From balmy St. Paul, Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes where each and every one is currently an ice rink, I am here to talk a little football. On the eave of the national championship, a night where the SEC will go for its 4th consecutive BCS National Championship, I will tell you why the SEC is better than the Big 12 and every conference.
First and foremost, I am a person who likes championships and the last three national champions (soon to be 4) have come from the SEC. Over that same time span the SEC went 6-1 in BCS games. The SEC also has the most BCS National Championships with 5. The SEC is also a ridiculous 13-5 in BCS games, the next best record is USC. . . wait I meant the the Pac 10, with a 9-5 record (thank Pete Carroll for contributing 6 of those).
Secondly, we must look at the level of talent in the conference. The only reason why the SEC doesn't put all 10 teams into the BCS every year (other than the fact that there is this thing called an automatic bid) is because they beat up on each other so much. I don't care if it is Georgia vs Florida or Ole Miss vs Auburn. EVERY game in the SEC is like a bar-fight where no one team is usually THAT much better than the other. I think the talent level of a conference is defined by its weakest link and this might be the ONLY thing that one could argue against the SEC. Vanderbilt was terrible this year, I mean absolutely horrendous. Then again, when 10 out of 12 teams from the conference go to a bowl game SOMEONE has to lose, right?
How the others fared: The Big 10 sent 8 out 11 teams to bowl games while the Big 12 sent 8 out of 12 to bowl games. The Big East sent 6 out of 8 and the Pac 10 sent 7 out of 10 teams and the ACC sent 7 out of 12.
Next up are the players. You can't have a good team, let alone a good conference without good players. The southeastern part of the country is arguably the best place to find athletic, FAST, powerful football players. The only other place in the country that rivals the production of such football players is Texas but they don't get as evenly distributed to the whole conference so the Big 12 north has to just remain terrible (pending the rebirth of Eric Crouch). In the 2009 draft guess which conference had the most players drafted? Yes, you guessed correctly, the SEC. 37 players were picked representing 10 schools (even Jay Cutler could rejoice with the pick of D.J. Moore) in Radio City Music Hall.
How the others fared: The ACC was a surprise second with 33 picks. The Pac 10 was third with 32 (this is of course skewed because of the backup quarterbacks and 8th string running backs getting drafted from USC) and the Big 12 and Big 10 rounded out the top five at 28 draft picks.
Finally if the SEC is truly the best, one must throw out the numbers and compare it to other conferences, one on one:
Before we even get started we can throw out any conference that doesn't get an automatic bid to the BCS (sorry Mountain West).
That leaves the Big 10, Big 12, ACC, Pac 10, Big East. Once again I feel that there are a few conference that can be tossed out because either, 1. they're just disgusting, 2. they are extremely overrated, or 3. they're conference games can only be seen on Thursday night because there isn't enough parity to to get national exposure on Saturday. From these 3 rules I think we can rule out the Big East (rule 2, we all saw how good Cincinnati was when they weren't playing South Florida and the Greg Pauluses), ACC (rule 3, okay the Georgia Tech vs Miami game WAS a bright spot for the conference this year but no one got to see it because it was on a THURSDAY!), and finally, as much as it pains me to say it, Big 10 (rule 1, I'm from the region but if Brent Musburgur doesn't put you to sleep the offenses of Wisconsin and Iowa will). That leaves the Big 12, the Pac 10, and the SEC to duke it out for title of the best college football conference.
The Pac 10's issue is USC. They're simply too good. Every good high school player west of the Rocky Mountains (and east of the Rocky Mountains) wants to play at USC so it is almost as if Pete Carroll isn't recruiting All-Americans, the All-Americans are recruiting Pete Carroll. Why would anyone want to play for an Arizona or UCLA when he can could play at USC? USC has players two or three deep on their depth chart that may never see the field but would start for one of those schools. If USC would just let three star recruits go to the mid-majors of the conference rather than ride the pine in the Coliseum every Saturday then the conference would be more balanced and everyone, even USC, would benefit from a new and improved Pac 10, but until then they will always be the third wheel of the powerhouse conferences.
Now it comes down to bash brothers: spread vs pro style, power vs speed, offense vs defense. As I said earlier, I am all about championships. How many rings you got? How many banners? That's what it is all about. That is ultimately what everyone in any sport is working towards; being the best. The SEC has won three BCS National Championships in a row, the Big 12 has won zero. The SEC is an incredible 5-0 all time in title games while the Big 12 is a lackluster 2-4.
How many rings you got? How many banners?