose" SEC performer Odell Beckham, Jr. as a slot-receiver or an option on jet sweeps, and the SEC will run roughshod over the ACC.

    Hypothetical final score: SEC 38 - ACC 24

     


     

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