SEC Vs. Big Ten Football: Who's Better?
In a long list of storied and bitter rivalries, there are several that stick out.
Hatfield vs. McCoy, Bush vs. Gore, Men vs. Women, Rufus vs. Brutus.
But even none of these bears the bitterness of the recent vitriolic rivalry that has emerged between the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
The SEC has had the better of this particular rivalry over the past several years, with more championships, Heisman winners and yes, even total bowl wins than the Big Ten.
But all of that is in the past.
2010 is 2010, and both conferences started out the season with a level playing field in this new decade.
Each conference has had a #1 knocked off this season, and each conference boasts a superb talent at the quarterback position.
As the regular season winds down and we prepare for the madness that is bowl season, let's compare these two stellar bastions of football greatness to this point in the season.
Overall, the two conferences seem to be fairly even when total wins and losses are factored into play.
The Big Ten is currently 64-37, while the SEC is 70-41.
This comes to 5.4 wins per team for the Big Ten and 5.8 for the SEC.
However, the losses come to 3.3 per Big Ten team to 3.4 per SEC.
Kind of an inane statistic, but somewhat relevant to the tenor of our discussion.
Where it becomes interesting is in the context of the next comparison...
Result - Even
Record Vs. The Top 25
Here is where there is a disparity.
The SEC is 15-22 against the top 25*, while the Big Ten is only 7-21.
Part of this number is due to the fact that there have been more ranked teams in the SEC to get upset within the conference, however, the SEC is 3-1 against non-conference opponents in the top 25, while the Big Ten is 1-3.
Result - Advantage SEC
* - Top 25 at the date of the game played
The Big Ten had several potential Heisman contenders going into the season, and Denard Robinson of Michigan forced himself into the conversation over the first five weeks.
Wisconsin's John Clay, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, and Terrelle Pryor have all been very good and viable Heisman contenders in other years.
The problem is none of these guys even deserves to carry the jock strap of one Cameron Newton, the quarterback extraordinaire of the Auburn Tigers.
Newton, despite allegations that he was paid to go to Auburn, has wowed the college football world almost from the get-go.
Newton has completed 183 passes for 1890 yards and 19 touchdowns this season to go with only five interceptions.
He has also accumulated over 1100 yards rushing and 15 rushing touchdowns.
End of discussion.
Result - Advantage SEC
The BCS rankings make for a fantastic regular season and an anti-climatic postseason.
How do our conferences stack up in the current edition of the BCS?
The SEC has two teams in the top five, #2 Auburn, and #5 LSU.
The Big Ten has two teams in the top ten, #7 Wisconsin and #9 Ohio State.
Both have four teams in the top 15, and the SEC has more ranked overall, however, the SEC may end up with only one team in a BCS game, while the Big Ten is almost guaranteed two if two of the four teams remaining with one conference loss can win out.'
Result - Even
To this point in the season, the SEC still has the clear advantage over the Big Ten.
The Big Ten needs to win some big bowl games, and get a team back into the National Championship before they can even get close.
With Jordan Jefferson leading the LSU Tigers to a top five ranking and Cam Newton blowing up scoreboards everywhere, the SEC wins this competition hands down.