Just How Dominant Has the SEC Been During the String of Six Straight Titles?
Unless you've been living in a cave for the last six years, you already know the SEC has won six straight BCS National Championships, distancing itself from the rest of college football as the premier conference in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Just how good has the SEC been?
During those six seasons, eventual SEC winners in the BCS National Championship Game have outscored National Championship Game opponents 184-92.
As if winning on college football's biggest stage wasn't enough, the SEC has posted a 9-3 record in BCS games since 2006. Those nine wins equal the win total of the next two winningest conferences combined during that same time span (Pac-12 and Big Ten).
The SEC has posted a record of 243-45 vs. non-conference opponents since 2006. The anti-SEC crowd will undoubtedly assume that the record is by virtue of scheduling cupcakes, but that's not entirely true.
Of those 243 wins, 38 have come against non-conference foes that were ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the game. Georgia and LSU have each topped ranked out-of-conference opponents seven times since 2006, while Alabama has won six.
The SEC finished second to the Big 12 in terms of out-of-conference winning percentage in 2011 (.865 to .855), first over the Big 12 in 2010 (.793 to .768) and topped the Big East in 2009 (.828 to .782).
But the SEC hasn't just been dominant on the field.
During the same time span, the SEC has sent more players to the NFL through the NFL draft than any other conference.
The conference had 42 players drafted in 2012, which led all college football conferences for the sixth straight year. The Big Ten finished second last season with 41, followed by the ACC with 31.
Over that six-year span, the SEC has averaged 40.3 players drafted per season—tops among college football.
The SEC hasn't been successful based just on results. The success was predicated and continues to be based on willingness by administrators to pay top dollar for high-caliber coaching talent.
Between 2006-11, eight of the top 14 highest-paid coaches in terms of average pay per season were employed by SEC schools (Nick Saban, Les Miles, Bobby Petrino, Gene Chizik, Will Muschamp, Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier and Houston Nutt), according to USA Today.
During that same time period, the SEC boasted nine of the top 14 schools in terms of average assistant coach salaries per season (via USA Today).
To be the best, you have to have the best leaders. The SEC has transformed itself into a juggernaut by its willingness to attract the best coaches in the country.
The combination of high-caliber coaches, consistent success at the highest level and ability to send prospects to the NFL through the draft has made the SEC the most attractive destination for high school prospects.
But will it stay that way in the future?
The Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC all have signed new media rights deals in the last few years. The influx of additional revenue will undoubtedly help each conference attract better head coaches, assistant coaches and increase the recruiting budget for football.
The competition will be even more fierce moving forward, but the SEC has some tricks up its sleeve.
When will the SEC's string of consecutive national championships be broken?
The conference is in the midst of renegotiating its current media rights deal, which will likely result in its own 24-hour cable channel that will launch in 2014, according to Sports Business Daily.
The increased revenue generated from the network, along with whatever changes are made to the current deal with CBS and ESPN, is sure to increase the SEC's payout per school, which was $20.1 million last season, according to AL.com.
On the field, the SEC currently is home to six of the top 12 recruiting classes in the up-to-date 247Sports.com team rankings for the Class of 2013.
The last six years have been great to the SEC. The string of consecutive national championships will come to an end at some point, but the future of the conference looks brighter than it ever has.
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