For years, the SEC has been thought of as the premier conference in college football. Fans of the conference bristled at even the thought of another conference being mentioned in the same breath as the almighty SEC. And for a good five-plus years, those fans had a reason to boast. The SEC was the best conference in the land.
Not anymore. Seven weeks into the 2008 season, the Big 12 has taken control of the country. And it's not that close.
Now before I get called an idiot, I'm just going to lay out some facts.
Someone name the SEC's best win this year. Alabama over Clemson? Not bad, but Clemson is awful this year. Alabama got way more credit than it deserved just because the useless preseason polls ranked the Tigers in the top 10.
Georgia won at Arizona State, but ASU really isn't that good either. USC decimated them last week, more impressively than Georgia did by a long shot.
That's it. No other win by the SEC this year is even worthy of mention. Meanwhile, they have thrown up these beauties for us to admire:
Arkansas 28, Western Kentucky 24; Arkansas 28, Louisiana Monroe 27; Texas 52, Arkansas 10. Then this beauty: Arkansas 25, AT Auburn 22
Auburn 3, Mississippi State 2; Auburn 14, Tennessee 12...following this: UCLA 27, Tennessee 24.
And LSU gets heralded as being stronger than ever after barely beating that same Auburn team by five. LSU has also beaten App State and North Texas, plus Mississippi State by 10. And the Tigers were the No. 4 team in the nation?
Then Vanderbilt, the newest reason why the SEC is incredible, lost to Mississippi State 17-14. That's 2-4 Mississippi State, which lost to Louisiana Tech and to Georgia Tech by 31. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, cemented it's reputation by beating previously mentioned Auburn by 1 at home.
The point of all this is that SEC gets its reputation because all of it's teams beat up on each other—and this year, most of the teams aren't very good. But they do have some strength.
Florida is good. I can forgive a bad loss. I can also see that they have destroyed everyone else in their path. The Gators deserve to be ranked highly. Alabama as well. They struggled against Kentucky, but that's to be expected after a huge win at Georgia.
But outside of those two teams, what does the SEC have? A bunch of teams that got their reputation because they beat other teams with the SAME reputation.
Vanderbilt? No thanks. They got their reputation by barely beating a weak non-conference schedule and a then a weak Auburn team at home.
Auburn? They've beaten no one, and just lost to an absolutely pathetic Arkansas team.
LSU? They struggled to beat Auburn and got stomped by Florida.
Tennessee? Don't make me laugh.
Georgia? Maybe...but they got their reputation in the preseason. They have a solid win against ASU, but ASU is the 5th or 6th best Pac 10 team this year.
The fact is that the fourth best team in the SEC—after Florida, Alabama, and Georgia - may well be...Ole Miss. Followed by Kentucky. The SEC and it's fans need to realize that the name of a school doesn't make it a powerhouse.
The SEC is in a down year, and the Big 12 is clearly the class of the nation this year.