SEC's College Football Dominance: Permanent or Cyclical?
Nothing's permanent in sports, especially in college football.
Powerhouses have fallen, conferences have weakened and even Notre Dame's become somewhat irrelevant in the world of this great sport.
So when it comes to the SEC's iron-grip on college football, many believe it's just a phase that will pass in time. In fact, many would mock and ridicule an argument saying that the SEC's dominance was here to stay, so who would be brave enough to make such a case? Challenge accepted.
Think about this, friends—what if this lasts for decades and decades? Obviously, the SEC isn't going to win every single year, and you'd be a fool to think that would be the case. But they will win back-to-back championships in the future and they will always be in the hunt.
As long as Nick Saban is at Alabama, you can bank on them being a title contender. And with Les Miles' recruiting at LSU, they should remain amongst the best in the nation as well.
And judging by the way Will Muschamp has been recruiting this year, Florida should remain a national power, too. As a matter of fact, ESPN has five SEC teams currently in the top 10 of its recruiting rankings. "Make the madness stop," Pac-12 fans proclaim.
And when you really begin to ponder about the future of the sport, players that are in high school right now are seeing exactly what the rest of us are seeing. The SEC is not only producing the best teams on the field, but the most NFL talent. And we all know money talks.
If you want to go into the pros, stepping into the SEC not only gives you great exposure, but it prepares you and makes you NFL-ready. "Is this article serious, or is this a recruiting bit for the SEC?" Big 12 fans shout.
But recruiting is only half the battle, as you know. It's all about coaching, and the SEC is home to some of the best in the sport. Saban, Miles, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier and Gene Chizik all call the SEC home.
And don't laugh, but even James Franklin at Vanderbilt is proving to be an outstanding coach. Any coach that can begin changing the nature of a losing culture deserves accolade. "Oh, and we don't have great coaches in the Big Ten?" Big Ten fans sigh.
Yes, Urban Meyer, Bret Bielema, Mark Dantonio and Brady Hoke are all fantastic coaches, too. But are they good enough to make the SEC's dominant run cyclical?
Heck, the only thing cyclical about the SEC could be the powers in shifting from the west to the east. Georgia and South Carolina are making strong strides, while Florida and Tennessee are slowly but surely getting back to form.
You know what they say about iron sharpening iron. As these teams play one another all year long, they're only going to improve from the experiences of battling one another. That builds championship teams, in case you've been in a coma for the past six years.
And for those that simply can't stand the SEC and its rule over the sport, bad news awaits. This playoff system could turn out to help the conference rather than hurt it. But before we look forward, let's review the BCS era.
The conference had five of the 10 BCS national champions (five out of nine if you discount USC), won six straight national championships and had three teams win two BCS national titles. No other conference can compare. So with a playoff system being put into place, maybe this will even out the playing field. Wrong.
With the SEC's on-field reputation, if they have a similar scenario like last season, they should have two of the four teams battling it out for the crystal ball. That gives the conference a 50 percent chance of winning the national championship rather than a measly 25 percent. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" ACC fans exclaim in disgust.
So maybe the SEC can continue winning national championships and demand the respect of its peers as the greatest conference in football. The fate of college football's national champion could quite possibly be held in one conference—and for the rest of the power conferences, that's a frightening thought.
For those that support or love the SEC, just embrace the hate.
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