Bottom Half of the SEC vs. Bottom Half of the Pac-12: Who Has the Advantage?

Robby BakerContributor IIIFebruary 27, 2017

Sep 7, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Justin Coleman (27) celebrates scoring a touchdown on an interception against Western Kentucky Hilltoppers quarterback Brandon Doughty (12) (not pictured) with teammate Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson (45) and Tennessee linebacker Dontavis Sapp (41) during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Top to bottom, the SEC is the best conference in college football, and their worst teams would beat up on the bottom half of the Pac-12.

Based on conference standings from the last few seasons, teams like Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri make up the bottom half of the SEC.

Those teams are superior to those found at the bottom of the Pac-12.

They are bigger, stronger and have to play a more grueling schedule than most Pac-12 schools. The only thing the Pac-12 has over the SEC is overall team speed, but at the bottom of the conference even that fades.


Bottom Half of the Pac-12

Colorado, Washington State, California and Utah are the cellar dwellers of the Pac-12. Last year, none of them won more than five games.

Colorado only won one.

The Pac-12 is a top-heavy conference carried by Oregon and Stanford. Teams like UCLA and ASU are trying to break into that top tier, but for now the talent gap from the top to the bottom continues to grow.

Thanks to the Pac-12 Network, though, money is coming in droves, funding those bottom-half teams and helping them compete with the powerhouses.

University of Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez told ESPN's Ted Miller that he thinks this money will help the entire conference grow:

The Pac-12 is deeper now and will be deeper in the next 10 or 15 years than it ever has been. And that's just because of the money being put into it. You're talking about more money, more facilities and more revenue than any school in our league has ever had. And that's not going backwards.

The trouble is, right now those bottom teams are plain bad. Even though there is hope for improvement, if any of those bottom teams played a lower team from the SEC, they would get stomped.


Bottom Half of the SEC

The SEC is college football.

While conferences like the Pac-12 are starting to make the college landscape more competitive, the SEC still owns the place.

Teams such as Ole Miss, Tennessee and Missouri have found themselves at the bottom of the SEC in recent years, but their strong recruiting pipelines and steady streams of money help keep them ahead of other conferences' lower teams.

Take Ole Miss for example. The Rebels finished fifth in the SEC West last year with a record of 7-6, a mediocre year at best for the program.

What did it do in the offseason?

The Rebels brought in the nation's fifth best recruiting class according to ESPN (Subscription Required) and signed the No. 1 overall recruit in Robert Nkemdiche.

Not bad for a team with a mediocre season.

That's the power of the SEC, though. The promise of the national spotlight on a weekly basis and the chance to play against the best brings in the greatest young talent.

Ole Miss has been a constant afterthought in the SEC, but it could walk all over any of those bottom-half Pac-12 schools.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports says the SEC should really stand for the "Strength Everywhere Conference". It's hard to argue against that.

The bottom line is simple: The SEC is just better. From the top to the bottom, the SEC can beat any conference, not just the Pac-12.


All stats and info, unless otherwise indicated, comes from