May 13th, 2013 01:46 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: BCS, Big Ten, Notre Dame, SEC
Bob Stoops coached in the SEC many moons ago, when the league was dominated annually by Florida and Tennessee. So last week when he said the SEC’s repuation as a strong league was a product of “propaganda,” it was easy to say he didn’t know what he was talking about.
But Charlie Weis coached in the SEC in 2011. He knows the current slobber-knockin’ SEC. And the Kansas head coach — who like Stoops served as an assistant at Florida — agrees that the SEC ain’t all it’s cracked up to be:
“Do you know the stats? In the SEC, the record of the good guys and the bad guys?
… I’m just sayin’, you look at the bottom of our league and the bottom of their league, just going based off the numbers, there’s validity in what he said. I’m just going based off the numbers, I mean, I’m a numbers guy. Just based off the numbers, you’d have to say (Stoops) has got a point.”
Apparently the argument that the good guys and bad guys are worlds apart is based on the fact that the top six teams in the SEC went 30-0 against the bottom eight teams in the league last year. And, yep, that’s a pretty ugly nugget for the bottom eight teams to have to swallow.
But in how many leagues can you talk about a “top six?”
The Big Ten over the past decade has basically had Ohio State on top. Southern Cal and Oregon have owned the Pac-12. In the Big XII, the league title has gone to Texas or Oklahoma every year since 2004. By comparison, the SEC hasn’t had a repeat champion since 1998.
Just last season the SEC finished the year with five teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll. The Pac-12 had two teams. The Big Ten had one. The ACC had one. Notre Dame was also in the top 10. No Big XII team finished in the AP top 10.
In the Big XII’s case, was that a product of uber-parity or the lack of nationally-strong teams up top? In the SEC’s case, was the domination at the top due to a weak bottom of the league or superior talent among the frontrunners? Seven consecutive BCS championships would suggest it had more to do with the strength at the top than weakness at the bottom.
A quick scan of both leagues’ records against the remaining “big five” conferences (plus Notre Dame) shows that Big XII teams went 9-5 against the big boys in 2012 for a .642 winning percentage. The SEC went 13-6 against teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, and Pac-12 (plus Notre Dame) for a winning percentage of .684.
But this argument isn’t about numbers. It’s about SEC fatigue. Everyone outside the SEC is tired of hearing how strong the conference is – they probably shouldn’t listen to NFL GMs — and they’ll look for any possible excuse to run down the league that’s run up seven BCS titles in a row.
Even if it means coaches from a two-team league attacking a conference that’s only six teams deep.
Get used to it. As long as the SEC is winning, this talk will continue. And once the SEC finally loses a national championship game, the “I told ya so” chorus will be deafening. Be prepared.
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