Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dubunking the SEC

It's my birthday and I am feeling punchy. And since I can barely look at my Twitter feed, turn on the TV or leave my house without hearing about how good SEC football is, I'm going to have my wits with people.

For those unacquainted with the issue, the Southeast Conference is widely touted to be the best college football conference ever in the history of the universe. At least by ESPN, which slathers the love on the SEC like my dog does to my bare feet.

I guess that shouldn't be too surprising. Much like ESPN overhypes the NBA (a league ESPN paid a lot of money to broadcast), ESPN's talkies love to hype up the SEC. Some of these idiots go as far as to say a team that loses a game in the SEC might still be better than an undefeated team from, say, the Big 12, another major football conference.

You would think ESPN signed a deal to televise SEC games... oh look: they did!

Beyond this, though, annoying fan after annoying fan is happy to remind me about how much better the SEC is. For instance, they talk about how the teams in the SEC are a step above the rest.

Really? This is a conference that had its championship game set weeks ago. In other words, they have two dominant teams... and a slew of also-rans. The Big 10 gets a lot of pain because it is so rare for a team to escape the conference schedule undefeated. The truth is... the Big 10 consistently fields a better overall field of teams. That might kill some national championship hopes for some teams. But this idea that the SEC is just loaded is just that... a load. Of crap. Highly-touted LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia and the like have shown nothing that anyone could refer to as "elite" this year. And storied programs like Tennessee have a lot of tradition but are crap football sides.

Then, the same annoying fans want to let me know how much better the SEC teams are against other conferences. Friends, I give you the SEC's record out of conference since 1990:

  • Big-12 (20-16)
  • PAC-10 (10-9)
  • Big East (15-20)
  • Big-10 (30-23)
  • ACC (65-50)
  • The old Southwest Conference (20-19)
In other words, they've done well, but the conference is not dominant by any measure.

Then they tout the SEC's bowl game record. OK, let's look at last year:

  • Pac-10 5-0
  • Big 12 3-1
  • Conference USA 3-1
  • Southeastern 3-1
  • Big East 3-2
  • Mountain West 2- 2
  • Atlantic Coast 4-6
  • Big Ten 1-5
So... a nice 3-1 record, yes. But several conferences on this list sent more teams to bowl games than the SEC and one (last year's PAC-10) didn't lose! The SEC had great year before, too, but, again, its teams were hardly the only ones at the party.

Basically, I write this as a wake up call to SEC fans who love to toot their horns... you're standing on a house of cards. And hey, ESPN can hype y'all up as much as they want. This is the same network that crowned Matt Leinart's USC as the best team in college history a few years ago. That team, by the way, lost to Texas in grand fashion in the title game.

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