Ten Resons For The SEC Bias Throughout The Nation

Michael OleszekAnalyst ISeptember 18, 2008

For the past few football seasons, there has been an overwhelming bias towards the SEC. There are currently 5 SEC teams ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Poll, and those same 5 teams are in the Top 13 in the Coaches Poll. Add in the 4 teams receiving votes in the AP poll and you have 9 teams out of 12 in the conference that are getting at least one vote that says they're one of the 25 best teams in America.

9 out of the 12 teams receiving votes in the AP Poll include traditional heavyweights Georgia, Florida, LSU, Alabama, and Auburn in the Top 25; plus lightweights Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina and a down-sliding Tennessee team receiving at least one vote.

The comical part of this whole thing is that South Carolina is 1-2, they lost to perennial doormat Vanderbilt, but still got one vote as some sort of reward for putting up a tougher fight against Georgia than most people expected.

So why all of the SEC bias? Is it just recent? Is it historical?

Fans outside of the Southeastern United States are sick and tired of hearing about how mighty the SEC is compared to the rest of the nation. The rest of the SEC fans, the rabid fanbases of 12 different schools, who look at the rest of the nation with the same discontent that is shown to them, could give a flying you-know-what about what someone in Ann Arbor, Columbus, South Bend, and Los Angeles has to say about them.


Here are ten reasons, both recent and historical for all of the SEC bias.


10. 24 National Championships in 75 seasons

That averages out to a National Title every three years. 9 of the current SEC member schools have won at least a share of 1 National Championship. 7 of those 9 schools have won at least 2 National Championships.


9. 4 BCS-Era National Champions

4 of the 10 BCS champions have come from the SEC, and the only school to win multiple titles is also from the SEC (LSU). Only the Big 12 has more than one BCS National Champion.


8. The last 2 BCS-Era National Champions

Florida and LSU have won the last two National titles, so the SEC is still fresh in everyone's minds.


7. The 'Yeah, but....' syndrome

LSU lost 2 games last year and won a National Title.

Yeah, but....

They play in the SEC, The 2 losses were in triple-overtime games to an SEC opponent.

USC has throttled Arkansas twice in the last 3 years.

Yeah, but....

They didn't play LSU, Florida, or Georgia on the road at night on ESPN with Gameday there.

Florida got whipped by Michigan in the Capital One Bowl.

Yeah, but....

Michigan was a senior-heavy football team trying to win the game for their out-going coach.

SEC teams don't play quality out-of-conference opponents.

Yeah, but....

The conference is hard enough without having to play decent teams out of conference.


6. The SEC at-large teams in the BCS are 4-1.

SEC at-large teams enjoy beating up on other conference champions. SEC teams have won 4 games as at-large opponents. The results have not been pretty either. Each SEC at-large team that won a game beat an over-matched opponent:

Florida beat up Big East Champion Syracuse by 21 points in the 1999 Orange Bowl.

Florida blew by ACC Champion Maryland by 33 points in the 2002 Orange Bowl.

LSU smoked Notre Dame by 27 points in the 2007 Sugar Bowl.

Georgia beat WAC Champion Hawai'i by 31 points in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.

Only Tennessee went out and laid an egg against Nebraska in the 2000 Fiesta Bowl.


5. The SEC has better coaches and players than any other conference.

5 SEC coaches have a National Championship, 2 have posted undefeated seasons, 2 more have come back from the NFL to coach, and the coaches of the 'worst' SEC programs (Vandy and Miss State), would be consistent winners given the talent level of LSU and Florida.

As an example: Les Miles is still the same coach he was at Oklahoma State. He wins more now because he has better players in Baton Rouge than he did in Stillwater.

6 players from SEC schools were taken in the first round of this years' NFL draft, including 4 of the top 10 picks overall.


4. The SEC is televised from top to bottom

And, it's only going to get better, or worse; depending on who you ask. In a previous article, I wrote about the current and future state of SEC sports being on television. When the SEC is televised to the nation and not just a small subset of states, people see talented teams from the SEC and give more weight to the SEC bias that is already in place. It worked last week for USC, although not an SEC team, their convincing win over Ohio State was nationally televised, and it reflected in the current polls. When the SEC TV deal kicks in, the upper realms of SEC schools will be seen from coast to coast, and provided they win, they will continue to be rewarded in the upper realms of the polls.


3. 11-4 BCS record (.733 Winning percentage)

Once the SEC teams are done beating up each other during the regular season, they take out their aggression on the rest of the country. Only 3 SEC Champions have lost a BCS bowl game.


2. The SEC is undefeated in BCS National Championship Games

Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, SEC Football teams that play for a National Championship are 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 13.75 points.


1. Undefeated Auburn being shut out of National Championship Game

This is probably still the biggest reason the SEC gets so much attention. Undefeated Auburn had to contend with a brutal SEC schedule, and then still was shut out of a chance at a National Title, only because USC and Oklahoma were also undefeated. This scenario of 3 undefeated teams in the BCS needed a plus one game. It also is an underlying reason why Florida made the BCS Title Game in 2006 over Michigan.